Three years ago, I retired from several decades of work in the corporate world. I became a bit circumspect, weighing my achievements and accomplishments against the goals, dreams and intentions I had had for my life. (Thank God for grace!) I also started to think about what I wanted to focus on in the remaining years of my life. Pretty standard fare for a man of my age in my situation, I think.
Throughout my life I had loved nature: camping, hiking, studying birds and plants, visiting national parks, and the like. I also contributed a little time and money to various environmental organizations. My wife and I tried to instill a love of creation in our three daughters. We never believed that the earth belonged to us, or that it existed only so that we could extract its resources.
We understood that “Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”. We thought of ourselves as stewards.
In assessing what is most important in my life and what I want to do with my time post-retirement, love of God’s creation and love of family and friends (including the church) are right at the top. They all fit together. In addition to our three beloved daughters, we now have 3 grandkids that we love more than life itself. Part of my focus now is to build relationships with these precious kids, to help their parents raise them, to try to share what we have learned in our time on the planet, and to do what we can to instill love of creation in them.
I want to do whatever I can to ensure that a beautiful and healthy creation exists for my grandkids and their kids and grandkids…and of course, for everyone else’s kids and grandkids.
Since retiring, I have spent some time researching, reading, and trying to understand the various threats to creation. I am now convinced that the best thing I can do for future generations is to focus my time and energy on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. If our generation is not successful in curbing carbon emissions, and holding the global temperature rise to well under 2 degrees centigrade, we are on track to leave them a world that will be effectively uninhabitable.
I believe climate change is THE moral issue of our time. We have to get this right!
I have learned that though time is short, it is not too late. The 2015 Paris Agreement that the president of the USA recently ratified is our best hope. To support the agreement, citizens need to:
- Decrease our carbon footprints,
- Teach/inform/engage everyone, and
- Advocate for national and local policy action.
These are the 3 focus areas of our denomination’s Climate Witness Project. For my grandkids’ sake, for your grandkids’ sake, for the world’s grandkids’ sake, please engage with us. Let’s work together to return Creation to the condition that God intended. (Please visit the Climate Witness Project website to see how you can help!)
Editor's note: This is the first post in Do Justice's Why I Care about Climate Change series. To learn more and subscribe, visit Do Justice.