Ecology may summon up associations of a researcher wading through wetlands in rubber boots, but the Greek root “oikos” really just means “house.”
America today is in danger of failing in the fundamental duty of every generation: to leave our children a better world than the one we inherited. The house we all share – planet earth – is in danger of becoming much less hospitable to people, both around the world and here in Nashville.
We’ve known the basic science of climate change for decades. Burning fossil fuels releases carbon, which acts as a greenhouse gas and traps warmth in the atmosphere. Since the industrial revolution, humanity has steadily burned more fossil fuels like gasoline and coal, which provide cheap energy and higher standards of living.
However, our atmosphere has warmed at a similar pace, leading to stronger and longer droughts and floods across the world. In recent years, crises like the Australian and California wildfires show how our energy policies have global consequences.
In the U.S., transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. With the backing of Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW, California is leading the way on upholding the clean car standards’ goals of reducing car emissions. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has announced it will roll back gas-mileage rules, stamping on California’s right to clean air as well as their efforts to confront the root of climate change.
If we hope to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, California’s emissions standards are exactly the type of policy we ought to pursue. We should pressure the Trump administration to let California protect their air – and our world – from car emissions. We should praise automakers who are putting integrity over profit, like Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW. And we should let automakers supporting the White House (like Toyota, GM and Fiat Chrysler) know that we do not support a cavalier attitude towards climate change.
An easy way to share your voice is to sign the petition under “Take Action” at www.interfaithpowerandlight.org.
- Rev. Denise Yeargin is a native Nashvillian and a minister for the Unity Movement.
- Matthew Groves works for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action.