The United States-based Friends Fiduciary Corporation is a Quaker not-for-profit which provides socially responsible investment management for Friends meetings, schools and organizations and recently it announced it will divest from fossil fuel industries. In place of fossil portfolios, Friends Fiduciary will rigorously focus on companies leading the transition to a low carbon economy like clean technology, renewable energy and energy and energy conservation, clean water protection, environmental finance, and low carbon commerce.
Scientists for Global Responsibility and Declassified UK have published a report which assesses the key environmental impacts of the UK military, arms industry and related sectors. It provides a detailed assessment of UK military greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – arguably, more in-depth than previously provided in a report in the public domain. It also gives an overview of other related environmental issues, especially those of particular concern, such as impacts resulting from weapons-use, the management of military nuclear waste, and the environmental impacts should nuclear weapons ever be used in war.
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.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has shared powerful research into the connection between climate change and the United States military. FCNL states that “A militaristic lens to climate solutions is not the answer. If the U.S. wants to sincerely address the climate crisis, solutions must be based in humanitarianism and diplomacy, not a larger military footprint.” FCNL also recommends particular actions American citizens can undertake to counter the varied militarized dimensions of climate change and climate action.
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.
Friend Brian Wardrop shares thoughts regarding his participation at an extinction rebellion protest in the attached article and elaborates on how Chelmsford Local Meeting engages with Extinction Rebellion;
“We are members of Chelmsford Local Meeting in Essex. Extinction Rebellion Chelmsford (XRC) was formed in February 2019. Several activist Friends in our Meeting joined the movement and, after discussion, Chelmsford Meeting agreed to support them and XRC.
Chelmsford Meeting provides premises for XRC events, as well as for XR Quaker groups passing through that need accommodation, such as a group of Quakers from Norwich cycling to London to join the April Rebellion.
Because Jean and I live so close to London, and are now retired, we have been able to lend our support to actions such as The Time is Now lobby of MPs, and events during the October Rebellion, such as the XR Grandparents rally outside Buckingham Palace.“
Canadian Friends Service Committee has released a statement in support of the ongoing protests by the Wet’suwet’en Nation people and hereditary chiefs in opposition to proposed pipelines on unceded land. The statement includes that “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples affirms rights and related obligations to ensure that conflicts like this will not be addressed violently or militarily but rather resolved with negotiated solutions.” It is a reminder that climate change is a peace and justice issue.
This week an increasing number of US states, cities, and other municipalities celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a deliberate space to reflect on the history, present, and future of Indigenous peoples in Turtle Island/USA/Canada specifically and worldwide generally. Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS), a Turtle Island/United States based Quaker service organization, shared several resources to help further understand this particular day, including Quaker complicity in Indigenous oppression, and avenues to take action. QVS wrote that “We’re excited to honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day! The strength and resilience of Native Peoples who have long stewarded the land we live upon is seen and lauded. There is much work to be done in addressing historical and modern harm to our Indigenous siblings, let us collectively move and work towards that justice!” As indigenous peoples are at the forefront of being affected by climate change while also being leaders in the movement to save our planet, the following resources can be helpful in reflecting on Quakers’ specific relationship with Indigenous peoples and the ways we can support and be in solidarity with Indigenous communities.
Use this tool to navigate a map to find out whose land you are on.
This article is on the history of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and 8 Indigenous rights groups to support and learn about.
The art featured in this post was created by artist Blue Rain, of the Muscogee / Creek Nation, whose land the Atlanta QVS community is on.
Our opportunity to address climate change comes when there is culture wide recognition that our human economy must limit our collective emissions to what can be sequestered (removed through photsynthesis, mineralization or technology). When society recognizes that limit, we must address how to share that limit fairly. Eli develops the concept of a fair share of emissions where if the world averaged this amount, we would achieve net zero carbon emissions economy as referenced in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
Costa Rica is given as a gold standard for low emissions whilst upholding a happy and functioning society – with only 1.9 tons of CO2 emitted per person per year. But how can the USA, emitting more than 19 tons of CO2 per person per year move towards being more sustainable without a hindrance to the well being of its people? Eli’s estimate of a fair share of emissions is 2.6 tons CO2 per year
Fishpaw explores the limitations of strategies such as Cap and Trade which separates individuals and industry, instead seeking means to incentivize making improvements to our consumption system. Through explaining carbon pricing as a viable policy that communicates emissions in transaction cost, Fishpaw an in-depth exploration of carbon tax strategies that allow us to understand why it is important to bring about change.