Minute on Climate Change

10 8th month 2014

Valley Friends Meeting is a (Quaker) community of faith dedicated to peace, justice, and right relationships: with the divine presence, with fellow human beings, with fellow creatures, and with the Earth. We affirm that right relationships—of all forms—are rooted in attitudes of respect rather than domination.

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we will shall have for destruction.
—Rachel Carson

Confession

We embrace the wisdom that human beings are integral to the web of life rather than independent from it. We grieve, recognizing that, by living out of harmony with one another and the natural world, humanity has severely damaged the web on which life depends.

We honor the insights of scientists and the revelations of our own senses, both of which reveal with ever-increasing certainty and clarity the devastation that our unsustainable ways of living have inflicted upon the biosphere, especially through the destabilization of the Earth’s climate. We confess that humankind’s over-reliance on fossil fuels, extreme methods of resource extraction, widespread destruction of old-growth and rain forests, and over-consumption of natural resources are largely responsible for the Earth’s degraded state and climate disruption.

Moreover, because climate change disproportionately affects the world’s most impoverished peoples and has contributed to international conflicts and genocide, our commitments to peace and justice, as well as our commitment to care for the Earth, compel us to restorative action.

Restoration

We seek authentic, loving connections to Nature and to one another. Therefore, we commit ourselves, individually and collectively, to the process of restoring right-relationship with the Earth and to stabilizing the Earth’s climate. As conscience dictates, we will support and/or engage in actions such as the following: further education regarding climate change and sustainable living, conservation, downsizing our standards of living, reducing our carbon footprints, investing in renewable energy, and divesting from fossil fuels.

While we recognize that such efforts by individuals and local communities are important, they alone are insufficient to effect climate stabilization. Therefore, we support comprehensive and concerted remedial and mitigative climate actions by state and national governments, and we will encourage our political representatives to take such actions by community education, by individual and collective lobbying, and, if necessary, by peaceful protest as conscience dictates.

Invitation

We are convinced that the problem of climate change is real, significant, worsening, and urgent. With this minute, we add the voice of Valley Friends Meeting to a growing chorus—from science, from communities of faith, and from the general public—to call for immediate attention to the climate at all levels: personal, community, national, and international.

Although the challenge posed by climate change is complex and may seem daunting, we are called to action that is grounded in creative faith and supported by community. We invite other faith communities, individuals, and groups to endorse this minute and, for the sake of future generations, join us in this ongoing effort to heal ourselves and the planet.

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