Friday, May 15, 2009

AMEN - It’s Time to Tackle Climate Change!

By Chris Olson, Outreach Coordinator

One of my earliest memories, in fact probably the earliest memory I can recall pertaining to my understanding of environmental issues, comes from a summer evening when I was six years old. My dad owns a set of apartment buildings in my hometown and on this particular evening he was cutting the lawn with my older brother. Since I was too little to help I got to spend a few hours playing with one of my dad's renters, Willow. She was great. She was an sweet, elderly woman who always had cookies and milk for me along with a good story or two. For some reason I was watching TV with her this night. The program was about global warming, asking if it was real and, if so, what would the consequences be for the world. I vividly remember a segment about droughts, how with less rainfall forest fires would become more frequent and intense. The television screen was filled with a close up of flames from a forest fire, roaring wildly and destroying everything in its path. I was freaked out. That image left an imprint on my brain that I have never been able to wipe away. As a six year old I thought, "That's not supposed to happen! How can we let this happen?" Today, as I watch the news, read the reports, and listen to the experts telling us that climate change is real and happening and the consequences are in the here-and-now I'm still thinking, "That's not supposed to happen! How can we STILL be letting this happen?"

On Thursday, May 21st there is the chance for us to take a BIG step forward to help stop climate change. Seattle will host one of only two EPA public hearings in the entire country. The EPA is seeking public input on their decision that global warming pollution is a threat to human health, the first step in establishing new rules to reduce global warming pollution. The faith and environmental communities are stepping out in full force to call for real action to stop global warming and build a clean energy economy and we are asking YOU to join us! We’re planning a big rally outside the hearing, because it’s time for Seattle's faith community to say climate change is a moral issue and we need action now. The rally will be held at noon on Thursday, May 21st at Bell Harbor International Conference Center, Pier 66, downtown Seattle.

Please join Earth Ministry and Washington Interfaith Power & Light in speaking out for the good of all creation. We are also asking each of you to become a “Rally Magnet” and attract at least five friends to come to the Rally on May 21st. The goal is to get 3,000 people, and we’re going to need your help. Clergy, Rabbis, and other faith leaders are encouraged to wear collars, robes, and other religious garments. This event will have some fantastic speakers and will be a wonderful and memorable learning experience so feel free to bring your kids! Each act of love that we do for the Earth makes it a better place for us and future generations. We also become role models for others. Raising your voice with so many others on May 21st is one of the most important this you can do this year for the environment. For more information and to sign up for the rally follow this link or click on the Cool Crowd picture. Hope to see you there!

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