~ Sacred Earth Matters
The Earth is sacred — not ours to wreck
“Life on earth is at risk,” one presidential candidate said at CNN’s climate townhall in September. A second said, “We are fighting for the survival of our planet Earth, our only planet.” Then a third said, “If you believe that God is watching as poison is being belched into the air of creation, and people are being harmed by it…what do you suppose God thinks of that?”
Another candidate stated, “I think of this as what my mother taught me, and that is you have got to clean up your messes.” They elaborated that we must stay focused on carbon, and not get drawn into small-bore debates about the environmental consequences of plastic straws, cheeseburgers, and lights bulbs. The candidate concluded that “This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry hopes we’re all talking about.”
All of the candidates and CNN moderators stressed that scientists say we have only 11 years to resolve the climate crisis, or our sacred earth and life as we know it are doomed.
So, what should we think and do as Seattle’s city council tackles the use of heating oil?
About 18,000 Seattle homes heat with oil. The council is considering a 24 cents/gallon tax on heating oil, with the revenues funding rebates for 3,000 homeowners to install energy-efficient electric heat pumps. The tax would reduce pollution and help low-income households reduce their heating costs. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
The council is also considering a more controversial ban on natural gas hookups in new houses and other buildings starting next year. Over half of Seattle’s homes currently use natural gas – heating, cooking, hot water, clothes dryers, fireplaces, grills.
Natural gas is generated by fracking (think methane), vulnerable to leaks/explosions during earthquakes, and responsible for 25% of Seattle’s greenhouse emissions
Our national UCC synod took the lead in battling the climate crisis, and our congregation formally joined the fight last Spring. Berkeley became the first American city to adopt a ban on new natural gas hookups in July. 350 Seattle and others think Seattle should too.
Think about what you might say to your city council members and candidates.