We Must Engage the Ethical Dimension of Combating Climate Change, Religious & Civil Society Groups Urge

gandhi graffiti photo

There is a specific Gandhi reference here... scroll down. Photo: Jérôme via flickr.

It sometimes seems that all of the convincing that's done to try to get faster action on climate change has to do with the 'what's in it for me' aspect of the issue -- create green jobs, profit from the new green economy, stop sea level rise from overtaking your city -- or on the stats of the issue. But as a new plea to world leaders under the banner of Bahá'í International Community, but signed onto by 20 or so other groups, rightly says there's also a very important moral and ethical dimension to preventing climate change. The full text of the Moral and Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change Appeal to World Leaders is at that link, but this is the crux of it:Climate Justice is Building a More Sustainable Civilization

The quest for climate justice is not a competition for limited resources, but part of an unfolding process towards greater degrees of unity among nations as they endeavor to build a sustainable, just and peaceful civilization.

You Can't Abstract the Green Movement from Social Justice
There we go, the most basic representation of what, in my mind, the entire green movement is about. Though sometimes fragmented out from issues of social justice, building greater equity among nations, human rights, women's rights -- as well plenty of other progressive social movements -- it's really all part of a greater movement.

You may come into this because of nationalistic concerns about energy security and maintaining national place in the world -- frankly, I cringe every time the words 'energy independence' are mentioned as the top motivation for developing greater renewable energy -- but ultimately this has to be about greater social change, both at the societal and personal level.

Civil Society Has the Raise the Ethical Issues: IPCC Chairman
Invited to a formal announcement of the document was IPCC chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri who spoke about the importance of raising the climate change discussion above the level of policy. Referring to the role of civil society and grassroots movements in doing this Pachauri said, "You have to elevate the debate. I don't see government doing it. I don't see businesses doing it."

Pachauri added,

Mahatma Gandhi used to say that truth should be followed not just because honesty is the best policy. Because the moment you equate something as important as that to policy, then clearly you have devalued the very concept of truth.


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