This week a young woman gained world attention testifying before Congress. 16-year old Greta Thunberg appeared in a hearing on climate change. She made history last year skipping school one day a week for months to sit in front of the Swedish Parliament to draw attention to the scientific reports that a temperature rise of 1.5 celsius from temperatures before industrialization pose a real threat to the world as we know it.
Thunberg came to the US several weeks ago on a solar powered sailboat which has zero emissions and the journey took her two weeks to complete. She has arrived to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City next Monday September 23. Leading up the summit she testified Wednesday September 18th at the House Foreign Affairs Commmittee, the energy and Environmental Sub Committee and the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis. She has also led student demonstrations about climate change in New York City and Washington, and appeared on the PBS Evening News, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in New York and received an award from Amnesty International for her work.
I watched the interview on PBS and this is a remarkably poised and articulate young woman. She is clear about her message, humble in her presentation, and thoughtful when she speaks.
She told Congress this week, “I don’t have any prepared remarks. She attached the Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change that warns about the effects of global warming, how we are already seeing its impact and how the window for addressing is frightening close to closing.
With her trademark no nonsense approach, she said, ”I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don't want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the scientists, and I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take real action.”
The scientists now cite examples of global warming in the fierce fall hurricanes, the unexpected tornadoes, the deadly fires and a string of the hottest summers on record. We have heard about the melting ice, the rising sea levels, and the devastating effects of fossil fuel. Thunberg and so many other youth who march with her are asking us - the citizens, the grown-ups to take up this cause do more to stop global warming.
As a church, this is an issue many of us feel strongly about and we will continue to seek ways to limit our waste, rely on solar energy and advocate for business to make significant changes. There is much to do.
Our church has joined an effort to raise the alarm. Bells will be ringing across the Cape and Islands on Friday, September 20 for 11 minutes at 11 a.m., a symbol of the 11th hour. On our church lawn Matt Scinto will be leading the Bell Choir in a concert for the community that raises awareness about this crucial issue, for us for our families and for Mother Earth. I hope you will make a point to come out and support them and say a prayer that seals your resolve to be involved.
On a personal note:
I have never felt more support. Thank you all so much for your heartfelt cards, messages, hugs and prayers. We will be in Delaware this weekend for Mom’s service and I know I will be supported by your spiritual strength. We hope to have one of our sons in law video and livestream the service on my Facebook page. If you want to watch and are not yet a friend, just send a friend request. I be happy to include you in the audience.