Kirk members tell Donald Trump climate change is 'not fake news'
Published on 14 December 2017
A special Christmas letter has been sent to President Donald Trump urging him to listen to US scientists and accept that climate change is not “fake news”.
Around 60 members of St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church in Edinburgh have signed the missive which has been posted to the White House in Washington DC.
The plea to “lighten the gloom” hanging over the world was orchestrated by minister, Rev Ian Gilmour, who usually writes a Christmas letter to his congregation.
But he said he wanted to address Mr Trump personally this year following his controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change deal.
A total of 195 countries have agreed to work together to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Scientists believe humans are adding to the natural greenhouse effect on the planet with gases released from industry and agriculture, trapping more energy and increasing the temperature.
Gas emissions are now at their highest levels in history which has an impact on wildlife, food production, sea levels and extreme weather events.
The letter to Mr Trump reads: “You have the power to make a huge difference to all the children of the world.
“They all live on the same planet as you and will expect to live on Earth long after you have completed your term of office and indeed your life.
“However, this Christmas, you can give them a gift of hope, increase their joy and reveal your commitment to them by improving their chance of longer, happier lives.
“My suggestion is to simply follow the research of United States scientists and acknowledge that climate change is not fake news.
“It is real and will have deadly consequences for millions of children from Bangladesh to Brooklyn, from New Orleans to Nairobi.
“It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong, while it is a foolish man who ignores advice and builds on sand.”
The letter to Mr Trump, whose mother Mary MacLeod was from the Isle of Lewis, urges him to “reveal your wisdom, strength and generosity”.
“Simply read your own scientists’ findings and do not withdraw support from the Paris climate accord,” it reads,
“And instead rejoin the majority of nations in the battle against climate change.”
Adrian Shaw, the Church of Scotland’s climate change officer, said the letter contained an important message.
“At The United Nation’s climate summit in Bonn, Germany recently, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon listened to stories from church representatives from the Pacific islands,” he added.
“They left her in no doubt that climate change is causing real and probably irreversible damage to their islands and their communities.
“The Church of Scotland hears the same stories from partner churches around the world.
“Denial does not help.
“To care properly for each other and for creation, we have to respond to the challenge of climate change.”