Religion and Climate Change

The president of a religious institution isn't the first person you think of as a likely EDF spokesperson. But in a recent television ad sponsored by EDF, Dr. Dan Boone, the president of Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee, made an impassioned plea for Congress to pass climate change legislation. "Please somehow find a way to let this global concern rise above partisan politics," Dr. Boone said.  He's descended from frontiersman Daniel Boone—clearly the pioneering spirit lives on.

Dr. Dan Boone pleas for Congress to address climate change.

The conflict between politics, religion and science has been with us for centuries; think of Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin. Today there is rampant confusion between faith, something you believe in, and science, something that requires only connective leaps between hypotheses and demonstrable evidence. We seem to have lost our trust in the authority of scientists, no matter how impressive their level of training and achievement. A fascinating new Pew poll showed that Republicans are overwhelmingly less likely to "believe" the science of climate change than Democrats, who aren't entirely persuaded either.

With every passing week, the scientific data gets more precise, and more frightening. Yet this has proven insufficient to move people to action. All the more fascinating, then, to watch the growing movement among religious leaders who use their pulpits to venture into environmental action. More than 10,000 congregations of Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist and other faiths are working in 30 states as members of Interfaith Power & Light (IPL). These religious leaders are clearly having an impact on people across the country who would never call themselves environmentalists.

IPL sees climate change as a profound moral issue, a matter of values—something many environmentalists have been wary of addressing, preferring to focus on technological or economic solutions as being less politically charged and ultimately more effective. But no matter what our approach, we all have something to learn from faith communities about how to bridge divisions and instruct, inspire and mobilize people.

The powerful message of Interfaith Power and Light—one that unites all faiths—is that people have a duty to be stewards of the earth. In loving God, we must love his creation. This is not, as some critics claim, about turning environmentalism into a religion; that is a perversion of what is actually happening. The fact is, in order to succeed in significantly altering the global course of climate change, we are going to have to harness all the power we have, whether it is the power of the market, the power of technology, or the power of heart and soul.

IPL is the brainchild of the Reverend Sally Bingham, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of California. Bingham is also a trustee of EDF. She founded The Regeneration Project whose mission is to deepen the connection between ecology and religion. IPL is the primary campaign and is a religious response to global warming. State chapters respond to a call to action: they agree to give sermons that explain the danger of climate change, reduce their own emissions, support public policy that cuts greenhouse gases, and promote the adoption of renewable energy technologies.

"Most people want to do the right and moral thing," Bingham wrote to me recently in an email. "They just don’t sometimes know what that is. It is for that reason that religious leaders have such an important role. We need to take this issue out of the hands of the politicians and get it into the hands of the people at the grass roots level. Clergy can do this."

Communities of faith, in other words, can provide moral leadership, something we desperately need amplified from many quarters. Think of the two major moral issues in America's past – civil rights and slavery; the fight over these issues was led by communities of faith, united on moral grounds. "There are millions of people who don't listen to politicians and who are skeptical of science, but who will listen to their clergy," notes Bingham.

"The powerful message that unites all faiths is that people have a duty to be stewards of the earth."

I spent my holidays reading some fascinating books on the subject of the climate crisis and our values, as I've long wondered what is keeping us, as a society, from wholeheartedly accepting the danger we face, and doing whatever it takes to ward it off. Many thinkers claim the human brain isn't wired to handle long-term catastrophe; we need to see a real and present danger. Somehow, this isn't a very good excuse.

I found a provocative and wide-ranging discussion of these issues in Down to the Wire, by David W. Orr; I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Orr argues that we must learn to cultivate "the arts and sciences of gratitude, which is to say, applied love." We must be grateful for the gift of this world; that is the first step towards taking responsibility for the damage we have done to the planet. In a moving passage in his new book, Our Choice, Al Gore envisions the necessary social transformation: "Our way of thinking changed. The earth itself began to occupy our thoughts." As Stephen Jay Gould writes, "We will not fight to save what we do not love."

Martin Luther King Jr.Religious communities have often mobilized themselves to act in the name of love. (And, sadly, it must not be forgotten, the opposite.) They are well equipped to talk about values—those "habits of the heart", as DeToqueville called them. The clerical message of members of Interfaith Power & Light is bracingly straightforward: help the poor, who suffer disproportionately from drought, flooding, famine and pollution, because it is the just thing to do; and heal the planet, because it is God's gift to humankind, and we have no right to destroy it for future generations.

Love may be the common theme among these scientists, thinkers and clerics, but it's not exactly the basis for a political platform. Nor is it scientifically measurable. But that's why it is the most potent message of all, embracing the kind of idealism that can unite and inspire. We are daily bombarded with messages making us desire what we haven't got. But going forward, the power will be with anyone who can persuade us to love what we do have, and what we are in danger of losing: the hospitable beauty of our planet. May the earth itself occupy our hearts—if not our prayers—in the coming year.

Personal Nature
Take action! Tell the Senate that you believe in our moral obligation to stop climate change and protect our planet.

75 Responses

Comment from Jay Turner
January 8th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Sadly, all too many Christians have had their fears, suspicions and political passions inflamed by demagogues and spin-doctors so that they are unable to recognize the moral imperative to love their neighbor by acting to preserve the natural resources upon which we all depend. Business as usual means robbing millions of people of the basic necessities of life. We need to be reminded "to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly…." (Micah 6:8).

Comment from Diane Young
January 8th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Will religious groups be able to face up to simple fact underlying all environmental problems: the rapid growth of the human population has clearly exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet. Why can't we see in the list of things you can do for the earth: "Choose to have no more than 2 children". Until we are ready to include that one, all our well-intended efforts will fall short.

Comment from Jessica
January 8th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

As a Catholic, I am delighted to see the pope encouraging action on climate change. In his World Peace Day message, Pope Benedict wrote, "We are all responsible for the protection and care of the environment. This responsibility knows no boundaries. … I invite all believers to raise a fervent prayer to God, the all-powerful Creator and the Father of mercies, so that all men and women may take to heart the urgent appeal: If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation."

The full message is online:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/peace/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20091208_xliii-world-day-peace_en.html

Comment from David J. Parker
January 8th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

We are slowing facing the truth of our situation and the religious amongst us are a powerful and essential component. The slowness of the process is made apparent by the, as yet, unrecognized simplest solution to the climate crisis. In a 2006 FOA report from the UN it was clearly stated that: 18% of all Green Houses Gasses (GHGs) are produced by animal production (meat and dairy). Recently the highly respected WorldWatch Institute revised this estimate stating that the real number is a massive 51%. Even Al Gore has admitted it in a TV interview just last Autumn. Please let's help people to see this Elephant in the Kitchen and really make an impact on GHGs. Meanwhile we will be helping ourselves to better health and obeying the teachings of Jesus by not killing animals.

