After the People’s Climate March, What?
Art thou a child of the Light, and hast thou walked in the Light? What canst thou say? -Margaret Fell
In addition to the People’s Climate March in New York, I attended the People’s Climate Summit, offering "new economy" alternatives to the official UN Summit plan to finance climate action and SDGs by carbon offsets as well as Climate Convergence workshops.
In North America, the rainbow of indigenes, people of color, and the poor are often on the front lines, dealing with effects of climate change. But the destruction of God’s Creation and rampant speculation at the expense of Earth commons will affect all future generations. As the Kabarak Call says, "We waste our children’s heritage." In light of an issue of this magnitude, the key question is not, "How good do we feel about joining the March?" It is, "What do we do now?"
This does not mean giving up your spirituality and your present leadings. Every little bit counts and all your efforts can add up to significant changes in your approach and the way in which you model choices for others. Efforts might include working toward personal transformation, changing habits of consumption,
offering prayer, providing support for members of your Meeting, participating in multi-faith groups and listening projects, and getting involved with transition networks. You may feel your bucket is already full. But as UCC leader Rev. Jim Antal reminded us at a post-March Vermont IPL conference, eco-justice is now the "bucket" that unites all our concerns.
As we learn about Quaker positions on many issues, we find ourselves on parallel and often shared paths with other Friends organizations. We have common values and concerns. Some Friends groups (such Britain Yearly Meeting, AFSC, and FCNL) may have more experience in public organizing and advocacy than we do at QEW, but all groups are needed. We can learn from each other.
Marchers Ta’kaiya Blaney (Sliammon) and Kandi
Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa).
Quakers in Africa are far ahead of us in developing processes for peacemaking, truth, and reconciliation and in (re)building the beloved community. Here in North America, we can also learn from aboriginal wisdom about Creation, as well as from the 50 years of civil action by African American churches involved with the Environmental Justice movement. QEW can catch up; to do so, we must open up.
I [was] brought up into the covenant, as sanctified by the Word which was in the beginning, by which all things are upheld; wherein is unity with the creation. - George Fox’s Journal
For More Information
I reported on the UN Summit and the Climate Convergence workshop by email to the QEWdiscussions list and you can read those reports here: New Jubilee (http://tinyurl.com/qzv7hbm) and New Economy conferences (http://tinyurl.com/pawym2m).
To view an album of photos showing Quakers at the People’s Climate March, visit: http://flickr.com/fdmillar/sets.
- You can read the Kabarak Call to Peace and Ecojusice, approved by World Conference of Friends in 2012, at http://mecteam.blogspot.com/2012/04/kabarak-call-for-peace-and-ecojustice.html.
- To read my article in BeFriending Creation (January 2013) on keeping and following your leadings, visit http://www.quakerearthcare.org/story/dont-give-your-leading.