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Last week, I wrote about U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon’s speech to a dinner hosted by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Micah Challenge. While the main part of his speech was on the challenge of meeting the Millennium Development Goals, he closed by linking that to “another moral imperative” – acting to stop global warming.
On this Blog Action Day for the environment, the words of the Secretary General are worth emphasizing. He noted that
Climate change affects us all, but it does not affect us all equally. Those who are least able to cope are being hardest hit. Those who have done the least to cause the problem bear the gravest consequences.
He cited the dependence of “hundreds of millions of people in Asia and the Americas on mountain snow and glaciers for their water,” and the catastrophic threat as the ice and snow melt. Growing droughts in Africa due to climate change threaten the lives of those dependent on subsistence agriculture for survival. Then came his call:
We have an ethical obligation to right this injustice. We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable. Without a strong global effort against global warming, we will fail in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the implicit human right to economic justice and development.
Without a strong global effort against global warming, humankind could even be wiped out, along with other species. Our earth is God’s creation. We are its custodians. We can no longer look the other way.
The good news is that people and institutions of faith all over the world agree. This gives me great hope.
There is now a strong consensus among scientists and the religious community, including evangelical leaders, that while the hour is late, we still have a chance to make a difference. If we are to honor the biblical commandment to be good custodians of God’s creation, we have no choice.