Environmental Politics

The last few weeks have both been shocking and have marked a major transition in our government’s relationship to climate change. So now is the moment when we need to take account of the increasing danger to our future, to understand the way the white nationalists are trying to co-opt environmentalism, and to see some positive ways forward.
First, the danger. 2020 tied 2016 as the hottest year on record. It was also a year in which ocean temperatures set a record high. Although one would think that a year in which much of the economy ground to a halt would have made a big difference in green house gasses. there was actually very little effect. As soon as the economy begins to recover, which, of course, we all wish, we will be on a bad trajectory again. We have just a few more years to make a huge transition to carbon free energy if we wish our dear earth, part of God’s creation, to be livable for future generations and to avoid devastating deaths from heat around the world.
Next, the radical undermining of the environmental movement by white nationalists. In an article, “How Climate Change Is Becoming a Deadly Part of White Nationalism,” written for Gizmodo in 2017 following the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Brian Kahn explains “Eco-Fascism,” the attempt by radical right groups to put an environmental patina on acts of violence, exclusion and hate against black and brown people. Basically, eco-fascism tries to direct the blame for climate change away from our overconsumption and fossil fuel dependency and onto minority groups whose supposedly high birth rates are eating into the resources available to white people. They must be stopped at the border, black people in Europe, brown people in North America, and deported, imprisoned, sterilized and murdered so white people can continue to live largely.
All is not grim, though. In addition to the new administrations commitments to move swiftly and effectively against climate change, grass roots groups are doing their part. One such group is “Science Moms.” Katherine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and evangelical Christian has been trying to educate evangelicals about climate change for years. Now she and five other women scientists who are also moms are starting a national a $10 million campaign to educate and empower mothers to do something about climate change. The campaign will feature national advertising, especially in states where climate change is already having an adverse effect. There is also a Science Moms website featuring facts and resources, including links to books on talking to kids about climate and a form for contacting elected officials. Through donations from individuals and philanthropists Science Moms hopes to launch the biggest environmental awareness and education campaign since Al Gore’s in 2007. Watch for it!
You can find this and all the Creation Care blogs for the church website I have written at a consolidating blog I have created: ststephenscreationcare.blogspot.com
Thanks for your interest in caring for God’s creation!

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