Today, President Trump signed a long promised executive order that rolls back progress made to lessen the release of carbon pollution into the environment. Carbon emissions contribute to the heating up of our planet. Never one to let facts get in the way, Mr. Trump focuses on the dubious science of a few outliers who call climate change a hoax.
His executive order rolls back restrictions on coal powered power plants and seeks to relax limits on emissions by cars and trucks. He has signaled that he will not follow through on promises made at the most recent Paris Climate Accord. In effect he has ceded leadership by the United States (the second largest emitter of carbon, after China). https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/climate/trump-executive-order-climate-change.html
Trump follows in the footsteps of President George W. Bush’s administration, which consistently denied that climate change had a significant human cause. In the face of overwhelming science, where did the willful ignorance come from? As always, follow the money: https://350.org/global-divestment-mobilization-peoples-climate-march/
In the face of this well-funded anti-climate mentality, what are people of faith to do? How does our faith inform us?
I like the banner that says:
‘If you love the Creator, take care of Creation’.
This saying is a reflection of the creation story in Genesis where God creates the land and oceans and all that live within. Each day Genesis concludes by saying: ‘And God saw that it was good’.
To be indifferent or contribute toward the destruction of God’s creation is an affront to God.
Just because Mr. Trump and his minions use ‘alternative facts’ doesn’t make it so. The signs of climate change and humanities contribution to our rapidly heating up planet are breathtaking: https://350.org/a-glacier-guides-experience-with-climate-change-in-alaska/
What then can we do? Resist. Resist the ‘alternative facts’ of the Trump administration and fossil fuel industry. Get informed. Check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration http://www.noaa.gov . This government site is under threat by the Trump administration but remains a reputable source for climate science.
Find allies in your faith tradition which helps you be a responsible steward of the earth. For those within the Christian tradition check out: http://restoringeden.org/ http://earthministry.org . In New England a good source is http://kairosearth.org/about-us/ There are excellent resources within other faith traditions too.
The Northwest Earth Institute offers small group studies on making proactive, practical changes in your personal life and in your local community https://nwei.org When my wife and I were raising our young children we took a class entitled: ‘Voluntary Simplicity’. This class changed how we approached parenting and many of the material choices we make to this day.
Being an advocate for mother nature is a life long journey. It is a call to take the long view. A commitment to refute the short-term/quick profit mentality. It requires a commitment to helping our economy find new and clean ways of moving forward. Helping workers retool for the opportunities that come with renewable energy.
All this is based on the old adage ‘don’t mess your nest’. We need and deserve clean water and air. Not only for our sake but for the sake of generations to come. Our Creator would have us do no less.