October 25, 2020
Dear Colleagues in Faith,
It was just seven months ago, at the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, that we attempted to gather as faith leaders and communities to address the climate crisis. If you recall, we had planned a day of seminars, storytelling and listening, in partnership with the City of Vancouver’s office for Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability.
Though our event was thankfully moved online as the potential spread of the coronavirus was still being evaluated by public health officials, we did manage to gather via Zoom with nearly 100 fellow partners in faith to learn about the City’s development of a new Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) and share our feedback with city planners and organizers.
On November 3, 2020, City of Vancouver staff will present the Climate Emergency Action Plan to City Council. The plan is a massive document, more lengthy and complex than most presented to council for obvious reasons, and it contains 38 recommendations, all of which must be implemented in order for the city to make an appropriately sized dent in our carbon emissions.
There aren’t many effective ways individuals can try to sway Council on this, both because of the pandemic (no citizens in the room, etc.) and also because of the way Council is structured (one collective body without wards or specific constituents). A barrage of emails often just ends up ignored.
But like prophets of old we are not powerless or without a voice. My prayer and suggestion is that if a large number of faith leaders sign the attached letter to Council and if we make this letter public to the media then we might both hold sway with some of them and also provide a press opportunity to raise consciousness about the climate crisis and our moral/religious obligation to be guardians of the earth.
I urge you to review at least the summary of the CEAP found here and then to consider adding your name to this Public Letter of Support for Adopting the Vancouver CEAP.
As always, time is of the essence for our action on this upcoming proposal to City Council and for our planet. I know we are all so busy ministering to our communities, perhaps more than ever in these intense times, and still I urge you to take a few minutes to add your prophetic voice via your signature to this urgent call for action. The deadline for signatures is end of day Wednesday, October 28. Our city and our planet need to hear from the faith leaders of our community. (Please share this email with other faith leaders in Vancouver)
Yours in faith,
Rabbi Dan Moskovitz