Hot enough? Can preachers change cooling beliefs on climate change?


Preacher pointing from Bible
an the power of the pulpit rekindle Americans’ concerns about global warming?

It might be worth a try since religious Americans are the ones whose beliefs in global warming are on the wane. Nones—Americans with no religious affiliation—express more worries about the environment than do Catholics and especially Evangelical Protestants. (For details, scroll down to earlier posts this week.)

Catholic and Protestant leaders and organizations have taken up the cause … but is anybody listening?

The National Council of Churches’ eco-justice programs aim “to heal and defend creation, working to assure justice for all of creation and the human beings who live in it.” (The NCC is an organization of Protestant and Orthodox denominations.)

You can download a Lenten calendar as part of the “Tread Lightly for Lent” program, which gives day-by-day concrete suggestions about waste, energy, water, consumption, and food. This interactive map lets you see what churches in your area are doing to protect the environment.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity featured ecological crisis in its resources for the week of prayer for Christian unity and throughout the year 2009. Here is an excerpt:

“Today the world is confronted with a serious ecological crisis. The earth is suffering from global warming as a result of our excessive consumption of energy. The extent of forested area on our planet has diminished by 50% over the last 40 years while the deserts are spreading ever faster. Three quarters of ocean life has already disappeared. Every day more than 100 living species die out … With the apostle Paul we can affirm: creation has been delivered into the power of destruction, it groans as in the pains of childbirth. …

“We cannot deny that human beings bear a heavy responsibility for environmental destruction. Their unbridled greed casts the shadow of death on the whole of creation. Together Christians must do their utmost to save creation. Before the immensity of this task, they must unite their efforts. It is only together that they can protect the work of the creator.”

How much impact do you think these efforts will have? Can the power of the pulpit reverse cooling attitudes about global warming?

Tell us about faith-based environmental efforts in your area!


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