United Methodist Insight column
Faith-based climate activists are heading to Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26, scheduled for October 30-November. 11.
The 5th ecumenical pilgrimage for climate justice from Poland to Glasgow will probably arrive at the earliest. Pilgrims crossed the English Channel on October 11 from IJmuiden in the Netherlands to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. They are making their way along the northeast coast of England via the Holy Island (Lindisfarne) and will stop along the way to visit sites that are making progress in reducing the harmful effects caused by the climate crisis, according to WCC News.
What about churches – and everything – at COP26? Here’s a sample of what the news says about the conference, along with Insight’s suggestions for church leaders to consider:
From the Guardian: “When the leaders meet next month at the Cop26 summit, the focus will be on what might look like a small rise in temperature – 1.5C or 2C warmer than in pre-industrial times. But last time it was hotter than it is now at least 125,000 years ago, and the difference between those numbers is a ‘death sentence’ for countries like the Maldives. Covering heat waves, floods, fires and crop decay, this supporting piece sets out what it is about because global warming “hits a curve we haven’t seen before.”
What would such climate change mean for your community, your community and administration, the ministry and mission of your local church?
From the Associated Press: “WASHINGTON (AP) – Key UN climate talks next month are unlikely to succeed against global coal, gas and oil reduction targets,” said US climate envoy John Kerry, after nearly a year of climate diplomacy that helped achieve deeper cuts allies, but so far have failed to encourage some of the world’s biggest polluters to act fast enough. ”
What is the level of carbon emissions from global warming in your community and state? Check out the interactive graphics on Climate Central to find out.
From Axios AM: “A White House report was released this morning [Oct. 15] says climate change poses “systemic risks” to the US financial system, writes Axios Generate co-author Ben Geman.
“Why it matters: The administration will increasingly weave climate risk into the policies and regulations of the entire government.
The White House Roadmap aims to build a “climate-resilient” economy:
- “Climate change will be taken into account in long-term budget forecasts.
- “HUD plans to incorporate climate risk factors into mortgages with a federal or guaranteed guarantee.
- “FEMA will revise construction standards in flood zones.
- “Labor fund managers of the Ministry of Labor will measure climate change in investment decisions, changing the policies of the Trump era.
How will moving toward a climate-resilient economy affect the lives of your church members, their financial contributions to your community, and the maintenance of your community?
From the Washington Post *: “At least 85 percent of the world’s population is affected by human-induced climate change,” a new study shows. The researchers used machine learning to analyze more than 100,000 studies of weather events and found that four-fifths of the world’s land area has suffered impacts associated with global warming. ”
Has the climate crisis affected any local or international missions supported by your church?
More from the Washington Post *:
“WATCH: A climate catastrophe is likely to hit you one day. Here’s how to prepare. People who have never considered themselves vulnerable to climate change are waking up to floods and fires.”
What is the risk of your church enduring a climate catastrophe? How ready are you to go through the event of the climate crisis? See the Louisiana Annual Conference brochure, “A Handbook of Disaster Preparedness.”
“The White House is launching climate initiatives to arm communities against floods, extreme weather conditions. FEMA is seeking public input on the revision of federal flood standards, which have not changed significantly in the last 45 years.”
What is the flood risk status of your church?
From the Covering Climate Now The Climate Beat newsletter:
“[Climate activist Greta] Thunberg … said the only way for world leaders to be better, including the COP26 summit in Glasgow starting on October 31, is if civil society exerts ‘great public pressure’. An example worth the news emerged this week in Washington, as thousands of Indigenous-led protesters gathered in front of the White House as part of the ‘People Against Fossil Fuels’ protest. Their demands? President Joe Biden should use his executive powers to declare the climate crisis a national state of emergency and put an end to all new fossil fuel projects. ”
What has your assembly or your members done to encourage local officials to adopt public policies on climate protection? What is your public witness to the global climate crisis?
“$ 11 million per minute. The fossil fuel industry receives subsidies of $ 11 million every minute, according to a new study by the International Monetary Fund. That’s about $ 5.9 trillion a year for an industry that burns oil, gas and coal at a time when rapid emissions reductions are needed. Jeff Goodell uses this fact as a starting point to deliver a brutally honest summary of the last 30 years of global climate policy: ‘The rich pollute. The poor suffer. And the rich really don’t care. ” Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone … ”
How much of the common good could be brought in if fossil fuel subsidies are diverted to human needs across the United States? Ask Congress representatives about fossil fuel subsidies.
These are just some of the many questions the United Methodists should now ask themselves about caring for the Earth, of which God has appointed us stewards. Check out these organizations for more resources on the climate emergency “code red” the world is facing, which will directly affect churches everywhere in the days to come.