Geoff Tansey lives in the UK and curates the open education on-line resource the Food Systems Academy and is a member of the Food Ethics Council. In this article he explains how COVID-19 has made it clear that military spending will not keep us safe, which also highlights the impending dangers and impacts of climate change. Tansey calls for a shift from military spending to investments in the resilience of our food systems, biodiversity, and climate.
Geoff Tansey’s books include The Food System: a guide (with Tony Worsley) and co-editorship (with Tasmin Rajotte) of The future control of food – A guide to international negotiations and rules on intellectual property, biodiversity and food security. This latter book came out of work he did as a consultant with QUNO Geneva the Quaker International Affairs Programme of Canadian Quakers. He is an honorary visiting fellow at the Universities of Cardiff, Lancaster and Newcastle and a member of Brighouse West Yorkshire Area Meeting.
George Rhee, Associate Director NASA Spacegrant Nevada and Physics and Astronomy Professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas and with childhood connections with Geneva Monthly Meeting, has shared a brief video exploring the parallels between responses to climate change and COVID-19, the roles we have in our local communities, and what it would take to transition away from fossil fuels. Rhee has also devised a calculator to assist in what energy transitions might look like.
A large coalition led by the Rainforest Action Network, and endorsed by Indigenous peoples, and environmental, human rights, and interfaith groups from around the world, have released a comprehensive report tracking the investments of banks in fossil fuels. The research contains data indicating JP Morgan Chase, closely followed by Wells Fargo and Citi, invest the most in fossil fuels. The report further presents different personal stories and different areas where banks specifically invest their fossil fuel money in, such as the Arctic or tar sands.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has joined an interfaith coalition to draft a set of principles regarding the possible implementation of carbon pricing. These principles, which aim to assist policy makers when drafting carbon pricing mechanisms, focus on stewardship, sustainability, dialogue, and justice and human dignity. More information about carbon pricing, and FCNL’s particular work on it, can be found here.
For the next session of the Human Rights Council, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report on the rights of the child through a healthy environment. This report details the obligations of states and the responsibilities of states regarding the enjoyment of children’s rights and the environment. It includes climate change child activists, environmental health impacts of child labor, and best practices from international, regional, and national governments.
Friends World Committee for Consultation has created a Sustainability Resources list on their website, which includes reports from different meetings around the world, personal testimonies from Friends, and links to publications and podcasts from FWCC as well as other Quaker organizations such as QUNO and Quakers in Britain. FWCC also has an Instagram page where more information and narrative is shared.
Quaker Peace and Social Witness, under the larger Britain Yearly Meeting umbrella, has released an accessible and quick guide to possible Quaker climate action. This resource explains key terms and directs British Quakers and their Meetings to helpful contacts.
As the Climate Change-heightened Australian bush fires continue, Australian Friends have received many expressions of concern from Friends around the world. Presiding Clerk Ann Zubrick has sent the attached letter on behalf of Australian Friends to Friends Everywhere, in response to these messages.
During the final days of 2019 Quaker Summer Gatherings in Aotearoa/New Zealand invited Lindsey Fielder Cook (QUNO, Representative for Human Impacts of Climate Change) to speak on the work QUNO does regarding international climate change negotiations. Edited by Gray Southon, the recordings can be viewed here, and include themes such as the faith component of QUNO’s work, background on the history and mechanisms of climate negotiations, and what quiet diplomacy means.
A Government Official’s Toolkit: inspiring urgent climate action, with 12 concise cases and 231 quotes referenced to over 100 published papers (now including the IPCC Special Reports on: Global Warming of 1.5C Climate Change and Land Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate) is now available online. This update is written to support government officials—at local, regional and national levels—who are concerned about the impact of climate change on their citizens, their country, and the planet. It offers a range of concise cases to help you engage with different concerns, and integrate scientific, rights-based, and Indigenous knowledge and approaches throughout the Toolkit.
This toolkit serves to empower citizens to give and send to their government officials to inform and encourage calls for stronger climate action.