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Cristaos Vivendo Carbono Neutro Social Presbiterianos

Cristaos Vivendo Carbono Neutro Social Presbiterianos

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Published by: gilbertociro on Aug 18, 2008
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Uma Visão Cristã sobre justiça ecosocial: Vivendo Carbono Neutro Social

” AÇÃO 4 P´s” Agindo em questões sociais e ambientais: Plantando e produzindo para Proteger o Planeta =










É difícil compreender a realidade da situação extremada da nossa ecrise ecológica. Problemas comosuch as climate change, loss of species, water shortages--are a type of problem that human beings have never faced before, because the problems are global. Personal behavior has never before had global weather consequences. Therefore, there is no historical precedence in this type of problem solving to help us form useful responses. In understanding these problems there are three realities that need to be understood:
1. Our ecological crises are enormous and quickly getting worse. 2. These problems are urgent and time is running out. 3. There are alternatives, and a better future is possible.

Our Ecological Crises are Enormous
Scientific research now demonstrates that global warming is real, catastrophic, and created by humans. Yet, even

though scientists know global warming is happening, they cannot say exactly how much it will warm, or how fast it will warm, or what the local effects will be. These issues will depend on how soon we convert to renewable energy, as well as what chain reactions are set off by the warming.

The 2001 report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) presented models that could establish statistically that global warming is happening and humans are largely responsible for it

Our Ecological Crises are Enormous
Dr Pachauri, head of the IPCC, concluded his findings in January 2005: "Climate change is for real. We have just a small window of opportunity and it is closing rather rapidly. There is not a moment to lose. We are risking the ability of the human race to survive.“ In addition to global warming, species extinctions have reached catastrophic proportions. In the history of the Earth, there have been five mass extinctions; the last one was the dinosaurs. Biologists are calling what is happening now, the sixth mass extinction, and they are warning that we could lose more than 25 percent of the species on Earth by the end of this century, creating unknown cascading effects throughout entire ecosystems. Worldwide, there are severe shortages of water. The world now drains more from rivers and aquifers than is returned by the Earth’s annual rain and snow fall. We are drawing down underground aquifers faster than they can be replenished, and many major rivers are so over-tapped that for part of the year, they run dry before they get to the sea.Therefore, these water shortages will cause food shortages. Water shortages also threaten the lives of all the Earth’s plants and animals.

Our Ecological Crises are Enormous
No matter how fast we respond, the world will soon be radically different, perhaps in as little as one decade. If we commit to a worldwide crash program to convert to renewable energy and planting trees to capture the CO2, the change could be less disruptive. If we cannot create the political will for radical change, then at some point, the world will hit a brick wall as the global weather system spirals out of control. We need to begin by accepting that the Earth is finite. The Earth’s carbon cycle and hydrological cycle have limits. We must learn to live within the Earth’s limits or we will overrun our environment, and cause massive ecological collapse.

Our Ecological Crises are Urgent
Many of those who realize how serious our ecological crises are, do not realize how urgent they are. Our response needs to be total and immediate. On January 25, 2005, the International Panel Climate Change (IPCC) Taskforce issued a new report called Meeting The Climate Challenge. The report says, “With climate change, there is an ecological time bomb ticking away. . .” They say that the point of no return with global warming may be reached in as little as 10 years (or less) with widespread drought, crop failure and water shortages. The debate over global warming is no longer over whether or not it is happening; it is now over the degree of urgency and the scale of the problem. The National Academy of Sciences concluded recently that global warming could cause environmental collapse suddenly and without warning. The longer we wait, the fewer options we will have and the more we risk creating catastrophic consequences.

An Adequate Response



Environmental Is Inadequate


This urgency means that the needed response must be on an adequate scale. “... mobilization of resources within a matter of months demonstrates that a country and, indeed, the world can restructure its economy quickly if it is convinced of the need to do so.” (Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress & a Civilization in Trouble, Lester Brown )

In every community, concerned individuals and organizations are working to contribute solutions to this crisis. Their work helps to raise awareness and create a political base. We cannot measure progress in small, incremental victories as a result of our intense individualism. Gelbspan says this enormous disconnect between the severity of problem and the minimalist responses result from the “seductiveness of easy—and illusory—solutions.”