Comment from Ed Winters
January 8th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Once again, Ms. Browning's blog attempts to align Republicans with luddites because they do not trust the "science" of climate change. Democrats, on the other hand, are aligned with a "more enlightened" way of thinking even though they are not thoroughly convinced either. The problem is that global warming or "climate change" has now gone from being science-based to being faith-based. Having researched the science of this myself, it is clear to me that the infrared absorption capacity of a CO2 molecule is too low to account for the myth that a 1/10,000th increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (yes, that's the difference between 270 ppm in 1750 and 386 ppm today) can wreak havoc with the climate and threaten the very future of mankind and human economic systems. The short of it is, a 1/10,000th increase in CO2 concentration cannot possibly do what the global warming enthusiasts say it will do. Conversely, no legislation at the national or global level can reduce the concentration of CO2 since it is not caused by human activity. Ms. Browning is doubtless a well-intentioned person but, unfortunately, she is nothing more than a useful idiot for the far-left environmental movement.

Ed Winters

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January 8th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

[...] Jan 08 2010 Religion and climate change By Aime Dunstan Personal Nature: Dominique Browning's distinctive take on all things environmental [...]

Comment from Susan
January 8th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Our group, the Science Council for Global Initiatives is made up of renowned scientists of varying religious faiths. We offer technologies to answer the world's worst problems including climate change (man caused part), nuclear waste recycling, turning all our municipal waste into energy and zero emission vehicles. Please join us. thesciencecouncil.com

Comment from david stang
January 8th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Thank you for this personal account of courage and respect for our environment. This struggle to respect the environment is not new. Those who work with the poor and the poor they work with, have been abused by the rich and the powerful for centuries. Even the Christian Gospel of today has been falsely portrayed by the proclamation of the Gospel of Prosperity. Even my sister, Dorothy Stang at the age of 73 was murdered in the Brazilian Amazon for her love for the poor and for her love for the environment. Do not think for a moment that our modern economy and those who benefit from this economy are going to change their minds easily and start showing soon respect for the land, the air and our food. Our religious leaders and Scripture Scholars have been slow to stand up and most still do not stand up either for the poor or for the environment. Love and Peace and Hope to those who are standing up for our Earth and for the poor.
David Stang

Comment from Marie-Athena Papathanasiou
January 8th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

As a comment to a previous comment I would like to point out that the Pope has spoken abot the environment and NOT Climate Change.

I am a environmental lawyer and environmental scientist but do not subscribe to the Climate Change Bandwagon.
It is sad and worrying that the whole spectrum of the duties of care for the environment have just been reduced to a CO2 frenzy by ill informed zealots..

This said,Dominique Browning is an accomplished and well meaning writer and enjoy reading her.

Comment from Jerry Akers
January 8th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Mr. Winters need to explain to me how he calculated the percentage of carbon dioxide increase since 1750. Using his numbers 270 ppm of carbon dioxide in 1750 and 386 ppm today, the increase is 116 ppm, dividing that by 270 gives you an increase of 42.96 percent. I think that would be true for an environmentalist or a lacky for the coal companies.

Comment from jim foreman
January 8th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

It is immensely gratifying to read essays from Dr. Brown, Sally Bingham, and Dominique Browning who are attempting to allert people to the upcoming challenges of a world environment in critical danger, and how various religious/spiritual groups can join in meeting this challenge.
First, I will note some things because certain people want to argue that global warming is not an issue. The world is in a serious period of decline involving: serious depletion of topsoil/groundwater/forestation/fisheries and rapid acceleration of loss of species/and certain ecosystems. Air pollution, global warming, the reduction of the ozone layer all play a part in this. There are a number of "scientific" documentations on this; but for anyone reasonably aware and observant the evidence is plain to see.
Secondly, if you want to consider how religion/lanquage has played a part in western civilization abandonment of the environment, read The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram.
If you are daring enough to consider that circumstances are dire enough for a spiritual message to the world in these times, on
how ALL religions (and particularly clergy) can rise to the occasion by realizing the essence of their religion (and all others as well) considering first reading The Great Waves of Change, recieved by Marshall v. Summers, then if so inclined, taking on the practice toward realizing your own spiritual knowing/and contribution, through the practices in Steps to Knowledge, recieved also by Marshall v. Summers. Personally, I study many religious/spiritual writings, but the backbone of my spiritual practices is Steps to Knowledge.
Bottom line in all cases will be that humanity must unite, cooperate, end both tribal conflicts and war over resources, and begin to sustain all life on this planet, if civilization as we know it is to survive.

Comment from Rob Sisson
January 8th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Pope Benedict has spoken out about the need to take climate protection action numerous times since his elevation to the papacy. Here is a link to his comments from December 15, 2009: change: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iv7joqzVERKtLHhTEcibT9YLAlZwD9CJNIHO1.

Climate protection policy, regardless of one's point of view on climate change, is inherently a conservative policy. And it melds well with the faith-based community's creation care and stewardship ethic. Unfortunately, conservative talk radio has re-defined what it means to be a conservative.

What many perceive to be conservative, is really nothing more than populism or libertarianism. People of faith who care about our world and believe we must "tend the garden" for future generations are often conflicted due to the barrage of mis-information coming from "trusted" talking heads. Our institutions of worship are awakening and beginning to counter the populist siren song of those self-anointed conservative talking heads. Amen for that.

Comment from Darlene Thorpe
January 8th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

We all are responsible for the protection of the envoronment; not just religious groups. God gave man dominion over the earth. We as a people need to go back to the begining and do what God instructed us to do.

Comment from Dean von Germeten
January 8th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

The above ideas and comments as expressed by well-meaning but naive writers are troubling to me. While there has never been any doubt that we humans are responsible for wisely stewarding the resources of earth according to a just economic system, our current system is more interested in profits for a few, than Justice. In the Old Testament, we learn that "The bounty of the field is for all." But how does that translate to our modern values? Not very well.

The science re: human causes of climate change is not in. Is likely a crock and a lie, at least from recent emails released showing how climate scientists altered numbers to reflect warmer cities and not remote areas. The causes of climate changes are probably natural and cyclical, but yes, we should develop alternative sources of energy, but not based upon falsehoods, lies, or a system of carbon tax credits that penalizes the use of natural resources. This planet is based upon carbon chemistry, it recycles carbon continuously. There is more argon in our atmosphere than carbon, and who hears about that? Carbon is only 3/100th (.03%) We have 20% oxygen! What if that figure were reversed, i.e. 20% CO2 and .03% oxygen? Well, humans would suffocate and plants would thrive.

The historical record shows that earth climate is cyclical. Ice ages recur, with cataclysms, be they comets, earthquakes, tsunamis or super-volcanoes. More than once, most life has been extinguished, yet recovers in some new forms, somehow. Who can explain it? Let's stop with the hysteria and look at this rationally. Sometimes globally imposed solutions from supranational organizations that subvert national sovereignity and constitutions, are NOT the answer.

As an alternative energy researcher for the past 25 years, with several workable ideas to my credit, I should be the most likely person calling for legislation re: climate change. It would be in my self-interest for such laws to
pass. And yet I'm calling for the opposite, because climate science is flawed. It's no good to try and do the right thing, based upon a lie.

