Tools for Change
United Methodist Women learned they are the greatest tools for stemming the tide of harmful changes in the world's climate, during a workshop on the issue at their quadrennial Assembly in St. Louis, Mo., April 30.
"One-by-one, you live it out," said Pam Sparr, a United Methodist Women consultant on environmental issues and facilitator of the workshop. "You serve as a model, an advocate -- you know best what your friends, family, neighbors and your church need to know about climate change. Live life in alignment with your Christian faith."
She encouraged "win-win" solutions to climate change, in which inter-related issues, such as poverty, unemployment, racism, or hunger, are addressed in tandem with climate change. For example, if building affordable housing, why not include solar technology or other energy-saving techniques?
- Carbon dioxide accounts for 85 percent of all greenhouse gasses. The No. 1 way to address climate change is to reduce our carbon footprint.
- Changing five light bulbs to compact florescent light bulbs (CFL) in every household would be equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road.
- The U.S. Senate will be considering a climate change bill before the summer break in June. The House of Representative has already passed a bill.
What You Can Do
- Contact your legislature. Send e-mails and letters to your elected officials or call them.
- Advocate for the environment during a United Methodist Women's unit meeting. Ask everyone to take out her cell phones and call Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the office of one of her senators. Members can leave a message with the senator's aide who answers the phone or leave a message. It doesn't need to be a long conversation.
- Tell your senators to make climate change a national priority.
- Identify yourself and give your town and United Methodist affiliation.
Christie R. House is the editor of New World Outlook magazine.