By Roger Helm October 3, 2014
Above: The author (second from left) and fellow Unitarians at the New York City climate march with Peter Morales (second from right), president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Several prominent business, faith, and political leaders participated in the day's events. An estimated 300,000 people marched in New York City. Also pictured are Eric Goplerud, leader of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, and Haille, a young member of Roger's congregation.
Climate change, climate change, climate change! This evolving global holocaust has been weighing on my mind for several years now. As a PhD ecologist I have looked deeply into the science portending this disaster and it scares the heck out of me, so much so I am getting 'religion'.
I define religion as having faith in the unverifiable belief that by continuing to do my best to make the world a better place I will somehow connect with an energy force that will help improve those myriad important things beyond my control. When it comes to climate change, there is no challenge more important or further beyond my control (except of course, raising my three girls). So onward I trudge.
Last week I had the good fortune to be joined by several adults and two youth from our congregation, along with several hundred thousand others, as we marched and bore witness to climate change in New York City. What an exhilarating and inspiring day. Did we transform the world? Probably not, but we did begin the transformation of many individuals and groups trying to awaken the world to our collective challenge. And hopefully (perhaps consistent with my evolving understanding of faith) our actions helped each of us individually, and all of us collectively, connect to something inside and outside of us that will help civilization address climate change.
Make no mistake, climate change will negatively affect every single community, state, and nation in our world, and certainly some more than others. Nevertheless, if we can find our connection to each other and to helpful energy forces beyond our understanding, we can have better than just a fighting chance to moderate climate change's devastating impacts.
Below: A marcher holds a graphic poster of Uncle Sam as an oil junkie.