SOS SEMI-ARID – BRAZIL

Living Carbon Neutral Lives ” 4 P´s ACTION” making decisions on ecological justice: Planting and Producing to Protect the Planet = “FOR

PEACE”

planting

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producing

to

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the

planet

“FOR PEACE – 4P´S”

CREATING A SHARED MORAL VISION
It is difficult for people to grasp just how extreme our ecological crises really are. Problems such 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 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.

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

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.

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

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

SOCIAL CARBON NEUTRAL: AN OPTION IN BRAZIL

SOS SEMI-ARID –Social CarbonNeutral brazil
Planting & Producing to Protect the Planet

www.sos-semi-aridbrazil.blogspot.com soscarbonosocial@gmail.com

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