Here in the US the problem has been big oil companies in bed with Congress. 90% of the alternative energy research grants have somehow ended up in their coffers. How could this possibly help us free ourselves from dependence upon fossil fuels? It's a front for something the powers-that-be have never had any intention of doing. And carbon taxes will most certainly be passed on to the consumers, who were not responsible for the buying up, shelving of patents and intimidating inventors over the last 100 years.
That is the REAL story about how we arrived at our present situation. I'm talking about commercial suppression of good ideas. Carbon tax will only reward friends-of-Al, who
hypocritically during his run for president, was invested in an oil company displacing natives from their land in S.America. The elite are positioning themselves to reap big profits from this "greening" movement. You will need to discriminate between their motives and end results. At this point EPA has no intention of labelling humans as green-house gas (CO2) emitters, but how long will this human-friendly policy last? The elite already have gone public in their desire to reduce human numbers to a fraction of current levels; (see, the Georgia Guidestones.) Current religions have no clue or handle on the political currents we're now facing. The idea is getting people to buy into certain paradigms before the desired policy changes can be implemented, but many are based upon missinformation and lies. Don't believe everything you read or hear.

Comment from Tom Sherry
January 8th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

This message from Domique Browning is very encouraging indeed, because it shows how humans can come together for a shared purpose that affects us all no matter our religion or wealth or nationality, and cut through all the so-much-less-important issues that we let divide us.

I would take her message one step further: Given the strength of the science in support of human-caused climate change and its threat to biological diversity and the ecosystems on which we all (humans and the other tens of millions of organisms) depend, don't we all (religious and non-religious alike) have a moral obligation to act?

Comment from JOANNE MAYTREE
January 8th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

The bottom line is that what once made this country great is now obsolete. The values of our Constitution have slowly been eroded away by Big Business, Corporate Giants and Government that is self serving and not interested in the welfare of it's people.
Values of COMMUNITY , INDIVUAL RESPONSIBILITY and GOOD WILL have been replaced by a need for more and more consumerism, and a general carelessness for people, land and resources.
As far as Mr. Winters proposal that Ms. Browning is a useful idiot for left wing camp , well what a prime example of mud slinging and lack of good will and community. Here we go again…. Arent you tired of this game? Any one who cant see that it is abnormal to have torrential rains in Africa at the wrong times of the years, ( Having sat with Maasai elders who say they have never in 70 years seen this kind of erratic destructive weather) or that in the last five years, gardeners across this country are alarmed at having summer flowers bloom only in winter or not bloom at all, and countless more examples of changes going on right in front of our noses is clearly not willing to acknowledge what is indeed happening in our world around us. Denial is a great tool but wont get us out of this mess. Working together will and I for one applaud Ms Browning's article on utilizing the faith that we have lost in order to heal ourselves, and our planet. And kudos to Diane Young, you are right, it has fallen out of fashion to discuss population control and it MUST be addressed. Not only do we need to change the way we live but to respect the limitations of what our home and planet can handle. We need to stop blaming others, raise our consciousness and live in daily gratitude. If you don't believe how incredibly lucky we are in the U.S. then I suggest living in a third world country for awhile. A great cure for denial and ignorance.

Comment from Malcolm E. Walker
January 8th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Noah was a Environmental in the parable.

Comment from cathbad
January 8th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

You will all hate me for this. I have always been skeptical about global warming. And if the priests are now embracing it I know it is wrong.
Voltaire said:
The world will never be a peace until the last King is strangled in the entrails of the last priest.

Comment from Everett C. Smith
January 8th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I find this article very inspiring and mostly true. However I have noticed that everyone that has realized that we have a planet in trouble, are either afraid to or are ignorant of what really lies behind almost all of the Earth's woes. This can be summed up in one word, "overpopulation". To even suggest this will bring a hue and cry from nearly every quarter. Be it religious, political or especially business which believes that population growth means profit. The foresight does not exist at this time to touch this "Sacred cow'. I fear for us as a species, the Earth will go on but without an awakening, it may go on less humankind.
Everett Smith

Comment from Lanakila
January 8th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Thank you, Ms. Browning, for highlighting the potential that exists – and is gradually coming into play – for Christian and other faith-based communities to act as leaders in defense of our planet.

It no longer takes vast amounts of scientific data and understanding to see what is happening. Plants are blooming in the wrong seasons. Weather patterns are changing. Water is harder to come by, especially water that's fit to touch with our bare skin, much less to actually drink. Some of our cities are so choked with smog as to pose health risks to perfectly healthy people, especially young children. It's clear from everyday experience that man's short-sightedness has damaged Earth badly.

This world is not only our global home, but God's handiwork through and through; it commands respect and caretaking as both a marvel and a personal gift to man from the Divine. God gives in abundance, but like any good father, He also expects us to respect his gifts and use them responsibly.

Recall the parable of the talents, if you're familiar with it; of the one to whom much is given, much will be expected. To the one who acts as a good steward, even more will be lavished upon him, and the one who is foolish with what is given will see it taken away from him. Much has been given to us – dominion over the whole earth! If we are wise with it, we will be blessed and honored all the more…but if we are foolish with this gift of power, it will be taken from us. I sometimes wonder if the seemingly apocalyptic changes in weather and natural resources aren't warning signs that dominion is on the verge of being taken from man's hands after so many years of foolish, selfish abuses.

Comment from DavidC
January 8th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I'd suggest that giving false authority to spokesmen for religious sects is a major part of the problem – and not just with regards climate change. Belief in Bronze Age superstitions is hardly a qualification to hold forth on matters of science!

Comment from Joe Gillespie
January 8th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

An excellent discussion, which I would like to add to by encouraging you to read Francis Moore Lappes' new book entitled "Hope's Edge" to learn of very positive contributions people around the world are making to solve their own problems that in the long run will create a more sustainable society with less impact on the planet. Also, Bill McKibben"s "Deep Economy" discusses how we can get to a similar sustainable society.
As a teacher, I feel that we have to give our children hope for the future. We had better re-think what we are creating for our children if we are to be honest with them. Otherwise, the deception continues, and kids are the first to see through it, and thus become delusioned. Act local, act now, and do your part to create a better world.

Comment from G D Haley
January 8th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I am skeptical of global warming myself, although we might well have a climate change occurring as that is something that has occurred many times during the existence of the earth. However, observing local unusual weather isn't proof of climate change. Where I live we had unusually warm winters and drought for several years, but now we're back to wet summers and the type of cold weather I remember from when I was a child. Neither of these prove anything about climate change one way or the other.
That being said, we do need to preserve the environment in order to keep animals and plants from going extinct, to allow us to have air that doesn't give us cancer or lung damage, and to allow us to have food that doesn't poison us, among other things. I agree with others above that it is dangerous to essentially put all our eggs in this one 'fight global warming' basket when it isn't definitively proved. There are very good reasons to support alternative power sources, for example, that have nothing to do with having to believe in climate change. Also I'm glad some Christians have finally decided to take care of the earth. Maybe that will be helpful. Those of us that don't believe in a god have perhaps had more motivation to love the earth and take care of it since we don't believe that there is someone to save us if we manage to destroy everything.

