Faith for Earth Youth Council; A precedence in the Fight for Mother Earth

To quote American Historian, Henry Adams, man has mounted faith in science and has now run away…science will be the master of man…. someday science may have the existence of man in its power and the human race may commit suicide by blowing the world. These words written in a letter in 1862, when spoken today sound eerily prophetic, with signs of it coming to pass painted starkly on the canvas of our daily lives. Climate change and Environmental degradation, evidenced by loss of biodiversity, melting icecaps, unusual weather patterns, and increased natural disasters as a result is akin to the human race slowly committing suicide.

Every human is a person of faith. Faith dictates the principles we live by and our actions. During the Youth Environment Assembly, held in Nairobi in the build-up to UNEA-6, the Faith for Earth Youth Council, unveiled an action plan to promote advocacy efforts for policies that express shared moral cause of climate action. Human activities and technological advancements have been established as the key causes of climate change. The human race’s history has exerted itself in advancement and innovations which has been mainly pegged on reliance on energy to propel production. Calls to address the Reliance on fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases as a result of chemical processes on an industrial scale need to be amplified to address the adverse effects of climate change.

Religious leaders are very influential in our society. From a young age, children are introduced to the doctrines of the religion they are born into, and as they age, a large population of the human race seeks truth and meaning in faith, informing a majority of their actions. The efficacy of religion lies precisely in the unforeseen, the miraculous, the extraordinary. Consequently, religion attracts more devotion according as it demands more faith. To quote Henry Ameil, that is to say, it becomes more incredible to the profane mind.

Thereby, with a power of this magnitude, faith can affect incredible change in the drive for climate action. Early enlightenment on issues to do with positive environmental practices should be channeled to children at an early age. Additionally, including teachings in religious schools on the environment, making it a norm to take care of the environment would be an incredible milestone.

Executive Director United Nations Environment Program, Inger Anderson, referred to climate action as a battle for our existence. She further called for the youth population to step into activism, and be open-minded, inclusive, and diverse to bring change, emphasizing that those who create change are true to themselves. And what better place to be true to oneself than in faith?

Let us dare to read the signs of our times, to think, speak, and write for the future of humanity. Let the pulpits, synagogues, and religious establishments resound with the calls to climate action. Let us hear the dangers of human activities in affecting our environment. Let us formulate and implement the policies by heart and not by words. St. Ambrose was kind enough to point out to us that the law is twofold. Natural and written. The natural law is in the heart, the written law on the tables. All men are under the natural law.

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