Evangelicals see light on climate
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
EVANGELICAL leaders in the US last week declared themselves convinced by the
science of climate change and the arguments on global warming, and urged their
government to do more to reduce greenhouse gases.
The statement and call to action, signed by 86 prominent Evangelicals, many
of them college principals, represents a significant change of position. "Many
of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that
climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as
Christians," says the frank preamble to the statement.
It goes on to commend four "simple and urgent claims": human-induced climate
change is real. The consequences will be significant, and will hit the poor the
hardest. Christian convictions demand a response to the problem, and the need
to act is urgent. It emphasises that governments, businesses, churches, and
individuals all have a part to play in addressing climate change.
"We are convinced that Evangelicals must engage this issue without any
further lingering over the basic reality of the problem and humanity's
responsibility to address it," the leaders declare. "Love of God, love of
neighbor, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for
Evangelical Christians to respond . . . with moral passion and concrete action."
As early as 2001, the Episcopal Church in the US urged the President
to address the issue of global warming and take the necessary steps to reduce
greenhouse-gas emissions. It also urged the President and Congress to provide
finance and leadership for developing nations to control emissions in order to
reduce their vulnerability to climate change and weather disasters.
President Bush made no reference to climate change or global warming in his
State of the Union address last month. Groups on the religious right, such as
Focus on the Family, insist that global warming is "an environmental theory yet
to be adequately substantiated".
Tearfund warmly welcomed the statement. "It must surely prompt America's
churchgoing public to take climate change more seriously - and we hope
reverberate through a large swathe of the electorate to the Bush
administration," said Andy Atkins, advocacy director.