The following comes from a March 30 Episcopal News Service article by Lynette Wilson:
[Episcopal News Service] When California Bishop Marc Andrus wants to engage people in a conversation about climate change he doesn’t throw statistics at them, rather he begins with a question like: When was the last time you had an experience of wonder in the natural world?
“If we can connect people back to it, or open them up for a fresh experience with wonder, it’s a great starting place for recovering a sense of why [climate change] is a moral issue,” said Andrus, during an interview with Episcopal News Service in Los Angeles, California.
“If we can help people understand how wonder is an experience of love, if we can remember when I fell in love with the earth … then you have people that will stick with the effort.”
Andrus made the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles to speak on a panel about reclaiming climate change as a moral issue. The panel was one of two that took place during a March 24 forum – hosted by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno – aimed at addressing the global climate change crisis.
“Human appetites are responsible for the collapse of equilibrium particularly in developed nations, and many species are threatened with diminishment and loss of life,” said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in her keynote address at the start of the March 24 forum in Los Angeles.
Mary Nichols, who chairs the Air Resources Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency, and a member of Los Angeles’ St. James in the City Episcopal Church, spoke on the panel alongside Andrus.
“Climate change is a moral issue because as we understand it, human beings are the principal cause for the exaggerated effects of global warming that we are seeing on this planet, and therefore it is incumbent on us to take responsibility for that and to take action,” said Nichols.
The church’s forum was timely, said Nichols, as it begins a needed conversation about climate change as nations prepare for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Nov. 30 – Dec. 11, in Paris, France.
“For the last decade and a half, The Episcopal Church has focused on LGBT issues, and now we’re having a growing consciousness about the enormity of the climate change crisis … and without letting go of any of the other justice issues, we’re seeing that this is the emerging need for our global engagement,” said Andrus. “We are an organization that has some capacity to be a partner to a movement, to be a supporter to a movement, a resource to a movement, from which energy and resources can come.”