October 9, 2004
Ask Candidates Global Warming Questions
Top religious, union, academic and
giant pension fund managers joined to "respectfully"
request that the remaining Presidential Debates "include questions about the
candidates' plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting clean
energy and clean
vehicle technologies, as urgent matters of both domestic and foreign
Dr. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National
Council of Churches, representing
130,000 Protestant and Orthodox churches, joined representatives of the
Jewish World Service, United Steelworkers of America, the Union of Concerned
Scientists to cosign a letter with the State Controller of California and
the Treasurers of Maine and Connecticut - to the Commission on Presidential
Debates and to the moderators of the last two Presidential Debates.
"There is a strong consensus in the science community
that global climate change is
underway and that we must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in
order to slow the rate of warming," they wrote.
"America's major faith communities have named climate
change as a matter of great
moral urgency for our nation and the planet. It is also becoming clear that
the rest of the world moves to limit emissions from burning fossil fuels, we
are on the cusp of a major industrial transition the United States must
choose to lead in order to preserve and create jobs."
Leo Gerard, president of the Steelworkers, lamented,
"We have lost 3 million industrial
jobs. If we are to have any chance in creating a strong industrial economy,
we have to reject the notion that we have to make a tradeoff between a clean
environment and good
jobs. We need to lead the world in developing hybrid vehicles...and modern
"It is time for the Presidential candidates to declare
energy independence for America and tell how they will reach it."
Harvard Prof. Jim McCarthy noted evidence of climate
change such as the "severe heat
wave" that took 15,000 lives in France and 25,000 in Europe last year and
the "more vigorous storms" that lashed Florida. He said 188 nations
have signed the Kyoto Protocol
that requires industrialized countries to reduce collective emissions of six
gases to 5.2 percent below the 1990 level by 2012.
Kyoto has not gone into effect because both Russia and
the United States refused to sign it. However, this week Russian
President Putin announced that Russia would sign Kyoto, only six months
after a top Russian adviser called it a "death treaty." That automatically
puts Kyoto into effect.
Now only America, Australia and Iraq are non-signers,
but they can no longer stop its
Dr. Robert Edgar of the NCC, said, "the Biblical texts
say our God is a God of creation, and He calls us in a moral way... to be
good stewards, to see how we can sustain
our fragile planet, earth, and regenerate it. Over 10 years we have
worked on climate
change. We made many laugh in our "What Would Jesus Drive? Campaign." As
people of faith, we need to stand up and speak out on issues of energy and
climate. What better place to lift this issue than a Presidential Debate?"
I could not agree more. There is something
profoundly wrong that the United States, the nation with 4 percent of world
population, responsible for 36 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions in
1990, refuses to join a worldwide effort to reduce global emissions.
Both President Bush and Senator Kerry must be asked
whether they will ask the Senate to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. More
important, do they see the urgency of having
America launch a complex Apollo-type project to promote environmental
solutions that will create new jobs?
Right now we are falling further behind other nations. Toyota has developed the Prius, a hybrid car that gets over 50 mpg by
combining an electric engine with a gasoline one. At
stoplights, its engine turns off. "The utter silence is wonderful," said a
In 2002 Edgar and the President of the United Auto
Workers met with Henry Clay Ford and with General Motors executives to ask
them "to take a look at what Toyota
was doing" with the Prius, a car that is now in such demand delivery takes
nine months. Ford belatedly announced it will come out with a domestic
The first Chapter of Genesis, verse 26 reads: Then God
said, "Let us make man in our
image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea...over
the livestock, over all the earth..."
America must become a good steward.
2019: Column 1965: Protecting Girls from Suicide
Eight Reasons To Marry
Ten Myths of Marriage
The Ministry of Marriage 911
The Message by Eugene Peterson
Green New Deal
Christian Persecution Rising Abroad
Gun Control Laws Needed
The Worst Valentine:
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Sextortion Kills Teens
Cohabitation: A Risky Business
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,