By Joan Kirby, RSCJ

Click to read the full article as published in Heart magazine >>

Climate change is already affecting the United States – the poor in Louisiana are still recovering from Katrina, Texans lost homes during hurricane Ike, and many Californians lost everything during mudslides and fires. Los Angeles may be out of water in twenty years and, with a sea level rise of one meter, most of the mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands from New York to North Carolina will be lost. Increasingly heavy downpours, rising temperatures and sea levels, thawing permafrost, longer ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows are all danger signs. (Source: US Global Research Program)

It is time to cry out loudly for ECO-Justice. 
For more information see:
Click to read Wangari Maathai’s Letter to World Civil Society

  • Begin by acknowledging that, because the world’s richest nations have contributed more to climate change, we have a greater responsibility to take action – and to do it quickly.
  • Recognize the devastating impacts on women, children, and indigenous peoples in developing nations. They did not cause the climate crisis, yet they are suffering more from draught and flooding.
  • It is time to call on Congress and the Administration to respect human rights and to take action to reduce risks to vulnerable populations. Do not allow the Senate to defer discussion of the Environmental legislation crucial to U.S. acceptance of responsibility. Court cases and industrial innovations are positive signs, but we need a genuine transformation through legislation.

Our life style has to change as well. It is time for us to drive hybrid cars, to fly less frequently, to compost
and recycle our trash, to enjoy three-minute showers, and to avoid bottled water.

And it is time to remember our connection to those who will follow us. If we ignore the changes in climate, the developing world and generations of children and grand children will suffer the consequences.

For the sake of our humanity, it is time for ECO-Justice.


Joan Kirby, RSCJ, a representative to the United Nations from the Temple of Understanding in New York City, works closely with the U.N. on the Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty in the world. She attended the 2010 Climate Conference in Copenhagen and agreed to speak out in HEART about this critical issue because unless we have a stable environment, clean air, and sufficient water – other issues of social justice are moot.

Collaborations with Charter of Compassion

Collaborations with Earth Charter

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s speech, as prepared for delivery, to a Summit of Religious and Secular Leaders on Climate Change, in London: ‘YOU CAN – AND DO – INSPIRE PEOPLE TO CHANGE,’ SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS, ENCOURAGING SUMMIT OF RELIGIOUS, SECULAR LEADERS ON CLIMATE CHANGE TO ‘MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD’. Read the speech >>

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