When the Advocacy and Witness staff group was planning out our Actions of the Month – deciding which issue we would focus on each month – it was a given that April would be devoted to environmental justice. Earth Day is second probably only to Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as the highest of holy days in our UU liturgical calendar.
It was also a no-brainer that we would partner with UU Ministry for Earth and UU Service Committee on this action, as all three organizations are working to do environmental work through the lens of social justice – acknowledging and addressing the disproportionate impact that environmental issues have on women, the poor, and communities of color. Often times, such issues get forgotten in the struggle to preserve the environment. As people of faith, it is up to us to keep in mind that the interdependant web of existence does indeed include humans and their/our needs as well.
So, the UUA, UUMFE, and UUSC have partnered to bring you April’s Action of the Month: Environmental Justice. If you follow the link provided, it will take you to a page full of resources for learning, reflecting, and taking action on environmental issues in ways that are mindful of the impact on the most marginalized among us. And of course there are worship materials for Earth Day Sunday, the Sunday closest to Earth Day, provided by the UUMFE. Please feel free to use the resources provided during April and beyond.
As I said in the beginning, April is the time when UU congregations are often most thinking about environmental issues. So it is a pleasant synergy that there just happens to be a great piece of environmental legislation on which to take action. Introduced on March 31st by Representatives Waxman and Markey, the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” while not perfect, is the most comprehensive and strongest bill to date. It will create millions of jobs, increase energy efficiency, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, restrict greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change, and could eventually lead our country to an economy that is both more green and more equitable. But only if we can get it passed, and passed as a version that has not been watered down.
Now is our best change to enact climate change legislation that is both effective and just. A good bill has been introduced to the House by two strong allies. President Obama has indicated that he wants to be able to sign climate change legislation into law this year. And next year’s midterm elections could potentially make legislators more cautious and susceptible to industry lobbyists. Urge your representative to support the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
Wanna multiply your voice? Download the PDF version of this action, print it out and take it to church with you. Get your fellow congregants to sign the form. And then enter their information on the action page provided above. The site will automatically send emails to your congregation’s Representative on behalf of the signatories. And of course, let us know about it! (firstname.lastname@example.org)