If religion claims to love a Creator, then it follows that all people who consider themselves religious should do all they can to help protect “Creation,” which is the handiwork and best evidence of the God they claim to worship.
By such reasoning, environmental destruction is the worst sacrilege, remaining silent is the worst form of blasphemy, and protecting our planet is our highest religious calling.
It is therefore incumbent upon us, as we approach the new year, to adopt this Declaration of Fossil Fuel Independence:
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one species to dissolve its bonds with fossil fuels and to assume a more responsible and harmonious station, a decent respect for the majesty of all life forms requires that we declare the reasons which impel this separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all species are fashioned exquisitely, that they have evolved through natural selection making them well suited for survival, and integral to the survival of all life on Earth, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are the right to live in a clean unpolluted environment.
That to secure this right, responsible governments derive their just power from concern for the planet; that whenever any government becomes destructive of this goal, it is the responsibility of the citizenry to abolish the political careers of such individuals and replace them with wise leaders who will institute policies that will protect us from ourselves.
Prudence will dictate that policies long established will not easily be changed due to the corrupting influence of money and power upon elected officials, but when abuses and usurpations subject us to domination by profit-driven and environmentally oblivious corporations and devastating ecological harm, then it is the sacred duty of the people to throw out such individuals and replace them with wise leaders.
Such has been the patient suffering of all life on Earth, and such is now the necessity that constrains us to vote for new leaders to protect our future.
The history of government is a history of consistent injuries to nature, all linked to an absolute tyranny of fossil fuel interests and destructive corporations over our economy, our political institutions and our ecosystems. To prove this, let facts speak:
- We have allowed our scientific achievements and technology to outstrip our wisdom and used them against people, plants and animals.
- Humans have become the most dangerous species ever to inhabit Earth, and now pose an unprecedented risk to all other living beings on the planet and to ourselves.
- We have treated mother Earth as a sewer and garbage dump, contaminating the air, polluting the land, and poisoning the seas.
- We have treated other species as commodities to be consumed, used and exploited without regard for their feelings and dignity as unique and precious life forms.
- Our addiction to fossil fuels has caused sudden climate change and poses a grave threat to all future life on this planet.
- We have left a despoiled planet to our descendants and failed to leave this Earth better than we found it.
- We have enriched our enemies and increased their power.
We therefore solemnly declare our goal to use 20/20 foresight as we approach the year 2020 and to take swift, effective action to free the planet of fossil fuels and respect mother Earth.
In support of this Declaration, and with a firm reliance upon our species’ survival instinct, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortune and our sacred honor.
Rabbi Barry Silver is an Environmental/Civil Rights Attorney/Former Florida State Representative/Song writer/ Founder of Cosmic Judaism.
“The Invading Sea” is a collaboration of four South Florida media organizations — the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post and WLRN Public Media.