Climate change is extremely urgent. You and I can make a difference to help save lives, homes, and wildlife by acting as individuals. and by acting together through our organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques, etc.
Climate Change–My Action Commitment
I am willing to make these commitments in solidarity with the sacredness of our human family all over the world–especially those suffering from natural disasters, our world’s animals whose survival is threatened, and the sacred earth, our only home. Please check the commitment/s you want to make.
____ I will pray or meditate about the crisis of climate change and the healing of all people, animals, and the earth.
____ I will learn more about the crisis of climate change.
____ I will contact my pension if I have one and advocate that they divest of fossil fuel investments.
____ I will divest of fossil fuels in my personal investments or IRA, 401K, etc. if I have them.
____ I will contact my electric company and ask them to divest of fossil fuels and increase solar/wind capacity to 100 percent by 2019, build solar fields, purchase solar batteries to store solar, and build electric charging stations. Half of Georgia electric companies are cooperatives OWNED BY US!
____ I will ask my electric cooperative to create a donation fund for people to cover the cost of selling off fossil fuel companies that my coop owns shares of, and to cover the cost of voiding contracts with companies like Morgan Stanley that broker all electricity purchases for some of our coops, but limit their solar capacity to 5 or 10 percent with the rest being fossil fuels and nuclear–neither of which are clean or safe. I will ask my electric company where my local electricity, how much comes from oil, coal, gas, nuclear, solar, wind, etc. and what would need to happen to convert to 100 percent solar and wind by 2019.
____ I will contact my legislators and assert that a national solar/wind grid be built to convert to 100 percent solar and wind by 2019. I will also ask for increased subsidies for electric cars and solar roofs, subsidies for electric car charging stations, increased tax incentives for electric cars and solar roofs, and mandatory electricity credits for customers selling electricity back to electric companies.
____ I will work with others to invite officials to a Town Hall Meeting to advocate building a solar/wind grid. The national cost is estimated around $70 billion, but if subsidies to fossil fuels were eliminated, we would have that money in about two years because the average estimate of U.S. annual fossil fuel subsidies is $37.5 billion per year but ranges up to $52 billion–not including costs to the climate, environment, wildlife, illnesses and human deaths due to air, water, and soil pollution from fossil fuels–the dollar costs of which are astronomical–and the human, animal, and ecological costs are unthinkable, shocking, and intolerable. Fossil fuel subsidy source:Oil Change International at PriceofOil.org.
____ I will consider purchasing a solar block if offered from my electric company.
____ I will do my best to conserve my personal energy use.
____ I will work toward owning an electric, hybrid, or low mileage car as soon as I can.
____ I will work toward being able to afford a solar roof.
____ I will write articles and letters to my newpaper, blog, Facebook page about climate change.
____ I will ___________________________________________________________________
(Signature optional) Date
I would also love to see a ten minute segment in organization meetings or worship services inviting us as members to choose at least one, but possibly several action commitments we are willing to make to act in solidarity with those affected by all the disasters made worse and more intense by climate change (floods, fires, droughts, extreme heat, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions). The Guardian writes that denying climate change only increases suffering and harms prevention efforts. We can also stand in solidarity with Standing Rock and others standing up against pipelines, fracking, and fossil fuels. There could be an insert in the bulletin or agenda that can be re-used as a handout to keep for other events and services where people can check one or more commitments that they are willing to make on the front and read some helpful information on the back. They can take these home and keep them. OPTIONAL: We can insert two copies in the bulletin or agenda so that people can anonymously put one copy in a special offering plate or a box especially for action commitments if they want to–when they have completed their commitments–or they can keep them private–and they can have a copy to keep for themselves. Once a month the organization or church, synagogue, mosque, etc. could share how many actions and what kinds the members did and people could share helpful positive experiences in the worship bulletin or meeting agenda, on website or Facebook, and in the service or meeting.
So the front of the handout might look something like this below. Some of the information could go on the back. Other people may have other ideas they would like to add–but they should be things that actually impact climate change. This is just a sample to make it easier and have a starting place. I have called my local electricity co-op to find out what it would take to convert to 100 percent solar and wind. Half of our electricity in Georgia is provided by co-ops, but some electric for-profit companies are also starting to invest in renewables. Also it is important to note that U.S. national disaster responses and funding often go first to the wealthy, especially big businesses, and last to people of color and those in poverty according to a representative of Church World Service, Ms. Peterson (speaking in the 1990s, Conceiving A Peaceful World). This is one more way that climate change adds to human rights crises and deepens poverty in our country.
The photo at the beginning of this post is of flooding in an inland residential backyard in Georgia after 3-4 days of rain causing runoff that peaked on Christmas Eve 2015, when a creek overflowed, turning it into a river that surged for 5-6 hours. This was not even a hurricane.
Category 5 Hurricane Irma has 190 mph winds as it hits Puerto Rico. It destroys Barbuda and several other islands, nears the Bahamas, hits Cuba, then Florida 500 miles wide.
Below is a YouTube video taken of Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida September of 2017.
Hurricane Harvey Category 4 Hurricane hit Texas in September 2017
Fires in most of Montana create state of emergency for most of state, September 2017.
Nine states have severe wildfires–127 fires burning in southwest U.S., including Oregon and California, September 2017.
Powerful earthquake hits Mexico, bringing tsunami, while Hurricane Katrina churns then hits the coast, September 2017.
Extreme heat wave and fires in Phoenix, Arizona–so hot planes could not take off.
Bangladesh experiences worst flooding in 40 years, September 2017.