Act Now for Climate Justice
The last international trip I went on for work was to Southern Asia in January 2020. We traveled to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India. While there, we met many of our partners who are working on a variety of issues facing their communities. We heard about the work to recover from the civil war in Sri Lanka, the work against caste-based discrimination in India, and the climate adaptation work being done in Bangladesh.
We visited a coastal community in the south of Bangladesh that has established a local community learning center, which also doubles as a cyclone shelter. There, the farmers in the area learn about ways they can adapt their farming techniques to the changing climate realities. For example, they learn to use seeds that are more tolerant of salt, since they are seeing increased flooding during the rainy season that then leaves salt behind in the soil during the dry season. I could see the white salty deposits in one of the fields we visited. Another technique taught at the center is the use of old plastic bottles to create a hanging garden along a wall, which allows for more plants to be grown above the salty soil.
Climate change is a huge, existential problem facing us all as humans. It can be overwhelming to know what to do, what not to do, and how to act for lasting change. It can be so overwhelming that some people don’t even start. Many of our global partners are helping their communities adapt and confront climate change and we can act, too.
During the month of August, Global Ministries is trying to make working for climate justice more accessible. We are hosting our first ever Mission Dash! Mission Dash is a virtual 5K that you can complete any time during the month of August. We encourage you to run, walk, roll, or spiritually sprint while raising money for our global partners working on climate justice projects. Part of your registration fee will go directly to global partners, and we encourage you to raise additional funds that will go 100% to global partners.
In addition to the 5K, we will also have a daily action calendar of just a few things you can do at home, in your community, in our country, and around the world to support climate justice. Not every person will be able to do every action, but we hope you will take the actions you can during August and then turn those actions into habits. Try a meatless Monday and see how long you can avoid eating meat on Mondays. Write a letter or email to your local, state, or national representatives on a climate justice issue you care about. Can you do that once a month?
Acting for climate justice will take all of us and it will take longer than one month. Will you join us?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebekah Choate is an Associate for Global Advocacy and Education, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.