I will be speaking this afternoon at the Sierra Club's Climate Action Bus Event on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. Here is what I plan on saying:
The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change is clear and unequivocal. The weight of evidence is so great and the consensus in the scientific community is so overwhelming that it is dishonest and immoral to deny the reality of climate change.
Reducing green house gas emissions is the most important ethical issue of our time. It is a moral imperative. We have an obligation to God, to our children and our grandchildren, to all humanity, and to the biodiversity of life on this planet to take immediate action to stop contributing to climate change.
I am a Baptist minister. Scriptures common to people of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths tell us that God created all of the diverse forms of life on this planet and said that it was good. God made us stewards of life on this planet with responsibility to care for it and keep it. People of every faith and philosophy recognize that we are all obligated to preserve an environment that can sustain life as we know it.
I am a father and a grandfather. I want my children and grandchildren to experience a quality of life that is as good, and preferably better, than my own. I have no desire to make life harder and more difficult for them. Climate change threatens to make the world my children inherit completely different from the world we live in today. As President Obama indicated, "we have a moral obligation to act on behalf of future generations" and leave them a planet as hospitable as the one that was given to us.
I am a human being. All human beings are created in the image of God and have value and dignity. Increasingly extreme weather events – droughts and floods, tornadoes and hurricanes – are making life treacherous for people around the world. With ever increasing regularity, extreme weather events are destroying our homes, schools, lives and livelihoods. We have an obligation to lend aid to people not only when catastrophe strikes, but we must to do everything possible to mitigate the emissions that are fueling these extreme weather events.
I am part of an ecosystem. In one way or another, all the forms of life on this planet are connected. Scientists tell us that global warming is going to cause a lot of extinctions. The destruction of biodiversity is dangerous for our entire ecosystem. Each one of us has a responsibility to do whatever we can do to reduce our own greenhouse gas footprint.
Do whatever you can to stop contributing to climate change. Make this a burning issue when you are in the voting booth to elect leaders. The future of life on this planet depends on it.