See the UU-United Nations Office Climate Portal for suggestions on how to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Atmosphere Is a Public Trust
Despite the hottest summer on record, with 3,282 heat records set during June 2012, drought conditions reminiscent of the Dust Bowl, and monster wildfires across the Southwest, the U.S. still shows little interest in addressing climate change. Since the last cap-and-trade legislation stalled in 2010 and the midterms elections brought into office dozens of climate change skeptics, there has been no talk at all about federal legislation. Frustrated with the inaction, teen climate activists have founded Kids vs. Global Warming and are filing lawsuits across the country alleging that the atmosphere is a public trust that the U.S. government is being negligent in its duty to protect. Some of the suits have been dismissed but a federal judge in Texas has agreed.
Use your financial resources to encourage corporate social responsibility with respect to global warming/climate change. (See Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Committee on Socially Responsible Investing for suggestions.)
Make life-style changes that reduce our impact on the environment.
- Consume less fossil fuel by choosing fuel-efficient appliances, using alternative, renewable energy sources, choosing the most energy efficient transportation, reducing waste and recycling. (For ideas, see the Global Warming Action Kit from Unitarian Universalist (UU) Ministry for Earth.)
- Go on a low-carbon diet. Pledge to reduce your "carbon footprint" (the amount of carbon you produce). The UU Legislative Ministry, California is encouraging UU congregations in their state to lose 5,000 pounds of carbon emissions per household in 60 days. There's no reason why UU congregations in other states can't follow suit. Information is on their Low-Carb Challenge web page.
Commit to continued education about the science, impact, and mitigation of global warming/climate change and sharing this knowledge with others.
Develop congregational policies/practices that reduce our impact on the environment
- Seek certification through the Green Sanctuary Program from UU Ministry for Earth.
- Practice environmentally responsible consumption in planning congregational events and development and create an atmosphere that encourages individual congregants/families to do the same.
- Incorporate reverence for life into congregational worship and religious education programs. (See suggestions from UU Ministry for Earth)
- Join or create an interfaith community group devoted to environmental justice.
For more information contact environment @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.
- What is Environmental Justice
- Resources for Environmental Engagement
- Green Sanctuary
- Ethical Eating
- Climate Change
- Dependence on Fossil Fuels
- Access to Essential Resources
- Sustainable and Local Economy