National Climate Ethics Campaign
November 30th was a busy day for the environmental movement, and more specifically for those who share, across the globe, the moral obligation to protect and preserve the planet – such as, elected officials, activists as well as leaders in the faith community. November 30th was marked by two events: the second day of the COP 17 meeting in Durban, South Africaand the National Climate Ethics Campaign. The National Climate Ethics Campaign, representing various constituency groups such as elected officials, business and faith leaders, youth and racial justice advocates, released a statement about the moral implications involved in overlooking climate change issues.
The National Climate Ethics Campaign’s "Statement of Our Nation’s Moral Obligation to Address Climate Change"has been signed by over 1200 business leaders, elected officials and non-profit organizations, including Earth Day Network. This statement encourages Americans and the U.S. government to have a moral ‘call-to-arms’ to create national security and self-preservation, but also to “acknowledge and act on our long-standing moral obligation to protect current and future generations from suffering and death, to honor principles of justice and equity, and to protect the great Earth systems on which the wellbeing of all life, including ours, depends”.
Speakers at the National Climate Ethics Campaign press conference included various members of the steering committee. Below are some highlights from the event:
- Reverend Jim Ball of the Evangelic Environmental Network stated that we are dealing with, “no taxation without representation”. In others words, we are now being taxed for environmental degradation done by others and not being properly represented in our government to resolve the problem.
- Joe Uehlein from the Labor Network for Sustainability declared that, “we need to figure out how we can make a living on a living planet”.
- Lilian Molina of the Energy Action Coalition stated that we need to, “start listening to the canaries in the coal mine, the canaries of our time are the elderly and minorities who are first to be impacted by climate change”.
Also, let us not forget the holy texts’ vision about caring for the Earth:
- "You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing." (Bible , Psalm 65:9-13NASB)
- “For the Land to which you come, to possess it – it is not like the land of Egypt that you left, where you would plant your seed and water it on foot like a vegetable garden. But the Land to which you cross over to possess it, is a Land of hills and valleys, from the rain of heaven will it drink water, a Land that Hashem, your G-d, seeks out; the eyes of Hashem, your G-d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to year’s end.” (Torah, Devarim 11:10)
- As explained by Dr. Ibrahim Ozdemirin “An Islamic Approach to the Environment”: “We are God’s vicegerents on the earth; it has been given us in trust. Just as we are not the lords of nature and the world, so the world is not our property which we can dispose of as we wish or as we are able. Nature was created by God and it belongs to God. Everything in nature is a sign of God’s existence; that is, a token or missive. The Qur’an expresses this truth as follows:
We shall show them our signs in the [furthest] regions [of the earth], and in their own souls (Qur’an, Fussilat 41:53)”
To sign the statement or for more information, please go to the National Climate Ethics Campaign website.