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.
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
The exclusion of Indigenous people and other non-White communities in environmental and conservation work is, unfortunately, nothing new. For centuries, conservation has been driven by Eurocentric, Judeo-Christian belief structures that emphasize a distinct separation of "Man" and "Nature" — an ideology that does not mesh well with many belief structures, including those belonging to Indigenous communities. . . .
Did you know that Targa Resources, a fossil fuel pipeline, fuel storage and transportation company, runs crude oil storage and terminaling facilities in Tacoma? Those are the huge tanks you can see along the Hylebos Waterway near the Port (2628 Marine View Drive). A few years ago, Targa (now under the name SeaPort Sound) expanded their rail capacity (oil trains) for “increased efficiency.” Now they have requested to increase their crude oil and other fossil fuel storage capacity. Is there any doubt that means more fossil fuel industry in Tacoma? And more risk for all of us if something goes wrong. And more impacts to the environment and climate change. Read more here.
On September 15 a webinar on agriculture, food and climate will cover issues of land use, soil policies, food supply, environmental justice and climate change. The webinar is sponsored by the EU Delegation to the U.S. (European Union Embassy) in DC. Registration is free, at https://events.euintheus.org/events/bringing-farmers-to-the-table-agriculture-climate-economy-and-equity/?sf128592465=1
Three workshops from the 2020 General Assembly are now available online. They were presented under the title "Learning from Providence," based on the original location of the "live" General Assembly that had to be moved online. The three workshops are:
- Providence, Rhode Island, has an ambitious climate plan that explicitly enlists people of color in its planning and execution. The workship presents the plan and describes the involvement of frontline communities.
- Strengthen Local Climate Commitments is a program of the UU Ministry for Earth, and a number of local programs including King County in Washington are discussed. Bill McPherson is one of the presenters.
- The UU Ministry for Earth has a number of other programs described in a workshop on climate justice.
The 2020 General Assembly Ware Lecture, held online, featured remarks on the Green New Deal by Naomi Klein. She has authored books on the economy and climate change, including This Changes Everything, and attended the 2015 Convention of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which negotiated the Paris Agreement. Klein's Ware Lecture noted that the COVID pandemic has changed many people's orientation to change, and opened possibilities for addressing climate, economic and racial issues. The Green New Deal is designed to address these issues on a multi-tasking basis, Klein notes, and would provide a framework for government policy in a post-COVID world. Klein commends UUs for our "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part," our Seventh Principle. Although she does not explicitly mention it, UUA has endorsed the Green New Deal and our actions will fulfill many of its goals. The Ware Lecture by Naomi Klein can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/showcase/7462757/video/433421388
It’s finally here. WINNING THE GREEN NEW DEAL is out in the world today! If you haven’t yet picked up a copy, you can get one here.
I am so excited to share this book with everyone. Guido and Varshini worked very hard to gather brilliant people together and make this the definitive guide for what the Green New Deal is, why we need it, and how we win it. This book is a chance for us as Sunrisers to reground in what we’ve been working toward and an opportunity to invite others into the movement in a new and exciting way.
Clark is on the board of directors of AlaskCan LNG, a new company that wants to build a US $12-billion floating LNG export terminal in Alaska waters and export up to 12 megatonnes of B.C. natural gas to Asia every year, according to the company’s website.
In a January interview with Alaska Public Media, AlaskCan president Byng Giraud said the company hopes to capitalize on natural gas trapped in northern B.C. Prior to starting AlaskCan, Giraud was CEO of Woodfibre LNG, an export terminal approved for southwest of Squamish, B.C.
The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.
But through seed saving initiatives, financial support, mentorship, and community feeding programs, many organizations are working to protect Indigenous food sovereignty—the ability to grow, eat, and share food according to their own traditions and values.
Read more here.
Think global, act local: make a difference with the Strengthening Local Climate Commitments campaign! 198 Mayors (including Seattle's Mayor Jenny Durkan and several others in Washington state,) just released a letter calling on Congress to take bold action for climate, racial and health justice. Send an email to thank your mayor for their leadership, or join the campaign and get your mayor on board. On July 23, 2020, 198 mayors released a letter to Congress pushing for bold strategic action to address the intersecting crises of Covid-19, racial injustice and climate chaos. As Congress negotiates the next Covid-19 aid package, this letter puts forth a clear vision rooted in a set of principles for protecting health, the environment and making our economy work for everyone. This letter was organized by the broader network of more than 450 mayors comprising Climate Mayors, who have made commitments to leading on local climate action. One way that UUs are taking action right now is telling mayors this commitment to climate action is being noticed — and that local citizen leaders will keep them to their word. These public declarations of climate commitments and principles provide benchmarks for citizens to hold officials accountable, and inspiration for other mayors to see their locale as part of a bigger solution. So far, seventeen emails have been sent by UUs to let their mayor know they noticed and to push them to live up to their commitment as climate mayors.
Environmental and environmental justice groups—represented by NRDC attorneys and joined by other civil rights and environmental organizations—sued the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today for gutting the National Environmental Policy Act, the bedrock law that requires government transparency, thorough environmental reviews, and public input before approving major federal projects like pipelines and oil refineries.
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The CEQ’s weakening of NEPA will most directly impact low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities, who have long faced disproportionate levels of pollution due to industrial facilities in or near their neighborhoods. “The Trump administration’s assault on democracy undermines our ability to fight egregious projects and gives industry free rein to put pipelines through our backyards or incinerators near our schools,” says Michele Roberts, national co-coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance.
Read more here.