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Interfaith group to rally in D.C. for moral response to climate change

 |  Eco Catholic

In an effort to “awaken our nation’s elected officials … to the urgent need for immediate and effective action to address the climate emergency,” an interfaith group has called for rallies across the country during the week of Earth Day to bring attention to climate change.

The Interfaith Moral Action on Climate describes itself as “deeply concerned about the effects of climate change ravaging our planet, and are compelled by our faith traditions and collective conscience to speak out on this deeply moral challenge,” according to their website.

Their mission statement quotes Micah 6:8 – “To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” – and believe inaction regarding climate change is a morally wrong act that unjustifiably causes human suffering and death, and that protecting the Earth is a moral obligation.

“Virtually all the world’s religious and spiritual traditions proclaim that we have a moral obligation to be good stewards of the Earth and all of its creatures and processes. To disrupt the climate that is the cornerstone of all life and to squander the extraordinary abundance of life, diversity, and beauty of the planet is a moral failure of the first order,” the group’s website states.

While the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate provides resources for more local vigils, their actions will center in the nation’s capital on April 24, beginning with an early morning vigil at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

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Following that is a planned multi-faith service at the N.Y. Ave. Presbyterian Church, where participants are encouraged to bring a piece of earth from their local community “for healing.” A religious procession to the Capitol building will follow the healing service, where a failing report card will be given to Congress for its inaction on addressing threats to climate.

The group has received numerous endorsements from religious organizations, leaders and individuals, including the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK.

Environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, founder of the 350.org campaign, recently endorsed the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, saying “a spiritual voice is urgently needed to underline the fact that global warming is already causing human anguish and mortality in our nation and abroad.” He plans to attend the April 24 events in Washington.

In other environmental news:

The National Climatic Data Center’s monthly report showed March 2012 as the warmest March on record, with more than 15,000 warm records broken during the month. [Ncdc.noaa.gov]

Amid growing gas prices, German commuters in Leipzig can ride public transit for free in the four days following Easter, in a bid to sway them to leave their cars at home. [Thelocal.de]

NASA has released a new (free!) iPhone app that provides visual global climate data on the go. Using recent climate change data from satellites, the app produces 3D, interactive maps of the planet, depicting surface air temperature, carbon levels and sea level variations, among others. [Treehugger.com]

Mohammed Naseed, the former democratic president of the Maldives who was forcibly removed from office in a February coup, recently discussed with Jon Stewart a new documentary that follows him in his attempt to save his island nation from rising sea levels related to climate change. [350.org]

Earth Day is April 22, and the Earth Day Network is recruiting a billion acts of green to celebrate. At the time of posting, the count was 910,860,337, with pledges ranging from eating local food, to limiting shower times, to planting a garden. [Act.earthday.org]

Two Dutch scientists have revisited a 1981 projection for a rise in average global temperatures, finding it closely matched the averages of the past 31 years. [TheAtlantic.com]

More stringent standards for chicken living conditions in Europe led to a shortage of Easter eggs this year, much to the chagrin of Czechs who delicately hand paint eggs according to local traditions. [Treehugger.com]

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