[Sayma-Discuss] [qewdiscussions] Britain YM takes a stand - "A Quaker response to the crisis of climate change" [1 Attachment]

Roy H Taylor III wrldpeas at mindspring.com
Thu Jul 23 13:11:30 EDT 2009

Is SAYMA ready to join in endorcing BYM's Climate Statement (below)?

The following statement by Britain YM Clerk and attached "Make Waves at Copenhagen" poster just appeared on the BYM webpage in advance of this weekend's yearly gathering:

The crisis of global climate change represents a supreme test of humanity’s collective wisdom and courage. Our immoderate use of the Earth’s resources violates the entire biosphere, threatening the lives of millions of people and the habitats of thousands of species. Many of the poorest people are already suffering a changed climate; they are asking us all to act.

How has humanity produced this crisis? Our faith response is that prevailing social values have obscured what it means to live authentically on this Earth. In rich European countries we consume more than we need within an economic system that divides us as a society; in much that we do, we cause harm to the planet and each other without enriching our lives.

The Earth is God’s work and not ours to do with as we please. We recall Gandhi’s saying, often quoted by Quakers: ‘Live simply that others may simply live’. As a Quaker community, we do try to live what we believe, guided by the values of simplicity, truth, equality and peace. Too often we fall short of honouring them. Climate change is challenging us to ask anew what our faith leads us to do.

As individuals and as a community, we are now making the difficult decisions and plans necessary to limit our ecological impact to a sustainable level. With encouragement from one another, we are progressively reducing our reliance on non-renewable resources while stepping up our campaign for wider social change. As a small religious society, we take heart in belonging to a community of faith groups and others working towards the same goals in a hopeful spirit.

We gladly take up our responsibility and call for unprecedented international cooperation to enable the large cuts in global emissions which are required. This will be a difficult road to travel but we are prepared to support decision-makers in taking the radical steps necessary. We appreciate progress made and uphold decision-makers as they navigate conflicting priorities, yet we challenge them to hold faith with the goal and not bend to short-term expediency.

An inequitable global agreement on climate change could lead to forced migrations and serious conflict. Any agreement must put the world’s poorest first; it falls to richer countries to bear the greater burden of responsibility for change. The goal is achievable but priorities will need to change: currently, the majority of states commit more resources to warfare than to tackling climate change.

Where we see crisis, we also see opportunity to remake society as a communion of people living sustainably as part of the natural world. By leading the simpler lives of a low-carbon society, we draw nearer to the abundance of peace, freedom and true community. Our faith in common humanity gives hope; love, rather than fear, can still lead us through this crisis.

Susan Seymour
Clerk, Meeting for Sufferings
Britain Yearly Meeting
June 2009

This statement has been endorsed by the Europe and Middle East Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation. See their statement here:www.fwccemes.org

Responding to climate change
As the scientific evidence grows, it is becoming clear that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges to humankind and the natural world as it currently exists. As well as ecological effects, climate change has profound social, political and economic consequences. The highest price will be paid by the poor. This set of six briefings has been produced to help Friends and others learn more about, reflect on and take action on climate change.

Each sheet provides information on a different aspect of climate change – from its causes, impacts and consequences to some of the proposed ways of managing it and the current international negotiations to do this. They also contain a number of reflection points designed to help Friends think about these issues in the light of Quaker testimony.

  a.. Responding to climate change (covers) - [PDF: 298kb - new window]
  b.. The causes of climate change [PDF: 168kb - new window]
  c.. Some consequences of climate change [PDF: 214kb - new window]
  d.. Mitigating climate change [PDF: 168kb - new window]
  e.. Adapting to climate change [PDF: 144kb - new window]
  f.. International co-operation on climate change [PDF: 115kb - new window]
  g.. Seeking a sustainable path [PDF: 125kb - new window]
If you would prefer a hard copy of the briefings then please contact Sunniva Taylor with details of how many you would like, the name of your Meeting and where you would like the briefing(s) sent. 
Email: sunnivat at quaker.org.uk or telephone: 020 76631047

Attachment(s) from Roy Taylor

1 of 1 Photo(s) 



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