“Most people know the scientific and political dimensions of climate change, but few have thought deeply about the moral implications,” said Jonathan Brockopp, a Penn State history professor and director of the religion and ethics initiative at the Rock Ethics Institute in advance of an awareness-raising bike trek that engaged members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Md. “People right now are suffering from changes in our climate, and the floods and droughts we have seen recently are only harbingers of what may be coming down the pike.”
A three-person team started in Pennsylvania and headed toward D.C. on April 27. “It’s hard for some people to relate to the impact of rising seas in Bangladesh, but Pennsylvania forests and trout streams are also changing. Hunters, farmers and everyone else who loves the natural world needs to act now to preserve it,” said Brockopp.
The team’s lunch stop near Gaithersburg in Poolesville, Md., on May 1 was organized by Joyce Breiner, member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and deputy executive director of Poolesville Green. “These riders are a great example of how we can move from passive denial to positive action on climate change,” Breiner said.
The trip is sponsored by Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light (PAIPL). The bikers stayed overnight in church basements and gave talks along the way to religious and college communities during the five day journey. When they reached the nation’s capital, they met with members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation.
“Our message [to Congress] is that the clock is ticking,” said Cricket Hunter, executive director of PAIPL, adding, “We only have a few years to turn our emissions around, so Congress needs to join our communities of faith and act now.”
Thanks to Joyce Breiner and the Rev. Sarah Scherschligt for the photo and information