Today, if he were alive, my father would have turned 103 years old. As children, my brother and I loved to tease our Dad on his birthday because it was also Groundhog’s Day. Would the Groundhog see his shadow or not? Would we have six more weeks of winter or not? Back then, we could always count on six or more weeks of winter, regardless of whether the Groundhog saw his shadow or not. Not so anymore! Today we have awakened to a beautiful snowy morning in southwestern Ontario, and my husband and our youngest son are out shoveling our driveway in preparation for the long drive into London for Richard’s work and Malcolm’s university classes. But the other day we enjoyed almost balmy temperatures! Such is the effect of Climate Change!
At our United Church London Conference Social Justice meeting on Wednesday morning, one of our members, Marg Murray, spoke of the critical state in which we find ourselves in terms of climate change. Referring to one of the articles below, Marg reminded us that if we Boomers really want to leave a good legacy to the next generation, we will start by caring for and advocating on behalf of our earth. There is no better gift we can give to our children and grandchildren. If they don’t have an earth on which to live, breathe clean air, drink clean water, and grow crops for food, then nothing else matters!
So, as you celebrate Groundhog’s Day, take a few minutes to read the following articles (see the links below that Marg has provided) and pray for our earth and the children who will inherit it.
Summary of Climate Change Weblinks
Shared at Social Justice Division of London Conference
January 31, 2018
Marg Murray – firstname.lastname@example.org
We know Climate Change is real. Normal weather will not return. We don’t know how it will play out. I’ve put together the background material from the concerns of which I spoke.
- From Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner for Ontario who was keynote speaker for a webinair by Faith and the Common Good (Toronto Churches) (See http://www.faithcommongood.org/faith_community_energy_benchmarking_program to download the program and/or the slides.) Ms Saxe is an Environmental Lawyer with years of experience on ‘evidence-based material’ for Climate Change. Like us, her passion comes out of love for her grandchildren. The 20th Century normal Climate is gone, forever. Her 20 minute talk is valuable (some technical difficulties with the webinair).
- The link between climate change and economic social justice (and the possible collapse of both) described in this article. (See http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170418-how-western-civilisation-could-collapse). The encouraging note is the work of Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon of University of Waterloo and their work on the theory of Complexity.
- Homer-Dixon speaks of Theory of Complexity and the movement from decision making with ‘risks’ to decision making with ‘uncertainty’. Listen to 12 minute clip at https://www.speakers.ca/speakers/dr-thomas-homer-dixon/
Engaging Congregations in awareness of Climate Change and Adaptation to Climate Change.
- From an article in the United Church of Christ Pollinator, describing the lessons learned from Marriage Equality. Since 2004, each State has recognized that the Government should not come between two people who love each other. We need to speak of our love for the next generation who will bear the brunt of Climate Change. See this link for the article. (http://www.ucc.org/pollinator_for_churches_addressing_climate_change_learn_from_marriage_equality)
- From the Canadian Foodgrains Bank an initiative to offset our own personal ‘environmental cost’ by donating money to the Climate Fund: (https://foodgrainsbank.ca/get-involved/the-climate-fund/) which is attempting to feed the increasing number of hungry people in the world. See the letter of invitation here: (https://mailchi.mp/6d380d7c3ec4/looking-forward-looking-back?e=09a44e81e2)
- From County of Oxford, a Zero Waste Event Planning Guide (download this Guide http://www.futureoxford.ca/Resources.aspx) to comply with Provincial legislation Bill 151, Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016.
- From Citizens for Public Justice, promote “Giving it up for the Earth” see https://cpj.ca/for-the-earth for more details.
- Encourage Church Building Energy Audits see https://www.greenon.ca/ for more details. It is desirable to have a point person for this.