Uma Visão Cristã sobre justiça eco-
social: Vivendo Carbono Neutro Social
” AÇÃO 4 P´s”
Agindo em questões
sociais e ambientais:
Plantando e produzindo
para Proteger o Planeta =
PLANTAR PRODUZIR PROTEGER PLANETA
para e o
“FOR PEACE – 4P´S”
CRIANDO UMA VISÃO COMPARTILHADA
É difícil compreender a realidade da situação extremada da
nossa ecrise ecológica. Problemas comosuch as climate
change, loss of species, water shortages--are a type of
problem that human beings have never faced before,
because the problems are global. Personal behavior has
never before had global weather consequences.
Therefore, there is no historical precedence in this type of
problem solving to help us form useful responses. In
understanding these problems there are three realities that
need to be understood:
1. Our ecological crises are enormous and quickly getting worse.
2. These problems are urgent and time is running out.
3. There are alternatives, and a better future is possible.
Our Ecological Crises are Enormous
Scientific research now demonstrates that global warming is
real, catastrophic, and created by humans. Yet, even
though scientists know global warming is happening, they
cannot say exactly how much it will warm, or how fast it
will warm, or what the local effects will be. These issues
will depend on how soon we convert to renewable energy,
as well as what chain reactions are set off by the warming.
The 2001 report from the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC)
presented models that could establish statistically that
global warming is happening and humans are largely
responsible for it
Our Ecological Crises are Enormous
Dr Pachauri, head of the IPCC, concluded his findings in January 2005:
quot;Climate change is for real. We have just a small window of opportunity
and it is closing rather rapidly. There is not a moment to lose. We are
risking the ability of the human race to survive.“
In addition to global warming, species extinctions have reached
catastrophic proportions. In the history of the Earth, there have been
five mass extinctions; the last one was the dinosaurs. Biologists are
calling what is happening now, the sixth mass extinction, and they are
warning that we could lose more than 25 percent of the species on
Earth by the end of this century, creating unknown cascading effects
throughout entire ecosystems.
Worldwide, there are severe shortages of water. The world now drains
more from rivers and aquifers than is returned by the Earth’s annual rain
and snow fall. We are drawing down underground aquifers faster than
they can be replenished, and many major rivers are so over-tapped that
for part of the year, they run dry before they get to the sea.Therefore,
these water shortages will cause food shortages. Water shortages also
threaten the lives of all the Earth’s plants and animals.
Our Ecological Crises are Enormous
No matter how fast we respond, the world will soon be
radically different, perhaps in as little as one decade.
If we commit to a worldwide crash program to convert to
renewable energy and planting trees to capture the CO2,
the change could be less disruptive. If we cannot create the
political will for radical change, then at some point, the
world will hit a brick wall as the global weather system
spirals out of control.
We need to begin by accepting that the Earth is finite. The
Earth’s carbon cycle and hydrological cycle have limits. We
must learn to live within the Earth’s limits or we will
overrun our environment, and cause massive ecological
Our Ecological Crises are Urgent
Many of those who realize how serious our ecological crises are, do
not realize how urgent they are. Our response needs to be total and
On January 25, 2005, the International Panel Climate Change (IPCC)
Taskforce issued a new report called Meeting The Climate Challenge.
The report says, “With climate change, there is an ecological time
bomb ticking away. . .” They say that the point of no return with
global warming may be reached in as little as 10 years (or less) with
widespread drought, crop failure and water shortages.
The debate over global warming is no longer over whether or not it is
happening; it is now over the degree of urgency and the scale of the
The National Academy of Sciences concluded recently that global
warming could cause environmental collapse suddenly and without
warning. The longer we wait, the fewer options we will have and the
more we risk creating catastrophic consequences.
An Adequate Scale of
In every community,
This urgency means that the
concerned individuals and
needed response must be on an
organizations are working to
contribute solutions to this
crisis. Their work helps to raise
“... mobilization of resources awareness and create a political
within a matter of months base.
demonstrates that a country
and, indeed, the world can
We cannot measure progress
restructure its economy quickly
in small, incremental victories
if it is convinced of the need to
as a result of our intense
do so.” (Plan B: Rescuing a
individualism. Gelbspan says
Planet under Stress & a
this enormous disconnect
Civilization in Trouble, Lester
between the severity of
problem and the minimalist
responses result from the
“seductiveness of easy—and
Alternatives are Possible
Creating solutions requires a total system response.
