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  • Writer's pictureGood Stewards Network

Our Addiction To Oil Fuels War - Like the Russian Invasion of Ukraine "Blessed Are the Peacemakers"

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

— (Matthew 5:9, NIV)

The following is a summary of a recent op-ed by Rev. Mitch Hescox.

Americans are feeling the effects of the faraway war between Russia and Ukraine, especially at the gas pump. Increased gas prices have families worried and elected officials looking for creative ways to bring the prices down.

But even as we face our own problems in the United States, we should remember the suffering and loss of life Ukraine is facing. According to the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 500 civilians have died since the Russian invasion, including 37 children. Military deaths from both sides number in the thousands and at least 2.3 million of God’s children have become refugees. All these numbers are sure to increase as the war drags on.

As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to be effective peacemakers we must consider the root of conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries. In almost every way–energy has played a deciding role. As President George W. Bush’s said in his January 2006 State of The Union message, “America is addicted to oil.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a powerful reminder that an economy tied to fossil fuels is too unpredictable and makes America dependent on the decisions of often hostile foreign leaders.

As Americans and Evangelical Christians, it is time to eliminate the only thing holding Russia upright, our dependence on foreign energy sources, especially Russian oil.

This will be no easy task, nonetheless it is one that we should strive for as people called to be peacemakers.

There are 2 million children refugees fleeing Putin’s war. Moving away from Russian fossil fuels will take time and we will see prices rise in the short term, but these kids can’t wait. And American children, far from the conflict zone, can’t wait either.

Fossil fuels are causing major health problems in American children. PM2.5 (soot), a pollutant formed from the combustion of fossil fuels, kills an estimated 200,000 Americans each year. Around 15,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the U.S. because of and 30% of these children die.

According to the United Health Care 2021 Report, PA ranks 48th of 50 states in air and water quality and 49th in human health-related risk from exposure to toxins that cost us 100’s of millions dollars each year.

The future of our children’s safety depends on our generation eliminating toxic emissions. That is why we should come together in support of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). We must Invest in safe, american-made energy now.

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