Climate Change a Crisis of Conscience for All Canadians

– United Church of Canada

Mardi Tindal, the Moderator of Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, The United Church of Canada, today issued an open letter to Canadians calling on them to consider climate change a crisis of conscience.

In the letter Tindal urges Canadians “to choose hope and action over despair and paralysis” in addressing what she calls “one of the most urgent moral challenges in human history.”
“I believe this is a unique time in humanity’s fretful reign on Earth, a rare moment that will have historic significance,” writes Tindal in the letter that was written after she returned from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this past December.
Tindal attended the conference as part of a World Council of Churches delegation, and was the only North American denominational church leader present.

She returned to Canada bitterly disappointed with the outcome of the negotiations.

“Our moment of opportunity came and then went, and here we are now, the fate of civilization and of millions of the planet’s life forms hanging by the frayed thread of inaction,” she writes in the letter titled “Where Is the Hope after Copenhagen?”

Tindal believes this is a transformative moment in the planet’s history and that “the world will be shaped by how we and our communities respond in the months to come.”

“We need each other. We are emphatically, biologically not alone. As the carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere rise, the planet will fail to provide for us. Life as we know it will die. Millions of human lives are on the line, rich and poor, old emitters and new, vulnerable and strong. There is no inoculation against this except all of us changing our behaviour all at once,” writes Tindal in the letter.

This is why Tindal says the issue of too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has moved far beyond being a political process. It has also moved far beyond being just a scientific issue. It is an ethical issue.

“Science has shown us that we have caused the chemical changes we can now track in the atmosphere and the ocean. Therefore, because climate change has been caused by our actions, we are ethically obliged to take responsibility for those actions,” writes Tindal.

She says that she believes we must look at issues like climate change through the lens of morality and faith.

“Science describes what is. Faith describes how things can and should be. On this issue science is not enough. We need more. And that is why ecological issues are also fundamentally moral, ethical, and theological concerns.”
The complete text of Tindal’s letter is posted on The United Church of Canada’s website.

United Church Climate Change page

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