Comment from Gerard
January 8th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Religion and superstition are the root of all political and environmental evil. We are a nothing little planet in
a universe that is beyond imigination. When you die the atoms that omce made up your body become part of the cosmos. You life is meaningful only for what you can do to help others while you are here. Your "God" does not exiist and never has.

Comment from paul siemering
January 8th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

A big part of the reason the earth has been damaged so badly is an injunction from the old testament giving man dominion over the earth and all its inhabitants.

too many capitalists have been all too willing to oblige.

the First People took care of this planet for 500,000 years before that god was even invented.

religion was always at the side of conquistadores and colonialists in seizing the lands of first peoples who worshipped Mother Earth and everything in it.
and trying to convert them to the religion of capitalist exploitation.

if religions have now seen the error of their ways, fine. But they are too to save our planet now. After prayerfully plundering it for 2000 years

Comment from Shanghai Brown
January 8th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Good grief, where to begin… First, giving man dominion over the earth doesn't mean giving man the right to do as he/she/it pleases. It means that mankind may use the resources of the earth for our benefit, but it also greatly implies responsibility for doing so wisely. Clearly, when put into biblical context, God does not merely encourage humanity to just do whatever we feel like regardless of the consequences.
I'm starting to not really care whether "climate change" or "global warming" is caused by mankind or not. To me, it's like the dinosaurs trying to assign blame while they go extinct. They all died mid-argument.
Things like the Arctic ice cap wandering off, glaciers vanishing, etc., etc., tend to infer to me that change is afoot. We can either ignore that change (at our peril), or we can try to put together an accurate picture of what is happening and how to respond.
Or we can chew our cud and point fingers and assign blame and hope that hateful stupid rhetoric will win out and save the day.
I'm an Orthodox Christian, and honestly, I think that little part of the Bible where we are told to love one another as ourselves applies to the world we live in as well as just other humans. Oh, but wait, we don't actually love the other humans either, or the world we live in, so maybe, just maybe, we should stop parroting these biblical passages unless we really want to take them to heart?
If we love and respect the earth, then we'll arrive at the correct solution to our ecological problems. If not, then we'll perish. God help us all.

Comment from Anne Fitzgerald
January 8th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Exploiting and damaging planet Earth has long been justified by the biblical "Go forth and conquer the Earth" which came from a time when that seemed necessary to survival. That rationale needs to be addressed and understood in its historical context before Christian minds can be shifted to an environmental attitude of reverence. Who better than religious leaders to tackle this teaching?

Comment from jesusa
January 8th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I appreciate the move of the religious to touch base, that is to inform the individuals of their obligation to respect and help preserve the environment.
I live in a third world country and now witnesses the result of our irresponsibilities like land slides, flash floods, and the destruction of the seabed and those living in it. and like little kids developing allergies and weak bodies.

I read the comments, and some are contradictory. All that I wish to hear from each one, is based on your vision for man in his environment and the problems that you now see … what is your specific action that will contribute to saving our Mother Earth for the future generation. I fear the presence of apathy. Let us think about our little contributions for taken collectively, it might make a dent in saving our planet. Thanks for listening!

Comment from Barbara Terao
January 8th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

This is a fascinating new column that can help further discussion. As a Buddhist and a student of indigenous ways of knowing, I don't relate to the word "steward." It makes it sound like we are at the top of the pyramid of life rather than a part of the whole circle. We don't need to let semantics divide us in our environmental work, but IPL is not really an inter-faith group if you start with assumptions that are based on Abrahamic faith traditions.

Comment from Ocie
January 8th, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Considering the remarks by Barbara Terao, which precede mine, Dominique Browning's remark: "…. But no matter what our approach, we all have something to learn from faith communities about how to bridge divisions and instruct, inspire and mobilize people." is a bit off the mark. In my experience, "faith communities" typically know very little about "how to bridge divisions" even if they do know a lot about instructing, inspiring and mobilizing people. Unfortunately, they have done those three things much too often for mistaken and blatantly wrong reasons and not often enough, in my humble opinion, for the right reasons.

That said, I can't say anything about Interfaith Power & Light because I haven't become acquainted with them. Since the Second Vatican Council (in the early 1960s) the Roman Catholic Church has pursued an ecumenical initiative primarily in the hope of uniting all Christian sects with the "Mother Church". Inherently, Islam has no respect for any other religion and it never will.

Nonetheless, I suppose that there is nothing wrong with people of different religious faiths who want to join together to prevent our Earthly home from being destroyed by war, greed, selfishness and ignorance. Those who need a conversion of the heart in those respects, however, tend to be executives employed by large corporations, among virtually all industries. They have for several generations now been taught that the only purpose of a business is to make as much profit as possible as quickly as possible.

That is not just today's corporate ethos, but also that of many other enterprises, both small and large, and of their entrepreneurs. Until that changes, they will do more evil than good, and bring more harm and destruction upon the Earth than whatever benefit that either they or their customers or supporters may derive from it.

Comment from greenfuture
January 8th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

It is exciting to see Dr. Boone demonstrating such great leadership on this issue. I hope he will take another important step and join 650+ other college presidents and sign the President's Climate Commitment- http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org

Comment from Howard R. Christofersen, MD
January 8th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I am impressed by the number of comments accompanied by full names. However some of them are so common that one still cannot get a feeling of the authority of the writer.
I agree 100% with Dianne Young when she writes:Why can't we see in the list of things you can do for the earth: "Choose to have no more than 2 children". Until we are ready to include that one, all our well-intended efforts will fall short."
I am embarrassed to say that I had five children but as first born suffered brain injury and is retarded, a married daughter had no children and another is lesbian, I ended up with only five grandchildren.
I did not find mention in the lead article about limiting the size of families. I looked at the Pope's article published Dec 8 and in the 14 long paragraphs there was no mention of controlling family size. If religious groups are going to support a way of life for a more livable world, they must first examine their attitute towards contraception and family size.
I am a general surgeon but in my practice I saw a hand full of Catholic ladies for their pap test and for a contraceptive prescription. The rest of the year they saw a Catholic doctor. May the Pope, leaders of the Full Quiver Faith, and other fundamentalist groups who push for big families and do not support sound scientific sex education and the availability of contraceptives, wake up and recognize what they are doing to this world.
Let us hear more about what has happened in China where a big push has been made for one child families. That would seem to be harsh for two holds population somewhat even, three are probably necessary to make up for those who never marry or fail to have children.

Comment from Thomas Lee Boles
January 8th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

So greenhouse gases are not anthropogenic, huh? What does Ed Winters thimk (that is not an error) that stuff is coming from our tailpipes and smokestacks? How does he account for the melting glaciers, icecaps, and permafrost?

