Having arrived at the capitol building early, I paused in the middle of grass, surrounded by sturdy, welcoming trees. A soft breeze rustled the leaves as I was surprised by the warmth of the sun on that November day. Even in the midst of a busy city, an immense gratitude for the natural world filled me and reminded me of the important work that lies ahead.

Last Thursday, November 5th, was the interfaith Climate Witness, with speakers from various denominations joining together to speak truth to power. Morality and ethics call us to act to curb climate change and alert us to the consequences of not acting. While climate change will impact all of us to some extent, it already is most greatly affecting the poorest peoples. Sea level rise could put entire island nations under water, causing millions of people to become climate refugees. A projected increase in hurricanes and other natural disasters puts more people and ecosystems at risk, as we saw in Hurricane Katrina. Farmland can dry up or be washed away with flooding as a result of changes in rainfall. Part of the injustice of the situation is that these people who are most affected by climate change are not the historical contributors of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere today. We are asking the U.S. to take a strong leadership role at the Climate Convention in Copenhagen this December to ensure strong and just climate policy for all.

In this global day and age, continuing to emit monstrous quantities of greenhouse gases as a nation hurts all of us. Pollution crosses national boundaries, as does trade. Let’s continue to work together and bring more people into the movement for a global climate that is sustainable for everyone.

About the Author
Rowan Van Ness

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