Ecology now is also a system of social, economic, and political
thought that sees environmental destruction as only one more
symptom (along with poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth
and power) of our entire unhealthy modern world-view and belief
None of our current theories are adequate to deal with the
enormity of our ecological crises.
“… the environmental establishment is inherently incapable of truly
addressing the climate challenge in all its magnitude because we
cannot achieve a rapid, world-wide transition to clean energy within
our current market-based economic structure. If one honestly
acknowledges the scale and urgency of the problem, it becomes clear
that it cannot be effectively addressed without major structural
changes to global economic dynamics.” Ross Gelbspan
Creating a new Worldview or “frame”
Sustainable economics does not include free trade and globalization.
The politics is not focused on the rights of autonomous individuals,
but rather the needs of sustainable communities. It also is not afraid of
religious language--not in the sense of requiring obedience to a set of
rules--but in terms of naming the Earth as sacred and pursuing the
values of care, mutuality, and equity (both nationally and globally).
This ecological worldview is a moral vision based on a nurturant
morality and an ethics of care, centering on empathy and
responsibility. This includes creating a moral politics and a moral
economy, with the requirements of the Earth, and democratic,
equality at the center.
These moral values are inherent in our approaches to our ecological
problems. These values include our mutual responsibility for how we
live in the world, our commitment to each other, the right of
everyone to an adequate minimum, and the sanctity of the Earth. It
also includes the practical realization that we are destroying the
Earth’s ability to support life (our own and that of other species).
Social Systems Can Change Just as climate systems can
change abruptly, social systems
Quickly can also change suddenly—
either for the better, or for the
We already have the technical worse. Any system can hit a
solutions we need; we just have threshold, causing the system
to agree to use them. However, to suddenly reorganize and
the problems are fundamentally jump to an entirely new level--
not technical, but are one that cannot revert to the
conceptual. previous level.
Creating the needed changes can We may not be able to avoid
bring a message of hope. We all the destructive impacts. Yet,
really are capable of making a if we act now, the solutions
profound positive shift in our available will reduce these
thinking over the next few negative impacts, and in the
years. process, we will create a more
humane, equitable world.
This involves redefining our concepts of success, and increasing the
growing commitment to breaking free of consumerism. It also means
learning new skills such as the skills of dialogue, and renewing our
commitment to each other and to the natural world.
The Ecological Crisis is a Spiritual Crisis
The primary issue in our ecological crises is a re-definition and
clarification of our values, beliefs and behaviors--which is inherently a
However, if religious communities are to lead in this social
transformation, the God proclaimed in a political argument must be
democratic in method (non-authoritarian) as well as pluralistic in
content (capable of working with all religions).
The religious message should affirm the reality of the sacred or the
language of the Spirit, which can inspire compassion and cooperation.
This requires rethinking everything—including the very nature of faith.
This effort focuses on a sense of the Earth as sacred, an idea that can
both include and transcend all religions. This allows the needs of the
Earth to create a natural shared value system, and become the new
measure of our values. By advocating ecological issues jointly, all
religions become more effective in creating change
The Ecological Crisis is a Spiritual Crisis
Now, to address our ecological crises, we need to measure morality by our
collective behavior and the frequent unintended, yet immoral,
consequences. Economic growth has reached a dead-end and we can no
longer achieve salvation through material progress, and being enslaved to a
materialistic definition of the world has left us spiritually impoverished.
To pull away from materialism and consumerism, we need to find non-
material forms of fulfillment, and shift our spiritual focus from individual
salvation to planetary salvation This will require us to see the planet as one
global interrelated community of people, animals, and plants.
Choosing the values of life and care, and overcoming materialism, requires
that we respect the mystery in human life and resist the secularization of
experience. Even though our culture is completely secularized—the sacred
has not disappeared. We need to recognize and name concepts of the sacred
so that they can again determine social action.
Our future depends on how creative we can be together, and how quickly
we can learn.
Consequences of global warming
Global Warming will
Global Warming will
alter the oceans.
The entire ecosystem of
the North Sea is in a
The warming should create
state of collapse,
an overall trend toward
both increased and “record sea
increased evaporation. temperatures are killing
Where precipitation is
off the plankton on
greater than evaporation,
which all life in the sea
there will be floods. Where
depends, because they
evaporation is greater than
precipitation, there will be underpin the entire
droughts. The increased marine food chain. Fish
warming and the
stocks and sea bird
unpredictable changes will
greatly impact agriculture.