As the song says, denial ain't just a river in Egypt. If the Ed Winterses have their way, it may not be a river at all; it will probably dry up.

Comment from Neil Hunt
January 8th, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Responding to Ed Winters pathetic diatribe- your use of the word 'idiot' returns to you Ed- & others subscribing to your foolish 'there's no global warming' views. As was formerly a guide/lecturer in the early to mid 90s on the first'expeditionary' passenger cruises to Antarctica & later on cruises up into the high Arctic and have personally been shown the hard evidence of GW by several research scientists at various Polar bases – as long ago as 1993-4 they warned mostly deaf ears (like Winters) of exactly what is now in fact taking place -in spades -around the planet. They expressed fears of a mini ice-age in N.W. Europe & Scandinavia (even as a general global warming proceeded) and now we currently see an unbelievably deep plunge in winter temperatures there–a direct result of the 20-30% loss of the Gulf Stream's warming power from the intrusion into it by masses of glacial ice from Greenland's endangered ice-cap – now depleting at breath-taking speed.

Comment from jane
January 9th, 2010 at 12:00 am

A new report in the World Watch magazine concludes that animal farming contributes to 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. The authors suggest that the most effective solution is widespread adoption of vegetarian diets. It becomes obvious that a true environmentalist cannot be a meat-eater at the same time. Methane produced by livestock (over 37%) is 72 times more potent than CO2 in its warming effect, and yet at the same time, methane dissipates in atmosphere in just 20 years. Therefore, by giving up meat (including dairy, eggs and fish,) a very quick cooling effect can be soon achieved. It’s the most powerful tool we know of now, and for the survival of our civilization, this is our only escape route right now.
Aside from being the biggest culprit to global warming, livestock raising has also devastated our land, water and air, so much so that in the 2006 UN’s report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” scientists warned in the strongest possible words, “Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale…The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency.”

On the spiritual level, we cannot proclaim our love for God and yet continue to slaughter 55 billions of animals a year, so we could eat their meat. By raising animals for meat, we are contributing to the cruelty and violence against these beings who are also God’s creations. Can we yearn for peace while our hands and mouths are tainted with blood of other beings? God says, “Who told you to kill all these sheep, goats, and buffalos to make offering to me? Stop of this killing of innocent lives, otherwise when you pray to me, I will not listen.” (Isaiah 1:1010-15)

When we adopt a peaceful, benevolent plant-based diet, not only our conscience will be clean, our health and our planet will both benefit tremendously.

Comment from geoffbrowning
January 9th, 2010 at 1:08 am

Great article! Amen and Amen!

Comment from scott
January 9th, 2010 at 1:26 am

THE DELCAIRATION TOO THE INHABITANCE OF THE INHABITENCE OF EARTH

! THAT THE WELL-BEING AND THE BEST INTREST OF EACH AN ALL THINGS BEING OF THE INHABITENCE OF OUR HEAVENS AN OUR EARTH SHALL BE HELD AS VITAL AN REGARDED AS SUCH-
Note; the dictator of Cuba has something to add and his voice shall be herd in concession with-
ALL THOSE WHO DISREGARD THIS SHALL BE RECONIZED AS OF BEING AND STILL SEEKING THE PATH-WAY TO GIFT OF LIFE- THAT THOSE OF BEING SHALL BE SEEN BY THE SECURITY OF THE UNITED NATIONS; BASED UPON THEIR DISREGARD-

! TRUTH-THE WILL OF GOD SHALL BE FOUND AS HIS POWER TO BUILD AND CREATE AND UP-HOLD HIS KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH; ONES LIFE PATH TRUE TO ALL THE INHABITENCE OF THE HEAVEN AN EARTH; BEING WITH THE TRUTH UP-HOLDING THINGS BOTH WRONG AND RIGHT THROUGH TURE EXSPRESSIONS WILL ONLY FIND THEM-SELVES RIGHT AND IN TIME BECOME RIGHTOUS {THE PATH-WAY TO THE GIFT OF LIFE}
! FOR I AM I AND THOSE OF BEING SHALL UNDERSTAND ONES PATH TO WHOLE BEING {BEING} AS SOVERGIN OR MONARK AND ONES SELFLESS COMMITMENT TO ALL THINGS BEING {TURE SERVITUDE}

! FOR IS THAT THE INHABITENCE OF THE HEVANS AND THE EARTH ARE; THE PROVISIONS WHICH SHALL FULLFILL THE NEEDS OF ALL AND THAT THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PATH –WAY TO GIFT LIFE; THATGODS INTERNAL WILL THROUGH HIS CREATION SHALL ALWAYS BE UNDER STOOD AND THAT CO-EXISTENCE IS {EXISTENCE}

! THIS SHALL BE THE GUIDELINES BEFORE ALL OF THE INHABITENCE OF THE EARTH
AMEN

Comment from Dean von Germeten
January 9th, 2010 at 4:07 am

I've read about and even practiced veganism for both health and environmental reasons, and come to see both as a fallacy.

Not everyone can make the vegan transition easily, if at all. Much has to do with a person's DNA and ability to synthesize proteins from vegan sources, not everyone synthesizes as well, if at all. Animal proteins are better
packaged in some respects. People do incur deficiencies on
strict vegan diets. Not all vegans or vegetarians are healthy, or such diets appropriate for everyone at every
stage of life.

Vegan scientists should get busy designing meat substitutes that meat human nutritional requirements, or at least lowering the price.

As for the methane, wild animals (i.e. wildabeasts in Africa) release as much as an equivalent cattle herd, so
allowing them to propagate with abandon is no solution either.

Man with his creative attributes, is superior to beasts, even while we use beastly bodies as soul vehicles. It explains how we came to dominate this planet and won't allow us to be dumbed down by those who understand less.
Of course any modern-day avatars who can teach the rest of us how to replicate loaves and fishes, would be a big help toward reducing our global footprint.

