Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Help Move President Obama Forward on Climate!

Dear Earth Caretakers,
As I stood in the inauguration day crowd a little more than a week ago, I was thrilled and surprised to hear President Obama use his second inaugural address to make a decisive statement against climate change, and to discuss our moral obligation to care for Creation:

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations…. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it…. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.” - President Obama

Though these words were inspiring, I know that they are only a first step. What is needed now is for the President to take real and decisive actions to move away from unsustainable fossil fuels, and he has a clear opportunity to do this by rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. If approved, this pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, in the process crossing over two thousand miles and six states. The construction of this pipeline would be a huge step in the wrong direction on the path towards sustainable energy sources, massively expanding the United States' consumption of tar sands oil, which is one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels in existence, and providing a pathway for increased tar sands mining in Canada. You can find more information on the disastrous impacts of the Keystone pipeline by at the National Wildlife Foundation's website.

President Obama is set to issue his decision on the pipeline sometime this year, so organizations including and the Sierra Club are coming together to organize a Forward on Climate rally on February 17th in Washington DC to urge the President to live up to his inaugural promises, reject the pipeline and take action on climate issues. Check out a great preview video for the rally by clicking here.

I'm excited that Abby Mohaupt (the editor of PEC's newsletter and a workshop leader at PEC's upcoming conference), Nancy Corson-Carter (a former PEC moderator) and I will all be at the rally, along with tens of thousands of other people who are passionate about climate action! I encourage you to join us, in order to send a decisive message to the President about our collective commitment to care for and protect God's Creation.

If you are able to come, please sign up here! If you can't make it, there are plenty of other ways you can participate in this important Creation care advocacy from all over the country. Please pray for President Obama as well as for all those who will be attending the rally. I also encourage you to sign this open letter asking President Obama to lead the way on climate issues, or to write your own personal letters to the President urging him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Finally, don't forget to let your congregations, friends and families know about the urgency of the pipeline decision, and get them involved in prayer and letter writing as well! 

With hope for a brighter climate future,

 Elspeth Cavert
 Presbyterians for Earth Care

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