Climate Action

Our most urgent crisis.

The Auckland Unitarian Climate Action Team (CAT) has both expertise and passion to contribute. We are focused on education both within and outside our community, creating alliances with other faith groups, treaty partners and NGOs that share our passion, and lobbying local and national businesses and political leaders to take climate change as deadly serious and to respond more quickly and effectively, in the hope that through our actions we may help turn this crisis around.

If you are interested in joining us, contact our Climate Team.

Even if you are not in Auckland, you can join us on Zoom.

Climate Change: Issues and Challenges

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with members of the Auckland UU Climate Team – Brenda Bendall, Shirin Caldwell, Jonathan Mason

Climate Change: Issues and Challenges
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service, plus many informative links embedded in the main text below.

Shirin Caldwell, Brenda Bendall, Jonathon Mason © 19 June 2022

From Shirin Caldwell:-

Why we are doing this service.

In November 2021 Clay delivered a service called ‘COP26 Blah, blah, blah‘. He began by saying: Greta Thunberg has been teaching us how to speak truth to power. She has resisted being a token voice used by governments lacking political will and by global companies seeking to monetise efforts to stop killing the planet while doing their best to protect their financial interests in extracting carbon.

  • Clay’s particular musing prompted 3 of us from the Climate Action Team and the Peace and Social Justice Group to think about our individual responsibilities regarding the Climate Crisis.
  • We acknowledge that our congregation is knowledgeable about, and care deeply about Climate Change, and that many of us, if not all, will have already begun making positive changes to reduce our carbon emissions.
  • We are aware that Climate Change is one of the big factors in today’s Mental Health issues, along with Covid and the war in Ukraine. Do contact Clay if you feel a need to talk.
Continue reading Climate Change: Issues and Challenges

Climate Action Resources

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How you can find out more about, and contribute to doing something about, the climate crisis?

The purpose of this list is to stimulate research / education / discussion / action.

Inclusion here does not necessarily signify endorsement by Auckland Unitarian Church.


Carbon Footprint Calculators

https://www.carbonclick.com/

https://ekos.co.nz/

https://www.toitu.co.nz/what-we-offer/carbon-management

FutureFit

Gen Less – supported by EECA (the NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority). 

How to REDUCE your carbon footprint

Do One Thing – Climate Change

NZ Ministry for the Environment – What You Can Do

Continue reading Climate Action Resources

COP26 Blah, blah, blah

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with Rev. Clay Nelson

COP26 Blah, blah, blah
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Clay Nelson © 7 November 2021

To introduce my musings this morning I am turning to an 18-year-old woman who, ever since she was a child, has been teaching us how to speak truth to power. Greta Thunberg has resisted being a token voice used by governments lacking political will and by global companies seeking to monetise efforts to stop killing the planet while doing their best to protect their financial interests in extracting carbon. This is a short speech she gave on the eve of COP26.

Continue reading COP26 Blah, blah, blah

Reclaiming our rabble-rouser roots

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with Rev. Clay Nelson

Reclaiming our rabble-rouser roots
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Clay Nelson © 15 August 2021

You may remember the movie The Perfect Storm that came out in the year 2000. It was about a real storm in 1991. A variety of factors came together to create a hurricane that was never named. In the northern hemisphere hurricanes form in the tropics and move north. This hurricane started as a nor’easter that became a hurricane that formed off the Atlantic coast of Canada and New England and then moved south causing considerable damage.

The term “perfect storm” was coined by journalist Sebastian Junger after a conversation with Boston meteorologist Robert Case in which Case described the convergence of weather conditions as being “perfect” for the formation of such a storm. It has entered our lexicon to describe an especially bad situation caused by a combination of unfavourable circumstances. It certainly applies to our new reality.

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What Good are Pupfish?