Comment from Michael Melville
January 9th, 2010 at 8:05 am

As a resident across the pond in England I was very interested to read Neil Hunts report that a 20-30% loss of gulf stream flow is causing a mini ice age in North West Europe. We are now experiencing the coldest winter in England in my memory, I am 72. The whole of Great Britain is covered in snow, temperatures of -21C, this weather has been with us 4 weeks, and shows no sign of changing. Normal British winters are quite mild, with a few days of snow some years.
I am just finishing HOT, FLAT and CROWDED by Thomas L Friedman, a very fine U.S. author. Can I ask those who have doubts about global warming to read this book, with open minds. He has some very positive answers, which can help us all,if taken up. .
And yes, we need to look at the other elephant which has been in the room even longer, family planning. I found considerable resistance from the catholic church when I took up that cause in Ireland in 1970.
A plea to all U.S. citizens, Do not let the issue if climate change divide you on political lines. use your own minds and find out the truth for yourselves

Comment from Phillip
January 9th, 2010 at 8:27 am

As I read all the comments before mine, I get truly frustrated that good people have been hood-winked into the belief that the earth's climate change is all man made. The well documented "ice age" was caused by what? Was it something man did to cause the earth to cool? (what man?) Then, what caused the earth to begin to warm again? (greenhouse gas from what?) Does anyone remember that in the 1970s, there was a BIG concern (for a brif while) that the earth was going back into another "mini" ice age. I remember the news media calling for our government to DO SOMETHING!! It was a hoax. What about all the hype over Y2K? Remember how everything was going to stop working at midnight, Jan.1 2000? It was another hoax. One that made a few people extremely rich with all their ways to FIX the problem that never was. The "man made" global warming is just another hoax that will make a select few filthy rich and at the same time, allow them to have almose total control over us all. Yes, I'm speaking of the Cap & Trade legislation. Al Gore has invested large amounts of money in companies that will reap hugh profits if the Cap & Trade bill is passed. No wander he has pushed it so hard. All the man made global warming boils down to money and power. A hand full of already rich and powerful people saw the small change in the climate and have used it to their advantage to try and become even more rich and powerful. The Cap & Trade bill will do nothing to curb greenhouse gas. If you read it, it will only charge hugh taxes on fossil fuels. I grew up and still live on a farm. I fully believe in taking care of the enviornment. A global policy scary. Just think about that – the begining of a One World Government. People of faith, of which I'm one, should be very alarmed about that. As I stated at the begining of this comment, I am bothered that good people are believing and following bad people in this global warming hoax. Evidence of the tainting of data for global warming has surfaced but has been tried to be put down because it proves the top people in the hoax to be what they are – money & power hungry wolves.

Comment from a.c.lakshmana
January 9th, 2010 at 10:00 am

I AM HAPPY TO GO THROUGH THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE AUTHOR,AND THE REMARKS OF THE READERS.THIS SPEAKS OF THE CONCERN AND AWAKENING THAT IS TAKING PLACE ALL OVER THE GLOBE.I WOULD LIKE TO COMPLIMENT ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR INVOLVEMENT.
I AM FROM INDIA WHERE THE SANKRANTHI FESTIVAL IS CELEBRATED ON 14 TH OF JANUARY EVERY YEAR UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES.HERE THE LAND IS WORSHIPPED AS MOTHER EARTH, CATTLE WEALTH IS WORSHIPPED AS THE TOKEN FOR BIO-DIVERSITY.PEOPLE DISTRIBUTE AND SHARE YELLU-BELLA (JAGGERY AND SESAMUM).MORE THAN EVERYTHING FARM PRODUCE IS SHARED WITH HAVE NOTS.THIS BRINGS HAPPINESS TO EVERYBODY,AND WILL BALANCE EVERYTHING.WHEN HAVES SHARE WITH HAVENOTS THE DISPARITY IS REDUCED,WHICH CAN REDUCE THE TENSION,TERROR.HUNGER POVERTY ETC. WHEN MOTHER EARTH,BIO-DIVERSITY AND NATURAL RESOURCE AND THE SOCIETY IS GIVEN PROPER ATTENTION AND CARE , THERE IS VERY LITTLE THAT IS NEGLECTED AND LEFT OUT.WHEN ENVIRONMENTAL TERROR IS REDUCED, THE WORLD CAN BE A PARADISE ON EARTH.
THAT IS THE REASON FOR SOME OF THE GREAT NAMES IN HISTORY MAKING THE REMARKS 0N INDIA,WHICH I FEEL IS WORTH REPEATING HERE.
AT THIS SUPREME DANGEROUS MOMENT IN HISTORY,THE ONLY WAY OF SALVATION FOR MANKIND IS THE INDIAN WAY. COMING OF BUDDISM( INDIAN PHILOSOPHY IS MORE APT -A.C.L)TO THE WEST MAY MAY WELL PROVE TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE 20 TH CENTURY. "ARNOLD TOYNBEE – BRITISH POET,PHILOSOPER,HISTORION.
INDIA WILL TEACH US THE TOLERANCE, AND GENTLENESS OF MATURE MIND,UNDERSTANDING SPIRIT,AND UNIFYING AND PACYFYING LOVE FOR ALL HUMAN (AND OTHER-A.C.L)BEINGS.-WILL DURANT,AMERICAN HISTORION,AUTHOR OF HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION 10 VOLUMES.
IF THERE IS A PART OF PARADISE ON EARTH- I SHOULD POINT TO INDIA. MAX MUELLER,GERMAN SANSKRIT SCHOLAR.
MANY PERSONS LIKE MARK TWAIN(AMERICA),HU SHIH(CHINESE),
FREDARICH SHLEGEL,(GERMANY),ALBURNI(ARABIAN SCHOLAR) AND MANY HAVE ADMIRED THE INDIAN WAY OF THINKING AND ACTION.
IN THIS BACKGROUND I STRONGLY FEEL EVERYBODY SHOULD FOLLOW THE PHILOSOPHY OF SANKRANTHI THE HARVEST FESTIVAL IN ALL ITS GRAND FORM TO BRING GLORY TO THE MOTHER EARTH AND PEACE AND HAPPINESS TO THE WORLD.
AS PER WILL DURANT,ANYONE CAN BE A BARBARIAN; IT REQUIRES TERRIBLE EFFORTS TO REMAIN A CIVILIZED MAN.
CAN WE TAKE A LESSON FROM THESE GREAT CONTEMPORARY WRITERS/VISIONARIES?.
A.C.LAKSHMANA,9-1-2010, India
aclakshmana@yahoo.com

Comment from fmonachello
January 9th, 2010 at 10:50 am

Ms. Browning is shining a light on a very positive development in the thinking among religious leaders about our responsibilty to protect our planet. In the coming weeks and months, I hope the IPL and other like-minded groups increase their visibility in mainstream media, openly engage in public debate with others with different views, and take an active and very deliberate role to influence the direction of U.S. environmental, energy, research, and sustainability policy in Washington. Our country should be united in our desire to lead the world in this vital effort.

Comment from chasalex
January 9th, 2010 at 11:15 am

I disagree with the idea that religion can help us tackle global warming and environmental issues generally. I have written on my blog at
http://www.economicsforaroundearth.com
that religion is something we need to get away from if we are to develop into a people living sustainably on a limited planet. Religion is fundamentally anti-life. The reason for this is explained.

Comment from Jeremy
January 9th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

"I've long wondered what is keeping us, as a society, from wholeheartedly accepting the danger we face, and doing whatever it takes to ward it off."

I'll tell you what's keeping people from accepting the fact that humans are altering the climate by increasing CO2 emmissions. What's happening is that large oil and coal companies are spending millions of dollars trying to preserve the status quo by hiring their own scientists to spread misinformation about climate change. They also pay off politians so that they can deny man made climate change as well. Then certain political commentators who are fans of those politians will spread this misinformation to the masses, and this sows the seeds of doubt in a lot of people who believe every thing that they hear on TV.

