Friends General Conference

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Organizing a Committee on Unity with Nature

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Minutes Details: 

At the present time, many evils and problems compete for the attention of people of good will. Warfare, nuclear proliferation, intolerance, inequality, poverty, illness, and homelessness are just some of the challenges facing the world today. The Peace and Social Action Committee of Summit Monthly Meeting has always taken these and similar problems as its principal concerns. This can be seen in our recommendations for charitable contributions, in the conferences we have organized, in our other activities, and in the other business we have brought to the Meeting. At the same time, however, another and related set of problems cries out for intervention. These are environmental and ecological problems. Global warming is proceeding and threatens to disrupt agriculture, unleash flooding, inundate coastal areas, and destroy ecosystems if it is not halted. Deforestation is occurring at such a rate that, if not slowed, all of the earth’s remaining rain forests may be depleted within forty years. Some estimates project that half of all species on earth will be destroyed or threatened in the next 25 years unless meaningful changes in human behavior are made. Cruel mistreatment of animals and reckless misuse of plant resources occur on a worldwide scale.

The Peace and Social Action Committee is deeply troubled by these problems, too. However, our limited numbers and resources make it impossible for us to undertake activities that address environmental issues without severely compromising our ongoing efforts to promote peace and social justice.

Accordingly, the Peace and Social Action Committee recommends and requests that Summit Monthly Meeting establish a new committee, the Committee on Unity with Nature. Many Yearly and Monthly Meetings of Friends already have such committees, and Quaker Earthcare Witness has prepared suggested goals and activities for such groups. The Peace and Social Action Committee would be happy to collaborate with this new Committee where appropriate, while maintaining its present primary focus on right relations within and between human groups. We therefore ask that the meeting establish this new Committee and that the Nominating Committee organize it as soon as possible.

Submitted by the Peace and Social Action Committee May 8, 2005