Candidates for the office of Mayor of Chicago have been asked, what is your position on “dibs?” Some of the 21 candidates aren’t prepared for the question. Former police chief Gerry McCarthy would outlaw the practice. Bill Daley, a candidate and brother to the former mayor, is in favor of “dibs.” Candidate Dorothy Brown wasn’t familiar with the practice.

“Dibs” is the practice of reserving a shoveled out parking place after a heavy snowfall with a piece of furniture.

Political debates in Chicago are enjoying what appears to outsiders as “levity” amidst all the difficult issues facing voters. If you live in crowded Chicago and depend on street parking, “dibs” can be appreciated after clearing mountains of snow to make a parking place for one’s car. Nothing in scripture specifically instructs the faithful to give a neighbor who has no parking place, yours. “All politics is local,” or as Tribune reporter John Byrne writes of Chicago, “All politics is snowfall.”

With the “Dibs” story and the many other events demanding our attention on “Black Friday,” November 23, one could easily miss the release of Volume II of the US government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment report on climate change. . “Human activity is changing the planet’s climate faster than at any point in modern civilization, heralding costly and, in some cases, life-threatening consequences in every region of the country.” The report is important for cities and states whose work is essential in slowing climate change, according to one of the report’s authors, Richard Moss. Extreme heat in the Midwest will wilt crops and pose a threat to livestock in the years ahead, reducing the agricultural economy of Illinois.

Climate change is being addressed by Carol Stream’s community leaders. We have a “Green Carol Stream” committee which deserves support and thanks. “Green Carol Stream” initiatives include:

  1. Maintaining and preserving the many wetlands, riparian corridors, ponds, lakes and native prairies and forests, important to the village’s ecology.
  2. A recycling program that needs vigilant support from every business and home, remembering there is no “away,” where once we disposed of our trash.
  3. LCM is one of many organizations participating in the Carol Stream “Adopt-a-Highway” program. Twice each year volunteers recruited by Patti Edwards and Julie Bowler clean a stretch of Kuhn Road.
  4. Carol Stream has 218 miles of shoreline and stream banks in need of volunteers to keep the river and pond water clean. Volunteers are needed.
  5. The village asks us to observe the “Dump No Waste! – Drains to Stream” rule. Carol Steam gets drinking water from storm water runoff and everyone must help protect storm water from these pollutants: automobile hydrocarbons, lawn care fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, snow fighting salt, and pet waste.
  6. The village also asks us to do our part keeping the air clean by following these tips: choose a cleaner driving commute, combine driving errands to reduce “cold starts” of your car, keep tires properly inflated, use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products, mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.

Sovereign of the universe, your first covenant of mercy was with every living creature. When your beloved Son came among us, the waters of the river welcomed him, the heavens opened to greet his arrival, the animals of the wilderness drew near as his companions. With all the world’s people, may we who are washed into new life through baptism, seek the way of your new creation, the way of justice and care, mercy and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.”  (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 81)