Maybe if more pastors and rabbis and on and on got more involved with spreading the idea that it is wise to try to protect this planet that God gave us, more people wouldn't be swayed by all the misinformation out there. But unfortunately right now money talks, and it's buying a lot of doubt out there, and that's what's stopping politians from truly trying to solve this problem.

Comment from Ima McHaupt
January 9th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I think that the human population is affecting the carrying capacity of our planet. Esp. even more so if we are causing other life-forms to starve because we are competing for the same foods….and even more so if we continue to dump our so-called treated sewage into the oceans. The ocean at some point will not be able to dilute our waste waters and you will see a greater disaster occur then even than climate change.

[Sidebar: This winter so far has proven interesting...it does match up somewhat to the Long Winter description (written by Laura Ingalls Wilder who lived in the Dakotas in the late 1800s)].

Cetainly I understand that our planet has been through many climate changes down through the ages, and that high numbers of life-forms and their activities can warm-up an area, or a planet to some extent. Nature supercedes that off and on with Her own curve-balls (ice-ages, a year without a summer, etc, dearths, and "K").

I don't know everything about today's climate issues for sure, but I am sure: 1) That there has been environmental damage and gross exploitation done by humans. 2) That God Did Not give us permission in the Bible to defile, or butcher, or damage (beyond repair) His Creation (which means all habitat, natural resources, wild and domesticated food sources or other life-forms).
Why would we be so dumb as to poison our own planet with toxins and trash, etc is beyond me.

Our stewardship of our planet and other life-forms needs mega-improvement. Stop murdering Nature's Order of doing things. Nature takes its orders from God. Step back and just clean up human messes, and revamp our own behaviors and choices. Replant native plants and grasses. Allow the Bison (and native peoples if they wish to) to roam the plains of the USA like they are supposed to do. Man, go with the flow of Nature's Order as much as possible. Stop treating God's creation like its a scourge, or something evil. Love it like God loves it as much as possible. Of course from time to time problems will have to be dealt with as they arise.

Comment from lhh
January 9th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

'bout time! i left the church over 40 years ago in no small part because of the hypocrisy – isn't planet earth a miracle and deserving of respect? but no matter how often i questioned or challenged my elders and preachers, i was told …we were given 'dominion OVER' nature!!! god, that irked me – it's gotta be a sin to so disregard our mother earth! better late than never? hopefully not too late, or have we already made our own bed (hell)?

Comment from humanpersonjr
January 9th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

@ Cathbad –

I'm right there with ya. My new year's resolution was to try to be not-so-hard on my Christian brothers and sisters in 2010. They're making that a bit difficult with all this prattling about climate change.

The quote is a great one, but Voltaire sort of borrowed it. It goes back a little further than him, to Diderot.

I've altered it yet again, sort of an update, you might say: "America's thoughts will be truly free only when the last televangelist is strangled with the intestines of the last country singer." (Lacks sonority, but, believe me, it is heartfelt, lol!)

CAGW is bogus from start to finish. You religious folk who accept it are being sold a huge bill of goods. The entire concept was dreamed up in 1975, when Margaret Mead (eugenicist extraordinaire — read that "genocidal maniac), John Holdren (President Obongo's Science Advisor), Stephen Schneider (climate wacko at Stanford) and others met to hatch the hoax. They all agreed that the accuracy of the science was secondary. The main points were: 1) a united front, no chinks in the armor; and, 2) to have the science point inescapable toward CAGW.

Stephen Schneider was such a scoundrel that he went out and proclaimed global cooling for three years after he signed onto the then-secret hoax of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Wake up, all ye faithful! Show us you've got more than rocks in them there heads of yours.

Comment from God is Green
January 9th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I see they are having fun of this article over at climategate.com:

http://www.climategate.com/for-the-love-of-god-support-climate-change

Comment from Spenc BC
January 10th, 2010 at 1:12 am

I cannot believe how brain washed seemingly educated people have become over this issue. Objectivity has fled the stage and in its place you have "impassioned pleas". This green agenda will be the death of billions. Which I think is the point in the long run. Global cooling deniers need to get a life! Get a grip!

Comment from James B. Glover
January 10th, 2010 at 11:46 am

The nature of God. Each of the above submittals including this one is a masterpiece in the definition. It is difficult to stay focused on Dominique Brownings original writing. The movie 'Avatar' is of interest in this thought process. We as humans are indeed a part of nature and in fact a part of God. Each one of us, you and I and everyone and everything and nothing help make God that which God is. Each of our actions and beliefs are important and 'help' determine the role of human beings in the universe. Extinct or adaptive? Thank you for your consideration. Love.

Comment from Wayne Douglas Pickette
January 10th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I cannot afford to donate more money to the environmental defense because I'm putting all my money and time into registering the invention which disconnects the world from oil. This system directly imports Solar Thermal Energy, then transports this energy to a new engine which is designed to work from any source of caloric energy including nine fuels: (Hydrogen, Methane, Gasoline, Gasohol, Kerosene, Butane, Propane, Natural Gas, Alcohol.) The system can combine fuel and solar energy if required. The engine stores excess caloric energy inside, can keep it for weeks. The engine drives a new type of generator that supplies electricity through electronics to an electric motor to power a vehicle. The system also works from geothermal energy and has extended caloric energy storage for non-vehicle applications. The system is reliable, economical, may be moved from vehicle to vehicle. It requires no maintenance for five to twenty years depending on the amount of dust and use of fuel an air filter may have to be changed periodically.

Comment from Ellen Jordan
January 10th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

You're very right in saying that harnessing the power of faith and love in religious based groups is key to involving masses of people in the environmental movement. Have you looked at the Green Reflections blogspot at http://greenreflections33.blogspot.com?

Comment from Dean von Germeten
January 10th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Dear Wayne Douglas Pickette:

Sounds complicated. There are more direct ways using less hardware. See: resonance. Also you may want to consider copyrights over patents; they're cheaper and offer better protection overall, and for a longer period of time. Also
some of what you describe sounds pretty redundant to what's already out there if you do a thorough search. Mind your pennies, as Ben Franklin said.

Comment from Anne Nielsen
January 10th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Many, many of us feel this message of responsibility toward God's creation with our hearts and acknowledge it with our brains, and are fighting for policy change with our strength and political savvy. My church now has a Creation Care Group that has been operating for two years. Our pastor/coleader has just published his take on global warming in Nepal on the website of Mennonite Creation Care Network, and helped organize the first Mennonite/Brethren "Green Faith" Conference in Harrisonburg last spring. The local Climate Action Alliance of the Valley has an IPL speaker for Earth Day, April 22, Joe Stanley, and we are looking forward to it.

Comment from Rob Sisson
January 11th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Today, Pope Benedict condemned the lack of progress on climate protection: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-501316/The-Pope-condemns-climate-change-prophets-doom.html

Here is an interesting article by my colleague titled, "God's Climate Plan."
http://www.rep.org/C.E.P.Quarterly_spring09.pdf

Comment from Eddie Collins
January 12th, 2010 at 10:32 am

We need all the forces we can muster to attend to the global warming!!!!