Consequences of global warming
Global Warming Will Cause
Global Warming will
Ice to Melt and Seas to Rise
Change Ecosystems and
In addition to habitat loss The ice sheets in the two poles
from urban sprawl and and Greenland, and in mountain
pollution, warming will also glaciers around the world, are
be a major factor. “A quarter melting. If the sea level rises in
of all species of plants and the range expected by the IPCC,
land animals, or more than a many island nations, as well as
million in all, could be driven all low-lying coastal areas, will be
to extinction.” Massive under water. The affects of sea-
extinctions have occurred level along the coast will cause
five times during the earth's flooding, erosion, and saltwater
history. The last one was the intrusion into aquifers and
extinction of the dinosaurs, freshwater habitats.
65 million years ago.
Scientists are calling what is
occurring now, the sixth mass
Consequences of global warming
Global Warming will Change
Weather, Creating more
Global Warming will be
at public health issue .
As the atmosphere warms, the
climate not only becomes hotter Warming will increase the
but more unstable, creating more spread of infectious
extreme precipitation events. diseases, and heat stress,
and also malnutrition
because of its impact on
Global Warming could agriculture.
Create Abrupt Warming.
A recent report by the National
Academy of Sciences, Abrupt Climate
Change: Inevitable Surprises, said
Global Warming may
“Large, abrupt climate changes have
Create Abrupt Cooling.
repeatedly affected much or all of the
earth, … Available evidence suggests Global warming could, in as
that abrupt climate changes are not little as a few years, trigger
only possible but likely in the future,
abrupt cooling in Europe.
potentially with large impacts on
ecosystems and societies.”
A Christian view on eco-social justice
Presbyterians to Live Carbon Neutral Lives
217th General Assembly of
the Presbyterian Church,
USA, held June 15 – 22,
2006 in Birmingham,
Alabama adopted the
for Presbyterians to Live
Carbon Neutral Lives
Finds that the
Policy to make a the urgency,
study of personal injustice,
mandate to care
responsibility and and
for creation and
available as a of this issue
promise of the
Working Paper on calls us as
the website of the Christians
Presbyterian to act
Church (U.S.A.) as NOW and
soon as possible, in to act
order to share its boldly to
and the rest of
concrete, effective lead the
action steps for way in
and inspires us
Presbyterians to reducing
to act to reduce
take to reduce our energy
their energy usage.
Strongly urges all
Directs the Calls upon all
General Assembly Presbyterians
Council to assign to take this
a bold witness by
the appropriate seriously, to
aspiring to live
carbon neutral staff to inform all pray asking for
governing bodies, forgiveness and
and churches of guidance, to
the urgent need study this issue,
dioxide into the for them to reduce to calculate
their energy your carbon
consumption and emissions, to
the injustice of our educate others,
current energy and to use less
those carbon practices while energy, striving
emissions that ACSWP completes to make your
could not be
its work life carbon
It is the consensus of the A growing number of
scientific community that scientists now suggest that
human activity is rapidly we have perhaps only a
changing the natural decade’s grace period to
environment in reduce our energy usage
measurable ways through before these devastating
the destructive effects of effects start to become
climate change irreversible.
(commonly called global
We Americans are
Global climate change is
predominantly caused by
consumers, using 40
our burning of fossil fuels,
percent of the world’s oil
like coal, oil, and natural
and emitting 25 percent of
gas, which emit greenhouse
the world’s greenhouse
gases, and accelerating
gases, even though we are
faster then predicted just a
less then 5 percent of the
few years ago world’s population.
Prompt action and
We have the
leadership by individuals,
knowledge, skills, and
resources to reduce our states, and countries can
energy consumption keep global climate change
and switch to from becoming much worse.
sources that are less
harmful to the Previous General Assemblies
environment.) passed overtures,
resolutions, and policies
addressing our unjust energy
practices, calling us to
develop frugal lifestyles
The president of the reducing our energy
consumption; and urging the
United States has called
United States to sign the
upon the nation to Kyoto Treaty and to lead in
reduce its dependence reducing carbon emissions to
combat global warming
on fossil fuels.
Results so far
A recent Presbyterian Panel survey
indicates that majorities of us believe our
energy consumption contributes to global
climate change; most agree that energy
conservation reflects values of the Christian
Reformed faith. Yet less than 50 percent of
us have taken even the simplest steps to
reduce our energy consumption.
“The fight for justice must be integrated with the fight for life in all its
forms.” James Cone
This very dynamic is why the environmental movement often refers to
itself as an “ecological justice” (eco-justice) movement—so that it
becomes clear that environmental issues are inextricably tied up with
issues of human justice. The reverse is also true. Issues of human justice
invariably have a connection with our human degradation of the Earth.
