Two nights ago, CNN aired coverage of former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s endorsement speech of Sen. Barack Obama in Detroit, Michigan. Given Gore’s involvement in climate change work, he spent some time building the case that, indeed, “we need to change our policies on climate change.” He focused on what future generations might say when they look back and review our actions. Mr. Gore is quoted,
“I want [future generations] to look back on this historic year and ask: how did Americans in 2008 find the moral courage to rise and successfully solve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve? How did they find the strength to change?”
I think it is interesting to consider a simple change from “Americans” to “Lutherans” or “Christians” or maybe even “Peoples of Faith.” In ELCA World Hunger and the ELCA Washington Office, we accept the scientific data that the Earth’s temperature is rising. We realize that people living in poverty, who may also be located in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, are already seeing substantial impacts from global warming. We recognize that there are concrete connections between hunger, poverty, and climate change.
In a time such as this, I think we, as citizens, are fortunate because we have two, mainstream party presidential candidates, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, who both recognize and care about climate change. The candidates have different approaches to working against the problem, but both are thinking about it!
Similarly, I think we, as ELCA Lutherans, are blessed to have a church that is actively engaged in the discussion about climate change. We are blessed to have a prophetically concerned voice in Bishop Mark S. Hanson, who, in his April 2007 Earth Day statement said, “The poor and hungry of the earth are most vulnerable to rising sea levels, the spread of infectious disease, extending areas of drought, and other impacts of rising temperatures, many of which are already occurring.”
Perhaps, when the 7th or the 1000th generation looks back to our time, they will see intentional care for God’s creation and all of God’s children. Change will not be easy or quick, but it certainly seems to be dawning on the horizon. It is an exciting time to be alive and engaged in God’s good work and in God’s world!
Stay tuned for next week when I “reveal” exciting information about a new ELCA World Hunger resource, relating to climate change and hunger, for all of you hunger leaders and peace and justice workers out there!
For more information:
The ELCA Washington Office Advocacy Page on Environment
Sen. John McCain’s Climate Change Site
Sen. Barack Obama’s Energy and Environment Site