Kenosha pastor fasting until Congress passes climate bill

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KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Congress is being asked to take historic steps to address climate change.

The proposals are part of the reconciliation bill which could soon be voted on. Activists near and far are weighing in.

At Grace Lutheran church in Kenosha, the main pastor says he won't eat until the federal reconciliation bill is passed. 

So far he's gone over three days with no food.

Rev. Jonathan Barker's on a water fast. He's had nothing to eat, only water to drink, since Saturday.

"And when I finally said yes to this fast, it's just been a supernatural joy in my heart," Rev. Barker said. 

"Oh creator of the universe, let our leaders take bold action to protect our common home," Rev. Barker prayed outloud.

By fasting, Rev. Barker's focus is on his prayer. 

"And Kenosha itself is in a historic drought caused by climate change, so we need climate action. We also see our shoreline on Lake Michigan eroded here," said Rev. Barker.

The bill has a lot of climate change corrections in it, like clean electricity performance. 

"Which is a program that would reward power generators for switching to clean renewable energy," Rev. Barker said. 

The electric vehicle tax credit is another. 

"For instance, if you were to buy a Chevy Volt if this bill passes, you would get a $12,500 rebate," said Rev. Barker.

All this, inspiring to the people at Grace Lutheran, including those they reach with a weekly food pantry. Others have joined his lead.

"There's nothing that can be done of greater importance in this day than to protect the future," said Bill Gregory, who attends Grace Lutheran.

Gregory is participating in the fast.

"Well the first day's not been nice for me. I know as the days pass it will be smooth sailing," he said.

"I want this world to be really great. I want this world to be not polluted. When I grow up I will be the one who's living in it in a polluted world," said 3rd grader Augustus Underwood.

The last time Congress took up a climate change bill was in 2010. The bill failed.

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