Guest blog entry written by Brian Webb, Executive Director of Climate Caretakers. Climate Caretakers is a global community of Christians committed to prayer and action on climate change.
Although environmental issues have become highly polarized in recent years, some of the earliest political leaders of the environmental movement were Republicans. In fact, one of the most important steps in protecting God’s creation came when U.S. President Richard Nixon authorized the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Since it’s creation in 1970, the EPA has played a critical role in cleaning up toxic waste, banning the use of DDT, restoring clean waterways, regulating air pollution and acid rain, removing lead from gasoline, addressing the health dangers of secondhand smoke, restoring the ozone layer, holding companies accountable for environmental pollution, and much more. These actions not only benefit the natural environment, but have saved untold numbers of lives by protecting the air, water, and land that God created for us to rely on. In addition, the EPA serves as one of the most important climate change research bodies in the world.
While political debates frequently devolve into partisan ideologies, a Christian worldview that champions stewardship, justice, and the value of life must acknowledge the important role of organizations like the EPA, which works to defend all human and non-human creation.
Unfortunately, the EPA is under assault by politicians with the misguided idea that caring for God’s creation, and particularly acting on climate change, harms the economy. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth–banking giant Citigroup estimates that failure to act on climate change will cost the global economy $44 trillion.
Here are just a few of the recent threats to the EPA:
- President Trump aims to cut $2 billion (about 25%) from the EPA budget–a serious blow that would cripple the agency.
- New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is not only a climate change denier, but has repeatedly sued the EPA in an attempt to roll back clean air and water regulations.
- Trump recently began work on dismantling clean water rules put in place to safeguard ecosystems and drinking water for millions of Americans.
- Trump signed legislation rescinding an EPA rule that previously required coal companies to clean up pollution that is regularly dumped into nearby streams.
- A recent bill introduced in Congress (with 121 co-sponsors) seeks to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, while simultaneously eliminating the Clean Power Plan and the critically important methane emission standards for gas and oil companies.
There’s an important place in the public discourse to debate whether current EPA regulations represent the best way to address environmental degradation. But slashing the EPA budget, blocking the agency from addressing climate change, and installing an administrator who doesn’t even believe in climate change will undoubtedly harm God’s creation by delaying climate action and causing suffering to millions of people in the United States and around the world. This is not stewardship. It is not justice. And it does not represent an ethic that values life, health, or human flourishing. Join us as people of faith focus on defending the EPA and advocating for climate action.
You can follow Brian Webb at www.climatecaretakers.org.Tags: Christians, clean air, clean water, epa, justice, nonpartisan, support EPA