Looking Back at a Week of Climate Action
It’s the end of a long week of climate action. We’ve seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets in New York City. We’ve seen religious leaders make commitments to practice what they preach, and congregations urged to go completely carbon neutral by 2050. Government leaders have presented their proposals to reduce carbon pollution. Families that have earned their fortune in oil have chosen to divest from fossil fuel companies.
I’ve sifted through articles on all these stories — celebrating some and shaking my head at others. But, looking back at the week, there are two commentaries that remain poignant in my mind.
The first is kind of a downer. On Sunday, several right-wing blogs ran Alan Caruba’s piece, Prepare for a Deluge of Climate Change Hype. Calling climate change science “the greatest of lies,” he quotes David Rothbard, founder of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow a privately-funded, hyper-conservative organization whose staff has made claims that environmentalists perpetuate poverty and disease. Caruba also makes reference to the Heartland Institute’s sham climate change science.
The article didn’t make me sad because I disagree with Caruba’s every point. It makes me sad because it was like hearing the last gasps of a drowning man. I wanted to offer Caruba my hand and pull him to safety with the warning that his rhetoric only hurts his cause.
If he believes in a free market, capitalism, and competition, why is he supporting the powerful oil and coal industries instead of a variety of competitive energy sources like solar and wind? If he wants new jobs and healthy people, why does he want to shackle our workforce to coal mining and explosive oil rigs, when renewable energy offers new, safer, and cleaner jobs? If his climate change science really is correct, why do 98% of independent scientists disagree with him?
Trust me, I’d love it if someone credible actually disproved climate science. It’s not like I really want to fear droughts, increased storms, and rising sea levels. I’d love to know that my son will be able to see colorful coral reefs and California’s snowy mountains.
But the science is clear — we must dramatically reduce our carbon pollution if we want to avoid catastrophic climate changes. That’s why I feel such a strong moral obligation to do something — I selfishly want to make the world a better place for my son. That feeling has brought me back to the religious community — a community I see as a growing leader for this cause.
Which brings me to the second article. Antonia Blumberg published A Millennial’s Open Letter to Faith Leaders, in which she discusses her disappointment at not seeing more millennials involved at the interfaith conference on climate change. She writes:
“Including millennials in a conversation about faith-based climate activism — and any other spiritual and social topic for that matter — is not only logical but necessary. We make up a quarter of the U.S. population at 77 million strong, and we have come of age in post-9/11 world where religious literacy is more crucial than ever.
“Not only that, but we are a generation raised on green education, recycling programs and environmental awareness. We are deeply committed to caring for the Earth — as demonstrated by the more-than-50,000 students who turned out for the People’s Climate March on Sunday.”
Her article once again made me see Caruba’s article as a dying breath. There just isn’t a future in the argument that climate science is junk. The future lies in climate action.
But her article also gave me hope that maybe more young people will have the same urge I have to attend interfaith services, religious gatherings, and spiritual sessions because they feel that doing something about climate change is more than a political or economic cause — it’s a moral issue. If the faith community just reaches out to millennials more by giving them a voice, the community could grow instead of shrink. And really powerful things can be done.
I’m hopeful that climate action is the way of the future. It’s what environmental activists, labor unions, businesses like Google, the religious community, and families like the Rockefellers are fighting for. It’s what world leaders are listening to. And it’s what the younger generations want.
I cling to this faith in the future every time I think of my son.
Keep up to date with all the eco-spirituality news here on EdenKeeper. Subscribe to our newsletter to never miss a story.