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September 17 Religions for Peace USA Climate Event in NYC

by Aaron Stauffer

Making Our Voices Heard

If you read the reports on the impact of Climate Change, which – science aside – are bewildering enough, you might have come across a couple of repeated points. Let’s try and boil some of them down to plain language:

  • Climate Change is a global issue, and has to be solved by a collective global strategy.

  • Climate Change has massive impact on a variety of issues. Its impact on human health, food security, biodiversity, local environmental quality, energy access, livelihoods, and equitable sustainable development make it a complex and multifaceted issue. So: All hands on deck and each on their own task, working toward a common goal.

  • For years, the United Nations has been holding climate talks, and still we have yet to see a substantial, strong climate treaty adopted. Global policy makers need to be pressured by people at the grassroots who hold strong religious and ethical values calling them to care for the earth.

  • The role of religious leaders is to provide the moral impetus behind this call for global, multifaceted policy to mitigate climate change.

People gather pray in the sea to express solidarity with communities affected by sea-level rise. – Photo: Twitter/OurVoices2015On September 17, 2014 Religions for Peace USA, GreenFaith, The National Religious Coalition on Creation Care and the International Shinto Foundation are coming together to create such a space for people of faith and goodwill to make their voices heard. They are utilizing OurVoices.net, sponsored by GreenFaith and the Conservation Fund in the UK.

Together they are launching a global, multifaith campaign for a strong climate treaty that will include an on-line prayer petition and a series of global days of prayer and action. It will lift up the voices of the world’s diverse faith communities, people of many spiritual backgrounds, to ensure that world leaders hear the moral imperative for a meaningful climate treaty. The website creates an opportunity for a global family of faiths and spiritualities to express our love for our children, vulnerable people and our precious planet.

OurVoices.net is organized around two simple activities:

1. Through an on-line petition, it will gather signatures from tens of millions people worldwide who offer prayers, devotions, and meditations for world leaders to reach a climate deal. 

2. As part of the launch, Religions for Peace USA will work collaboratively to provide faith communities worldwide with the opportunity to come together in response to climate change. The OurVoices team will organize global days of prayer, devotion or meditation and action for a strong climate treaty. 

OurVoices.net will provide resources, share stories of faiths in action, and host a global community of people of diverse faiths united for a strong climate change treaty.

With sufficient blessing, OurVoices.net can become the largest multifaith campaign ever on climate change.  It can make sure the moral imperative is a constant presence during these coming 15 months, leading up to major international meetings in Paris in late 2015 and beyond.

Religions for Peace USA will live stream parts of the day. Check in at www.rfpusa.org for further details.