Strawberry Creek Minute on Climate Change

This was approved at November Business Meeting of Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), in Berkeley:

Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting

Minute on Global Climate Change

Approved November 12, 2006


In 1985, Marshall Massey challenged Pacific Yearly Meeting with his prophetic witness about the impending environmental crisis. Since then, PYM has sponsored retreats, interest groups, publications, and established a standing committee on earth care. Growing numbers of Friends now recognize that caring for the environment is a spiritual concern. In PYM’s most recent Faith and Practice, we are asked to “Live according to principles of right relationship and right action within the larger whole. Be aware of the influence humans have on the health and viability of life on earth. Call attention to what fosters or harms Earth’s exquisite beauty, balances and interdependencies. Guided by Spirit, work to translate this understanding into ways of living that reflect our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”

We now face global climate change, a phenomenon no longer seriously in doubt within the scientific community. As a result of the choices we have made, the Earth grows ever hotter, exacerbating weather extremes, habitat destruction, species loss, crop damage, and the dislocation of human lives. Most of these changes, we cannot escape entirely; some of the damage may be avoided if we act responsibly soon.

In the midst of these awesome changes, we turn away from either apathy or despair toward a way opening in the Light. We embrace our sacred interconnection to life on this planet.


We recognize that our current human impact on the planet is environmentally damaging, and that conflicts over resources are aggravating the conditions for war. We also recognize that when resources are scarce, it is the most vulnerable people and ecosystems that are at risk. Spiritually, we are compelled to care for both.

We call for Friends to examine and shift our individual impacts to the extent that each is able, so that Earth’s resources are sustained or replenished. Such commitment will likely entail major adjustments in our purchases, our diets, transportation and livelihood.

While many individual Friends have progressed toward a sustainable lifestyle, we must now move to a corporate witness in our meeting, joining with and helping each other and also like-minded groups in supporting our common concerns.

We ask all to stay continually informed about this evolving planetary crisis and discern future actions that will become needed. We appeal to all Friends to make this a standing priority in our families, meetings, and communities. We recognize that the actions described below are only the first steps in what is needed; we will work towards a transformation at all levels of society to create a sustainable way of life.

Recommended Immediate Actions

* Reduce our meeting-wide greenhouse-gas emissions at least 10% in the coming year by personally decreasing driving, flying, and home energy use and by utilizing efficient alternatives (for those who are able to do so). Maintain a list of suggested specific actions.

* Labor with and learn from others to help us all examine and reduce our fossil fuel consumption.

Engage in collective discernment into how we might witness most powerfully for systemic impact. Regularly, worship together, study and discuss climate change and personal adjustments, allowing spirit to work amongst us.

* Network among meetings and other groups to share resources and expertise.

* Labor with those who shape public opinion and policy to promote Earth care and, if that fails, work to replace them. From local to state, national, and international levels, advocate for measures to protect Earth’s resources, promote environmental justice, and reduce the occasion for war.

* Work through personal participation and public policy to mitigate the impacts of resource wars and climate change on the most vulnerable people and ecosystems.

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