The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Unitarian Universalists: 'Climate Justice Is a Moral Issue ... It Is Our Obligation to Act'
In a call for spiritual action in the fight against climate change, Unitarian Universalists and other faith groups have joined together to participate in Climate Justice Month. This time of reflection and spiritual grounding started on World Water Day March 22 and will culminate with the worldwide celebration of Earth Day on April 22.
The faith groups hope that Climate Justice Month will inspire meaningful action on climate change. They hope the month of reflection gives participants a chance to consider concrete solutions for a low carbon future and advancing the human rights of those most impacted by climate change. During the first week, the focus was on water and rejoicing in connection with the natural world and its gifts. The second week concentrated on fire while providing an opportunity to consider the impacts of climate change while exploring where our energy comes from.
Now in its third week, participants are reflecting on air while reconnecting with hope through relationship and exploring who is impacted by our energy sources. During the fourth and final week, participants will concentrate on the Earth while committing to long-term actions that shift energy, advance human rights and grow the movement.
“Climate justice is a moral issue. Climate change is all too real, and affects disadvantaged people disproportionately," says Terasa Cooley, program and strategy officer of the Unitarian Universalist Association. “Our Earth and all its people require us to come together across faith lines and political parties to make the changes needed now," said Cooley. "We cannot afford to feel hopeless. It is our obligation to act.”
The faith group encourages people of all religions to honor interconnectedness while deepening partnerships among different groups to work for positive change. They emphasize that the solutions to climate change must take into account those most marginalized in our society.
“We sacrifice people on the margins of society—generally people of color, immigrants and people who live with great financial instability—to maintain the industrial growth economy," said Rev. Peggy Clarke. "This economic system assumes ecosystems, communities, cultures and non-human beings are all externalities that are expendable in the pursuit of maximizing profit.”
Climate Justice Month is organized by Commit2Respond, the new climate justice initiative led by Unitarian Universalist groups. The initiative was formed out of the People's Climate March in September 2014 and Climate Justice Month is its first action.
“The goal of Commit2Respond is to help us move ourselves from being overwhelmed to feeling empowered," says Rev. Brock Leach, vice president of mission, strategy and innovation for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
“We can honor our fundamental interdependence and we can remind ourselves of those deeper human values we all hold sacred, like ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for our own children and the generations to come."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?