Monday, December 7, 2015

12/15 Creation Corner: Support Env. Groups and New Year's Resolutions

Supporting Environmental Groups and New Year’s Resolutions

From the hymn "Come, Lord and Tarry Not" is this verse:  Come and make all things new, Come, save this longing earth; Transform all creatures in your love, Creation’s second birth.)

You consider yourself a responsible steward of the environment.  In your household you have installed CFLs or LEDs, insulated, reduced your car trips, etc.  Your church has done an energy efficiency audit and implemented clean energy technologies as part of its “bottom line ministry.”

The investments you have made are reducing your energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  Your consciousness and concern for climate stabilization has increased, and you appreciate the Pope’s environmental encyclical and the U.S. Clean Power Plan proposals.

As the U.N. Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21) climate change talks take place near Paris, you are asking yourself :  “What else might I do?”  You realize that to change everything, it takes everyone.

Consider supporting the following groups and their endeavors, perhaps as part of your end-of-the-year charitable giving, or as New Year resolutions for 2016.

Audubon Society seeks to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

Defenders of Wildlife protects imperiled species from extinction, such as sage grouse, bison, wolves, desert  bighorns, polar bears, sea turtles, Florida panthers, manatees, shorebirds, sea otters, etc.  It also protects wildlife refuges and defends wild plants in their native communities.

Environmental Defense Fund encourages legal strategies for less fertilizer pollution, higher standards in chemical safety laws, a reduction in fugitive methane emissions, stricter regulations of CO2 emissions in the aviation industry, and more ways for wild milkweed to be protected.

Food and Water Watch raises concerns for water and other dangers due to fracking, seeks legislation to ban fracking on public land, strives to ensure that food is rigorously tested to keep contaminants off our tables, and seeks to ban the misuse of antibiotics in livestock.

Friends of the Earth acts to have integrity in our food system by saving crucial pollinators  (bees and butterflies), calls for curtailing bee-toxic, neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics), promotes awareness of genetic engineering (GMOs), has published a Cruise Ship Report Card rating cruise lines on their environmental practices, and examines the corporate polluters’ money trail in government.

Natural Resources Defense Council helped raise questions about the “tar sands invasion” (pipeline menace, explosive risk, dangerous cargo, mountains of waste), and helps protect monarch butterflies and bees, wolves, grizzlies, marine animals, and helps to ban the import and sale of ivory in the U.S.

Ocean Conservancy wants to save habitat (sea ice) for polar bears, arctic seals, bowhead whales, walruses; searches for measures to protect sea turtles, dolphins,  and the ocean health by reducing carbon emissions and acidification; promotes sustainable fishing policies and practices.  It urges its members to adhere to 15 ways of living responsibly in considering the land-sea connection, remembering that everything flows downstream, and by not recklessly engaging in shoreline recreation.

Union of Concerned Scientists has a current project to urge the reduction of heavy-duty truck global warming emissions by 40% by 2025.  Currently tractor trailers go only about six miles on a gallon of diesel.

The Wilderness Society mission is to ensure that future generations will enjoy the clean air and water, wildlife, beauty and opportunities for recreation and renewal provided by pristine forest, rivers, deserts and mountains.

Other efforts:, ASPCA, American Farmland Trust, American Rivers, Center for Biological Diversity, Earth Island Institute, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, Energy Justice Network, Greenpeace, Humane Society, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, PETA,  Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Student Conservation Association, Waterkeeper Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, Xerces Society, and your local bioregional watershed groups.

Educate yourself, do your research. Be wary of the so-called "Big Green" groups about whom many questions have been raised. Do any groups receive government, corporate, or private philanthropy money?  How are they rated by non-profit charity scorecards on how their money is spent?   Of the foundations supporting an environmental group, have their fortunes been derived from stock investments with fossil fuel companies?  Does any group invest its endowment money with fossil fuel companies?  Might the financial ties of funders to environmental groups have any unwise influence on the group's mission, for example, in the questions asked, the kind of research done, the policies and solutions proposed, etc.? Does their work include practical technology and science-based solutions?  Be wary of efforts to suppress or distort science for political purposes.  Be an advocate and inform, inspire and empower others to speak and act for the earth.