by Miche McCall
On the second day of Rosh Hashana, the faith hub at the March to End Fossil Fuels was full of celebrations of Life on Earth. Last September, 75,000 people poured into the streets of New York City to call for our leaders to protect our communities and all of Life by ending the era of fossil fuels.
The march took place ahead of the UN Climate Ambition Summit, designed to accelerate governmental, business, and civil action in decarbonizing and delivering climate justice. The United States, one of the world’s largest polluters, was not invited to speak at the meeting. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his opening remarks, “We must make up time lost to foot-dragging, arm-twisting, and the naked greed of entrenched interests raking in billions from fossil fuels.” Though few concrete goals were met during the summit, looking ahead to COP28, delegates called for avenues for collaboration and global cooperation.
Quaker Earthcare Witness helped organize hundreds of Quakers from all across the country to join with thousands of passionate people who represented houses of worship, faith coalitions, and more to bear witness to the effects of climate change on frontline communities and stand together to support a just transition away from fossil fuels.
The march began with an interfaith invocation where Sunita Viswanath, the Executive Director of Hindus for Human Rights, prayed, “We are turning away from Mother Earth, Bhumi Devi, Prithvi Maa. We must remember that we are all one, inseparable from each other, with the divine light equally present in each one of us and every part of the universe.”
Her reference to the divine light spoke to me very deeply. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with people of all faiths, QEW holds true to the belief that our future depends on a spiritual transformation in our relationship with Earth and each other.