By Murray MacAdam
When he looked into the Earth’s changing climate, David Faltenhine realized he needed to do something about it. Now he serves as a volunteer ambassador for climate change education and action with The Climate Reality Project, begun by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore.
As the national energy manager for a large engineering firm, Mr. Faltenhine was invited to a Climate Reality Project training session in California last fall. “It was a really powerful experience,” he recalls. Mr. Gore, a prominent environmental activist, led a presentation on the science behind climate change, and what can be done in response.
Mr. Faltenhine will present a Climate Reality Project workshop at the diocese’s Outreach Conference on Oct. 5 with Diane Marshall, a member of the diocese’s Creation Matters environmental group. The floods in Toronto and Calgary, and other startling weather episodes, will be covered, followed by scientific evidence backing up climate change. “We connect the dots,” says Mr. Faltenhine. The workshop will wrap up with suggestions for action.
In his work, Mr. Faltenhine has helped companies save millions of dollars on energy costs. But it’s the environmental benefits that give him the most satisfaction. His Christian faith helps inspire Mr. Faltenhine, a member of the Church of the Redeemer, in his environmental advocacy, which has included meetings with his MPP and his MP. When he recalls the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and the beauty of God’s creation, it reminds him of the damage that humans are inflicting on the Earth. “We’re not being responsible to the beautiful planet that’s been given us,” he says.
Mr. Faltenhine admits that at times it’s hard to remain hopeful, with powerful political and economic interests opposing action on climate change. “It’s almost like a David and Goliath situation,” he notes. “But David did slay Goliath.”
Ms. Marshall says, “The Anglican Church’s fifth Mark of Mission calls us to care responsibly for the creation. Part of this workshop will include a discussion on how we, as Christians, can take responsibility in our personal and public lives as citizens in a time of climate change.”
The climate change workshop is just one of many at the Outreach Conference, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Holy Trinity School, Richmond Hill. Other workshops include spirituality and social justice, solidarity with First Nations, advocacy tips, a theatrical workshop on refugee issues, and much more. Free child care is provided. If you’d like to attend, register as soon as possible because registration is limited, and nearly 50 people have already registered. To register, visit www.toronto.anglican.ca/outreachconference. The conference fee of $25 ($10 for students and the unemployed) includes lunch.
For more information on the Outreach Conference, contact Social Justice and Advocacy Consultant Murray MacAdam at 1-800-668-8932 or 416-363-6021, ext. 240, or email email@example.com.