Unlikely Partners Fight Global Warming
Published January 17, 2007
(AP) Saying they share a moral purpose, a group of evangelicals
and scientists said they will work together to convince
U.S. leaders that global warming is real.
The Rev. Rich Cizik, public policy director for the National
Association of Evangelicals, and Nobel-laureate Eric Chivian,
director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment
at Harvard Medical School, were among 28 signers of a
statement that demands urgent changes in values, lifestyles
and public policies to avert disastrous changes in climate.
“God will judge us for destroying the Creation. Therefore,
we as evangelicals have a responsibility to be even more
vigilant than others,” Cizik said at a news conference
“Science can be an ally in helping us understand what
faith is telling us,” he said. “We will not allow the
Creation to be degraded, destroyed by human folly.”
Among the project's supporters are Edward O. Wilson,
a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning scientist and author;
James Hansen, a prominent NASA climatologist; and Calvin
B. DeWitt, president of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists
Chivian said evangelicals and scientists are not as odd
a couple as they may seem.
“We discovered that we were both speaking from our hearts
and our minds. We found that we really like each other,”
Not all evangelicals were on board.
The Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, formed by evangelicals
who say scientific evidence counters claims of climate
change, derided Wednesday's announcement as “just another
attempt to create the impression of growing consensus
among evangelicals about global warming. There is no such
The alliance charged that the National Association of
Evangelicals' board never approved the new collaboration.
The NAE said its board approved a “dialogue,” but no specific
The new effort represents the boldest evangelical step
yet into the world of environmental activism.
To start, the coalition is meeting with congressional
leaders, both Democrat and Republican, organizing a summit
on environmental issues and developing public relations
tools such as a “Creation Care” Bible study guide.
It also has requested a meeting with President George
W. Bush. Senators Barack Obama, Richard Lugar and Olympia
Snowe, all signaled their support Wednesday for the collaboration
of evangelicals and scientists. Obama is a Democrat and
the others are Republicans.
Their pairing grew from a retreat last year at which
all sides agreed that human behavior and public policy
have put the environment at risk.
In the past, conservative Christians who embraced that
cause have met significant resistance.
The Rev. Joel Hunter of Northland megachurch in Longwood,
Florida, refused to become president of the Christian
Coalition of America last year because he said the group
would not expand its agenda to include the environment
and poverty. Hunter has now endorsed the new project.
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