Over 100 people are feared dead after storms and tornadoes moved through eight states last week, leaving destruction and devastation in their wake.

The most devastating storm ripped through Kentucky, possibly producing a long-range tornado that stayed on the ground for over 250 miles. If scientists confirm the track, then the tornado would become the longest recorded tornado on the ground in U.S. history.

While communities continue to grieve and clean up after this catastrophe, scientists and leaders are openly wondering if climate change helped fuel this most recent set of December storms. While storms of this capacity are often experienced in the spring, they are a rare occurrence in December.

Just this week, 100 scientists published the Arctic Report Card by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They examined changes in snow cover, sea ice volume, tundra vegetation, and surface air and ocean temperatures from October 2020 to September 2021.

After analyzing and drawing conclusions about the data, scientists are more confident now than ever before that the world faces a critical moment for the future of the planet.

The situation has grown so dire that the editorial board of The New York Times published 193 examples on how humanity is failing the planet.

Even with some optimism coming from the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) as the world attempts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, activists are not convinced that political rhetoric will ever turn into concrete actions in time to reverse the damages of a warming planet.

If humans do not demand immediate action on climate change, then we will continue to experience more extreme weather.

In the United States, tornadoes will become less seasonal, hurricanes will intensify, drought and wildfires will increase, and temperatures will continue to rise. In other parts of the world, similar situations will arise.

And here is the damning news: the poorest and most vulnerable will be impacted the most by climate change. As people of faith, we must not stand for this reality.

Every major religion advocates for a moral imperative to care for the less fortunate. If people of faith cannot lead the charge against global warming, then we have no business professing our faith.

If we continue down this path, then we are nothing more than noisy gongs, clanging away as the winds swirl around the world causing devastation. From our consciences of faith, we must call for action and implement actions ourselves.

Former President Barack Obama declared, “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and this is the urgent threat of a changing climate.”

He continued, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now.”

As people of good faith, we need to sound the alarm and call our fellow humans to action. Reversing global warming begins and ends with us.

Therefore, as a Christian looking forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, all I want for Christmas this year is for people of faith to take global warming seriously.

I call on leaders to put words into action, and I urge each of us to take personal responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint.

As Jesus taught, we are called to love God and love our neighbor. Loving both means caring for God’s creation and the global home where our neighbor’s dwell. If we fail in either of these goals, then we have failed God and each other.

May we rise up to embrace our responsibility for the sake of our futures.

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