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erklären, daß ich die Weise vollkommen bin, die ich bin? Ich bin gut, aber ich kann mehr immer sein. Sie wissen, was sein Gleiches, zum Ihr eigener Führer zu sein? Es bedeutet, daß Sie in jede mögliche Weise fallen, die Sie können. Sie machen in der Tat Fehler. Sie erlernen in der Tat von ihnen, weil sie Ihr und noone elses sind. Dieses hier ist, was ich von meinen letzten 8 Monaten erlernt habe: Ich bin störrisch. Ich biege, wann ich sehe, daß es paßte. Ich muß urteilen, dort bin nichts falsch mit den Überzeugungen, die ich habe. Ich kann Standards so lang auswerten und haben, die gut meine Notwendigkeit passen, wie sie nicht niemandem sonst auferlegt werden. Good Religion I am right now at this very moment attending Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC. After much deliberation, I decided to attend the Environmental Justice segment. Yesterday I was exhausted, so I can't speak much for yesterday, but now that I've had a good night's sleep, a hot shower, and a couple of sessions this morning, I'm more ready to offer up some reflections. So, what are Ecumenical Advocacy Days? This event is a gathering for policy education and advocacy held annually in Washington DC. This has become a flagship event for US churches to gather grassroots advocates to become engaged in global justice. There are close to 1,000 participants here this year: Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, Peace Churches. It's a neat event where the talk is more about the issues and the work being done than what separates the religions. To me, this is the kind of thing that organized religion SHOULD be doing. In the first Environmental Justice segment, it was mostly about the Biblical basis of caring for the earth. While I am not big into the scripture thing, the leader made a couple of really good points. She started off by saying we weren't going to get into HOW the world came to be - there would be no debating between creationism and evolution. She said, "Can we all just agree that the world was created?" Good stuff. Anyway, the bottom line is that we as human beings have been entrusted with caring for the earth and being good stewards of the earth's resources. So, after that part, and when they started getting pretty in depth into the scripture part, I was starting to be sick and decided I had to go get some breakfast, so I skipped out on the rest of the session. Sorry, I had to eat. The next session was about climate justice - namely global warming. Each of the people presenting was phenomenal. One was a climate scientist who works with a group called the Union of Concerned Scientists. She told about how she went to work in the arctic and expected to see lots of ice and polar bears - but when she arrived what she saw was a shocking amount of open water. She had some very scary examples of the recent dramatic shift in our climate. * Since scientists have started recording sea ice levels, there has been a steady rate of freeze and melt from 1900-1950. From 1950-2005, there is a major decline in the amount of sea ice - more is melting each year than is freezing. * In Gulf St. Lawrence, no seal pups survived in years when there was no ice (1967, 1981, 2000, 2001, 2002) * In 2005, the earth experienced it's largest "melt" ever recorded. * 19 of the hottest 20 years (on average for the world) on record have occurred since 1980. 2005 was the #1 hottest year. In these years, the arctic takes the largest hit. * The ocean absorbs much of the heat of the earth, so when the world is hotter, the ocean is hotter - resulting in a higher percentage of Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes. * Scientists have studied the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the air and in trapped air bubbles in frozen tundras from prehistoric times. In the last 650,000 years, the CO2 rate hasn't gone above 290 parts per million. We are now approaching 380 ppm. This rate is rising so quickly that the ocean, which usually absorbs the CO2, can't absorb it fast enough. Also, the Ph of the ocean is changing from these high levels. * The scientific community is saying that the world is literally "melting away." We also heard from the director of Global Energy for the Sierra Club. He talked about how we know more scientifically about our environment than ever, but that our governments aren't doing anything. Because issues of energy and environmental warming affect every aspect of existence, the Sierra Club is making this their #1 priority. They are working toward empowering people to affect change in their local communities - from their neighborhood to their city to their county. Already, communities are acting to make changes toward more efficient energy use in their community. A few points he made: * Approximately 80% of air pollution is energy-based * Politics are economic-based, not science-based Next, we heard from someone from the Natural Resource Defense Council. He focused on the use of coal, which has environmental impacts on water (mercury, fish contamination), air (global warming) and land (strip mining). Not to mention the public health impact, from miners being trapped in mines, to mines being built on land that is not considered "economically valuable" - usually poverty stricken, minority areas where the people are not empowered to fight the placement of the mine. One solution is to increase efficiency of all products/industries that use energy, and to offer incentive programs for those that do, and consumers that use them. Another solution is to use renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar power, and water. The interesting thing is that renewable energy sources are cheaper, quicker, and cleaner. So why aren't they an option? * A wind project takes 1 year to produce * A coal project takes 2.5 years * A nuclear project takes 7-8 years All the presenters agreed - there is no time to wait - we must make these changes now. And it IS possible. In Austin, TX, the city has legislated that by the year 2020, the city must be getting 50% of their energy from renewable sources. Why am I sharing all of this? Because, about halfway through this presentation, I wished that everyone I knew and everyone in the world could sit there and hear what I was hearing because it was incredibly scary. Not in your lifetime? Think again. Most importantly, there IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO. I hope you will check out the links I've embedded here for ways you can help. You don't have to go to Washington DC, you don't even have to go to your state legislature office. Work in your own community to save the planet. This is not a drill.beitgreat beunew bigbrig bigfig bigfigg bigfigge biggrigg bigjig bigknigge
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