Released on February 21, Following Jesus in a Warming World is a new book from former YECA National Organizer and current Senior Advisor Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap. Described as “a field guide for Christian climate action—one grounded not in a sense of guilt or drudgery, but in the joy of caring for creation,” this book calls Christians to a deeper understanding of discipleship and witness. YECA is thrilled this practical and hopeful guide exists.
In this guest blog, YECA Advocate Megan Quinn talks about her experience attending the COP27 climate conference in Egypt and how she found unexpected hope in the people she met there.
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations across the United States. The proposed standard would reduce 36 million tons of leaked methane; 9.7 million tons of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), smog-producing compounds; and 390,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants (HAP’s), such as cancer-causing benzene. In response, YECA National Organizer and Spokesperson Tori Goebel released the following statement.
Are you ready to help us get out the vote this fall as a part of our Love God, Love Your Neighbor, Vote for Climate campaign? Studies show that the most effective way to mobilize voters is by talking to our own friends and family, and YECA has made it easy for you to do just that. This year, we’re using Impactive, a tool that helps you utilize the power of your personal connections to promote voter engagement.
YECA’s Summer of Action is coming to a close, and we are so thankful for all of the young activists at YECA who are faithfully continuing the fight for climate action. We are particularly thrilled to highlight one young person who has spent the summer taking action by encouraging her peers to vote!
Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), moving us one step closer to the largest climate legislation in history being signed into law. With the IRA, our elected officials have finally taken significant action to begin addressing climate change. Tomorrow holds more work, but today we celebrate this historic moment alongside countless advocates who have worked tirelessly for the sake of our common home.
After much deliberation, Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) and Chairman Manchin (D-WV) recently announced their agreement to tackle inflation, lower health care costs, and invest $369.75 billion in climate and clean energy. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) would be a historic move for climate and environmental justice, and we are immensely grateful and excited that this critical bill has passed the United States Senate.
On June 30, 2022, the United States Supreme Court released its decision on West Virginia V. EPA, a crucial case concerning the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act. In response, YECA National Organizer and Spokesperson Tori Goebel released the following statement.
From extreme weather and fires to pollution threatening our communities, the harms of climate change are felt right now, across the country and the world. The $550 billion in transformative climate investments in the reconciliation bill will create jobs, lower energy costs, and strengthen communities. It is well past time to invest in bold climate action.
Join with YECA as we flood the phones by calling your Senators and urging them to act now by investing in crucial climate action.
The following is the written testimony of YECA Communications Director Lindsay Garcia from the EPA Public Hearing on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) held on February 24, 2022.
The following is the written testimony of YECA National Organizer and Spokesperson Tori Goebel from the EPA Public Hearing on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) held on February 24, 2022.
In November 2021, Olivet Nazarene University completed the installation of 3,124 solar panels on two campus buildings. The panels, provided through a partnership with SunVest Solar, produce a maximum of 1 million watts (megawatts) of electricity during peak sunlight and are estimated to produce about 1,250,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
The following is the written testimony of YECA Communications Director Lindsay Easter from the EPA Oil and Gas Public Hearing held on December 1, 2021.
The following is the written testimony of YECA National Organizer and Spokesperson Tori Goebel from the EPA Oil and Gas Public Hearing held on November 30, 2021.
As Christians, we are called to love God and love our neighbors (Matthew 22:34-40). Addressing the climate crisis is a meaningful way of doing both better. With today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives, we are one step closer to a brighter, more just future for everyone.
YECA thanks the House of Representatives for passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Climate change should not be a partisan issue, and we thank all of the bill supporters, including the 13 Republicans, who voted for the bill. We now call on Congress to continue addressing the climate crisis by implementing bold policies and plans, including the Build Back Better Act.
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two proposed rules to limit methane pollution from new and existing sources. These rules would apply to the production, processing, storage, and transmission of oil. It is vital that we end harmful pollution from the oil and gas industry. We are grateful that the EPA is living up to its mission by moving to implement strong standards for both new and existing oil and gas sources.
It is time for serious, historic climate action, and the Build Back Better Framework will put the U.S. on the path toward climate justice. As young Christians, we know that we do not have time to waste; our neighbors are suffering from the weight of climate change now, and our future is in danger.
This new report is alarming indeed, but we are not without hope. There is still time to act. Climate change is already hurting communities but there is much to be done to limit the worst impacts of our changing climate.
Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with a bipartisan vote of 69-30. In addition to investments in roads and bridges, this bill includes investments in clean energy transmission, lead pipe removal, public transit, electric vehicle charging stations, reclaiming abandoned mines, and plugging orphaned gas wells.
The REVIVE the CCC Act plans to revitalize the CCC by placing unemployed or underemployed individuals in jobs that benefit the public. This bill seeks to “tackle the climate crisis while creating well-paying, quality conservation jobs that protect and restore waterways, working lands and the health and resiliency of our rural and urban communities.” This plan includes commitments to prioritize investments for frontline communities and to address environmental injustice.
Today, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to reinstate vital Environmental Protection Agency methane safeguards. In April, the Senate passed a companion resolution with bipartisan support.
It is time for climate justice. Young people are watching and we will not accept anything less.
In the wake of earth week, we are looking for ways to celebrate with a spirit of hope and inspiration by uplifting the stories of hope that we see in the world every day. We see hope for tomorrow through the bold work of our Climate Leadership Fellows.
We celebrate President Biden’s announcement of the United States’ ambitious new goal of achieving a 50-52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. On day one of the new administration, President Biden fulfilled his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement. This nationally determined contribution (NDC) will help get the U.S. on track to meet Paris Agreement targets and build a brighter future.
Holy week, in the Christian calendar, is just that: a HOLY week. This week, we collectively reflect on life, on death, and on resurrection. We begin the week with Palm Sunday: a vision of Jesus coming home upon a donkey, unexpectedly proclaiming his place in the city and his reign of peace. Hosanna, hosanna, the crowd cried, caught up in the joy of the crowd, waving palm branches.
Today, President Joe Biden formally introduced the American Jobs Plan as part of his “Build Back Better” plan to respond to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This comprehensive plan seeks to address critical infrastructure needs, create well-paying jobs, invest in clean energy, build resilience against the impacts of the climate crisis, and address long standing economic and racial injustice.
As followers of Christ, we must boldly address and uproot historic and ongoing injustices in the United States. The impacts of corporate pollution and climate change disproportionately impact Tribal and Indigenous communities, communities of color, and low-income communities. It is well past time to confront this reality and strive for a more just world in which all of God’s children have access to clean air and safe water. We cannot solve the climate crisis without caring for our neighbors and addressing environmental injustice, and that is why YECA applauds the introduction of the Environmental Justice for All Act by Rep. McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ), and Senator Duckworth (D-IL).
YECA celebrates the recent introduction of the REPLANT Act, a bipartisan, bicameral effort to plant and regenerate over 1.2 billion trees over the next decade.
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA) welcomes Tori Goebel as the organization’s incoming National Organizer and Spokesperson. Tori has spent the last 4 years as Communications Director for YECA and the Evangelical Environmental Network, YECA’s partner ministry. During this time, she also served on YECA’s national steering committee. Tori brings a wealth of experience in political organizing and policy advocacy to the role, as well as professional communications and marketing skills.
This moment in our public life calls for leaders who protect and defend our democratic institutions, who tell the truth and repudiate lies, who advance the common good rather than their own self-interests, and who lead with wisdom and humility. Donald Trump has shown himself more clearly than ever to be woefully ill-equipped to rise to these standards. He must go now and never hold office again.
It is well past time for President Trump to acknowledge reality and cease the harmful rhetoric that is only sowing seeds of violence and cracking the very foundation of our democracy.
President-elect Biden must rejoin the Paris Agreement on January 20, and then do everything in his power every day thereafter to achieve the future that the Paris Agreement makes possible. We pledge to continue doing all we can to help, for the sake of God's good creation and our neighbor's good.
Climate activism is living, breathing faithfulness. Here at YECA we strive to be faithful every day in our climate action but can’t do it without your support. Please consider giving to YECA today!
So what does it mean to be “good”? What does it mean for God to call creation “good”? Imagine your favorite place in the natural world. Now imagine every little bit of it as good. The way the sun creates shadows in the grass. The variety of plants and creatures. The way you feel when you are there.
Environmentalism often has a reputation of emphasizing "doom and gloom" in its messaging. And while grief and anxiety are real and all too warranted in the era of climate change, Wendell Berry's poem reminds me of the value of joy as a Biblical fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5). In a Christian sense, joy doesn't simply mean being happy because of your circumstances, but rather a rejection of despair regardless of your circumstances.
