UUA 1994 General Resolution: Environmental Justice
The Unitarian-Universalist Association is committed to environmental justice. In 1994, UUA adopted the following resolution:
BECAUSE we affirm justice and compassion in human relations, the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence; and
BECAUSE we share the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and
WHEREAS waste and pollution, overconsumption by the world’s affluent few, and the pressures caused by poverty and burgeoning populations are inflicting harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment, and have endangered the future we wish for both humanity and the rest of nature;
WHEREAS the poor, the powerless, the landless, and the disinherited are often compelled to carry the major burdens of waste and pollution without representation in planning and decision-making processes;
WHEREAS the concept of environmental justice links the principles of liberal religion with the values of ecological awareness and racial and class justice;
WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist Association has adopted separate resolutions on specific economic, political, and environmental issues, it also realizes that environmental justice requires an integrated, holistic approach; and
WHEREAS the Union of Concerned Scientists, the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit (1991), the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992), and other assemblies and organizations are seeking to move environmental justice higher on the public policy agenda;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall act and urge its affiliates, member societies, and individual Unitarian Universalists to:
- promote programs for social, economic, and political empowerment so that all people may join together in one struggle for peace, justice, and sustainable development;
- support the development of democratic and ecologically responsible community organizations, labor unions, and business cooperatives;
- develop religious education and community action programs honoring cultural and religious diversity and connecting environmental issues to other social justice concerns;
- set time aside for seasonal celebrations to honor our interdependence and to deepen our commitment to natural and cultural diversity; and
- work with the Unitarian Universalist Seventh Principle Project, the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, and others to implement the recommendations of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall act and encourage its affiliates, member societies, and individual Unitarian Universalists to bear witness to the need for environmental justice by reducing their consumption of the earth’s resources, generating as little waste as possible, recycling, and making a commitment as producers, investors, and consumers to living in an ecologically balanced and responsible manner.
An unprecedented climate lawsuit brought by six Portuguese youths is to be fast-tracked at Europe's highest court, it was announced today. The European Court of Human Rights said the case, which accuses 33 European nations of violating the applicants' right to life by disregarding the climate emergency, would be granted priority status due to the "importance and urgency of the issues raised." This is the first climate lawsuit to be filed with the international court in Strasbourg, France, and campaigners say the decision represents a major step towards a potential landmark judgment. Read more here.
So why not spend your lockdown binge-watching environmental documentaries that come with an impactful message about the fate of our planet?
A judge on Monday voided permits needed for a massive methanol plant on the Columbia River in southwestern Washington, agreeing with conservation groups that the project needs a more thorough environmental review.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had granted the permits for the construction of an export facility that is part of a $2 billion NW Innovation Works plant proposed in Kalama. The plant would take natural gas from Canada and convert it into methanol, which would be shipped to China to make olefins — compounds used in everything from fabrics and contact lenses to iPhones and medical equipment.
Kerry's appointment was announced alongside other key foreign policy and national security roles and signals that the Biden administration plans to make fighting the climate crisis an integral part of its foreign policy. "This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, reflecting the president-elect's commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue," the transition team said in a statement. Read more here.
The Washington State Senate will be meeting virtually this year and next. In preparation for the session that begins in January, the Senate Environment Committee will be meeting virtually on December 1, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. The following topics will be discussed:
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In the end, Anderson and the tribal official she went with made it to the meeting and were able to hear directly from the Forest Service and speak with the other tribes present. Still, Anderson’s experience exemplifies the federal government’s long-running failure to adequately work with tribes. Alaska’s petition to the Forest Service to increase logging on the Tongass was the latest move in a two-decade battle, including policy changes, court decisions, appeals and injunctions, over the protection of 9.4 million acres of the world’s largest unfragmented temperate rainforest. In response, at the end of July, 11 Southeast Alaska Native tribes, including Kasaan, petitioned the USDA, the agency that oversees the Forest Service, requesting a new rule that would require it to work with tribes to identify and protect parts of the Tongass that hold life-sustaining value for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian — old-growth red cedar trees, which are used for canoes; salmon watersheds; and lands with traditional fish camps and burial sites.Read more here.