Alternatives are Possible
Creating solutions requires a total system response. Ecology now is also a system of social, economic, and political thought that sees environmental destruction as only one more symptom (along with poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth and power) of our entire unhealthy modern world-view and belief system. enormity of our ecological crises.

None of our current theories are adequate to deal with the

“… the environmental establishment is inherently incapable of truly addressing the climate challenge in all its magnitude because we cannot achieve a rapid, world-wide transition to clean energy within our current market-based economic structure. If one honestly acknowledges the scale and urgency of the problem, it becomes clear that it cannot be effectively addressed without major structural changes to global economic dynamics.” Ross Gelbspan

Creating a new Worldview or “frame”
Sustainable economics does not include free trade and globalization. The politics is not focused on the rights of autonomous individuals, but rather the needs of sustainable communities. It also is not afraid of religious language--not in the sense of requiring obedience to a set of rules--but in terms of naming the Earth as sacred and pursuing the values of care, mutuality, and equity (both nationally and globally). This ecological worldview is a moral vision based on a nurturant morality and an ethics of care, centering on empathy and responsibility. This includes creating a moral politics and a moral economy, with the requirements of the Earth, and democratic, equality at the center. These moral values are inherent in our approaches to our ecological problems. These values include our mutual responsibility for how we live in the world, our commitment to each other, the right of everyone to an adequate minimum, and the sanctity of the Earth. It also includes the practical realization that we are destroying the Earth’s ability to support life (our own and that of other species).

Social Systems Can Change Quickly
We already have the technical solutions we need; we just have to agree to use them. However,
the problems are fundamentally not technical, but are conceptual.

Just as climate systems can change abruptly, social systems can also change suddenly— either for the better, or for the worse. Any system can hit a threshold, causing the system to suddenly reorganize and jump to an entirely new level-one that cannot revert to the previous level. We may not be able to avoid all the destructive impacts. Yet, if we act now, the solutions available will reduce these negative impacts, and in the process, we will create a more humane, equitable world.

Creating the needed changes can bring a message of hope. We really are capable of making a profound positive shift in our thinking over the next few years.

This involves redefining our concepts of success, and increasing the growing commitment to breaking free of consumerism. It also means learning new skills such as the skills of dialogue, and renewing our commitment to each other and to the natural world.

The Ecological Crisis is a Spiritual Crisis
The primary issue in our ecological crises is a re-definition and clarification of our values, beliefs and behaviors--which is inherently a religious process. However, if religious communities are to lead in this social transformation, the God proclaimed in a political argument must be democratic in method (non-authoritarian) as well as pluralistic in content (capable of working with all religions). The religious message should affirm the reality of the sacred or the language of the Spirit, which can inspire compassion and cooperation. This requires rethinking everything—including the very nature of faith. This effort focuses on a sense of the Earth as sacred, an idea that can both include and transcend all religions. This allows the needs of the Earth to create a natural shared value system, and become the new measure of our values. By advocating ecological issues jointly, all religions become more effective in creating change

The Ecological Crisis is a Spiritual Crisis
Now, to address our ecological crises, we need to measure morality by our collective behavior and the frequent unintended, yet immoral, consequences. Economic growth has reached a dead-end and we can no longer achieve salvation through material progress, and being enslaved to a materialistic definition of the world has left us spiritually impoverished. To pull away from materialism and consumerism, we need to find nonmaterial forms of fulfillment, and shift our spiritual focus from individual salvation to planetary salvation This will require us to see the planet as one global interrelated community of people, animals, and plants. Choosing the values of life and care, and overcoming materialism, requires that we respect the mystery in human life and resist the secularization of experience. Even though our culture is completely secularized—the sacred has not disappeared. We need to recognize and name concepts of the sacred so that they can again determine social action. Our future depends on how creative we can be together, and how quickly we can learn.

Consequences of global warming
Global Warming will Change Weather Patterns.
The warming should create an overall trend toward both increased and increased evaporation. Where precipitation is greater than evaporation, there will be floods. Where evaporation is greater than precipitation, there will be droughts. The increased warming and the unpredictable changes will greatly impact agriculture.

Global Warming will alter the oceans. The entire ecosystem of the North Sea is in a state of collapse, “record sea temperatures are killing off the plankton on which all life in the sea depends, because they underpin the entire marine food chain. Fish stocks and sea bird populations have slumped.”

