Oakland church

Skyline UCC is Supporting the Rise for Climate, Justice and Jobs March Sept 8

Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

We will meet at Skyline Church, 12540 Skyline Blvd. at 9:30am and car-pool to Bart. 

The Climate, Justice and Jobs March is our voice for action before the Global Climate Summit in San Francisco, Sept.12 to 14th, led by Governor Jerry Brown.

We are marching with other East Bay UCC groups, starting at 11am in the Embarcadero Plaza to the Civic Center in San Francisco. Please wear bright yellow, red or orange. Signs will be provided that say, “Climate: the Moral Issue of Our Time”   Bring water and food, dress for cool to warm weather. No signs are allowed that have wooden sticks.

Why Is Global Warming An Issue Of Faith?

People of faith realize that global warming and climate change are issues of environmental justice. For humans, those who are poor or unable to adjust will lose their homes to rising seas and be unable to grow food for their families.

For plants and animals, global warming means that many will not adjust in time and will become extinct, thus reducing the diversity and beauty of God’s natural creation, as well as causing permanent damage to the ecology of the earth.

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am not sure that Dr.King was speaking about climate change, but the words from the great moral leader of our time are so relevant to our situation.   If we are people who strive to follow the words and actions of Jesus we must act now to turn this around.  How can we possibly justify not taking action?  What would we say to future generations that could possibly justify our inaction?   There are no good answers to that question.

The world has warmed more than one degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution.  The Paris Climate Agreement hoped to restrict warming to two degrees.  The odds of succeeding, according to a recent study based on current emissions trends, are 1 in 20. The climate scientist James Hansen has called two-degree warming “a prescription for long-term disaster.”  Long-term disaster is now the best -case scenario.  [1]

The scientific predictions are that as ice melts on Antarctica and Greenland, sea levels will rise as much as four feet, thus displacing millions of persons who live and work and grow food near the coasts. Low-lying countries such as Bangladesh will lose most of their land mass, islands in the Pacific will disappear, and coastal marshes such as The Everglades in South Florida will be under sea water.  The number of refugees will multiply rapidly.

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

Our Earth home is a finite and fragile planet like no other.   Are we doing our best to be stewards of our Earth or are we the destroyers of our home? We are both.  We need to be leaders in this struggle, as caring loving people of faith, and be truly stewards.

Catherine Kessler, Skyline Church Green Team Chair.           

           From the UCC Website, here is a list of practices for individual action:

  • Calculate the carbon footprint of your family and your congregation to determine a baseline for energy savings.
  • Home: turn the thermostat down in winter and up in summer, insulate, get only the appliances you need and make them energy efficient, buy a smaller home or rent a smaller apartment, shade your windows, dry your clothes on the line.
  • Transportation: ride a bike or walk more and drive less, purchase fuel-efficient and smaller vehicles, commute by public transportation, limit flying.
  • Food: grow a garden for vegetables and herbs, support your local farmers through a CSA, limit packaging and waste, start a compost pile.  Eat less meat (it takes 15 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat)
  • Yard: plant native perennials rather than grass to limit mowing, buy an electric mower if you need to cut grass, recycle leaves and yard waste, plant trees for shade and heat reduction, start a worm farm, compost for soil enrichment.
  • Education: explore websites and community resources for more ways to save energy and cut your carbon footprint, join our congregational “Green Team” to plan for action.
  • Advocacy: write or call your elected officials at every level to inform them that global warming is an issue of faith and justice and that public policy decisions to address global warming are essential.

Links and Resources

[1] NYTimes Magazine,Losing Earth:The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change, by Nathaniel Rich,August 1,2018.

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