Adopted by the Board of Directors
August 21, 2017 | Washington, DC
The Earth’s climate is experiencing destabilization, and our planet’s ability to sustain life as we know it is in crisis. Humanists must join others in leading efforts to reduce human activities causing climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and human induced, and the consensus is that we must stabilize global temperatures at the two degree Celsius target to prevent dangerous impacts to humans, flora, and fauna. The consequences of our actions—and inaction—regarding the destruction of our environment for ourselves and future generations mandate a naturalistic social responsibility inherent to humanist values.
WHEREAS human-generated greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion—exacerbated by unsustainable land use such as deforestation—are a leading cause of climate change, and
WHEREAS deforestation and wildfire suppression are making forests more vulnerable to fires and reducing the ability of forests to sequester and store carbon, and
WHEREAS industrial animal production for food is inefficient in terms of land and water usage and often harms the environment due to animal waste, chemical runoff, and bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and
WHEREAS glaciers melting at heightened rates have been and are resulting in rising sea levels, threatening coastal populations and ocean ecology, and
WHEREAS global warming has contributed directly and indirectly to the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of critical biomes, and
WHEREAS the corollaries of these same changes appear to cause shifts in precipitation, resulting in droughts around the globe, and the increase in other extreme weather events, like tsunamis and hurricanes, leading to food insecurity and famine, and decreased access to natural resources like potable water, and
WHEREAS climate change impacts everyone, already vulnerable populations globally will be disproportionately affected, exacerbating unemployment, displacement, and homelessness, and
WHEREAS drastic global climate change is a challenge facing all populations around the world;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION, in the pursuit of climate justice,
AFFIRMS its support for the development and proliferation of renewable sources of energy and fuel, particularly wind and solar, and
AFFIRMS its support of sustainable land use, forest conservation, and reforestation, and
AFFIRMS its support for personal and commercial transition toward a plant-based diet, and
AFFIRMS its support of the rights of indigenous peoples who inhabit some of world’s most intact and biodiverse forests, and
AFFIRMS where direct restrictions are insufficient, support for a price on climate-damaging substances and practices through carbon tax and other related disincentives, and
AFFIRMS political and financial incentives for a global industrial refitting of our power infrastructure away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable energy production and storage, and
AFFIRMS its support for international funds for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and
AFFIRMS its support for efforts to keep fossil fuels underground, particularly in ecologically and culturally important areas, and
AFFIRMS its support for the validation of climate refugee status, and
AFFIRMS that access to clean and affordable water is necessary and important, and
AFFIRMS its support for a coordinated global effort to manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As humanists, it is crucial that we recognize that the responsibility to create and maintain sustainable methods of living is a collective one. As humanists, we acknowledge the damage done to our environment has been caused by human action and constitutes an existential threat to humanity and many other species that have not already been wiped out. As humanists, we understand that only humans can save ourselves from the climate crises we have created.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION calls all humanists to take personal and collective action to save our planet.