For example, in our economic system we treat both people and natural
resources as commodities to be exploited for economic gain.
The Bible knows well this connection between human justice and the
state of the land. When there was economic exploitation of the rich by
the poor, Isaiah wrote, “The earth dries up and withers. The world
languishes and withers. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants, for
they have transgressed laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting
covenant. Therefore a curse devours the land” (Is 24:4-7; see also Joel
Making eco-justice decisions
Norms for decisions that address eco-justice issues:
Sustainability :provide for long-range needs of humans
and long-range preservation of nature
Sufficiency :grant all forms of life the right to share in the
goods of creation
Participation :involve all people and represent all life
forms in decisions that affect their well-being
Solidarity :recognize the kinship of all life forms and assist
those who suffer most from environmental degradation
An Evangelical Declaration
on the Care of Creation
The Earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof
As followers of Jesus Christ, committed to the
full authority of the Scriptures, and aware of
the ways we have degraded creation, we
believe that biblical faith is essential to the
solution of our ecological problems.
Because we worship and honor the Creator, we seek to cherish and
care for the creation.
Because we have sinned, we have failed in our stewardship of
creation. Therefore we repent of the way we have polluted,
distorted, or destroyed so much of the Creator's work.
Because in Christ God has healed our alienation from God and
extended to us the first fruits of the reconciliation of all things, we
commit ourselves to working in the power of the Holy Spirit to share
the Good News of Christ in word and deed, to work for the
reconciliation of all people in Christ, and to extend Christ's healing to
Because we await the time when even the groaning creation will be
restored to wholeness, we commit ourselves to work vigorously to
protect and heal that creation for the honor and glory of the
Creator---whom we know dimly through creation. We and
our children face a growing crisis in the health of the creation in
which we are embedded, and through which, by God's grace, we are
sustained. Yet we continue to degrade that creation
These degradations of creation can be summed up as 1)
land degradation; 2) deforestation; 3) species
extinction; 4) water degradation; 5) global toxification;
6) the alteration of atmosphere; 7) human and cultural
Many of these degradations are signs that we are
pressing against the finite limits God has set for
creation. With continued population growth,
these degradations will become more severe. Our
responsibility is not only to bear and nurture children,
but to nurture their home on earth
We recognize that human poverty is both a cause and a
consequence of environmental degradation.
Many concerned people, convinced that environmental problems are more
spiritual than technological, are exploring the world's ideologies and religions in
search of non-Christian spiritual resources for the healing of the earth. As
followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that the Bible calls us to respond in
First, God calls us to confess and repent of attitudes which devalue creation, and
which twist or ignore biblical revelation to support our misuse of it. Forgetting
that quot;the earth is the Lord's,quot; we have often simply used creation and forgotten
our responsibility to care for it.
Second, our actions and attitudes toward the earth need to proceed from the
center of our faith, and be rooted in the fullness of God's revelation in Christ
and the Scriptures. We resist both ideologies which would presume the Gospel
has nothing to do with the care of non-human creation and also ideologies
which would reduce the Gospel to nothing more than the care of that creation.
Third, we seek carefully to learn all that the Bible tells us about the Creator,
creation, and the human task. In our life and words we declare that full good
news for all creation which is still waiting quot;with eager longing for the revealing
of the children of God,quot; (Rom. 8:19).
Fourth, we seek to understand what creation reveals about God's divinity,
sustaining presence, and everlasting power, and what creation teaches us of its
God-given order and the principles by which it works.
Thus we call on all those who are
committed to the truth of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ to affirm the following
principles of biblical faith, and to seek
ways of living out these principles in
our personal lives, our churches,
The cosmos, in all its beauty, wildness, and life-giving
bounty, is the work of our personal and loving Creator.
Our creating God is prior to and other than creation, yet
intimately involved with it, upholding each thing in its
freedom, and all things in relationships of intricate
complexity. God is transcendent, while lovingly sustaining
each creature; and immanent, while wholly other than
creation and not to be confused with it.
God the Creator is relational in very nature, revealed as three
persons in One. Likewise, the creation which God intended is
a symphony of individual creatures in harmonious
The Creator's concern is for all creatures. God declares all
creation quot;goodquot; (Gen. 1:31); promises care in a covenant with
all creatures (Gen. 9:9-17); delights in creatures which have
no human apparent usefulness (Job 39-41); and wills, in
Christ, quot;to reconcile all things to himselfquot; (Col.1:20).
