Resolution on Climate Change 2010

WHEREAS: In keeping with the AEU Resolution of 2009 that “Climate Change is a catastrophe driven by human choices that have resulted in unsustainable and inequitable use of carbon-releasing energy sources,” and

WHEREAS: Carbon dioxide (CO2) increase has been directly linked to global warming leading to an alteration in our global climate and causing a detrimental impact on human and nonhuman species the world over, and

WHEREAS: It is the responsibility of ethical people to support governments and agencies working directly on the various root causes of  climate change, and

WHEREAS: Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led many scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe upper limit of 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Furthermore, at our current 390ppm, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt *, and

WHEREAS: The United States Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars, and

WHERAS: The Environmental Protection Agency ruled in 2010 that starting with 2012 model year vehicle automakers are required to improve fleet-wide fuel economy and reduce fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions by approximately five percent every year – and the fuel economy standards strengthen each year reaching an estimated 34.1 mpg for the combined industry-wide fleet for model year 2016, and

WHEREAS: The EPA has pledged starting in 2011 to take sensible steps, to address the billions of tons of greenhouse gas pollution that threaten human health and welfare,

THEREFORE: It is resolved that the AEU Board of Trustees send letters to President Barack Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson applauding the action taken to date urging the issuance of a protocol for stringent controls before January 2011 in order to prod Congress to act before then. Most important, the President should let the Congress know that he will veto any bill that diminishes the power of the EPA to regulate heat-trapping gases.

In addition, it is strongly recommended that the AEU Board urge all Ethical Culture Boards and willing members country-wide to send similar letters to the President and EPA Administrator.

FOLLOW-UP MONITORING AND ACTION

It is also resolved that Abe Markman of the New York Society will continue to monitor EPA developments and report on any need in the future for additional letters to be sent to the President and the EPA Administrator – and compile and issue progress reports through the regular Ethical Action Reports. It  is also strongly recommended that Ethical Culture Societies hold at least one Platform each year discussing the social, economic, and political causes and ramifications of climate change, and also meaningful ways that audience participants can get more involved in these issues.

* The facts above come from the website of:350.org --- ("350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crises--the solutions that science and justice demand.")