Dear Friends: I believe that the Society of Friends is going through a transition in our relationship with Earthcare. In the mid-1980’s, many Friends felt a strong leading to live their lives in harmony with nature and to work for policies and programs that supported these lifestyles. In addition to thousands of lightbulbs switched to compact fluorescents and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and generating tons of recycling and home-grown veggies, we also created Quaker institutions that pushed for broader societal change. One of these was Quaker Earthcare Witness, then called “Friends Committee on Unity with Nature,” which was formed in 1987 to connect Friends with an Earthcare leading and to advocate for a sustainable world.
Excerpts from the keynote presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 27, 2017; University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington
I struggled with being gay for much of my adult life. I spent nearly twenty years in what is called “conversion therapy” or “ex-gay ministry,” including two years in a residential facility that we called the “Homo NoMo Halfway House.” It was a Christian program with approximately 275 rules all designed to turn effeminate men into Evangelical Christian replicas of John Wayne.
In 2012, Bill McKibben began his “Do the Math” tour in Seattle. This was a talk that McKibben took on the road to spread the idea that humans are trying to extract more fossil fuels than we can safely burn – that is, more than we can burn while staying within a safe temperature on the planet. In other words, our burning of fossil fuels is creating greenhouse gasses in quantities that exceed the limits that we can live with.
Dear Editor: I read with interest the article “Quakers, Climate, and Money” in the May/June 2015 issue of Western Friend. I am always happy when Friends concern themselves as individuals with the future that climate change will bring, and take action. I would like your readers to know, however, that in deciding how to handle invested assets, they may find useful information by reading about the movement for divestment from fossil fuel companies that is going on worldwide. The Friend who wrote the article may find additional information that could change his opinion about the values of shareholder activism vs. divestment.