Everything that humans need to survive on this planet is already here. But certain natural resources are safer for the Earth. Some resources burnout and cannot be replenished. Others are sustainable or renewable resources. What if these renewable resources were all that we used? Could we change the course of history?
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
The answer lies with state and local governments throughout the United States whose recent actions show a desire to change the way we care for the Earth. How will they accomplish this goal and what can faith organizations and leaders do to help?
Committing to a Renewable Energy Solution
Recently, twelve states and 300 cities made a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These governments are working with a two-step process that may help to reverse the effects of climate change. This is their pledge:
- Abandon coal as an energy resource
- Use only renewable energy resources
President Donald Trump is advocating for the use of coal as a prominent resource in the country. Coal is a natural resource but it is one the emits high levels of carbon dioxide. Carbon emission is one of the accelerants of climate change.
The state and local governments pledging to use renewable energy prefer resources like wind energy, solar energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy and hydropower energy.
A commitment to renewable energy from 312 cities and states is a great step forward. Still, it is important to recognize that these state and local governments make up a tiny percentage of the nation. To truly protect the planet from further harm and reverse the effects of climate change, more cities and states must join in. Normally, federal regulation would be helpful but due to recent federal climate action - the next phase of climate action is up to us.
It’s Up To Us
Now that we know what sectors are not on board it’s time to take charge of our future. We all have a duty to care for the Earth. How do we get started? There are three things that faith leaders must do.
Teaching may come easy to a Rabbi, Reverend, Minister, Imam, or Priest, but with climate, teaching has to be careful and precise. By gathering data that supports the idea of climate change and matching it with the holy words left to God’s people, congregations will come to understand what is happening to the planet and that they play a role in it.
Advocacy is a more convoluted activity. It requires people of faith to be caring stewards of the Earth and its people. When teaching about climate change, it is essential to mention the millions of people around the world who suffer because of it. If we don’t speak for them, who will?
Influence is not just leading by example, especially with climate solutions. After all, God considers faith leaders to be earthly shepherds - guiding all who follow. This includes the rulers of the land. Sometimes the government needs an incentive to act or a cause to act on. It's up to us to give them one.