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with Rev. Clay Nelson

What Good are Pupfish?
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Clay Nelson © 18 April 2021

The following tale has been abridged and brutally edited by me in the interest of time. It is from a chapter in Elizabeth Kolbert’s book “Under a White Sky”.

A couple of weeks before the Christmas of 1849, William Lewis Manly climbed to a mountain pass and beheld “the most wonderful picture of grand desolation one could ever see.” Manly was standing in what’s now southwestern Nevada with an empty stomach and a dry and parched throat.” Manly found himself wandering the desert owing to a series of unfortunate decisions. Hoping to reach the gold fields in Northern California they took a detour that led into some of the most inhospitable terrain on the continent.

Continue reading What Good are Pupfish?

School Strike for Climate – Learning from our Children

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with members of the Children’s Committee – Joel Hildebrandt, Tess Brothersen, Ann Blyth, Judy Lightstone, and of course our children.

Inter-Generational Service
School Strike for Climate – Learning from our Children

Audio to come

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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Tess Brothersen © 18 April 2021

“We, the young, are deeply concerned about our future. Humanity is currently causing the sixth mass extinction of species and the global climate system is at the brink of a catastrophic crisis. Its devastating impacts are already felt by millions of people around the globe. Yet we are far from reaching the goals of the Paris agreement.

Continue reading School Strike for Climate – Learning from our Children

The Carbon Footprint of Faith

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with Rev. Clay Nelson

The Carbon Footprint of Faith
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Clay Nelson © 14 March 2021

I have shared in the past that I was reared by, and infused with the values of, a staunch empiricist. Yet my scientist father was a highly committed and active member of the Episcopal Church most of his adult life. Furthermore, to everyone’s surprise, including mine, he parented an Episcopal priest who evolved into a Unitarian minister. As a teenager I could not untangle the mystery of how belief in science and faith could be embodied in a single skin. It was a conundrum. It was an impossible juxtaposition. It was mind-numbing cognitive dissonance. It defied an adolescent’s black and white view of reality.

Continue reading The Carbon Footprint of Faith

The road to hothouse hell is paved with good intentions

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with Rev. Clay Nelson

The road to hothouse hell is paved with good intentions
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Clay Nelson © 7 March 2021

To continue with Elizabeth’s Kolbert’s river metaphor, I am reminded of a gift a friend who knew me too well gave me at the beginning of my ministry. It was a poster of a landscape featuring a river. The caption beneath it read, “Don’t push the river”. This intrinsically Taoist wisdom taunted me from its primacy of place on the wall facing my desk. All my stereotypic male traits wanted to move the river faster; straighten its meandering nature; keep it carefully constrained within its banks. There was way too much to be done to accept the river’s natural pace. The river’s course might be more picturesque, but posters be damned, it wasn’t efficient or fit for purpose from my limited view. Time to push it.

Continue reading The road to hothouse hell is paved with good intentions

Don’t believe everything you think

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with Rev. Clay Nelson

Don’t believe everything you think

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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Clay Nelson © 28 February 2021

Optical illusions are fun. In part because they are universal as far as I know. The word illusion comes from the Latin word illudere, meaning “to mock”. These illusions trick our brains into perceiving something different from physical reality. Three common ones are illusory motion (images that appear to be moving), double pictures (images that contain two pictures in one), and impossible objects (images that make sense when drawn on paper, but which could never exist in real life!).

Continue reading Don’t believe everything you think

Reflections on Earth Day

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with Rev. Clay Nelson

Watch

Listen

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As we gather together this morning is by Bets Wienecke.

Opening words are from The Miraculous Pitcher by Barbara Rohde.

Rev. Clay Nelson © 15th April 2018

Something was off when I woke up in my dorm room in late January 1969. I realised I couldn’t hear the ocean, which was only 75 metres from my bedroom at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The sea was silent. I and other early risers went to the cliffs overlooking the normally pristine coastline. The ocean waves were weighed down by oil and tar, unable to crash on the beach. Continue reading Reflections on Earth Day