Consequences of global warming
Global Warming will Change Ecosystems and Habitat.
In addition to habitat loss from urban sprawl and pollution, warming will also be a major factor. “A quarter of all species of plants and land animals, or more than a million in all, could be driven to extinction.” Massive extinctions have occurred five times during the earth's history. The last one was the extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. Scientists are calling what is occurring now, the sixth mass extinction.

Global Warming Will Cause Ice to Melt and Seas to Rise
The ice sheets in the two poles and Greenland, and in mountain glaciers around the world, are melting. If the sea level rises in the range expected by the IPCC, many island nations, as well as all low-lying coastal areas, will be under water. The affects of sealevel along the coast will cause flooding, erosion, and saltwater intrusion into aquifers and freshwater habitats.

Consequences of global warming
Global Warming will Change Weather, Creating more Extreme Storms. Global Warming will be at public health issue .

As the atmosphere warms, the climate not only becomes hotter but more unstable, creating more extreme precipitation events.

Global Warming could Create Abrupt Warming.

Warming will increase the spread of infectious diseases, and heat stress, and also malnutrition because of its impact on agriculture.

A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, said “Large, abrupt climate changes have repeatedly affected much or all of the earth, … Available evidence suggests that abrupt climate changes are not only possible but likely in the future, potentially with large impacts on ecosystems and societies.”

Global Warming may Create Abrupt Cooling.

Global warming could, in as little as a few years, trigger abrupt cooling in Europe.

A Christian view on eco-social justice
Presbyterians to Live Carbon Neutral Lives 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA, held June 15 – 22, 2006 in Birmingham, Alabama adopted the following recommendation for Presbyterians to Live Carbon Neutral Lives

Direct the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy to make a study of personal responsibility and carbon-neutrality available as a Working Paper on the website of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as soon as possible, in order to share its concrete, effective action steps for Presbyterians to take to reduce their energy consumption.

Finds that the Christian mandate to care for creation and the biblical promise of the restoration of right relationships between God, human beings, and the rest of creation impels and inspires us to act to reduce our energy usage.

Finds that the urgency, injustice, and seriousness of this issue calls us as Christians to act NOW and to act boldly to lead the way in reducing our energy usage.

Strongly urges all Presbyterians to immediately make a bold witness by aspiring to live carbon neutral lives. (Carbon neutrality requires our energy consumption that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere be reduced and carbon offsets purchased to compensate for those carbon emissions that could not be eliminated.)

Directs the General Assembly Council to assign the appropriate staff to inform all Presbyterians, governing bodies, and churches of the urgent need for them to reduce their energy consumption and the injustice of our current energy practices while ACSWP completes its work

Calls upon all Presbyterians to take this seriously, to pray asking for God’s forgiveness and guidance, to study this issue, to calculate your carbon emissions, to educate others, and to use less energy, striving to make your life carbon neutral.

It is the consensus of the scientific community that human activity is rapidly changing the natural environment in measurable ways through the destructive effects of climate change (commonly called global warming) Global climate change is predominantly caused by our burning of fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and natural gas, which emit greenhouse gases, and accelerating faster then predicted just a few years ago

A growing number of scientists now suggest that we have perhaps only a decade’s grace period to reduce our energy usage before these devastating effects start to become irreversible.

We Americans are champion energy consumers, using 40 percent of the world’s oil and emitting 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, even though we are less then 5 percent of the world’s population.

We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to reduce our energy consumption and switch to alternative energy sources that are less harmful to the environment.)

Prompt action and leadership by individuals, organizations, communities, states, and countries can keep global climate change from becoming much worse. Previous General Assemblies passed overtures, resolutions, and policies addressing our unjust energy practices, calling us to develop frugal lifestyles reducing our energy consumption; and urging the United States to sign the Kyoto Treaty and to lead in reducing carbon emissions to combat global warming

The president of the United States has called upon the nation to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

Results so far
A recent Presbyterian Panel survey indicates that majorities of us believe our energy consumption contributes to global climate change; most agree that energy conservation reflects values of the Christian Reformed faith. Yet less than 50 percent of us have taken even the simplest steps to reduce our energy consumption.

