America should embrace renewable energy
Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (now with 196 nations on board) is a perverse version of “American exceptionalism.”
That we are aligning ourselves with Nicaragua and Syria, is not true. Nicaragua did not sign the agreement largely because they feel the agreement is not an adequate solution to global warming. Syria is not involved, because of civil war and travel sanctions imposed on its leaders. However, the U.S., a primary architect of the agreement, withdrew for largely political reasons. Yes, we are exceptional, i.e., in a category unto ourselves.
The alleged net loss of U.S. jobs, caused by the Paris Agreement, is fictional. Of course, jobs in fossil fuels will probably decline; however, that will happen anyway, due to economics — and we should help those impacted. Renewable energy resources, especially solar and wind, have become cost competitive when compared with fossil fuels. Huge numbers of new jobs will result, if we can avoid more unwise political decisions. Witness the 1,100-acre solar farm now being constructed in Alabama’s Chambers County, largely at the behest of Walmart, which “has a goal to be supplied by 100% renewable energy.” (Recall that retired Walmart CEO Rob Walton, founder Sam Walton’s son, is a leader in the Climate Leadership Council, an organization of well know Republicans who are concerned about the present human caused climate change.)
Renewable energy is here and growing. Alabama and the U.S. should aggressively join in.
Concern over rise of hate groups
We, the undersigned members of the Auburn Ministerial Association, are concerned and saddened by the rise of hate groups in the United States and particularly in the State of Alabama over the past two years. According to the nation's leading source for reliable analysis of the radical right, the Southern Poverty Law Center, of the 917 hate groups in the United States, 27 are based in Alabama.
These hate groups malign or attack an entire set of people — blacks, Jews, Muslims and Christians. The number of anti-Muslim hate groups has doubled in recent years.
Anti-Semitic acts have occurred all over the United States. We have seen a rise in anti-Semitism from Missouri to Indiana to Philadelphia. About 200 graves were vandalized this year in the suburbs of St. Louis; hundreds of tombstones were overturned at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia and 55 vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
These crimes are particularly offensive to our Jewish brother sand sisters, since they consider the ground on which they bury their dead to be sacred.
All of us are called to protest against the environment of ethnic and religious bigotry that has arisen in the past few years. Our nation was founded on individual liberties, including the free exercise of religion. Ethnic and religious bigotry have no place in our nation. We feel duty-bound to speak out against these acts of hatred, based on both our love for our country and our religious convictions.
The Rev. Diana Jordan Allende
Minister Emerita, Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Dr. Salman Azhar
Board member, Auburn Islamic Center
Rev. Pamela Gehrke
Unitarian Universalist Minister
Dr. Johnny Green
Auburn University Student Affairs
Dr. Tripp Martin
Rev. Alica Kirkpatrick
Dr. Richard Penaskovic
Emer. Pofessor, Auburn University
Rev. Kathy Wolf Reed
Dr. Nick Reed
First Presbyterian Church
Father Bill Skoneki
St. Michael's Catholic Parish
Rev. Libba Stinson
United Methodist clergy