As citizens, consumers and people of faith, we have plenty of options in front of us. One of the many options is Meatless Monday–read more about this on our blog here!
We recognize that this conversation is unfolding amidst a complicated–and often confusing–conversation about where the burden of responsibility lies for the climate crisis. In his latest book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back our Planet, eminent climate scientist Michael E. Mann vividly describes how the fossil fuel industry deliberately bankrolled efforts to divert attention from its own culpability for causing the global climate emergency, to individual responsibility instead.
In a new form of climate denial, deflection campaigns today ask individuals to reduce their individual carbon footprints, rather than call for systemic changes in law or industry. That is not what we’re doing here.
But we also can’t ignore that emissions coming from consumer based, lifestyle choices in wealthy countries – what we eat, food we waste, how we travel, and how we generate and consume energy — amount to a significant share of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Even as individual consumers should not bear the brunt of the blame, they do have the power to make a difference.
Mann explains that the wedge being driven between us individuals and the wider systemic structures of which we are a part is unhelpful, dividing us as a community when we most need to come together: “At the center of the acrimonious debate over individual action versus systemic change is a false dilemma. Both are important and necessary.”
We agree. Individual and systemic change are an expression of our solidarity with the communities everywhere — and this solidarity is the hallmark of CWS programs worldwide.
Join us as we thoughtfully and prayerfully consider how we can deepen this solidarity and respect for all of our global neighbors!
Jasmine Huggins is the Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer at CWS.