The moral obligation created by climate change, it turns out, is the same for people of faith and for non-religious people.
So, many of us are coming to realize that no one has the right to injure others, especially the weakest among us – who get hurt worst and first – when we change the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans by our heavy use of fossil fuels, by our deforestation and by our agricultural practices.
Please, let that sink in. We ought to be able to reach past our divisions and, in peace, find common cause.
We change forever once we realize this basic morality… and we must therefore clean and green our habits, our working lives, and we must step up our game on how we use our voices.
We change inside ourselves…
As tools, we can use the organizing power and information provided by both the faith and non-religious communities:
For example, Interfaith Power and Light is a group of faiths who banded together to fight climate change. They provide a good introduction and inspiration, plus an excellent set of links to climate solutions advocated by each of the world’s major religions. As well, they link to suggested climate prayers and sample sermons.
In the Catholic Church, Pope Francis made history in June 2015 with his encyclical letter, “On the Care of Our Common Home,” which clearly resets Church dogma for 1.2 billion Catholics, to make fighting climate change an obligation for the faithful. It is now a core Catholic moral teaching, following the same longstanding Christian obligation as care for the suffering. Most other faiths made their pronouncements earlier, so the Pope’s words mean that all major world faiths now are on the same page!
And those who are not religious nevertheless take the very same moral logic: The scientific community isn’t only involved in the joy of finding things out, many scientists, academics and economists also forcefully advocate for our moral argument.
People of conscience stand in solidarity… along with the potential for nuclear war, this is the most important thing to ever happen to humanity since the Ice Ages.
Another way of saying this is, “We are not creeps.”
The moral imperative of climate change solutions is profound and self-evident.
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Not sure how to start saving the planet (civilization, really)? Start by always remembering that “Hope is a renewable resource.”
Then, our practical answer becomes “Deeply know the personal Superpowers” we all bring to the game of life:
1) To save the planet, CHANGE OURSELVES FIRST;
2) To save the planet, INVEST OUR WORKING LIVES;
3) To save the planet, USE OUR VOICES and take advocacy seriously! Never miss a vote and never, ever stop influencing your government and all businesses locally, at the state level, and at the national level. As well, set a solid example for all around you to see. Jawbone to others about what we need to do, and influence them as peers. Finally, have an annual cash donations program. All of these are ways we can use our voices.
Stay focussed: Lead the way with substantive global warming solutions. (Far from being a bummer, this is actually a fun trend for each of us to be part of… get energized!) Our kids and their kids will be proud of us.
And in all cases and at all times, cast aside the learned-helplessness that infects so much of modern life… the time is now for climate change solutions. Never give up.
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