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Environment: Policy solutions

The Bible is full of nature imagery, from most of the Psalms to Jesus' mandate to "consider the lilies." For MCC and its constituent churches, it is not only about enjoying the beauty of nature, but also about caring properly for what we have been given by God. Mennonite environmentalist Art Meyer writes, "I am an environmentalist because I am a Christian."

MCC's environmental field work around the world has focused primarily on reforestation, sustainable agriculture education and providing safe drinking water. MCC workers in Appalachia have closely followed the impact of the mining industry on the land and its people. The practice of removing mountaintops and dumping them into valley streams degrades the land, contaminates the water and increases flooding.

The Washington Office considers environmental policies by asking not only, "What is helpful for us now?" but also "What will be healthy for our children? For our children's children?"

Following are some of the environmental issues covered by the Washington Office:

Climate change

The United States is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, producing about 22% of global emissions. In 2008, MCC appealed for $1 million in contributions to provide emergency food aid in Ethiopia, where droughts and rising food prices have led to widespread shortages. We know that the climate change crisis will create the most suffering for those who already feel the most need. As partners with the poor, it is important that we encourage our governments to act responsibly and craft policies that are both compassionate and just.

International adaptation assistance

As a result of global climate change, many developing nations are facing the current or future threat of severe humanitarian crises — including an increase in the incidence of floods, droughts, water shortages from disappearing glaciers, famine, and other natural disasters. Although these nations are the most vulnerable to climate change, they are the least responsible for its origin – it is developed nations that bear the greatest responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Learn more.

Mountaintop removal

Mountaintop removal strip mining destroys the natural environment and ecosystem, contaminates drinking water, threatens to destroy a longstanding Appalachian culture, and has contributed to higher unemployment in affected communities (as fewer minors are needed). Dependence on fossil fuels rather than renewable energy sources drives climate change and contributes to demand for destructive mining practices. Learn more. 

U.S.-Mexico border fence

Nearly one-third of U.S. land along this border lies in public hands, including national wildlife refuges, national parks, and national forests. Fencing and walls, though doing little to stop human migration, are severing migration routes and destroying thousands of acres of wildlife habitat. Learn more.