The Higher Ground Moral Declaration

ON Enivronmental Justice

Moral and Constitutional Foundation

Genesis 1:1-2, 29-31. In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Pope Francis. Laudato Si, 139. We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the underprivileged, and at the same time protecting nature.

Preamble of the Constitution of the United States. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Questions for Candidates

Climate change, ecological issues, pollution are wreaking havoc on communities, displacing people because of super-storms and “man-made” disasters. Do you support policies that protect the environment and the people living in it? Do you support programs that provide adequate resources for vulnerable communities to be able to prepare for and rebuild after crises caused by natural and man-made ecological disasters?

Do you support a just transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy, including providing employment and re-training for workers who currently rely on the fossil fuel industry?

Communities of color and poor communities bear a disproportionate environmental burden - forced to live closer to toxic dumping grounds and the pollution from fossil fuel extraction, trash-burning incinerators, and other heavy industries. Do you support policies that will hold companies accountable for the damage they've caused, require them to clean up their messes, and prevent the pollution of communities in the future?

We believe environmental justice is a moral issue. Do you? If not, please explain why.