Proposed CSAI—Climate Action and Adaptation Plans: Why Greenhouse Gases and their Effects Matter to Us
Effects of Global Climate Change (GCC) now threaten our lives, property, health, and our children's futures. We must simplify people's united support behind a single campaign for policy change on greenhouse gases; and inform ourselves, and others, about practical new Climate Action and Adaptation Plans, which lay out imaginative lifestyle change.
Grounding in Unitarian Universalism
Our Seventh Principle calls us to respect the interdependent web. Our Fifth Principle honors the democratic process. Heeding the guidance of science, as articulated in our Fifth Source, we submit this proposal standing on the shoulders of the many Unitarian Universalists (UUs) who act responsibly on Global Climate Change.
Topics for Congregational Study
- Study of state, regional and local Climate Action and Adaptation Plans.
- What recommendations in the plans are/are not funded and/or implemented?
- How can planned adaptation measures be used to motivate more individuals to act on the personal, local, and federal level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
- If your congregation does educational outreach on GCC, and you could email a link to all audience members afterward that would result in their effective advocacy on GCC with just two clicks of a mouse, what would the one or two sentence advocacy message say?
- Should UU's participate in or support lawsuits that hold governmental bodies responsible for the harmful effects of greenhouse gases?
Possible Congregational/District Actions
- Congregational: Select an effective national advocacy campaign for the reduction of carbon emissions, and facilitate the participation of congregants and others in your community.
- Congregational: Educating the congregation and the surrounding community on the causality link between manmade greenhouse gas emissions and their local effects.
- Congregational: Taking up local issues related to flooding, destruction from extreme weather events, drought related water supply issues, and other GCC effects in Congregation Based Community Organizations with which the congregation is affiliated.
- District: Synchronizing the District legislative Agenda with the legislative agendas of state and local governments implementing Climate Action plans.
- District: Informing congregations of cross-jurisdictional Climate Action/Adaptation measures that affect them.
Related Prior Social Witness Statements
- Alternate Sources and Conservation of Energy—1981
- Law of the Sea Treaty—1982
- Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste—1984
- Protecting the Biosphere—1989
- Safer Sources of Energy—1992
- Population & Development—1996
- Earth, Air, Water, and Fire—1997
- Endorse the Earth Charter—2002
- End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining—2006
- Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change—2006
- Extend the Tax Credit for Wind and Solar Power—2008
- In Support of America's Red Rock Wilderness Act—2009
- Clean Up the Clean Energy Bill—2010
- The Green Revolution in Religion—2010
This Congregational Study/ Action Issue (CSAI) Proposal is submitted in the hope of creating a greater capacity for UU congregations to take action on Global Climate Change.
- Unitarian Universalist Involvement In The Issue
Unitarian Universalists have been involved in Global Climate change for more than two decades. The 2006 Statement of Conscience on Global Warming defined many ways that UU's could take individual, congregational, or group advocacy action to reduce greenhouse gases, and many UU's have made significant lifestyle changes and participated in many advocacy campaigns as a result of the guidance of that SOC.
After the 2010 General Assembly, a UU Climate Change and Environmental Justice Action Coalition was formed, including representatives from UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE), the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the UU State Advocacy Networks, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), and the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO). If this CSAI Proposal is accepted for study, our democratic CSAI Social Witness process could inform the future efforts of this coalition.
Currently, it is possible to link to Advocacy Action campaigns on Global Climate Change through the UUA website, the UU-UNO website, the UUMFE website, and the UUSC website website. Information on Global Climate Change is available through state UU Legislative ministries as well. Most of what is available on these websites is educational and informative. Some of what is available is direction to other websites where direct action can be taken, and some of what is available contains direct links to active electronic petitions and campaigns.
On the UUA website, there is a sample letter for Climate Change Advocacy and a script for telephone advocacy on climate change. The UUA Social Justice Page links to the Environmental Justice Page. The Environmental Justice Page has a Global Warming/Climate Change link. As of the May 26, 2011 update there were no Advocacy Action links on this page.
