COGIC ENVIRONMENTAL FACT
The Centennial Proclamation (2007) presented by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake was an interfaith document that called for a directive for future leadership to reverse current “ill-conceived” social trends, including those that threaten the environment. Calling for “land conservation that directly reduces the number of species threatened with extinction and environmental sustainability through integral policies that reverse the loss of environmental resources; with the need of greater attention to slow deforestation and preserve marine areas for biodiversity.” 1
Generally, there are two views in the debate over climate change: the scientific approach and the industrial model. Currently, many politicians backed by a conglomerate of industrial constituents make claims that climate change is a hoax.2 Colleagues of these pundits marginalize the effects of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) upon the environment. However, many scientists are alarmed at the rate of temperature change and the shifting of the jet stream causing ozone depletion. Scientist and the environmental conscious community insist that preventive measure must be taken now to curb the proliferation of greenhouse gases that may cause an irreversible change effect upon the earth’s atmosphere.
In response to the Bible’s God given mandate to exercise good stewardship over the earth (Gen 1:26, 2:15). Church of God in Christ (COGIC), General Board (the presidium) Member and Bishop George D. McKinney, Ph.D. Prelate of the Southern California Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Senior Pastor of St. Stephen’s Cathedral submitted a resolution on behalf of the General Board at the April Call meeting entitled, Climate Change3 which was quickly recognized and resolved into COGIC.
The COGIC Climate Change Resolution: “resolved to take action and recognize our role and responsibilities in confronting climate change, and engage in measurable stewardship actions that reduce energy consumption, use sustainable practices in our houses, building and houses of worship, and seek good counsel in peer-reviewed climate scientist that will increase our knowledge and actions to confront climate change (Prov. 12:15; 15:22). In addition, the Church of God In Christ, Inc. pledges to find ways to reduce the impact and risk of climate change through promoting good stewardship habits and increase awareness in our houses, business, relationships, and congregations” 3
Bishop McKinney, author of eight books and contributor of many more also wrote a chapter in a collection of sermons and lectures published by the Evangelical Environment Network (EEN) called, The Best Preaching on Earth. Bishop McKinney has been a member of EEN since 1993. “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” 4 has significance as the seminal passage of scripture for many of Bishop McKinney’s premises concerning environmental issues. According to Bishop McKinney action must be taken in response to the scientific findings relating to the current condition of our environment. Bishop McKinney affirmed in his review presented on behalf of the General Board, the findings of a United Nations Program, called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that, “confirmed the increase of the number and length of heat waves, the increase of the frequency of heavy rain falls and the increase of duration and intensity of droughts.”5
Bishop McKinney presented findings from the IPCC contained also in an Executive Summary of the Copenhagen Diagnosis. This is a summation is the comprehensive analysis of the world’s leading scientists in various disciplines on climate change. The most significant recent climate changes confirm in this study “the surging carbon-dioxide (greenhouse gas) levels in our environment are from fossil fuel emissions, recent global temperatures demonstrate human-induced warming, the current sea-level rise is underestimated, the acceleration of melting of glaciers and the delay in action risks irreversible damage.”6 Bishop McKinney said, “In light of these findings, protection of the atmosphere and addressing human suffering are both a moral responsibility and spiritual answers to the divine commandment that humanity take excellent care of the earth (Gen. 2:15) and that people love God and their neighbors (Matt. 22:37).” 7
- The human population produces 35 billion tons of Carbon dioxide each year 55% of that is absorbed by the ocean land and vegetation. 75% comes from power plants and factories 25% comes from various forms of transportation. If preventive measures aren’t taken the by 2050 the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will reach twice the natural amount that occurs naturally. Clean Tech energy sources are a viable option before cataclysmic changes upon the earth become the new normal.8
- According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012 was the warmest year every recorded in the U.S. alone over 24,000 record highs were recorded including N.Y. Washington D.C. and Louisville KY.2
- Change is past due, Americans are less than 5% of world population but consumes 25% of the world’s resources is not a successful model to those outside American shores and can’t be convinced that our system is the best.9
1. United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Millennium Development Goals (MDG #7)
2. Meeting of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 3/21/13 (Sen. Bernie Sanders).
3. COGIC Resolution # 042013-13, submitted April 10, 2013 by Bishop George D. McKinney
4. Psalms 24
5. IPCC, 2012: Summary for policy makers. In: managing the risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change adaption [Field, C.B., et al. (Eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Proposal Group I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-19.
6. The Copenhagen Diagnosis, Executive Summary (2009)
7. Proposed Resolution to the General Board, The Church of God in Christ, Inc.
8. Moveon.org-Bill Nye
9. The Secret History of the American Empire by John Perkins, Aug 7, 2007