Discerning PEC’s 2015-16 Advocacy Priorities
We believe that we owe it to our supporters to continually spotlight a range of concerns. There are so many to choose from! During the last General Assembly cycle our focus was on fossil fuels. For the 2016 General Assembly in Portland, Oregon the emphasis will be on water. Let there be no mistake! Those of us who are charged with steering Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) do not think, for a moment, that any of the fossil fuel issues are resolved!
In September 2014 at a conference in Alaska we chose our current topic. The rising seas and the shift in ice patterns are destroying coastal villages. The disappearance of the summer ice in the Arctic Ocean and the rush to drill, tour and colonize the area presents new challenges. The Pebble Mine looms over Bristol Bay and the last natural salmon run on the planet. There is a push to strip mine for coal in the Matanuska Valley, using water essential for the production of Alaska’s food. We haven’t had to look very far to find the link between the fossil fuel issues of the last GA cycle and the new focus on water. For example, strip mining takes huge amounts of water from pristine sources and returns it to the waterway poisoned, blackened and useless to fisheries, agriculture and the vital systems that make life sustainable for birds and beasts. Many attending the Alaska conference brought stories from all over the USA that had similar, anecdotal, accounts with a devastating water component.
The next question is how do we, a volunteer group, research and publish issues we decide to highlight? Our plan is to take an issue a month. One person will present to the Advocacy committee the aspects of concern and support those with a theological base. The Advocacy group will reflect and refine the work in order to publish it and promote it as a potential overture, resolution or resource. It is our intention to add a paper to our Advocacy webpage each month.
The topics that we want to address in the immediate months are:
- Oil by Rail: linking transport to water issues
- Aquifer depletion in the center of our nation
- Fracking and the immediate effects it has on water
- Precautionary Principle-Moving an overture from the dusty shelf to center stage
- Challenges to the Chesapeake Bay
- Industrialized animal farming and the repercussions it has related to water
- The Mississippi Delta: a disaster that keeps getting more devastating
It is our desire to find topics that grow into overtures as they are studied and held up for examination by the Advocacy arm of PEC. To understand the importance of the new focus, watch Water: Sacred and Profaned.
Further, we hope that we can capture the attention of people who want to bring an issue to the group for reflection and expansion. As much as we want polished works for publication, we also want to build a process that takes our supporters from having a concern to having a useful tool for Advocacy. If you would like to join this effort contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PEC Advocacy Committee Co-Chair and Vice Moderator
Prayer: Beloved creator, water heals and yet needs healing. Open our eyes to see You within each drop, snowflake and cloud. Open our hearts to seeing each as sacred. Amen