Showing posts with label Principle 2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Principle 2. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Climate justice - What are you doing to work for climate justice?

For centuries we have looked to nature as a mirror onto which to first project, then observe, ourselves. But what is the moral? 

There is nothing to learn from global warming, because we do not have the time, or the distance, to contemplate its lessons; we are after all not merely telling the story but living it. That is, trying to; the threat is immense. 

How immense? 

One 2018 paper sketches the math in horrifying detail. In the journal Nature Climate Change, a team led by Drew Shindell tried to quantify the suffering that would be avoided if warming was kept to 1.5 degrees, rather than 2 degrees—in other words, how much additional suffering would result from just that additional half-degree of warming. 

Their answer: 150 million more people would die from air pollution alone in a 2-degree warmer world than in a 1.5-degree warmer one. Later that year, the IPCC raised the stakes further: in the gap between 1.5 degrees and 2, it said, hundreds of millions of lives were at stake.

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth (p. 28). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, but the immense threat of global warming due to carbon emissions is ignored because the consequences of our current policies and practices are so immense that we engage in denial and minimization in order to continue to function in our daily lives.

We have yet to be able to get the enormity of the consequences of these climate changes into perspective. We have things to do and other things to occupy our attention like political scandals, sports, internet social media, etc.

UUs as a people of faith can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We can educate ourselves and others and advocate for policies and practices that mitigate the immense consequences of what we have done.

How important an issue is climate justice when you make a decision to vote for policy makers at all levels of government? How much of your time and energy have you invested in organizing others to advocate for a change in climate justice policies? How do you affirm and promote our seventh principle, the respect for the interdependent web?

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Evidence Based Social Policy Advocacy - Criminal Justice, wrongful convictions

Of the 367 wrongful convictions exonerated with DNA evidence by the Innocence Project since 1989:

130 were wrongfully convicted of murder with 40 cases, 31% involving eyewitness misidentifications, and 81 cases, 62%, involving false confessions.

The major reasons for wrongful convictions of the 367 exonerated cases by DNA evidence since 1989 are:

  1.  69% eyewitness misidentification
  2. 44% misapplication of forensic science
  3. 28% false confessions
  4. 17% inaccurate incentivized informant testimony
  1. How many wrongful convictions have occured in the jurisdiction of your congregation in the last ten years?
  2. Are members of your congregation monitoring the performance of police and prosecutors in your service area?
  3. What actions has your congregation taken to improve the just performance of the police and prosecutors in your service area in the last ten years and what are you planning in the coming ten years?
  4. Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. How specifically is your congregation and its members doing in implementing this principle in its congregational, familial, and personal lives? Is it a time for an assessment?

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Evidenced Based Social Policy Advocacy - Criminal Justice, Use of Incentivized Informants

The fourth largest factor in wrongful convictions in the 367 people exonerated by DNA evidence by the Innocence project was use of incentivized informants with 17% of the cases.


Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. When people have conflicts of interest, it is human nature that justice, equity, and compassion often are set aside in the interests of self-preservation and self-aggrandizement. It takes a very mature person to rise above these perverse, narcissistic incentives.

What makes things worse for justice, equity, and compassion to be honored and implemented is when the incentives of a system are perverted to encourage such conflicts of interest, or they are overlooked in the service of an unjust or inequitable goal being achieved.

Unitarian Universalists, as they enact the second principle, should be alert to the perverse incentives in systems to favor some participants over others. When good people do bad things, it is usually because the system not only allows it, but incentivizes it in some way. No better and damaging examples can be given than those that occur in the criminal justice system.

What is the policy of the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in your jurisdiction when it comes to the use of informants and incentivized witnesses?

For more click here.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Who are these people who laugh themselves into eternity?

Most people somnambulate through life.
Some have awakened.
Those who somnambulate live in fear and will die.
Those who have awakened live in peace and know that death is not real.

Most people walk the path of the ego.
Some people walk the path of the spirit.
Some people will leave the path of the ego and turn onto the path of the spirit.
Most will walk the path of the ego until death.
Those who walk the path of the spirit will live forever.

Unitarian Univeralists are a savvy bunch who have learned that life is about a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. UUs have learned that justice, equity, and compassion will set people free. UUs, respecting the interdependent web of all existence, have risen above fear and merged with the All. Knowing the Ground of their Being, UUs have found peace and bliss. Having found peace and bliss, UUs laugh themselves into eternity.

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