Green Junction: The earth is depending on us to be kinder and gentle by Julie Peller Ph.D.

An article that discusses facing the tough realization of climate change suggests adopting mindsets and taking on ventures that are positive and productive. These include defending the truth and viewing oneself as a citizen and not a consumer. Instead of enhancing one’s identity through stuff, the recommendation is to recognize one’s goodness independent of material goods. This involves seeking a life more detached from fossil fuels (which are used to make a lot of our stuff) and looking for ways to take part in healing the earth.

The article highlights the requirement that people find ways to participate in a clean economy. This is explained as not just adopting solar and wind energy, but repurposing goods, minimizing waste, and converting to nonpolluting activities. One example is to retire leaf/debris blowers and use brooms and rakes, which do not burn gasoline or add to air pollution (especially particulate matter). Other important paths forward include responsible use of technology and the building of gender equality. A wealth of studies show that women often demonstrate leadership that is more sensitive to a wide range of views. Women show an ability to view the long-term and are therefore critical in taking part in solutions to the climate crisis.

Other ways to be part of climate solutions include connecting with people or organizations that are working on care for creation. It can be easier to be part of positive progress in the context of an organization that works to turn the tide of overconsumption and unsustainable lifestyles. People who care about the environment are compassionate and kind. Find an organization today to support, follow and/ or assist. The earth is depending on us to be kinder and gentler. It truly is essential to be part of the solutions.

Julie Peller Ph.D. is an environmental chemist (Professor of Chemistry at Valparaiso University ) and she leads the Environmental Ministry at Nativity of Our Savior in Portage IN. Julie has been writing a weekly column for church bulletins for the past ~6 years called the Green Junction and is helping to move the call of Laudato Si to action forward. Her Research Interests are in Advanced oxidation for aqueous solutions, water quality analyses, emerging contaminants, air quality analyses, Lake Michigan shoreline challenges (Cladophora, water, and sediment contaminants), student and citizen participation in environmental work.

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