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As witnesses of the serious climate changes the Earth is now undergoing, North Carolina’s various faith traditions join together to voice our concerns about the health of the planet we share with each other and all species. We acknowledge the need to commit ourselves to a course of action that will help us to recognize our part in the devastating effects on much of our planet brought about by climate change. We declare the necessity for faith communities to be leaders in turning human activities in a new direction for the well being of the planet, humankind and future generations.
Scientific evidence links greenhouse gases to the global climate change which threatens the health of the entire planet and all its inhabitants. As North Carolinians we must recognize that our state is already experiencing the impact of climate change including: severe weather events; sea level rise; salt water intrusion of drinking water and irrigation water; ocean acidification; crop vulnerability due to alterations of the water cycle, temperature stress and changes in the movements, life-cycle and number of insects; and increased human suffering from heat stress, air pollution and infectious diseases. All of these bring economic and social disruption. It is the most vulnerable among us, the poor, the elderly, the very young, and the ill, who experience these impacts of climate change first and worst. As well, climate change will negatively affect the economy, investments, quality of life, security and well being of the affluent.
Gratefully, we recognize that in North Carolina our people are gifted with diverse spiritual, ecological and economic resources that afford us the opportunity to become leaders in adapting to our changed environment at the same time that we identify ways to minimize further climate disruption. We have rich sources of clean, renewable energy in wind, sun, and biomass as well as experience with conservation strategies of building design, insulation, and geothermal heating and cooling. We have robust science and technology sectors and world-renowned universities to help identify ways forward. We have a strong, multi-faith religious base from which to draw inspiration, support action, and create positive change.
In response to the climate change crisis, I commit to join with others in faith communities across North Carolina to address this serious issue in the following ways:
- Reconnect the human-Earth interrelationship. People can do little without planet Earth.
- Attend with awe, humility, and gratitude to the beauty in nature as well as in scriptures and teachings of faith communities.
- Pray for the wisdom to address the climate emergency.
- Share our spiritual perspectives with representatives of key sectors in our political, business, agriculture, and environmental organizations, seeking ways to work together for the common good.
- Set the example so others in our North Carolina communities may act on their responsibility to care for the Earth and to care for the most vulnerable among us.
- Take actions to reduce our congregational and personal impact on the Earth’s climate and ecosystems through energy conservation, travel and food choices, improved technologies, and consumer restraint.
- Engage faithfully and with compassion in the political process to identify and advocate positive changes that support resilient, renewable, clean energy policies and a healthy environment for all.
Let us now “join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of the Earth and the renewal of all life” (United Nations Environmental Sabbath Program).