Washington Can't Wait (WCW) is a movement of environmental activists founded by FutureWise, a statewide environmental group. According to the WCW website,"Washington Can’t Wait Campaign is building a grassroots movement across Washington to pressure our legislature in the 2021 legislative session to pass major updates to the Growth Management Act that would incorporate policy to address climate change, affordable housing and environmental justice." Events in the fall include Zoom meetings on October 29th on the Growth Management Act, a priority of the Environmental Priorities Coalition; on November 12 on land-use planning; on November 23 on housing; and December 9 on environmental justice. More details and registration are available on the WCW website. Most of these issues will come up in the 2021 Washington State Legislature.
Although the Bullitt Foundation is planning to wind down most of its giving by 2024, it plans to award the annual Bullitt Prize indefinitely. Crosscut recently spoke with Malaba about her work on affordable housing and her plans for the future.
This past year has been one of radical awareness for society. As we collectively wake up to tragic realities—from entrenched racial injustice to the increasing irreversibility of the climate crisis—we do not have to choose between which fight we join. The time is now for individuals, governments, and corporate America to confront these intertwined crises head-on. “The connections [between climate and racial justice] are inextricable,” says Yerina Mugica, who recently served as NRDC’s interim chief equity officer. “It's a question of whether we choose to recognize that or not. The communities that are most impacted by racial injustice are the same communities that are most impacted by climate change and climate injustice. As we know, this is no accident or coincidence. It is part of the design of systems that were built on racism. So the solutions need to be built on anti-racism.” Read more here.
On October 1st, the Harvest Moon will rise shortly after sunset in the Northern Hemisphere. This burst of evening light provides an extended time for farmers to harvest summer crops and plant new seeds for the Fall Season. What and how have you grown this summer --- personally, in connection to your community, and in connection to movement uprisings for justice? Unitarian Universalists are invited to mark this seasonal transition by reflecting on this question in the Harvest moonlight, and setting intentions to Harvest the Power of community this Fall through a sprint of collective action and faith formation weaving together all Unitarian Universalist justice ministries. This is a shared endeavor between UUA, Side with Love, UU the Vote, and UUMFE.
- October 21-27 Week of Action with UU the Vote
- November 4-18 Post-election Virtual Spaces for Community Care & Formation
- November 19-22 Virtual Justice Convergence & Decolonization Teach-In
- November 26 Plymouth Day of Mourning 50th Anniversary Virtual Observance (hosted on Side with Love and UUA FB page)
If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.
The head of a proposed copper and gold mine near a prime Alaska salmon fishery has resigned after covertly filmed videos showed him talking about elected and regulatory officials and unreleased plans for the huge project. Northern Dynasty, owner of Pebble Limited Partnership, announced the resignation of Pebble Limited CEO Tom Collier in a statement Wednesday. The Environmental Investigation Agency, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental group, this week released secretly recorded Zoom conversations between Collier, Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen and activists posing as investors. The conversations occurred in August and earlier this month. Read more things here.
Kiss the Ground:Between wildfires devastating the U.S. West Coast and storms battering the Gulf, the impacts of the climate crisis can feel overwhelming right now. Kiss the Ground offers an alternative to all of the bad news by focusing on solutions. The film, directed by Josh and Rebecca Tickell and narrated by Woody Harrelson, explains how we can heal the Earth through "regenerative agriculture," farming practices that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and into soil as a way to restore soil health, which in turn boosts ecosystems and food supplies.
Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public LandsThis award-winning documentary tells the stories of Indigenous activists, journalists, whistleblowers and historians working to protect America's public lands. The film focuses on three political struggles: the shrinking of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, the mining of Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota and the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil fuel exploration.
David Attenborough: A Life on Our PlanetDavid Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, which was also produced by Silverback Films and directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey, features an intimate conversation between Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin as the broadcaster reflects on his life and a career that took him to every continent on Earth. In addition to streaming on Netflix, the movie will be available in select theaters starting Sept. 28. "For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections," WWF executive producer Colin Butfield said in a statement. "This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate. It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time." Read more here.
