Guest Opinions

Embracing clean energy is our role in protecting the planet

Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer

Writing as a Christian and a faith leader, I have no apologies. My belief is that everyone must take up the message of change. Courage to speak out in love and compassion is important to get any message out to those we care about.

Climate change is real and it is right now. Extreme weather around the world makes it difficult to ignore that something is happening to our climate. Science is clear that we all contribute to this problem. Even if society makes dramatic changes today, it will take years, even decades, to bring us to a better climate.

As a person of faith, I believe that the earth was created and some power engaged humankind to be the caretakers of this creation. Many believe in the biblical story of creation in six days with God giving the creation to humankind to take care of. Others favor the big bang theory of creation and the evolution of life as we know it. These creation theories don’t conflict me, but each strongly support the fact that humankind has a major role in protecting our world.

In the time of climate crisis, changing our energy consumption and so many more actions are essential to living up to our roles as protectors. I have spent much of my time working to help move our small corner of the world toward clean energy as one method of helping stop climate change and build a stronger, cleaner and healthier community.

“Ready For 100” – 100 percent clean energy – is a program adopted by 36 cities in our country to move toward clean, renewable energy by 2035. This work excites me, especially considering our current leadership nationally and the lack of direction they’re taking on climate solutions.

I’ve spent months speaking with Boise’s faith leaders about 100 percent clean energy and found supporters in the Christian, Islamic and Jewish communities — 20 faith leaders to be exact. Recently I took that list of supporters and a letter, along with a priest from St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the social action chair from Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, urging that Boise Mayor Dave Bieter endorse a vision for 100 percent clean energy citywide in Boise.

Boise is a perfect city to adopt this direction because our mayor, council and city leaders are all interested in keeping our common home a great place to live and work. The real key to making this happen is for all of us to speak out clearly with words, planning and strategic implementation of different climate initiatives.

What should come first to guide our work is a shared vision of where we would like to end up. Without defining where we’re going, it will be hard to measure our successes. I believe we must set the goal of 100 percent clean energy if we are to achieve protection for all creation.

Our actions must be unified and derived from love. Please join me and others who are working hard to make this change.

Robert Spencer is a retired Episcopal priest and hospital chaplain; supply priest at St. James in Mountain Home; and active in climate and related issues locally and beyond.