Ecological justice
“The fight for justice must be integrated with the fight for life in all its forms.” James Cone This very dynamic is why the environmental movement often refers to itself as an “ecological justice” (eco-justice) movement—so that it becomes clear that environmental issues are inextricably tied up with issues of human justice. The reverse is also true. Issues of human justice invariably have a connection with our human degradation of the Earth. For example, in our economic system we treat both people and natural resources as commodities to be exploited for economic gain. The Bible knows well this connection between human justice and the state of the land. When there was economic exploitation of the rich by the poor, Isaiah wrote, “The earth dries up and withers. The world languishes and withers. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants, for they have transgressed laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the land” (Is 24:4-7; see also Joel 2:2-20).

Making eco-justice decisions
Norms for decisions that address eco-justice issues:

Sustainability :provide for long-range needs of humans
and long-range preservation of nature

Sufficiency :grant all forms of life the right to share in the
goods of creation

forms in decisions that affect their well-being

Participation :involve all people and represent all life Solidarity :recognize the kinship of all life forms and assist
those who suffer most from environmental degradation

An Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation
The Earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof
Psalm 24:1

As followers of Jesus Christ, committed to the full authority of the Scriptures, and aware of the ways we have degraded creation, we believe that biblical faith is essential to the solution of our ecological problems.

Because we worship and honor the Creator, we seek to cherish and care for the creation. Because we have sinned, we have failed in our stewardship of creation. Therefore we repent of the way we have polluted, distorted, or destroyed so much of the Creator's work. Because in Christ God has healed our alienation from God and extended to us the first fruits of the reconciliation of all things, we commit ourselves to working in the power of the Holy Spirit to share the Good News of Christ in word and deed, to work for the reconciliation of all people in Christ, and to extend Christ's healing to suffering creation. Because we await the time when even the groaning creation will be restored to wholeness, we commit ourselves to work vigorously to protect and heal that creation for the honor and glory of the Creator---whom we know dimly through creation. We and our children face a growing crisis in the health of the creation in which we are embedded, and through which, by God's grace, we are sustained. Yet we continue to degrade that creation

These degradations of creation can be summed up as 1) land degradation; 2) deforestation; 3) species extinction; 4) water degradation; 5) global toxification; 6) the alteration of atmosphere; 7) human and cultural degradation. Many of these degradations are signs that we are pressing against the finite limits God has set for creation. With continued population growth, these degradations will become more severe. Our responsibility is not only to bear and nurture children, but to nurture their home on earth We recognize that human poverty is both a cause and a consequence of environmental degradation.

Many concerned people, convinced that environmental problems are more spiritual than technological, are exploring the world's ideologies and religions in search of non-Christian spiritual resources for the healing of the earth. As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that the Bible calls us to respond in four ways: First, God calls us to confess and repent of attitudes which devalue creation, and which twist or ignore biblical revelation to support our misuse of it. Forgetting that "the earth is the Lord's," we have often simply used creation and forgotten our responsibility to care for it. Second, our actions and attitudes toward the earth need to proceed from the center of our faith, and be rooted in the fullness of God's revelation in Christ and the Scriptures. We resist both ideologies which would presume the Gospel has nothing to do with the care of non-human creation and also ideologies which would reduce the Gospel to nothing more than the care of that creation. Third, we seek carefully to learn all that the Bible tells us about the Creator, creation, and the human task. In our life and words we declare that full good news for all creation which is still waiting "with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God," (Rom. 8:19). Fourth, we seek to understand what creation reveals about God's divinity, sustaining presence, and everlasting power, and what creation teaches us of its God-given order and the principles by which it works.

Thus we call on all those who are committed to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to affirm the following principles of biblical faith, and to seek ways of living out these principles in our personal lives, our churches, and society.

The cosmos, in all its beauty, wildness, and life-giving bounty, is the work of our personal and loving Creator. Our creating God is prior to and other than creation, yet intimately involved with it, upholding each thing in its freedom, and all things in relationships of intricate complexity. God is transcendent, while lovingly sustaining each creature; and immanent, while wholly other than creation and not to be confused with it. God the Creator is relational in very nature, revealed as three persons in One. Likewise, the creation which God intended is a symphony of individual creatures in harmonious relationship. The Creator's concern is for all creatures. God declares all creation "good" (Gen. 1:31); promises care in a covenant with all creatures (Gen. 9:9-17); delights in creatures which have no human apparent usefulness (Job 39-41); and wills, in Christ, "to reconcile all things to himself" (Col.1:20).