Men, women, and children, have a unique responsibility to the Creator;
at the same time we are creatures, shaped by the same processes and
embedded in the same systems of physical, chemical, and biological
interconnections which sustain other creatures.
Men, women, and children, created in God's image, also have a unique
responsibility for creation. Our actions should both sustain creation's
fruitfulness and preserve creation's powerful testimony to its Creator.
Our God-given , stewardly talents have often been warped from their
intended purpose: that we know, name, keep and delight in God's
creatures; that we nourish civilization in love, creativity and obedience
to God; and that we offer creation and civilization back in praise to the
Creator. We have ignored our creaturely limits and have used the earth
with greed, rather than care.
The earthly result of human sin has been a perverted stewardship,
a patchwork of garden and wasteland in which the waste is increasing.
quot;There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the
land...Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste awayquot;
(Hosea 4:1,3). Thus, one consequence of our misuse of the earth is an
unjust denial of God's created bounty to other human beings, both now
and in the future.
God's purpose in Christ is to heal and bring to wholeness not
only persons but the entire created order. quot;For God was pleased to
have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to
himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by
making peace through his blood shed on the crossquot; (Col. 1:19-20).
In Jesus Christ, believers are forgiven, transformed and brought
into God's kingdom. quot;If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creationquot;
(II Cor. 5:17). The presence of the kingdom of God is marked not
only by renewed fellowship with God, but also by renewed
harmony and justice between people, and by renewed harmony and
justice between people and the rest of the created world. quot;You
will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the
hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will
clap their handsquot; (Isa. 55:12).
We believe that in Christ there is hope, not only for men, women
and children, but also for the rest of creation which is suffering from
the consequences of human sin.
Therefore we call upon all Christians to reaffirm that all
creation is God's; that God created it good; and that
God is renewing it in Christ.
We encourage deeper reflection on the substantial
biblical and theological teaching which speaks of God's
work of redemption in terms of the renewal and
completion of God's purpose in creation.
We seek a deeper reflection on the wonders of God's
creation and the principles by which creation works. We
also urge a careful consideration of how our corporate
and individual actions respect and comply with God's
ordinances for creation.
We encourage Christians to incorporate the extravagant
creativity of God into their lives by increasing the
nurturing role of beauty and the arts in their personal,
ecclesiastical, and social patterns.
We urge individual Christians and churches to be centers of creation's care
and renewal, both delighting in creation as God's gift, and enjoying it
as God's provision, in ways which sustain and heal the damaged fabric of
the creation which God has entrusted to us.
We recall Jesus' words that our lives do not consist in the abundance of our
possessions, and therefore we urge followers of Jesus to resist the allure of
wastefulness and overconsumption by making personal lifestyle choices that
express humility, forbearance, self restraint and frugality.
We call on all Christians to work for godly, just, and sustainable economies
which reflect God's sovereign economy and enable men, women
and children to flourish along with all the diversity of creation. We
recognize that poverty forces people to degrade creation in order to
survive; therefore we support the development of just, free economies
which empower the poor and create abundance without diminishing
We commit ourselves to work for responsible public policies which embody
the principles of biblical stewardship of creation.
We invite Christians--individuals, congregations and organizations--
to join with us in this evangelical declaration on the environment,
becoming a covenant people in an ever-widening circle of biblical
care for creation.
We call upon Christians to listen to and work with all those who
are concerned about the healing of creation, with an eagerness both
to learn from them and also to share with them our conviction that
the God whom all people sense in creation (Acts 17:27) is known
fully only in the Word made flesh in Christ the living God who made
and sustains all things.
We make this declaration knowing that until Christ returns to
reconcile all things, we are called to be faithful stewards of God's
good garden, our earthly home.
Policy: We seek to change the systems that foster the degradation of
creation and to rectify the injustices that result from it. And we seek to
alert our members to environmental legislation that protects creation
and to encourage their active participation in the development of
public policy. We encourage members to participate in civic activities
that foster environmental health. We seek to let our care for creation
be known to others.
Goals: To promote eco-justice and care for creation beyond the walls
of the church through hands-on involvement, political advocacy,
publicity, conferences, websites, and publications.
Actions: suggested actions to take to fulfill these commitments:
Ecological justice in local, regional, national, and global issues
Invest in the future of Earth community. Urge the endowment committee
to invest your congregational endowment and other funds in social justice
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