The UU-UNO Climate Portal has Action Alerts accessible on the home page. Unfortunately, if you click on the "What we can do-mitigation" link, rather than scrolling down to the Action Alerts, then the electronic petition is missed. If, however, you make it to the Action Alerts, there is a succinct electronic petition to sign and submit.
The UUSC website home page links to an Environmental Justice page, on which there is a "What you can do" link. Action listed on this page includes: registering for UUSC's e-Community, signing up for Environmental Justice News, Getting Information about your water, and considering becoming a Green Sanctuary under the UUMFE program.
The UUMFE website has a "Take Action" tab on the home page, which brings up a page with a menu on the left. This menu has a Global Warming/Climate link. The areas of action listed are: We can reduce our carbon footprints, We can learn, We can provide ways for individuals to take action by using resources from the First Unitarian Church of Portland, Oregon, and We can start a small group conversation.
UU State Advocacy Networks have been established to facilitate UU advocacy. Issues are selected at 2 year intervals in California. In Florida, Climate Change is a core issue of the UULMF. This website informs us that laws to address this issue have been sidetracked and are still being opposed nationally and locally, and that both state and federal legislators need to hear about the public's concerns. The Link to their Climate Change page has links to informational climate change resources: The US EPA, Wikipedia, Oceana website, UUMFE, Florida Climate Change, NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center, Mother Nature Network, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environment News Service, Thousand Friends of Florida, Nature Conservancy, National Sierra Club, Sierra Club Florida Chapter, and the IPCC. As of July12, 2011 there were no links to Action petitions or campaigns on the UUMLF site.
- The Lawsuit Filed by Jim Hansen
Jim Hansen filed a lawsuit against the White House for failing to address Global Warming.
- State and Local Climate Action and Adaption Plans
Meaningful Global Climate Change policy has been stalled at the federal level, but many states and localities have adopted plans with aggressive mitigation goals, and sustainability as a guiding principle. The policy recommendations in the state Climate Action Plans are in line with Unitarian Universalist values, and reflect the thinking expressed in our 2006 Statement of Conscience on Global Warming. Advocacy is needed to move from policy recommendations to funded and implemented public policy.
- State Climate Action Plans:
The EPA website states that: "A climate Action Plan lays out a strategy, including specific policy recommendations, that a state will use to address climate change and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions." The following states have completed a climate change action plan: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, All States.
- State and Regional Climate Action Initiatives:
The Pew Center has researched state and regional climate policy initiatives. Several Regional initiatives are detailed on this site.
Effective advocacy at the state and local level requires information about the Climate Action Plans and Adaptation Plans enacted by the governmental bodies in states and localities in which we live and worship, knowledge about which recommendations are being implemented, and updates on which recommendations have not been implemented. Advocates also require knowledge about which recommendations have or have not been funded, and the public process to advocate for movement from policy recommendations to public policy. City and county Climate Action Plans, Adaptation Plans, and Mitigation plans will require congregations to do local research.
- Climate Action Plans for cities and counties in which congregants of The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton reside Palm Beach County has a Climate Action Plan under development in conjunction with Broward County, Miami Dade County and Martin County
- Palm Beach County Unified Local Mitigation Strategy: This document assigns risk, vulnerability, and financial loss dollar values to parcels of land and buildings throughout Palm Beach County. The procedures for prioritizing mitigation efforts and rebuilding projects from hazards of all kinds using a cost benefit analysis are spelled out in this document. It lists sea level rise in response to global climate and local tectonic changes as a flood hazard.
- Boynton Beach Climate Action Plan
- Delray Beach Climate Action Plan is not yet developed. Their Green Task Force is working on this issue.
- Boca Raton has a commitment to sustainability found on page CP-3 of this document, but no Climate Action Plan.
- City of Lake Worth Climate Action Plan is in draft form.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last updated on Thursday, November 3, 2011.