MOTION 1.4: Resolution Calling for Enlightened National Environmental Leadership and Action
RELATING TO: Resolution Calling for Enlightened National Environmental Leadership and Action
SUBMITTED BY: The Eastern Synod Director of Public Policy and Service Ministries
MOTION: Moved that the Eastern Synod Declare that, out of respect for all of creation and accepting our responsibility as stewards of creation, call for a vision and policies for the future of our country and our planet that
- acknowledge that Canada’s Environmental Footprint — industrial, institutional, and individual — exceeds the planet’s capability to sustain it,
- acknowledge that, according to the vast majority of climate scientists, global warming is caused by humans and is having an increasingly devastating effect on the planet’s ecosystem, its flora and fauna, and on vulnerable human populations,
- move us from dependence on oil, gas, and coal to clean, sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal, in the process creates jobs,
- eliminate the current federal tax subsidies of over $1 billion annually to oil and gas companies allocating those funds for environmentally responsible policies,
- through public education campaigns and financial incentives encourage conservation of energy by industry, government, public and private institutions, and individuals.
Finally, we direct our Bishop, the Rev. Dr. Michael Pryse, to
- write to our Prime Minister, conveying these declarations and calls for action,
- write to Eastern Synod congregations encouraging them to continue the greening of their homes, their buildings and their use of the planet’s limited resources, and
- through proclamation and education to keep us ever mindful of the care for the creation that the Creator has entrusted to us.
The rationale underlying this motion falls in a number of areas. These are some.
BIBLE, THEOLOGY, ACTIONS, EXAMPLES
Planet In Peril: God’s Earth/God’s People, by Jana Kelly and Harold Remus (commissioned by the ELCIC National Office)
CONTENTS: 1. Paradigm Shifts: Climate Change/Global Warming, by Jana Kelly and Harold Remus, p. 3. 2. Planet in Peril – How Perilous is the Peril? by Jana Kelly, p. 4. 3. “Planet” – What’s In A Name and How Did We Get Here from There? by Harold Remus, p. 6. 4. The Greening of Theology: Ecotheology by Harold Remus, p. 8. 5. “The Strange New World Within the Bible” – What Does the Bible Say About God’s Earth? by Harold Remus, p. 10. 6. Greening Sacred Spaces: Faith in Action by Jana Kelly, p. 15. 7. “I believe . . . .” by Jana Kelly and Harold Remus, p. 17. References, pp. 18, 20. Three Case Studies, p.24. http://elcic.ca/Stewardship/Stewardship-of-creation/documents/PlanetInPerilStewardshipOfCreationInitiative.pdf
Rationale has been abridged.
Additional Rationale and Resources:
CLIMATE CHANGE IS CAUSED BY HUMANS; URGENCY OF ACTION
Game Over for the Climate
By James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies / May 9, 2012
“Global warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. . . . Every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real, caused mostly by humans, and requires urgent action. The cost of acting goes far higher the longer we wait — we can’t wait any longer to avoid the worst and be judged immoral by coming generations.”
American Physical Society [the professional society of U.S. physicists]
Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007:
“Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the
Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases.
They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
“If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
“Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”
http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm (which includes a 2010 commentary on the statement)
CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS AND IS AFFECTED BY POPULATION AND LIFESTYLES
World Population / Over Population
“The world population is the sum total of all living humans on Earth. As of today, it is estimated to number 7.022 billion [this number is automatically updated every day] by the United States Census Bureau (USCB). The USCB estimates that the world population exceeded 7 billion on March 12, 2012.. . . According to a separate estimate by the United Nations Population Fund, it reached this milestone on October 31, 2011.”
How Much of the Earth’s Resources Does Canada, Canadians, Africans Consume?
“Ecological Footprint : A measure of how much area of biologically productive land and water an individual, population or activity requires to produce all the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates, using prevailing technology and resource management practices.”
“The world’s population demands the resources of 1.5 Earths annually.” (The Footprint of Africans, who contribute little to global warming, is about 1.1.)
“Canada has the world’s 8th largest ecological footprint per capita, according to WWF’s [World Wildlife Fund’s] Living Planet Report 2012. . . . If the entire world lived like Canadians do, it would take 3.5 Earths to support the demand. . . .”
Human overpopulation is the #1 threat to animals worldwide
By Doris Lin
“Human overpopulation is an animal rights issue as well as an environmental issue and a human rights issue. Human activities, including mining, transportation, pollution, agriculture, development, and logging, take habitat away from wild animals as well as kill animals directly. These activities also contribute to climate change, which threatens even the most remote wild habitats on this planet and our own survival.
“Overpopulation occurs when a population has exceeded its carrying capacity. Carrying capacity is the maximum number of individuals of a species that can exist in a habitat indefinitely without threatening other species in that habitat. It would be difficult to argue that humans are not threatening other species.
“Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, authors of ‘The Population Explosion,’ explain:
The entire planet and virtually every nation is already vastly overpopulated. Africa is overpopulated now because, among other indications, its soils and forests are rapidly being depleted—and that implies that its carrying capacity for human beings will be lower in the future than it is now. The United States is overpopulated because it is depleting its soil and water resources and contributing mightily to the destruction of global environmental systems. Europe, Japan, the Soviet Union, and other rich nations are overpopulated because of their massive contributions to the carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere, among many other reasons.
“More than 80% of the world’s old growth forests have been destroyed, wetlands are being drained for real estate development, and demands for biofuels take much-needed arable land away from crop production.”. . . .
“Consuming less may be a way for us to live within the carrying capacity of the planet, but as Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich explain, ‘Overpopulation is defined by the animals that occupy the turf, behaving as they naturally behave, not by a hypothetical group that might be substituted for them.’ We should not use the hope or the plan to reduce our consumption as an argument that humans are not overpopulated.”
Date: July 22, 2012
Categories: Justice Resolutions - Assembly 2012