Comment from Chung-Chieng Lai
January 13th, 2010 at 4:59 am

Human had finally believed that the Earth is round instead of flat. If the Moon does not always have the same hemisphere facing the Earth, then, our ancestor would see a rotating Moon. That might inspire the idea of "Earth is round" easily. The issue of climate change needs a visionary philosopher to point out the clue. So, now, please, let so many scientists have the time and resources to research the truth of global warming. Before any theory claiming the capability to predict the global warming, it should explain the mechanism of the past glacial cycles. Let's wait for evidences that support a winning theory.

Comment from Kelly
January 14th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Christians worked with people of other faiths and belief systems to plant 4.6 million trees last year through Eden Reforestation Projects (www.edenprojects.org). We employed hundreds of nationals in Ethiopia, Madagascar and just began in October 09 in Haiti to plant native, non-invasive species.

We agree with Rev. Bingham, that this needs to stop being a political issue, and assert itself as a moral one. The poorest of the poor, as we are seeing in Haiti, are disproportionately suffering from the devastation of environmental degradation. We must work together to stop the spiral.

Comment from Mike P.
January 21st, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I have a moderate math and science background. To me, it's unconscionable that mankind could dig up trillions of tons of coal, and trillions of gallons of petroleum, burn a large fraction of it in our atmosphere and expect nothing to happen. If course, burning fossil fuels in our atmosphere, that could have taken millions or tens of millions of years to form, has irreversibly affected our planet.

But the climate data fits none of the models. None. The climate models "fit" for a few years here and there, then trail off into error bands.

Using our scientific, or at least critical thought processes, we must come to the conclusion that we don't understand even a small portion of why our climate is changing, and there is no doubt that it is changing.

We've all seen reports from the Copehnagen summit, where members decided arbitrarily that a two degree change is the maximum we can tolerate. That statement is absurd as saying, we will tolerate no more than 19.5" of rain fall in Charleston, or no more than 33 mph wind speed in Michigan.

We have to realize that, as much as we'd like to 'know for certain' that there is a simple, direct correlation between manmade CO2 emissions, and the near surface temperatures on earth, no such simple system exists in nature.

We also have to realize that there are people who stand to benefit greatly if we implement 'cap and trade'. And its not the bulk of society. Banks and hedge funds are gearing up to trade carbon credits world wide. They are very anxious to get their hands on what little money we have.

If we *are* going to do something, then at least let us take actions that actually affect the planet in a positive way. Cap and trade does no such thing. Research on alternative, and non polluting (at least non air polluting) energy sources are well within the reach of almost every country, even China and India.

Instead of throwing laws together that drain society of its wealth, for the benefit of a few, why not pass laws that use some of the tax money we already pay to research and build new sources of energy?

Comment from Thirdrail
January 25th, 2010 at 11:45 pm

The main reason for denying that global warming is real is because it's understood that the transportation habits so dear to this culture are the main culprits. The automobile, truck and airplane are the major contributors to global warming due to those modes being necessarily fueled by petroleum.

The alternative fuel schemes touted as saving those modes of transportation will likely result in even more environmental and other problems. The vast amounts of rare earth materials needed for such technologies as batteries or the near food shortage already seen with attempting to use otherwise food crops for bio-fuel and wasting cropland for that misuse are examples. Many of the rare earth materials are cited as being mostly resourced from foreign sources. Foreign dependence is only one drawback to their mass use.

Our transportation problem is one of insistent expediency and the selfish demand for personal motorized transportation. Besides personal driving resulting in some 40,000 needless deaths each year in the U.S., the emerging undeniable environmental and untold economic blows from the combined costs of automotive purchases, insurance, fuel, maintenance and repair question the wisdom of the automotive and aviation culture.

The stark solution is in bicycling (including perhaps highly developed "velomobiles"), ideally, rail mass transit and passenger service and freight, and a return to sail shipping for world travel and freight. All these modes are the lowest impact, best resulting forms of transportation for their appropriate tiers of use ranging from local to long distance and light to heavy.

Comment from COBERTON MORRISON
February 9th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

BIOSPHERIC GEOTHERMODYNAMICS is the study of how mining and otherwise redistributing our subterranean resources can effect our environment by OVER HEATING EARTH FROM THE INSIDE OUT because man has changed the thermal gradient between the subterranean level of earth and the upper crust of earth.

Pingback from Religion, Faith & Climate Change | Climate Change HEALTH
February 27th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

[...] opinion piece published yesterday by Dominique Browning (EDF) about religion and climate change. Her article describes an organisation called Interfaith Power & Light that calls itself [...]

Comment from SherryContreras27
March 14th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

All people deserve good life time and personal loans or bank loan can make it much better. Because people's freedom is based on money.

Comment from Chris Colenso-Dunne
March 26th, 2010 at 8:38 am

Not sure that the Galilean is an especially good prototype for those of us having intelligent concerns about our environment, in any shape or form, given that he was apparently unaware of when fig trees came into fruit; couldn't for all his powers of miracle making overcome the wretched tree's stubborn perversity; and then blasted the unfortunate plant for its intransigent refusal to bear fruit out of season:

11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.

[Mark 11:11-14 (King James Version)]

Or if you prefer Matthew’s somewhat different version:

18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

[Matthew 21:18-22 (King James Version)]

And please spare me all the usual spurious waffle that the Galilean's followers have invented to try to justify such petulant behaviour as a metaphor for the lack of preparedness of the Jewish people for the coming of the Messiah, blah, blah, blah.

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Comment from Wayne Douglas Pickette
April 8th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Dear Dean

That sounds a lot like what people said to me in 1968 when I promoted the idea of a computer on a chip…some said I was crazy!

There is nothing out there like my system, the Stirling requires all kinds of expensive hardware to gain the focus the sun's energy.

My system works from much lower temperatures because I have engineered out nearly all waste of energy! My engine work from 5 degrees to 155 degrees, anything over that would compromise the refrigerant. I dynamically mix the hot with the just used to get the temperature I need. My engine generates it's own electricity to run the computer and other components used to control it. My engine is very lightweight.

There is no engine out there except this one that can use all those fuels without a moment of adjustment!

Need I to go further?

There is so much different in my stuff than what's out there the patent office had difficulty determining which classifications to put it under.

The Stirling engine cannot store caloric energy for later use.

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This is good. I wanted pictures to add in my school project and the images you have posted are good. Thanks for them buddy! I guess teacher will love my project due to these images and of course the information I provided.

Comment from Smart Parking Schiphol
May 12th, 2010 at 9:12 am

Thanks for the information. I came accros your blog and have been reading along. Good resource and some great coments.

Comment from Trein naar londen
May 13th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

In all, if religions have now seen the error of their ways, fine. But they are too to save our planet now. After prayerfully plundering it for 2000 years. Great comment seen earlier.

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