Climate Change is an Emergency

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Government and business leaders have refused to address the crisis for too long. We simply have no time to waste.

Thanks to the visionary and fearless leadership of thousands of young people, the Green New Deal is making climate action the priority it needs to be. As people of faith, it is our moral obligation to stand together with these young people and help lift up their voices as we all work together to save our planet.

The Green New Deal offers a vision, urgency and ambition that matches the crisis we face. It centers the moral values that are at the heart of our religious and spiritual traditions: love, justice, and compassion. It lifts up visionary policy solutions that will address the critical issues of our time. It moves us towards a flourishing future for all people. It protects Earth, our common home.

We will not accept that our ambition should be limited by a political culture that is horribly out of touch when it comes to environmental protection. The danger is real. The time for action is now. 

Make your voice heard! Take 2 minutes to write and send this Letter to the Editor(s) of your local newspaper(s)        

Spoken Teaching Points

The following represent possible talking points for your D’var Torah, Sermon, Dharma Talk, Khutbah, or other spoken teaching in your spiritual or faith community.

Climate change is a grave threat.

The climate crisis represents a grave threat to humanity, the global environment, the most vulnerable among us, and future generations. Our religious and spiritual traditions call us
to care for each other and for the Earth. However, the scientific consensus is powerful and direct: without incredibly ambitious and rapid action, we face brutal environmental disruption that will cost millions of lives, displace hundreds of millions from their homes, impoverish countless communities, and badly degrade ecosystems that support life. The most vulnerable among us will suffer worst, despite having contributed least to the problem.

To stabilize the climate at a level that is still dangerous but short of catastrophic levels, greenhouse gas emissions need to fall to a net zero level by 2050. This is an unprecedented challenge for humans.

Despite the Paris Agreement, the problem is getting worse, not better.

Since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2016, the world has actually lost ground in responding to climate change.

Globally, and in the US, carbon emissions have risen.

“The fossil fuel industry has spent more than $1 billion since 2016 directly and through its trade associations lobbying against climate change legislation.”

The financial sector has increased its financing for new fossil fuel infrastructure to the tune of $1.9 trillion since the Paris Agreement was signed.

This reality is alarming. Combined with a federal administration that is actively hostile to climate action, the prospects are dire.

GREEN NEW DEAL

SPOKEN TEACHING POINTS FOR THE GREEN NEW DEAL

People of faith and spirit must decide what response to this crisis they will support.

People of faith and spirit must decide what kind of response to climate change they will support. GreenFaith supports a response based on compassion, love and justice and believes that four conditions must guide our approach to climate change. Our response must

  • Be urgent and ambitious, meeting the scale of the problem at the fastest possible rate. A mobilization of society similar to past wartime mobilizations is needed.
  • Be holistic. It must transform our energy, transportation, food and water systems, our buildings and infrastructure, and economic systems. All must change if we are to meet the challenge.
  • Engage those hurt most by and vulnerable to the climate crisis and invest heavily in their communities and solutions. It must provide protection from extreme heat, severe weather, high flooding waters, and deadly air pollution. It must support local solutions and local leadership, and the countless local solutions that are already underway.

Invest in the training of workers, job placement, and a commitment to good paying jobs. It must fund re-training and income maintenance for displaced workers, so that those who have built the foundation for today’s economy aren’t hurt by the transition to a new economy.

The Green New Deal meets these conditions.

The Green New Deal embodies a rapid, urgent response. It calls for a massive transition to renewable energy and green economy over the coming decade.

It is holistic. It recognizes that we need a new generation of energy, transportation systems, farming, buildings, and more.

It can be fair and just, by investing in frontline communities and in communities of color.

It can support workers, through legislation that ensures that the millions of jobs required to make the transition successful will pay family-sustaining wages and benefits and offer workers the opportunity to join a union.

The Green New Deal represents a bold vision that can meet the climate crisis. It can save lives, protect health, create jobs, and transform society. It is based on values at the heart of the world’s religions – compassion, love, and justice.