Monthly Archives: August 2016

When Loving Others Means Riding My Bike

By | Climate Caretakers, Climate Change | No Comments

bikeportland

By Jenna Funkhouser

Confession: Until the last few years, I was entirely ignorant of the realities of climate change. I can’t remember ever learning about it in school, or talking about it at home or church. I had no idea that my seemingly insignificant decisions were exploiting the earth’s resources, contributing to global warming, and playing a part in the same natural disasters I saw on the news.

More recently, however, my husband and I have begun learning about the extensive scientific research that supports global warming–and the huge role the Western world (especially North America) plays in causing harm to the rest of the world. As a result, we’ve sold one of our two cars and made it our goal to ride our bikes and take public transportation as much as possible.

Fast forward to this morning. I admit that I woke up feeling lazy. I was just not motivated to walk/ride my bike on all the errands I had to run today. I sat on the couch for several moments with an internal battle in my mind. I could just drive my car, after all, no big deal. But there, in the back of my mind, was the realization that this was no longer about me. Choosing to drive wasn’t just the “lazy” decision, and choosing to bike wasn’t just the “healthy,” active option. Every time I wake up and make this choice, I am also affecting millions of people around the world, many of them much more vulnerable than I.

I can honestly say that this was the only reason I got on my bike this morning, and many other cold, rainy Pacific NW mornings unlike this one. It feels like I’m doing so little, but I know it’s the daily, seemingly insignificant decisions of millions of people which are all piling up and adding to this problem. Today, I realized how important it is to have the courage to keep telling stories–stories of people affected by changing weather, stories of how we can engage in climate justice, and stories of what could happen if we get this right. I’m thankful for organizations and people who are telling these stories, and reminding us that living justly often looks like those daily, small acts of going against the norm and choosing to stand for others.

 

New Energy & New Jobs

By | Climate Caretakers, Climate Change | No Comments

Prayer Update: Shifting Jobs from Coal to Solar

We all know that we need to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, but what about all those people with jobs in the fossil fuel industry?  How will such a shift impact regions heavily dependent on the fossil fuel industry, for example coal country in the Appalachian region of the U.S.?

A new study published in Energy Economics demonstrates that coal industry workers are actually very well suited to jobs in the solar industry, with many individuals standing to benefit from higher paying positions even given their current experience and education.  Vocational retraining and geography form an important challenge in making this work, but this is good news for workers heavily invested in coal.  Change can be hard for individuals, but this study provides hope that this change might actually bring some benefits to folks on the front lines of the energy industry.

Luke410

Creator God,

Thank you for giving us minds that can solve difficult problems.  We pray today for those who are currently working in the fossil fuel industry.  As our world attempts to shift to new technologies that will protect your creation and bless our global neighbors, we ask that you also bless and protect those working in industries that will see dramatic change.

Please provide new, well-paying jobs for those in the fossil fuel industry.  We pray that such a transition will be smooth and that funding and geography will not be a barrier to a healthy transition toward renewable energy.  Please bless these people with a positive spirit, enthusiasm for a new challenge, and support for a shift that is good for all Your creation.  And help the rest of us know how we can support such a change.

Amen.