Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Creation Care: A Letter to the Editor

The following is a Letter to the Editor that was written by one of Earth Ministry’s Alaska members and printed in the Sitka Sentinel:

Genesis 26+:  Then God said, “Let us make humankind[c] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[d] and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth..."(NRSV)

It’s with intense, deep emotion that I write this letter both as a Christian and conservationist.  I am called to speak on behalf of those without a voice - the winged, four-legged, furred, finned, scaled as well as the air, water, soil and plant life.  March 28th will be marked as a dark, dark day for Creation.  Not only was the Clean Power Plan rolled back by a stroke of President Trump’s pen, but the moratorium on coal mining on public lands was lifted, the EPA directed to not enforce environmental protections and on the heels of Monday’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
Flickr: Richard Ricciardi
Additionally, this week the senate joined the house in passing joint resolution 18 and 69, respectively, using the Congressional Review Act. These were sponsored by the Alaska delegation.  This legislation allows the reversal of “fair chase” hunting practices in the 16 Alaska National Refuges.  It was opposed by 47 national and local hunting and wildlife conservation groups.  Now,  bear cubs and sows with cubs can be taken plus bears can be baited as well as killed with snares or traps or from an aircraft and wolves/coyotes can be taken during denning season.  This violates ethical rules of fair chase and is completely out of line with what the Creator meant by dominion in my opinion.  

Our elected officials appear to be influenced by neither science nor ethics, but by powerful forces that are putting profit and greed before reason and the health of our fragile island home.  So how can we collectively raise our voices on behalf of Creation and take planet-focused action?  

First, join Sitka’s emerging Citizens’ Climate Lobby to advance a national carbon fee and dividend program.  A fee is placed on fossil fuels at the source starting at $15 per ton of CO2 and increases each year by $10.  All of those fees are returned to American households on an equitable basis.  Additionally, a border tariff adjustment is placed on goods imported from or exported to, countries without an equivalent price on carbon.  The carbon fee and dividend program moves us towards clean energy keeping pollutants out of air and water and promotes the public’s health and the economy.

Second, learn more about assaults on Creation. Hop on to webinars or read e-newsletters from advocacy groups like Earthjustice,, League of Conservation Voters, or Alaska Audubon as well as Creation Justice or Earth Ministry to educate yourself about the issues that are putting undue stress on God’s good, green earth. 

Third, call your congressional delegation about pending legislation that impacts the health of the natural world that’s been entrusted to us.  It’s not as intimidating as it sounds, and our delegation appreciates hearing from Alaskan constituents. Use or submit emails on our Alaska delegations websites to make sure the voice of Creation is heard.

Fourth, pray, meditate, and spend time in Sitka’s bountiful Creation then bring Creation Care issues to your houses of worship for reflection and action.  

Finally, join fellow Sitkans on April 29th for the People’s Climate March.  Collectively, we need to rise up and boldly and compassionately steward the Divine’s holy Creation.

Lisa Sadleir-Hart

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