We have transgressed. Now let us do better.

EPA hearings on the (finally!) proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants took place in the last week of July.  Remarks by PA IPL supporters vary enormously, and are worth reading.  When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own. 

31664_10150197269130105_5950125_nGood Morning, My name is William Thwing, I am the Pastor of the St. Paul’s UCC, in Johnstown, PA.  I am here representing Creation Care Partners, an arm of the Penn West Conference of the UCC which is devoted to Environmental Justice issues and also Greater Johnstown Creation Care, a faith-based organization from the Johnstown area serving to forewarn our citizens to the coming ravages of accelerating Climate Change and preparing them for our Changing Climate.

Human caused Carbon Pollution is the main reason our Climate is warming.  Our scientists and political leaders have known about the dangers of out of control atmospheric Carbon Dioxide for over 50 years but they have chosen to do nothing about it until now when it is almost too late.   Now, the arctic permafrost is leaking methane like a sieve. Now, holes, the size of football fields on the Siberian Shelf are being blown open by giant methane leaks.  Now, the glacial ice of the West Antarctic Shelf and Greenland is slowly sliding into the ocean, threatening to raise sea levels 10 or more feet burying American coastal cities and coastal cities across the planet under the ocean.   We, Americans, have known about this for two generations but we are so addicted to the pleasures of over consumption that we have become obese, lazy and foolish.  We have allowed the robber barons of the fossil fuel industry to dupe us with their billions of dollars of false advertising, convincing us that everything is OK and that we should continue to buy their products – products which will not only destroy human civilization as we know it but which have already driven many species into extinction and may very well drive our own species into extinction if we continue on our current course.

But everything is not OK!  We are in great danger, folks.  It’s time to wake up.  It’s time to make some BIG changes in our thinking and in our lifestyles before it’s too late.  In it’s Clean Power Plan which will reduce American carbon pollution 30% by 2030, the EPA has taken a giant step in the right direction.  It will shut down our dirtiest, most inefficient coal burning power plants.  But it’s just one step.  There are many more that must be taken by the EPA, by state environmental protection agencies, and particularly by our federal and state administrative, legislative and judicial leaders, if we are going to head off the worst effects of climate change. We must eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.  We must enact a carbon tax.  We must convert our fossil fuel-based energy system to a renewable energy system using energy from the sun, water, wind – all of which are free God given energy sources and which once harnessed will provide more than enough energy for the nation and will provide many more jobs here at home in the good old USA that the fossil fuel industries can ever offer us.   We must keep all fossil fuels in the ground where God buried them in the first place and where they should stay buried.

We can do this if we choose to.  The technologies already exist. But we need the will power to make it happen.  We need the vision and we need the hope and the belief that we can do it….. AND we will need lots of talented innovators and entrepreneurs to make it happen.  We will need legislators, judges and political administrators who have integrity, wisdom, courage to do what is right, and are not bribable.  We need to hobble the fossil fuel industry and make it do our will than allowing it free reign to corrupt our good democratic system and systematically destroy our civilization the one that our ancestors worked so hard to create for us.  Otherwise, there will be nothing left for our children and our grandchildren. We will have squandered in a few years that which took hundreds, nay thousands of years to create.

If you believe in a Creator God as I do, and are familiar with the ancient scriptures as I am, you know that the planet earth is a very special place.  It’s the only place in the Universe that we know of, where human life exists…where any life exists. It is precious. It is unique. It is one of a kind.  It’s worth protecting.  It’s worth preserving.  We humans are the only ones who are capable of that.  According to my belief, we were given that responsibility a long time ago by the Creator. And we are failing miserably. It’s time to take that responsibility seriously.  It’s time to devote our every waking moment, to preserving and protecting our planet – our seas, our land, our air, our water, our civilization, and all the other life forms who share the planet with us.  Before it is too late and we lose everything.

May God help us getting this job done.    Amen

The EPA hearings on the (finally) proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants took place the last week in July in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Denver.  PA IPL members offered testimony both in Pittsburgh and Washington.  Testimony posted here is shared by permission of the authors.  The remarks vary enormously, and are worth reading.  When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.