Article by Kip Coerper, organist and choirmaster for St. James’ Episcopal Church in Skaneateles and 2021 GreenFaith Fellow. He will offer reflections on climate justice in this space in the months ahead.
Hardly a day goes by that we don’t notice a news article about “green building,” sustainable living, carbon footprints, natural/organic foods, renewable energy, etc. These have been catchphrases in our consumer and political society. So what is this new consciousness all about? I would like to suggest that it is not about politics or simple environmental awareness. I believe it is about honoring God’s kingdom. In other words, receiving the blessings with which He has endowed us and acknowledging that as good stewards of His kingdom, we have a responsibility to each other (our neighbors and members of the world community) and to our children to care for the wondrous gifts He has given. The people of the Onondaga Nation originally lived on this land we now inhabit in Central New York. We might share in their reverence for the land and environment, by always thinking about how our actions will affect the “seventh generation” beyond ourselves.
“Global warming” is perhaps the most commonly used phrase associated with stewardship of the earth. Whether you think this phenomenon is actually occurring or not, the reality is that our environment is adversely affected by people’s actions. Landfills are filling up at an exorbitant rate with materials that will take thousands of years to decompose while recycling is readily available. Smog and air pollution are rampant in some areas, even though alternative energy and cleaner technologies exist to help reduce these problems. Toxic materials are everywhere, many inside our homes, even though alternatives are being developed or have been around for many years.
In this column, I will be sharing alternative ways to think about our habits and how they affect our collective lives.
Action: You can be involved now by learning about and encouraging your elected officials to support the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) in the NY State Legislature (nyrenews.org) This act will raise money from corporate polluters, and use it to create green jobs, invest in frontline communities, and build a renewable community in NY.
“The Heaven of heavens is the Lord’s,
But He entrusted the earth to its people.”