Hurricane Florence is proving to be the most devastating extreme weather event in the history of North Carolina.
Simultaneously, our state has been widely viewed as an outpost of climate change denial. In 2012, Raleigh lawmakers rejected a study prepared by the NC Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel on Coastal Hazards predicting sea-level rise would likely reach 39 inches higher by 2100. The report also suggested an even greater surge was possible.
It is heartbreaking to realize that because members of the NC General Assembly ignored and denied the overwhelming scientific projections of the Coastal Commission’s report, policies and resources were not in place to potentially reduce the number of toxic waste spills, amount of property damage, and death toll of people and animals.
As people of faith, we believe that the climate change crisis most impacts those who contribute the least to the problem: the poor and vulnerable. We believe that responding to the urgent threats is essential to caring for God’s creation and loving our neighbors. Human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels for energy, has thrown nature out of balance, polluted the air, raised sea levels, made thousands of God’s creatures extinct, and threatens the lives and livelihoods of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.
At a time when unsustainable agriculture, coal ash contamination, and pipelines threaten the survivability of North Carolina’s ecosystems and communities, bold leadership from elected officials is needed now more than ever.
NC Interfaith Power and Light’s advocacy campaigns encourage clergy and members of congregations to be aware and able to articulate the moral dimensions of climate change and environmental justice issues. As a program of the NC Council of Churches, we support the NC Climate, Jobs, & Justice Coalition and share a vision for a just transition to a 100% renewable energy and carbon-free economy. In pursuit of this vision, we are asking you to sign this petition urging our elected officials to take real action on climate change.
The issues and impacts of Hurricane Florence have proven we can’t afford denial, delay or indifference. On November 6, vote for people who believe climate change is real. North Carolina’s future depends on it.