We are best able to bear witness to God when we act from a place of love, and acting on climate is no exception. In fact, acting on climate is one of the best ways to embody love for our neighbor and for God’s creation.
A stable climate requires a stable democracy. In the midst of significant challenges, the democratic process has worked. Tens of thousands of volunteers have painstakingly pored over ballots, international observers have praised the process as free and fair, election officials have done their jobs admirably, and the voters have spoken. While it will take time to fully certify all of the results, it is now clear that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States.
As of January 2021, I will be leaving the position of National Organizer and Spokesperson at YECA.
YECA is a youth-led organization, and maintaining young leadership is not only critical for the integrity of YECA’s mission, but necessary for the vibrancy and efficacy of its programming. After 4 years in this role, I have officially aged out of our target audience (having turned 31 in June). Thankfully, new leadership is aging in every day.
The climate crisis is the greatest economic, public health, and existential threat of our time. However, if approached with respect for science and expert opinion, clear-eyed leadership, and creative vision, it can become our greatest opportunity. The recently released report from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis does exactly this. In so doing, it provides a blueprint for a future marked not by loss, suffering, and despair, but by hope, justice, and full flourishing for all.
COVID-19 is spreading. This pandemic has spread to every part of the world; every single person is being affected by this sickness either directly or indirectly. When a sickness, even the common cold, starts to spread and the symptoms start showing up, people immediately go to the doctor. They immediately desire some relief, some healing, some help. Our Earth has been showing symptoms of sickness for a while now. The beautiful Earth that God created is slowly dying right in front of our eyes. So why are people not jumping at the opportunity to keep our Earth safe and healthy?
In this uncertain time, our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic - from those who are ill or caring for loved ones, to those working on the frontlines in our communities, to those who are now without jobs or means to provide for their families. During these unprecedented and stressful times, these truths do not change: our ultimate hope is in the Resurrected Christ, his kingdom of justice and peace continue to break in all around us, and the evidence is everywhere once we have the eyes to see.
Over a dozen young evangelicals gathered outside the National Prayer Breakfast today to call on church leaders to act urgently to address the climate crisis. Organized by Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), the demonstration highlighted an open letter, published in Religion News Service, written by 12 prominent young evangelicals and signed by hundreds more calling on National Prayer Breakfast attendees to include the climate crisis in their prayers and to turn their prayers into action when they return home.
Today, President Trump sent official confirmation to the U.N. Secretary-General of his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement includes virtually every nation in the world and is the first comprehensive roadmap for how the nations of the world will work together to mitigate and adapt to climate change. With the communication sent today, the U.S. will officially withdraw from the agreement on November 4, 2020.
Our friends at A Rocha recently released the following statement about a fatal car accident involving A Rocha international staff.
** Press statement: A Rocha International staff in fatal accident in South Africa
Today, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Market Choice Act, an ambitious plan to incentivize a free-market transition toward clean, renewable energy. The bill will significantly drive down greenhouse gas emissions, direct most of the revenue raised toward much-needed infrastructure investment, and ensure that low-income households are protected from related energy price increases.
On Friday, September 20, people from all corners of the world will join together for the largest climate demonstration in human history. This will be the start of a movement that will emphasize the importance of climate action throughout 2020 and beyond. Christians must play a critical role in the movement, providing the moral leadership to call for bold action in addressing the climate crisis. We have an opportunity to act on our Biblical values and join an international network demanding climate justice for all.
"I wish the announcement today that the Trump Administration will roll back crucial regulations curbing methane emissions came as a surprise. Instead, it is just the latest reminder that this administration has no interest in defending vulnerable populations, protecting God's creation, or safeguarding our generation's future. We'll spare a moment to lament this latest act of craven self-interest, and then we'll get back to work."
The Green New Deal has captured the imagination of the country and has catapulted climate change to a top 2020 election issue. It is the first time that our lawmakers have accurately captured the scale and scope of the climate crisis and offered a strong framework to both address its felt effects and to eradicate its root causes. As Christians, we recognize the biblical principles that are embedded in the Green New Deal’s many aspirations, including justice (Micah 6:8, Amos 5:24, Isaiah 1:17), neighbor-love (Matthew 22:34-40), and meaningful protection of the earth (Genesis 2:15). These are principles that Y.E.C.A. believes must be present in any future climate policy, and they are values that Christians and all people of good will can and must affirm.
This reflection was written by Christine Seibert, a Climate Leadership Fellow '17-'18, and a current member of our Steering Committee.