I am not sure when we as a world community will wake up. Two devastating tornado outbreaks within a month’s time in our nation with the allegedly rare EF5 tornadoes packing winds of over 200 miles per hour seem to be as good as an alarm bell as any I have heard.
Climate change is a reality. It is not just a made up myth to scare little children before bedtime or to make block buster movies like The Day After Tomorrow. We are facing massive climate change. The floods in Pakistan, Australia, and Midwest; the uncontrollable fires currently in Texas, Russia, and Africa, record breaking temperatures, record breaking snowfalls; these are all pointing to dramatic climate change.
Firemap 11 May 2011 — 20 May 2011 Source: http://www.fire.uni-freiburg.de/current/globalfire.htm
I know we all laughed about global warming when we had record low temperatures and snow in the Deep South this passed year. But with an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes an increase in temperatures and an increased ability for the air to hold more moisture. So it makes sense that precipitation will be more than usual. And it makes sense that parts of the earth will be scorched of what little moisture is left preparing the land for fire which releases more CO2 into the air—a vicious cycle.
So what will it take for humanity to wake up and take steps to drastically reduce CO2 and other emission gases?
Bolivia took a bold step in that direction when it passed laws that reflected their indigenous people’s values. This small South American country passed legislation that equated mother earth to have equal rights as humans. These rights include: “the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.”
Bolivia’s Vice-President Alvaro García Linera stated. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”
We need to follow Bolivia’s lead. Our seventh principle states, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” This principle is in harmony with the actions that Bolivia has taken. We, as Unitarian Universalists can no longer afford to have nicely worded principles that we can simply point to. We need our actions and our behaviors to reflect these principles not only in our daily lives but also in our activism to change our society towards one that is also in harmony with Mother Earth. In short, we need to be radically progressive in embodying our principles if we want a planet that is conducive to sustaining not just life, but human life. Blessings,