|Of all the stars in all the galaxies of the Universe, there may be only one planet that has the precise conditions that support the existence of life. One primary condition is for a surface temperature warm enough to allow the presence of liquid water, yet cool enough that this water does not vaporize into the atmosphere. This condition is met on Earth, which has remained within a narrow band of temperatures for untold ages.
Our finest scientific minds now tell us that we humans are changing this condition at an unprecedented rate. We are doing this through our huge numbers, powerful technologies, wasteful habits, and most especially to our rapid depletion of the planet’s exhaustible reserves of fossil carbon fuels, coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The net effect of these actions is …
These scientists also tell us that while the climatic system of Earth is slow to respond to our present ‘forcings’, once it responds it can become difficult to impossible for us to reverse the course of the damage we have done, at least on a time scale that is anywhere near relevant to human existence.
The nations of Earth have heard these warnings, have observed the changes taking place in our climate system, and have begun to respond. Ongoing climate negotiations under UN auspices testify to this. But there is no guaranty these negotiations will have an outcome strong enough to avert a climate catastrophe for our children and grandchildren. Economic, commercial and industrial forces with vested interests in carbon fuel technologies and the status quo seek to influence the negotiations at every turn. It is thus no surprise that nations are making half-hearted commitments to the reduction of carbon emissions required to avert disaster. Something must be done to counter the influence of those who would choose short-term economic gain over the viability of life on Earth.
Nearly 85% of all people are counted among the followers of the religions of Earth, religions that teach reverence and respect for the natural world. Of the remaining 16%, many millions of people are highly moral and ethical people, who respect nature and the natural world. With these numbers in mind, our vision was to attempt to bring forth a simple declaration that might unite the all the spiritual, religious, moral, ethical people of Earth in the call for the strongest possible climate treaty. Thus the Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change was born. Our vision is thus to tap into the huge potential of uniting humanity behind the need to press the governments of Earth to take heed.
Our vision is to repeat the message over and over that the religions of Earth stand as one behind strong and immediate limits to climate changing emissions of ‘greenhouse gasses’, predominantly CO2. Our vision is to take this message to each remaining session of the climate negotiations in Bangkok, Barcelona and Copenhagen, each time with different religious leaders, and to make the unified stand of widely divergent and differing faiths and beliefs into newsworthy events.
Won’t you please help us to realize this vision by endorsing our Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change and urging all your contacts to do so as well. Especially we need the endorsements of religious leaders and organizations representing many people. Our Interfaith Declaration will be presented to Ban Ki-moon in November to be carried by him to the climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December. Let us see that it is signed by representatives of all the major religions of Earth, and that it carries an unmistakable mandate to the negotiations itself.
Climate Change, 2009. All rights reserved