The Ecumenical Leaders Group represents seven denominations of Christian churches in Maryland. We are heartsick about the impact climate change is having on our neighbors close to home and around the world and mindful that the survival and flourishing of all peoples depend on our ability to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources ("Too much carbon, too little time," Sept. 11).
Heat-trapping pollution like carbon dioxide and methane, released into the air by humans at unprecedented levels in the last hundred years, has damaged our climate and made our oceans more acidic.
Environmental degradation has the greatest impact on the poor, whom Jesus called his sisters and brothers. We see the health costs to vulnerable people — older adults facing lung problems, young people dealing with asthma, disenfranchised people of all ages subjected to pollution in their communities. We see the impacts of hurricanes and other disasters made worse by climate change. As leaders in a state with 3,190 miles of coastline, we see how many natural and human treasures rising ocean levels will destroy.
Caring for God's creation — including all its inhabitants — means slowing and limiting our use of fossil fuels and significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. In order to fulfill that moral imperative, we challenge ourselves and our denominational institutions, our churches collectively and their members individually, fellow Christians and fellow people of faith and all people of good will, to take action on climate change by choosing renewable energy sources (such as solar, wind and geothermal), specifically, for us in Maryland to move to 40 percent renewable energy use by 2025 and for it to become law during the next legislative session.
We believe that caring for God's creation is the great moral challenge of our time and that the survival and flourishing of all people depends on our ability to move from the temporary and destructive sources we currently rely on to renewable energy sources. Today, we renew our commitment to stewardship and care for all God's creation, and we challenge you to do the same.
Bishop Wolfgang Herz-Lane, Baltimore
The writer is president of the Ecumenical Leaders Group.
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