Men, women, and children, have a unique responsibility to the Creator; at the same time we are creatures, shaped by the same processes and embedded in the same systems of physical, chemical, and biological interconnections which sustain other creatures. Men, women, and children, created in God's image, also have a unique responsibility for creation. Our actions should both sustain creation's fruitfulness and preserve creation's powerful testimony to its Creator. Our God-given , stewardly talents have often been warped from their intended purpose: that we know, name, keep and delight in God's creatures; that we nourish civilization in love, creativity and obedience to God; and that we offer creation and civilization back in praise to the Creator. We have ignored our creaturely limits and have used the earth with greed, rather than care. The earthly result of human sin has been a perverted stewardship, a patchwork of garden and wasteland in which the waste is increasing. "There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land...Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away" (Hosea 4:1,3). Thus, one consequence of our misuse of the earth is an unjust denial of God's created bounty to other human beings, both now and in the future.

God's purpose in Christ is to heal and bring to wholeness not only persons but the entire created order. "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross" (Col. 1:19-20). In Jesus Christ, believers are forgiven, transformed and brought into God's kingdom. "If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation" (II Cor. 5:17). The presence of the kingdom of God is marked not only by renewed fellowship with God, but also by renewed harmony and justice between people, and by renewed harmony and justice between people and the rest of the created world. "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands" (Isa. 55:12). We believe that in Christ there is hope, not only for men, women and children, but also for the rest of creation which is suffering from the consequences of human sin.

Therefore we call upon all Christians to reaffirm that all creation is God's; that God created it good; and that God is renewing it in Christ. We encourage deeper reflection on the substantial biblical and theological teaching which speaks of God's work of redemption in terms of the renewal and completion of God's purpose in creation. We seek a deeper reflection on the wonders of God's creation and the principles by which creation works. We also urge a careful consideration of how our corporate and individual actions respect and comply with God's ordinances for creation. We encourage Christians to incorporate the extravagant creativity of God into their lives by increasing the nurturing role of beauty and the arts in their personal, ecclesiastical, and social patterns.

We urge individual Christians and churches to be centers of creation's care and renewal, both delighting in creation as God's gift, and enjoying it as God's provision, in ways which sustain and heal the damaged fabric of the creation which God has entrusted to us. We recall Jesus' words that our lives do not consist in the abundance of our possessions, and therefore we urge followers of Jesus to resist the allure of wastefulness and overconsumption by making personal lifestyle choices that express humility, forbearance, self restraint and frugality. We call on all Christians to work for godly, just, and sustainable economies which reflect God's sovereign economy and enable men, women and children to flourish along with all the diversity of creation. We recognize that poverty forces people to degrade creation in order to survive; therefore we support the development of just, free economies which empower the poor and create abundance without diminishing creation's bounty. We commit ourselves to work for responsible public policies which embody the principles of biblical stewardship of creation.

We invite Christians--individuals, congregations and organizations-to join with us in this evangelical declaration on the environment, becoming a covenant people in an ever-widening circle of biblical care for creation. We call upon Christians to listen to and work with all those who are concerned about the healing of creation, with an eagerness both to learn from them and also to share with them our conviction that the God whom all people sense in creation (Acts 17:27) is known fully only in the Word made flesh in Christ the living God who made and sustains all things. We make this declaration knowing that until Christ returns to reconcile all things, we are called to be faithful stewards of God's good garden, our earthly home.

Action plan
Policy: We seek to change the systems that foster the degradation of creation and to rectify the injustices that result from it. And we seek to alert our members to environmental legislation that protects creation and to encourage their active participation in the development of public policy. We encourage members to participate in civic activities that foster environmental health. We seek to let our care for creation be known to others. Goals: To promote eco-justice and care for creation beyond the walls of the church through hands-on involvement, political advocacy, publicity, conferences, websites, and publications. Actions: suggested actions to take to fulfill these commitments:
Ecological justice in local, regional, national, and global issues Invest in the future of Earth community. Urge the endowment committee to invest your congregational endowment and other funds in social justice


SOS SEMI-ÁRIDO -CarbonoNeutro Social
Plantar & Produzir para Proteger o Planeta

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