PA IPL board president Rabbi Daniel Swartz was one of many leaders, from several different faiths, who spoke as part of a full day calling for a “moral-torium” on new fracking in Pennsylvania. His remarks were delivered in the Capitol Rotunda.
This is perfect setting for talking about a moral framework for our relation to our planet and to each other. On the steps into the capitol, we see two depictions of Adam and Eve – one where they are in harmony with the garden and life is full of blessing, and one of conflict, leading to tragedy. On the floor surrounding us are mosaic depictions of butterflies and blue herons, snapping turtles and loons – feathered ones that is. And above, the quote: Justice is the end of government.
But we have neither harmony with creation nor justice. Instead, we’re being fracked. Frackers inject a toxic stew of chemicals into the earth to split apart shale. And too many forces today are trying to inject a toxic stew of hate and xenophobia to split apart our society. But we will not let the earth be torn asunder, and we will stand united to protect all of humankind.
We have been told that natural gas will be a bridge toward a brighter future. But instead it is tying us to a destructive past and erasing the hope of a stable climate for future generations. We continue to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure, instead of building clean, sustainable energy technologies that will make us healthier today and the planet healthier tomorrow. Methane should not be confused with methadone – it doesn’t wean us from our fossil fuel addictions, it just supplies us with a new drug, as dangerous in its own way as dirty coal.
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light works to lift up the voice of faith communities around our state – and those voices have joined together to call for justice for people and the earth, for investments in a clean, sustainable future for all, for protection of the most vulnerable and for preservation of the goodness of God’s creation. If we stand together, we can make these voices heard and help our legislators to heed their better angels. Then, the vision of harmony and justice enshrined around us will become a reality.
PA IPL board resolution on fossil fuel infrastructure.
Calendar description of full event.
Rev. Leah Schade’s remarks, published on her blog, EcoPreacher.
State Impact PA piece on the event.
Allegheny Front piece on the event.
Arlene Edmonds for the Philadelphia Tribune.
Philadelphia Jewish Voice piece