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Saturday, December 12, 2015

COP21 // PARIS CLIMATE CONFERENCE // THE PATHWAY TO SUCCESS // FAITH


HOPEFUL SIGNS FOR BATTLE AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING
COP21 GLOBAL CLIMATE CONFERENCE SETS GOALS 
CIVILIAN ACTIVISTS MUST ACT
BIOMASS INDUSTRY A PATHWAY TO SUCCESS
WHAT FAITH ADDS

Look at your own grandchildren and wonder about the world they will inherit. Even now, the more habitable parts of the world are pressed with refugees from desiccated regions. For example, there’s one refugee per 80 native-born persons in Germany at this time. If nothing is done about climate, massive movements of people certainly will continue. (Politics and climate are related. Do you think young Syrians would be fleeing their homeland if it were still the Fertile Crescent?)

Governments meeting at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change have reached agreement on limits to global warming.

The good: final text is stronger than most people expected, according to George Monbiot, writing in “The Guardian.”

The bad: The conference did not limit production of fossil fuels and provided no means to reach its laudable goals. Read Monbiot’s comments here.

James Hansen, former NASA scientist and father of global climate change awareness, is blunt. He calls the conference results a fraud—all promises and no action.

Looking elsewhere, is there a path to the goal?  I see hope.

1. An emerging industry built around bio based chemicals and fuels. Representatives will gather in La Jolla, California for the seventh annual bio-based and sustainable products summit January 13-14, 2016. The end goal of this new industry grouping is a bio-based economy.  If they’re successful in their goal as they succeed in building products supported by investments, fossil fuels will remain in the ground.

For your own encouragement I recommend a visit to the website:

2. A growing campaign by activist and investor groups to defund fossil fuel energy producers. (Visit #redlines on Twitter.)

One might think that investor groups like religious organizations and university student bodies are powerless bits and pieces compared to bigger funds. But churches and universities do have a history of success in socially responsible investing. Above all, they produced positive, tangible results in the twentieth century liberation of South Africa from apartheid. 

See an important "Sightings" article (published at University of Chicago) on the role of not-for-profit and religious organizational inputs to the Paris agreement and, prospectively, to the followup. Click here.

Success for the fossil fuel investing/divesting campaign will require action on three fronts: 1, sell investments (stocks, bonds) in fossil fuel producers; 2, publicize the reasons for divestment actions; and 3, recruit the broader investment public to join the movement. I know that all of this is possible.

Summary: governmental agreements on limiting global warming offer goals. Free market investing and divesting provide a pathway to reach those goals. Citizen movements are drawing red lines in the sand. If it all comes together, the current grand-child generation will inherit a more livable world.

What does faith add: our faiths guide us to be good stewards. Our lives should be consistent with our faith. The goal of limitations to global warming is laudable. Now it's up to each of us to do our part.

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