As I've worked my way through the No Impact project, I've forged connections with "conservatives" and orthodox religious types in whose company a "secular liberal" like me might not normally be welcome. But what has interested me is that, when we drop the labels, we find we share so many values in common.
I've written many times that, at least in my own life, "stuff"--more material positions--is just a consolation prize for closer connection to community and to family. As we let go of consumption as part of the project, we found that what we really wanted was to just, well, hang out.
Similarly, although I do believe in a regulatory approach to climate change, I also believe in my own personal responsibility and that the way I live my life should attempt to reflect a stewardship for the environment. I should try to take from the planet only that which it can sustainably offer me--not just what I want.
Suddenly, I find myself thinking about human values in a way that is not unlike what you hear from the "other side." Except that, in things relating to human health, security and happiness as it relates to the well-being of our planetary habitat, there is no "other side." There is only one big our side--everybody's side.
How can we all live happily and safely together?
It's in that spirit that I wanted to highlight the Evangelical Climate Initiative, "a group of more than 85 evangelical leaders who—as a result of their commitment to Jesus Christ and concern for His Creation—have signed the statement entitled Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action." Here are some extracts from their Call to Action statement:
- "...many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough to offer the following moral argument related to the matter of human-induced climate change. We commend the four simple but urgent claims offered in this document to all who will listen, beginning with our brothers and sisters in the Christian community, and urge all to take the appropriate actions that follow from them."
- "Claim 1: Human-induced climate change is real."
- "Claim 2: The consequences of climate change will be significant, and will hit the poor the hardest."
- "Claim 3: Christian moral convictions demand our response to the climate change problem."
- "Claim 4: The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change."
PS You can find the Evengelical Environment Network's "What would Jesus drive?" campaign, which calls for more walking, biking and public transportation and less driving, here.
PPS On an altogether different note, MTV is looking for young people between the ages of 16-27 who have adopted an "off the grid" lifestyle to feature in an upcoming show. Contact Danielle[AT]Gigantic[DOT]tv.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.