Threat of Global Warming
In June 2004, UUA's General Assembly voted to study and act on the issue of Global Warming for two years, as part of the the Study Action Issue process. The description of the issue that was voted on is at Threat of Global Warming - 2004 Study/Action Issue. In 2006 the results of the study will lead to a proposal for a Statement of Conscience on the issue.
See the Global Warming Study/Action Issue Resource Guide for more information.
Use this page to keep track of what congregations are active, what successes and failures can be reported, etc.
Another popular term for the problem is "Global Climate Change", which reflects the great breadth of issues. For example, these include warming in many areas, cooling in some areas, precipitation changes and increases in violent weather, changes in ocean currents and ice patterns, all of which interact with ecosystems in profoundly complex ways.
This study-action issue was initiated at Mt. Diablo UU Church, Walnut Creek CA by Tony Newey, Art Ungar and others.
Input for SAI Resource Guide
Suggestions for Ministers
- Make the connection between the environmental performance of a nation and it's policies, which are driven by the political process. Engage the congregation in the political process, in an appropriate way, which does not endanger the tax-exempt status of the congregation.
- Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations - A guide published by the United States Internal Revenue Service, which includes a section about "jeopardizing tax-exempt status" via "political campaign activity."
- Sponsor community-oriented political candidate debates, focusing on environmental issues. Invite new party candidates, in addition to establishment party candidates. This may be a requirment to avoid partisan bias and protect the congregation's tax-exempt status; further, new party candidates may raise environmental issues to which all must then respond.
- Network with community based environmental organizations and participate in joint actions.
Suggestions for Advocacy
- Call the phenomenon "global climate change." Don't call it "global warming." "Warming" carries a positive connotation, which may be subconsciously favorable to many people (Think about palm trees, sandy beaches, and "warm" weather.)
- Frame the issue of global climate change as an issue of national defense. Use this article from the Observer to show that the Pentagon believes global climate change is real and has the potential to seriously undermine the national security of the United States.
- Think globally, act locally. Frame the issue of global climate change as an issue of social justice. Target larger local polluters, by showing their proximity to primarily minority and poor communities. These communities typically receive more pollution than other communities. Do your part, in your local community, by reducing pollution one company at a time.
- Become familiar with the Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, and learn how it is being implemented in your state. Exercise your congreation's federal right, under this act, to be represented on your Local Emergency Planning Committee; and ensure that emergency planning for toxic chemical releases, and environmental disclosure, is being handled properly in your community. Use this authority to target local polluters, and reduce pollution in your community.
- Global Greens - An international network of green parties and political movements.
- Green Party of the United States - The political arm of the international Green Movement in the United States.
- Green Sangha - A spiritual community committed to environmental action.
- The Wikipedia articles on Global warming and Climate change present a broad variety of views. They are part of the most widely read encyclopedia on the Internet, and we can help refine them with our insights.
- Pew Center on Global Climate Change
- Global Climate Change: Research Explorer- The Exploratorium
- EPA Global Warming site
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
- U.S. Global Climate Change Policy - from the US Department of State
- BBC on Global Climate Change
- The Death of Environmentalism: Global Warming Politics in a Post Environmental World
- Scorecard Pollution reports for your county, covering air, water, chemicals, and more.
- Bush, Kerry Chasing Oil Impossible Dream?: U.S. Dependence on Imports Likely to Continue, Some Energy Experts Say - Washington Post (6/4/04)
- Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us - The Observer (2/22/04)
- Kerry, Bush Defer to Lobbies on Global Warming, Fossil Fuels - Green Party of the United States (10/25/04)
- Climate Experts Urge Immediate Action to Offset Impact of Global Warming - American Association for the Advancement of Science (6/16/2004)
- World Bank, Pentagon: global warming red alert: Weather of mass destruction bigger threat than terrorism - Greenpeace (2/22/04)
Speakers and Workshops
Congregational Study Groups
Sermons and Service Ideas
- How and why to evaluate the environmental positions of political candidates.
- The impact of campaign finance issues on the environmental positions of political candidates.
- Open Secrets - A non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy.
- The exclusion of new political party candidates from the debate, as a result of antidemocratic election laws, which limits competition in the politcal marketplace of ideas, and where many positions on environmental issues go unrepresented by candidates.
- Making environmental choices and living an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
- Environmentally friendly practices for businesses and nonprofits, including churches.