Silence Is Not Golden in the Face of Greatest Moral Challenge of Our Time

Often when I was a child, I heard the words silence is golden. Silence can be golden when listening to God in prayer or seeking clarity from trusted friends. However, silence is not golden when something needs to be said and it never is. In such circumstances I am not very good with silence. Speaking what I knew to be true prepared me for becoming an evangelical preacher, after spending 14 years in the coal industry. Silence is not golden is when you have a request from more than 60,000 constituents asking you to take action on climate change. Recently, I delivered the names of more than 60,000 Floridians to Governor Scott asking him to lead the state of Florida to address climate change, but at the moment, his only answer is silence.

More than 60,000 constituents have ask Gov. Scott to take action on climate change.

After three weeks of back and forth with the Governor’s staff, I finally delivered the request of those 60,000 plus Floridians to the Governor’s office in Tallahassee. Governor Scott knew I was coming. First, I was denied the meeting and told to contact my Florida legislator, then after pointing out that I wasn’t a Florida resident, I was informed that a meeting would be granted, and then almost two weeks ago, the Governor’s general counsel’s sent me an email making it clear that Governor Scott was too busy to grant my request.

So to insure Governor Scott received the request from more than 60,000 pro-life Christians, I delivered them directly to his office but still silence. I know that I am not from Florida, but one of my Christian heroes, John Wesley, once stated, “The world is my parish.” As a minister, I will travel anywhere to defend the lives and future of God’s children. And God’s children are already being threatened in Florida. Saltwater already spoils pure drinking water, sea level rise costs tax dollars and vector borne diseases are increasing. Someone needs to speak out to protect our children and these 60,000 Floridians equally distributed across the state empowered me to communicate on their behalf.

Maybe Governor Scott is waiting until after his Tuesday meeting with Florida scientists to speak. That certainly would be a wise course of action. I pray Governor Scott’s silence is the sort where he is taking time to seek the Lord in wisdom and not politics as usual. Addressing climate change and the scientific consensus that humans are causing it by our fossil fuel use will require all America to unite. As I have stated many times, climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time, it’s not political. Making a plan to defend our children and lead them to a brighter economic future with healthier lives is not something one political party can solve or even one governor.

Rev. Hescox praying in the Capitol chapel after delivering 60,000 signatures to Gov. Scott asking him to take action on climate change.

Solving the climate crisis requires government, business and all of us to work together under the leadership of our Risen Lord, Jesus. Jesus once told us that nothing is impossible with God. However following Jesus’ leadership and understanding that caring for God’s creation is an act of discipleship requires action, not simply silence or ignoring the facts.

Governor Scott, now is the time to act and lead Florida. Your silence isn’t golden, but a slight to the Florida citizens who share your same faith. They deserve the Golden Rule, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NIV)


Pacific Ocean Warming at Fastest Rate in 10,000 Years

Study Finds Ocean Warming Is Largely Man-Made

New Report Examines Complex Threats Facing Our Oceans

Show Comments ()
Solar shade canopies. University of Hawaii

This College Could Become the First 100% Renewable Campus in U.S.

As a growing number of U.S. cities make pledges towards 100 percent renewables, it's easy to forget that the entire state of Hawaii set this important benchmark three years ago when it mandated that all of its electricity must come from renewable sources no later than 2045.

To help the Aloha State meet this ambitious commitment, in 2015, the University of Hawaii (UH) and the Hawaiian Legislature set a collective goal for the university system to be "net-zero" by Jan. 1, 2035, which means the total amount of energy consumed is equal to the amount of renewable energy created.

Keep reading... Show less

Silver Nanoparticles in Clothing Wash Out, May Be Toxic

By Sukalyan Sengupta and Tabish Nawaz

Humans have known since ancient times that silver kills or stops the growth of many microorganisms. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is said to have used silver preparations for treating ulcers and healing wounds. Until the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, colloidal silver (tiny particles suspended in a liquid) was a mainstay for treating burns, infected wounds and ulcers. Silver is still used today in wound dressings, in creams and as a coating on medical devices.

Keep reading... Show less
4.4 million premature air pollution deaths could be avoided in Kolkata if emissions are reduced swiftly this century. M M / CC BY-SA 2.0

Study Finds Timely Emissions Reductions Could Prevent 153 Million Air Pollution Deaths This Century

One of the roadblocks to swift action on climate change is the human brain's tendency to focus on threats and stimuli that are an obvious and noticeable part of their everyday lives, rather than an abstract and future problem, as Amit Dhir explained in The Decision Lab.

Now, a study published in Nature Climate Change Monday shows that acting quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions would also reduce the air pollution that is already a major urban killer, thereby saving millions of lives within the next 40 years.

Keep reading... Show less
Lands threatened by BLM's March 2018 sale include Hatch Point. Neal Clark / SUWA

Trump Administration Sells Oil and Gas Leases Near Utah National Monuments

The Interior Department on Tuesday is auctioning off 32 parcels of public lands in southeastern Utah for oil and gas development.

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) lease sale includes more than 51,000 acres of land near Bears Ears—the national monument significantly scaled back by the Trump administration last year—as well as the Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients monuments.

Keep reading... Show less
Katharine Hayhoe talks climate communication hacks at the Natural Products Expo West Convention. Climate Collaborative

Katharine Hayhoe Reveals Surprising Ways to Talk About Climate Change

By Katie O'Reilly

Katharine Hayhoe isn't your typical atmospheric scientist. Throughout her career, the evangelical Christian and daughter of missionaries has had to convince many (including her pastor husband) that science and religion need not be at odds when it comes to climate change. Hayhoe, who directs Texas Tech's University's Climate Science Center, is CEO of ATMOS Research, a scientific consulting company, and produces the PBS Kids' web series Global Weirding, rose to national prominence in early 2012 after then-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich dropped her chapter from a book he was editing about the environment. The reason? Hayhoe's arguments affirmed that climate change was no liberal hoax. The Toronto native attracted the fury of Rush Limbaugh, who encouraged his listeners to harass her.

Keep reading... Show less
Rising Tide NA / Twitter

Kinder Morgan Pipeline Protest Grows: Arrests Include a Greenpeace Founder, Juno-Nominated Grandfather

By Andy Rowell

Just because you get older, it doesn't mean you cannot stop taking action for what you believe in. And Monday was a case in point. Two seventy-year-olds, still putting their bodies on the line for environmental justice and indigenous rights.

Early Monday morning, the first seventy-year-old, a grandfather of two, and former nominee for Canada's Juno musical award, slipped into Kinder Morgan's compound at one of its sites for the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline and scaled a tree and then erected a mid-air platform with a hammock up in the air.

Keep reading... Show less

The Grapes of Trash

By Marlene Cimons

German monk and theologian Martin Luther probably said it best: "Beer is made by men, wine by God." It's true—the world loves its wine. Americans, in fact, downed close to a billion gallons of it in 2016. But winemakers create a lot of waste when they produce all that vino, most of it in seeds, stalks and skins.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Mike Pompeo Could Be Even Worse for the Environment Than Rex Tillerson

By Kelle Louaillier

As Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was one of the most blatant revolving-door cases in the Trump administration and a clear sign that Trump's government was of, by and for the fossil fuel industry. But make no mistake: Mike Pompeo could be far worse.

Keep reading... Show less


The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!