[saymaListserv] Proposed Minute on Global Climate Change

Kim Carlyle kcarlyle at juno.com
Thu Feb 8 19:35:18 JEST 2001


Hello Friends,
The following minute was presented to Representatives Meeting in December
by the SAYMA Ecological Concerns Network. Friends were asked to take the
minute back to their MMs and WGs for consideration. (After the minute was
read, one Friend suggested a revision: that " To address this grave
problem, Friends...can..." be changed to " To address this grave problem,
Friends...SHOULD..."). Please consider this minute and respond with
comments and suggestions. We are hopeful that at Yearly Meeting in June,
we can approve a minute that has been seasoned in SAYMA MMs and WGs.
--Kim     kcarlyle at juno.com     828/626-2572

SAYMA Minute on Global Climate Change

    SAYMA Friends recognize that human activity is contributing to an
unprecedented rate of change in our global climate. Symptoms include
diminishing polar ice, changing local weather patterns, increasing
frequency of severe storms, and rising global temperature. The United
Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that average
global temperature will increase by three to eleven degrees Fahrenheit in
the next hundred years. Three degrees would be the greatest rate of
temperature change in human history; eleven degrees is unimaginable--for
comparison, the last ice age was only seven to nine degrees cooler than
now. 
     Global climate change presents a great threat to our ecosystem. It
accelerates the appalling pace of species extinction--the environment is
changing faster than creatures can adapt. Possibly one-third of all
species may be lost in the next hundred years. From an anthropocentric
perspective, biodiversity gives stability to and enhances the
productivity of the ecosystems that we humans are so dependent on, and
provides an important source of new foods, medicines, and other products
for the human species. But beyond that narrow lens of utility, Friends
recognize the intrinsic value of God’s creation. Species loss desecrates
God’s creation.
     Global climate change presents a great threat to social systems as
well as ecosystems. Human refugees from droughts, floods, and rising sea
levels, and the human suffering caused by crop failures and the spread of
tropical diseases will stress societies and governments, setting the
stage for violence, oppression, and conflict. Our peace testimony leads
us to find ways to remove these potential causes of war. 
     Global climate change is a result of human activity: the atmospheric
buildup of heat-trapping gases is largely the result of fossil fuel
combustion for transportation, indoor temperature regulation, and
industrial use. Our country, about 4% of the world's population, emits
22% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Friends concerns for simplicity,
right sharing of resources, and equality lead us to examine our practices
and consider alternatives.  
     To address this grave problem, Friends as individuals, as members of
the Religious Society, and as citizens, can:
   - reduce use of fossil fuels for transportation, indoor climate
control, recreation, and use of tools and appliances through
conservation, efficiency, and use of alternative (such as human, solar,
and wind) energy.
  - reduce industrial energy use through informed personal choices
relative to products and services.
   - work for public policy that:
       - supports international agreements to reduce heat-trapping gases 
       - discourages use of carbon-based fuels and encourages use of
renewable sources 
         of energy 
       - develops, supports, and promotes both local and long distance
public transportation 
         systems.
We urge Friends in their Meetings and as individuals to act on this
concern.  

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