The evidence of humankind's contribution to climate change is irrefutable; the effects of which are happening quicker than we had anticipated. In 2012, over 30 million people were displaced as a result of climate change. As Moti Rieber penned in his opinion piece, Stop Denying Climate Change, ‘This is not the indeterminate future – this is now.'
Rieber, coordinator of Kansas Interfaith Power and Light, a Blessed Tomorrow partner, explains, “If we have every reason to know about a problem (and we do), and if we have plenty of time to act on it (as we have), and yet we choose not to, then that is not simply a bad choice; it is no less than a sin – a crime against God's creation, including our fellow human beings.”
In previous posts, I've referenced the parable, The Good Samaritan, a lesson that lends itself to Rieber's current argument; albeit from a different tradition. A righteous person of God, regardless of what religion they practice, is morally obligated to aid those in need — why would we view climate change differently?
Faith Leaders have a unique ability to guide their congregations on moral issues, shedding political ideologies in favor of a universal truth. Just as the Samaritan saved the life of a wounded man on the road to Jericho, we too must assist our fellow man.
“Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37
2014 was a watershed year in both our understanding of human-caused climate change and in our resolve to take actions to address it.
A major National Climate Assessment showed that “the effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States.” In June the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a “Clean Power Plan,” which when it is fully implemented will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 25 percent below 2005 levels. In October the United States and China, the top two international CO2 emitters, came to a landmark agreement to limit their carbon emissions by 2030. And in September more than 400,000 people marched in New York City to show world leaders that people want effective action to address this issue.