by John Isham
In 2019, Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship voted to support reducing the effects of climate change by endorsing the Manatee Clean Energy Alliance (MCEA) and we provided space where they can meet and plan their activities. (Zoom meetings are being used during the pandemic.) Ocean rise, a direct result of climate change, is also a particular risk and concern for Manatee County and of the congregation and other local environmental groups.
There are three public areas where emphasis can be activated to support reducing climate change: One is at the local level, the second at the state level and the third at the national (and international) level. Each represents a challenge to the congregation and other environmental groups.
At the local level, MCEA strives to inform, educate and influence local officials, mayors, the commissioners and the public to start and fund programs that will bring about the Sierra Club’s program “Ready for 100” to reach 100% clean energy by 2035. The challenge is to get action through plans and programs adopted and supported at the city and county levels to work
toward this goal. It means pulling together the many environmental groups to work together and coordinate their efforts. The Suncoast Climate Justice Coalition, the Manatee chapter of the Climate Reality Project, and The Citizen’s Climate Lobby, to mention just a few, are examples of the many local groups working in good faith to bring about reducing climate change at all levels as well as local. All public government levels respond to the influence of petitions, letters, visitations and phone calls. These are perhaps the only ways where Manatee UU Fellowship members can influence Tallahassee’s leaders and members of the government in Washington. National groups such as The Interfaith Power and Light and Rewiring America are also organizations that need our support.
The activities of these groups are monitored and reported on at our Social Justice Committee meetings. Any action that we can make as individuals or as a group are discussed, planned and implemented.