Climate Change, Poverty, and Preserving the Planet: Will Our Voices Be Heard?

Very few scientists now question the assertion that humans are responsible for global warming, and that much of the world as we know it is threatened with its effects. Many evangelical churches have joined progressive denominations in calling for deep measures to stave off catastrophe.

This is the year, this is the time: Will our voices be heard?

Environmental crisis meets poverty in a desperate combination. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says an additional 40 to 170 million poor people are at risk of hunger and malnutrition in this century, and 1 to 2 billion people already in poor areas could see further reduction in their water supplies. More than 100 million people could be affected by coastal flooding…these and other changes could quickly produce a refugee crisis with as many as 200 million displaced persons by 2050.

This is the year, this is the time: Will our voices be heard?

It’s expected that as early as this summer Congress will, for the first time, vote on comprehensive climate change legislation. At this writing The American Clean Energy and Security Act is being debated in a House committee (MA Representative Ed Markey is one of the prime movers). An important piece of it should be introducing a cap on greenhouse emissions with businesses required to hold permits to emit them: more emissions will cost more; reductions will cost less; and those under the limit may even be able to earn by selling to their less clean neighbors (thanks to Jim Wallis in Sojourners e-zine for this description).

There will be other important parts to this legislation, including support for more vulnerable populations to adapt to changes. But certainly it can be expected that there will be strong opposition and lobbying against it.

This is the year, this is the time: Will our voices be heard?

Why not take a few minutes today to contact your Representative and be heard? Although you may feel you know his point of view, the cumulative support for change needs to be felt to move Congress and our country to responsible decision. And be prepared to continue this witness as the legislation proceeds during the year.

Let’s act to be stewards of God’s Creation.


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