UU Ministry for Earth Comes to East Shore

by David Chapin

On June 15 three members of the UU Ministry for Earth came to East Shore for a lunch time presentation as part of their speaking and fundraising tour prior to going to the General Assembly in Spokane.  The three UUMFE members included:

  • Levi Draheim, 11 years old from Satellite Beach, Florida, is the youngest plaintiff of the Juliana v US federal youth climate lawsuit.
  • Aly Tharp is the Program Director of UU Ministry for Earth.
  • Leonard Higgins is one of five “valve turners” who simultaneously shut down all of the pipelines carrying Canadian tar sands into the U.S. on October 11, 2016.

Levi gave a wonderful talk on the history and status of the Juliana vs U.S. lawsuit following an important hearing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that took place in Portland on June 4.  Levi is a poised, impassioned, and energetic 11-year old, who is an incredibly effective advocate for his generation. 

Leonard spoke about the reasons and motivation for risking his freedom in an act of disobedience to shut down the flow of tar sands oil.  He spoke with a strong but quiet conviction about the urgent need for our society to move away from its dependence on fossil fuels and how it is important for each of us to act toward that end.

Aly presented an overview of what the UU Ministry for Earth is doing, particularly its new program Create Climate Justice.  This new campaign aims to strengthen UU networks for climate justice, mobilize UUs in solidarity with indigenous front-line communities, and support “a just transition to an ecological civilization through partnerships and civic engagement.”  UU Ministry for Earth is an important organization for all UU members interested in earth and climate justice issues. 

All together it was an inspiring gathering and was followed by a carpool to the Lummi Totem Pole Journey stop at Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.