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Ten Commandments for a Climate-Threatened World: The Second Five

Message David Griffin

The 10 Commandments
The 10 Commandments
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In "Ten Commandments for a Climate-Threatened World: The First Five," I suggested these commandments for our time: (1) Thou Shalt Not Ruin Civilization's Climate. (2) Thou Shalt Not Impose Hotter Weather on People. (3) Thou Shalt Not Impose Drought on People. (4) Thou Shat Not Increase Destructive Storms. (5) Thou Shalt Not Deprive People of Clean Water. This second essay suggests five more:

6. Thou Shalt Not Deprive People of Food

In a 2012 book, Full Planet, Empty Plates, Lester Brown said: "The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity."[1]

As to why, there are two main causes. Whereas one is the continued growth of the world's population, the other was indicated by a 2012 statement by Oxfam: "Increased hunger is likely to be one of climate change's most savage impacts on humanity," so "the food security outlook in a future of unchecked climate change is bleak."[2]

As to how climate change is contributing to this bleak outlook, Brown said: "Of all the environmental trends that are shrinking the world's food supplies, the most immediate is water shortages" [as discussed in the fifth commandment]. [3]

But climate change has also reduced food availability by means of heat, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, sea-level rise, and the destruction mentioned in the next two commandments: ocean acidification and sea-level rise.

7. Thou Shalt Not Ruin People's Seas

For food, the ocean is as important as fertile land. But the CO2 spewed into the world over the past century is threatening seafood even more than land-based food.

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David Ray Griffin is emeritus professor of philosophy of religion at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. He has written 30 books. His most recent book is Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? (Clarity (more...)

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