Posted by: mcgurker | April 3, 2009

A Season for Action: Cherry Blossoms and Climate Change

Spring is in the air! The weather is getting warmer and everything seems to be blooming. Several times this week, I’ve found myself strolling down the national mall, delighting in the beauty of God’s Creation and eagerly anticipating this weekend, when I will attend my first Cherry Blossom Festival. For a Floridian, who has just come out on the other side of her first winter, spring it seemed could not come soon enough.

However, I was recently reminded of the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 3, (for everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven…) when I learned about a study done by scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History that found global warming to be major factor in early blossoming flowers in Washington, DC. The study found that “the rise in the region’s average minimum temperatures is producing earlier flowering in 89 of the 100 species observed.” Over the past 30 years, the study found that plants are blooming an average of 4.5 days earlier. While at first shorter winters might seem like good news, scientists warn that earlier flowering indicate harmful consequences for God’s Creation including native species die out and an increase in invasive alien species. It is high time for us to answer God’s call to till and tend Creation, (Genesis 2:15).

God’s people will also suffer as a result of the consequences of climate change. Warmer climates will increase the spread of diseases and changes in weather patterns will leave communities around the globe, especially those already living in poverty, vulnerable to severe weather events, including drought, heat waves, and flooding. (See The Poverty of Global Climate Change.) President Obama said yesterday that the United States would take leadership in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming (Click here to read the article), and Congress will soon have an opportunity to pass legislation that could do just that. But they need to hear from you. The time for silence has long since passed, and the time left for us to speak out is quickly passing us by.

Over the Easter recess, Members of Congress around the country are setting up town halls and public forums to speak with individuals and communities about a number of important issues. Make sure that climate change is one of them by attend these meetings and speak up about our faithful call to protect God’s creation and God’s people through a just and sustainable response to climate change. Go to your members’ website and look at the upcoming events or simply call their office and ask when the next town hall is taking place. Let us know if you attend. Email Tyler with your name, the event you are attending and the date. Ask one of these questions on climate justice and Creation care at the public forum: 1. Do you feel it’s important to ensure justice for all of God’s people in any climate legislation? 2. Do you believe we must address climate change in a just, moral and effective manner that protects all of God’s Creation? Let’s make this spring a time for Action!

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