November 28, 2022
May your Advent and Christmas seasons be meaningful. As we come to the end of 2022 this can be a time to reflect on the ways we have honored God by treasuring and improving life on earth.
Things I am grateful for, as we begin to make progress on slowing climate change, include:
1. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed last August. It puts the USA, the world’s top historic, and per capita emitter of green-house gasses on track to reduce our emissions by 32%-40% compared to 2005 levels by 2030.
Next steps: Individuals, businesses, and non-profits take advantage of the savings to make buildings, and vehicles greener.
To learn more about how the IRA can help you save and help the earth: go to webpage: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/IRAguide
2. The Loss and Damage Fund created by COP27, at the UN Conference of 200 countries, which ended November 20, 2022. “If you had told me a month ago, that we would have a Loss and Damage Fund, I would not have believed it” Dr. Caleb Dresser, Emergency Medicine representative at Cop27 from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. But we do!
Next Steps: Richer countries responsible for most of the emissions need to give appropriately so the poorest nations suffering severe flooding, drought, and heat can put in green energy and adaptation plans.
3. Worst case scenarios are being avoided. If we implement programs in place, the world is no longer on track to average 3 or 4 degrees centigrade over pre-industrial levels. Every .1 degree of temperature that we can lower warming is significant.
Next steps: We are still on track to go well beyond 1.5 degrees, the number set at the 2015 Paris Agreement. Everything we can do to influence national, state, and local policy is crucial. Our personal choices are a matter of Christian stewardship of the earth as well. In 2022 the earth is at 1.15 degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial levels of warming. The significant effects of climate change that we already see in increased fires, flooding, stronger storms, and drought are a warning to keep working at slowing climate change.
4. Clean energy use is expanding. Funding, rebates, point of sale reductions and lower costs make green energy and energy efficiency attractive and affordable. Once people add weatherization and switch to green energy sources for heating, cooling and cooking, they lock in savings going forward. The same goes for Electric Vehicles.
Next steps: Make it a goal to weatherize, get off fuels you have to burn, and reduce your energy use. Think about the lifecycle of everything you use. Fix, re-use, recycle, avoid red meat, avoid plastic, which is hard to recycle, and made from fossil fuel. When you need something consider second-hand items. Walk, bike or use public transit instead of using a car. Avoid air travel. Take care of and enjoy nature. You help your wallet and help the planet. Make plans to be greener in 2023.