OMAK & INCHELIUM — As of this print, the five fires that started during a wind event over the long Labor Day Weekend have destroyed over 80 homes and burned over 200,000 acres on the Colville Indian Reservation. . . . Each of the fires started on Sunday, Sept. 6, along with a number of other fires around the state. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee published a tweet noting on Sept. 7 “330,000 acres burned in WA. That’s more than 12 of the last 18 entire fire seasons. In a single day.” “The devastation wrought here and elsewhere around the state by wildfire is unimaginable,” said Hilary Franz, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands, speaking alongside Cawston. “What I saw on the ground and in the eyes of residents and tribal leaders was both heartbreak at the devastation and resolve to rebuild and respond to the needs of their neighbors during this crisis.” Read more here.
From Community to Community (C2C-partner of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship):
Update! On Monday we asked our supporters to call the Department of Health and L&I to demand health and safety protections for farmworkers. We now have the direct phone number for Joel Sacks, Director of L&I. Please call him directly at (360) 902-4293. Demand that proper ventilation is required in Farmworker housing. Demand that workplaces are shut down in response to covid outbreaks. We will not tolerate the ongoing exploitation of Farmworker lives!
This Saturday, September 26th from 5-8pm, Sunrise Seattle will be holding a hub strategy session. If you have an interest in helping our hub to craft a strategy for the months leading up to January 2021, we would love for you to join us! You can register here.
Why: We’ve done amazing work since Sunrise Seattle began, especially in the last few months. In order to continue showing up for the uprising for Black Lives and other movements across the city and organizing our generation, and do it even bigger and better over time; we need to unify our work around a long-term strategy. We need a clearer vision for how the Seattle hub will work towards building people power, political power, and the people’s alignment for a Green New Deal this fall, and Sunrise National just released a toolkit to help us do just that.
How: We'll be having a participatory session open to our entire hub, and we're also setting up systems for everyone to give input without having to make the meeting. To facilitate that, we're sharing the agenda for the strategy session, a shorter version of the Sunrise National Fall Strategy Guide, and an example strategy so every member can be involved and propose strategies.
There will be 3 more days for people to develop proposals for strategies or specific goals. These proposals will be discussed in the first strategy session to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and develop our hub strategy and goals.
Once we have a first draft of our hub's strategy, it will be posted in the #strategic_planning_session channel on our Slack, and hub members will have a week to provide feedback in that Slack channel before our second strategy session, where we'll incorporate any feedback and come up with a final strategy. (Slack is a messaging tool we use to share ideas and collaborate - everyone is welcome to join.)
Please join the #strategic_planning_session channel on our Slack! The channel will be a place where people can discuss strategy, view other proposals, and build off each others’ ideas. Even if you can't come to the strategy session, you can develop proposals or explain your vision for our hub this fall in that channel, and your contributions will be taken into consideration during our planning session.
Excited but unsure of how to draft your own strategy proposal?: The Sunrise National fall strategy guide is a great resource for drafting your own proposals. In addition, our Trainings Team put together a document explaining the Act-Recruit-Train cycle that Sunrise uses, our theory of change, and key questions to keep in mind when drafting a proposal for a strategy or goal.
Food is a big deal and the films presented in this festival will reveal the link between environmental injustice, climate change, food insecurity and white supremacy. The award-winning films will include "Gather," "Invisible Vegan," "Dolores" and "Urban Root". In addition the films, there will be interviews with the filmmakers themselves. Each film will be available for 24 hours each day of the festival timeframe. And, they are free! Sponsored by The Center for Biological Diversity. REGISTRATION & MORE INFO
To celebrate National Public Lands Day 2020, the Mountains to Sound Greenway is running the campaign: Love Your Lands. Due to COVID-19, outdoor recreation spaces are receiving increased use. It is great that folks are getting outside, but this increased use has also increased the amount of litter in public spaces. The Love Your Lands campaign is to encourage folks to get outdoors and love your public natural spaces by picking up trash. Picking up trash can be fun and Mountains to Sound Greenway is offering a top collector prize. There is also a fun, free downloadable app call Litterati to share your litter collecting program. The event is now until Sept. 26th. CLICK HERE FOR LITTERATI INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE FOR EVENT INFO & SIGN UP