Last week Rev. Sally Bingham, founder of Interfaith Power & Light, simply asked:
“Do you remember what it was like to be a child and play in the great outdoors?”
This question came in her response to the release of the first comprehensive report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2007. The report warned us again of the devastating impacts of climate change, from increased public health risks, to threatened food and water supply, and worsening extreme weather events.
Rev. Bingham shared her memories of listening to the leaves dancing on the trees and feeling cool grass beneath her feet, and reminded us that all children deserve a chance to enjoy God’s creation.
“The sad fact is if we don’t tackle climate change and significantly reduce carbon pollution soon, then tomorrow’s children will only know concrete and smog-ruined skies. They will never have the benefits of what God provided in nature.”
The Editorial Board of the Washington Post responded to the IPCC report by publishing an opinion piece strongly agreeing with the world’s scientific community stern warning:
“Humans are having a hard enough time coping with the natural variability in our environment, which causes disasters such as heat waves, wildfires and floods. Just wait until climate change makes all three of those problems — and many more — worse.”
Our collective responses to reports that climate change is already causing irreversible damage to nature, and it will disrupt food supplies and harm the world’s poorest in the coming years must be action. The IPCC report has revealed what we need to be preparing for and how critical our abilities to adapt will become.
In the same way we raise our children to develop the basic understandings of cause and effect, future generations expect us to heed the consequences of a changing climate. As people of faith it is our responsibility to care.