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Stewardship of Creation Committee: Blog

Climate Change and Justice

The congregational response in the Form VI Prayers of the People to the prayer for “just and proper use of your creation” is a prayer for “the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.” (BCP 392) As captured by this prayer, climate change and justice are closely linked.  The adverse consequences of the human activities that are the cause of acceleratiing climate change fall disproportionately on peoples whose activities have comparatively little impact and who have comparatively little ability to moderate climate change through efforts of their own.

Sustainable Agricultural Systems

The National Research Council identified four generally agreed upon goals for a sustainable agricultural system in its recent report, Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century: (i) satisfy human food, feed, and fiber needs, and contribute to biofuel needs; (ii) enhance environmental quality and the resource base; (iii) sustain the economic viability of agriculture; and (iv) enhance the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and society as a whole. While there is general agreement on the goals, the goals are given different emphasis by different groups. 

The pursuit of sustainability is not a matter of defining sustainable or unsustainable agriculture. Involved instead is assessing whether choices of farming practices and systems will lead to a more or less sustainable system as measured by the four goals. Progress in meeting the four goals will require robust systems that adapt, evolve, and continue to function in the face of stresses and fluctuating conditions, are productive, use resources efficiently, and balance the four goals within enterprises or farms across and at all scales.

 

Energy

Careful stewardship of energy to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy resources reduces production of greenhouse gases and conserves financial resources that can be committed instead to ministry and mission.

Water Supply

A sustainable water supply must draw from groundwater aquifers at no greater rate than the rate of recharge, must not draw from streams and rivers at a rate that will degrade other stream values, and must satisfy the balance of existing or increasing demand from smarter use of water from current sources and increased reliance on previously untapped resources.

Water Quality

Water quality is affected by discharges into water, by excess demands for water that diminish other water quality values, and by measures to limit and abate dicharges that diminish water quality.  The Committee views as one goal for water stewardship that water drawn from stream and river sources should be used and discharged in ways that, at minimum, do not diminish the water quality of the source.

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