Sept 20, 2019
Dear Editor: Kathryn Hayhoe, a climate scientist, a professor in the department of political science at Texas Tech University, director of the Climate Center and evangelical Christian, was just named Climate Champion of the Earth by the United Nations. Here’s what she said yesterday. “The award offers real encouragement to those of us working every day to spread the message that climate change is real and that we need to act now to deal with it. Together, keeping up the pressure, we can prevail, because we already have the technology and knowledge to make the necessary changes; all we’re missing is the will,” Hayhoe said. (https://youtu.be/CptBBAxd928)
I had the opportunity to hear Kathryn twice last week while attending the ONE PLANET, ONE FAMILY conference sponsored by Alaska Interfaith Power & Light.
She spoke at UAS to an audience of community members, faculty and students and then again at Chapel by the Lake to people of faith wooing both packed facilities. I had listened to her before on a Citizens Climate Lobby education call, and I wasn’t disappointed. She’s a powerful advocate for the planet and a force to be reckoned with. She persuasively used the metaphor of our planet as a human body when addressing what’s the big deal of a 2 degree increase in temperature on the planet. Well for us humans, it’s the difference of a 98.6 and 100.6 temperature. It clearly indicates that we are sick; it’s not different for our planet. The planet has a fever, it’s going up and she’s getting sicker the longer we go without enacting policies that effectively bring down carbon emissions and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
Kathryn also talked about the Genesis passage (NRSV verse 1:28) in the Bible which reads ... God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” Kathryn pointed out that the word dominion comes from the Greek word, radah. It means to be responsible for; it’s a ruling or rule. The words, abad – to cultivate and shamar – to protect, keep, guard – also come up in the passage depending on the version you are reading. So basically, the Maker is directing humanity to take responsibility for, to cultivate and care for the Creation. We’ve fallen terribly, terribly short and now, planetary health and human health are in jeopardy. As she so eloquently said, “It’s climate changed not climate change.”
So what to do? We’ll here’s a short list:
Support youths striking for the climate today and on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Sitka High School at 11:30 a.m.
Call Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and ask them to join the newly forming Climate Solutions Caucus in the Senate that Sen. Coons (Democrat from Delaware) and Sen. Braun (Republican from Indiana) created.
Call Rep. Don Young and ask him to sign on to the bipartisan, HR 763 – The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act – the best first step to curb carbon emissions.
If you are a business owner or congregation, endorse HR 763 at https://citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation-and-carbon-dividend-act/.
Look at your own carbon footprint at www.footprintcalculator.org. What changes can you make? Collectively, all our actions add up.
For the love of Creation,
Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Sitka
(In the Sitka Sentinel today Sept 20, 2019)