Rose Marie Berger: ‘For God So Loved the World’ Christians & Climate Change

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Free digital edition (May)
http://digital.sojo.net/i/121090

Finally! The May issue of Sojo on Climate Change is available. I’ve been working on this for months! Thanks to everybody out there who are sitting in trees, and lobbying Congress, and saying prayers, and on and on. I guess what I do is write. So here’s an excerpt:

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States launched two ground wars and a worldwide “war on terror.” Within two months, Congress federalized the Transportation Security Administration to secure airports. More than 263 government organizations were either created or reorganized. Some 1,931 private companies were put to work on counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence. Rightly or wrongly, America moved heaven and earth to stop terrorism in its tracks. It was seen as both an ongoing threat and a moral affront that had to be dealt with.

What about Climate Change?

In February, a New York State Senate task force on Superstorm Sandy compared the hurricane that affected 24 states to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “[On 9/11] there were more than 3,000 souls lost, but in terms of the geographic destruction, it was isolated to Lower Manhattan,” said Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island). “[After Sandy] we have miles and miles and miles of destruction. Hundreds of thousands of homes affected, 60 … New Yorkers killed, 250,000 to 260,000 businesses affected.”

Hurricane Sandy killed 253 people in seven countries. It was the second largest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded—and the most expensive. It smashed into the East Coast with barely three days’ warning. Like hurricanes Katrina and Rita before it, Sandy was a disaster of biblical proportions.

After 9/11, Americans knew in our gut that something was seriously wrong. Our moral intuition had been sucker punched.

Climate change—and its deadly implications—has been harder to grasp. There’s a lot of complicated science involved. Instead of a single incident, we’re inundated with seemingly disconnected events. And, despite the evidence, we often fail to see it as a “crime.”

But global warming is a clear and present danger—with perpetrators, victims, and, most important, solutions.

Read more.

Guns and Greenhouse Gases: The Lord said ‘Tell the People to Get Going!’

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!”–Exodus 14:15

Sometimes you spend years preparing for change, then when it arrives you are too tired to get moving.

I’m trying not to let this happen to me.

For inexplicable reasons, the horrific shootings at Newtown and Superstorm Sandy have shifted something in the American soul. After all these years of advocating for action, there is finally forward movement on climate change and sane gun regulations. Though I for one am weary and tired, I want to encourage you (and myself) to do what we can to meet this moment.

1. On greenhouse gases and climate change–If you’ve never spoken out about climate change, do it now. Write to your Congressional representatives and ecclesial leaders asking them for strong, clear leadership to reverse of global warming and mitigate its associated social disruptions. President Obama raised it in his inaugural address. There seems to be movement in Washington to address it–finally. While in most cases the best solutions to a problem are those closest to the ground, this is not the case with climate change and climate disruption. It will only be adequately addressed with federal leadership. So we’ve got to push. Tell Barack Obama that you support him to lead in the fight against climate change, beginning with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

2. On sane gun laws–After the shootings at Sandy Hook, Americans rose up to demand two things: universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. President Obama’s 23 planned executive actions on weaponry is moving us forward on universal background checks.

The second piece, a ban on assault weapons, has now been introduced to Congress by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. I’ve read the whole bill. It’s excellent legislation. It deals directly with many of the loopholes in the previous assault weapons ban that sundowned in 2004. Now it is our job to build support for it. Write to your Congressional representatives (here’s the link to the Brady Campaign support letter) and ecclesial leaders asking them for strong, clear, unequivocal support for Sen. Feinstein’s “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013.”

As we move toward Ash Wednesday and Lent, I hope that part of our commitment can be to take meaningful action in these two areas at least … remembering when the Lord said to Moses “Stop whining to me! Tell the people to get moving!”

Learn More:

Watch the video of the climate change portion of President Obama’s inaugural address.

Learn more about the movement to address global warming with the Forward on Climate campaign.

President Obama Signs 23 Planned Executive Actions on Guns

Summary of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

Congressional text of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

The Brady Campaign Support Letter for Sen. Feinstein’s Legislation