Climate change

Two Quaker Observers to COP24

2018 was a year of climate records. The fourth warmest year since the beginning of the industrial revolution, it featured intense drought and wildfires in western North America, a devastating hurricane season in the Southeast, unprecedented flooding in southern Asia, and continued loss of Arctic sea ice. It was also the year that the U.N.

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Air Travel

Dear Editor: I observe faithful Quakers often desire to travel to far countries by jet to follow their leadings. Surely there is merit in this, but how does that merit weigh against the harm to our atmosphere caused by jet emissions? Air travel harms our Earth, and jet emissions will contribute to the destruction of this world, which is not ours to harm.

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The Earth will be Fine

Dear Editor: Many thanks to Kate McClellan for her letter in the November/December 2018 Western Friend. I appreciated her pointing out that the climate crisis and other environmental crises are not really going to affect the earth fundamentally, but only the biosphere of the earth (which includes us, homo sapiens). The earth will be just fine with or without us.

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Insufficient Awe

Dear Friends: I’ve come to think of the phrase “save the planet” as the ultimate in hubris. Do we know what the planet actually is, this roughly spherical celestial object that is 24,000 miles in circumference, spinning at 1,000 miles per hour, orbiting the Sun?

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The Long View

In the mid-1730s, John Bartram, a Quaker living near Philadelphia, wrote the following in his journal: “One day I was very busy in holding my plough (for thee seest I am but a ploughman), and being weary, I ran under the shade of a tree to repose myself.

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Wake-up Call to Earthcare

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.

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