Is your Quaker meeting growing smaller as the elders die, and few young people come? Or when young people visit, but don’t stay? Do you feel frustrated that your peace and social justice efforts seem to have little impact? How do you and your meeting feel about your Quaker community’s lack of diversity, of excitement, of Light? Do you feel the Spirit among you, speaking through you?
I imagine most of you have shared my life long experiences of not being able to get others to recognize and do something about the growing dangers of materialism, militarism, racism and environmental assault.
In our country, the political process that once seemed at least a little responsive to our values has been corrupted. Even the process of selecting and electing our representatives is manipulated.
As the consequences of our evolving environmental chaos become increasing dire, we tend to feel increasingly helpless. Our efforts are thwarted by the magnitude and multitude of problems.
Our environmental problems have mainly come from an economy based upon continuous growth, which requires continuously increasing use of fossil fuels, water and other resources. In addition, our economy is dysfunctional because it is based on money, which more and more of us no longer have adequate amounts of because millions of jobs have been lost to automation and moving production to other countries. Most of our economic, racial, social and environmental injustices stem from this.
So, we can’t ever get a handle on greenhouse emissions and other environmental problems without changing this economy. Various people have recognized this and made proposals for change.
There is now a proposal for a Green New Deal (GND). The name is based on ideas similar to the New Deal, a group of programs Franklin Roosevelt’s administration implemented to stimulate the economy and pull the country out of the Great Depression in the 1930’s, including Social Security, the Civilian Conservation Corps and job, financial, industrial and other reforms.
The Green New Deal has similar ideas:
- Our environmental crisis requires absolutely drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. So the plan calls for 100% transition to renewable energy in 10 years.
- That is not only possible, but will also have dramatic effects on the lives of millions because of the literally millions of good jobs that will be required to make this transition happen.
- The only thing preventing this is the fossil fuel industry and its influence on politicians.
- So the Green New Deal depends on millions of us creating the political power to make the Green New Deal happen. Many of the progressive candidates that won in the midterm elections won because of the work of young people who want to make the Green New Deal a reality.
There is a rapidly growing, youth led movement organizing a national campaign to get the Green New Deal implemented, the Sunrise Movement–“Together, we will change this country and this world, sure as the sun rises each morning.”
There is a lot of information about this on the organization’s website, www.sunrisemovment.org. And I’ve written a lot about this: https://kislingjeff.wordpress.com/?s=sunrise+movement
The purpose of this post is to urge you to learn more about the Green New Deal, the Sunrise Movement, and plans for the next steps by joining an online meeting tomorrow evening (1/10/2019). https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_i7IMaZG3TX6esg_FlAhvaw
I believe engaging with the Sunrise Movement to work for a Green New Deal could be an opportunity to revitalize your meeting, as well as attract young and more diverse members.