By Terry Wiggins, Earth Justice Ministry.
Here are some recent examples of why it is:
- Dr. Natasha DeJarnett, research coordinator at the National Environmental Health Association, said that “Eighty-eight percent of the burden of climate change falls on children.”
- Twenty-one plaintiffs, ages 8-19 in 2015 (the youngest of whom is a Unitarian Universalist), are participating in a lawsuit against the President of the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others. In Juliana v. the United States, they argue that the federal government, by denying climate change and/or failing to act on it by reducing carbon emissions, has deprived these young people of their constitutional right to freely pursue their lives and liberties. In short, the government, in failing to be proactive about climate change, has denied their very futures.Recently, attorneys filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from issuing new leases and permits for exploring for, and extracting, fossil fuels on federal lands or offshore, or issuing approvals for new fossil fuel infrastructure.
- You may have seen a video of the Greta Thunberg, passionate Swedish 16-year-old who is raising awareness of global warming. She grabbed the world’s attention when she spoke outside the Swedish Parliament, and when she spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “I want you to feel the fear I do. . . . And I want you to act. I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is.”
Let us ask ourselves, what would it mean to take young people seriously? How, as Unitarian Universalists, are we called to respond to them and the crisis they face?
Earth Justice Ministry encourages your support of the Green New Deal and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.