Statements from Faith Groups Laser Talk

The world’s major faith groups and religious leaders have all made powerful statements on the climate. They say that climate change is real, that the burning of fossil fuels is causing it, and that we humans have a moral responsibility to take action to correct it. These groups include Catholics [1, 2], Protestants [2], Jews [2], Hindus [3], Muslims [2], and Buddhists [4] as well as many indigenous peoples such as the Hopi Indians [5].

Statements from Faith Communities

The Vatican:

“Reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions without delay using all means possible.” The cost of doing this “pales in comparison to the price the world will pay if we fail to act now.” [1]

The Evangelical Climate Initiative:

“Human-Induced Climate Change is Real and increasing international instability, which could lead to more security threats to our nation.” . . . “In the United States, the most important immediate step that can be taken at the federal level is to pass and implement national legislation requiring sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program.” [2]

The Dalai Lama:

“Right now our greatest responsibility is to undo the damage done by the introduction of fossil carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and climate system during the rise of human civilisation. We know that we have already exceeded the 350 parts per million that is a safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In doing so we have ushered in a global climate crisis.”…” Buddhists, concerned people of the world and all people of good heart should be aware of this an act upon it”.  [4]

National Association of Evangelicals:

“It is tempting but unwise to assume that God would prevent us from drastically harming the earth.” … “Exercising stewardship calls us to plan ahead and to use our God given gifts, abilities and natural resources to care for this world he created. In today’s reality, that includes considering our changing environment in order to evaluate how best to care for what he has entrusted to us.” [2]

The Episcopal Church:

Resolved, That the 77th General Convention calls on congregations, institutions, dioceses, and corporate offices of The Episcopal Church, to work for the just transformation of the world’s energy beyond and away from fossil fuels (including all forms of oil, coal, and natural gas) and toward safe, sustainable, renewable, community controlled energy, and that fossil fuel workers and their families be supported during the transition to a “post-carbon” society.” [2]

Southern Baptists:

“In the face of intense concern and guided by the biblical principle of creation stewardship, we resolve to engage this issue without any further lingering over the basic reality of the problem or our responsibility to address it. Humans must be proactive and take responsibility for our contributions to climate change—however great or small.” [2]

Skeptic Claims and One-Liners

Carbon Fee Skeptic Claim: I’m too busy with my faith to bother about climate change.
One-Liner: All the major faiths in the US have very powerful statements on the climate, and all say we have a moral obligation to do something about it now.

Carbon Fee Skeptic Claim: The End of Days is coming soon, God’s Judgment is upon us.
One-Liner: If it’s not, and you could have done something about it but didn’t (like the foolish virgins), is that a gamble you’re willing to bet your eternal salvation on?

  1. Ajai, L. Bengtsson, D. Breashears, P.J. Crutzen, S. Fuzzi, W. Haeberli, W.W. Immerzeel, G. Kaser, C. Kennel, A. Kulkarni, R. Pachauri, T. H. Painter, J. Rabassa, V. Ramanathan, A. Robock, C. Rubbia, L. Russell, M. Sánchez Sorondo, H.J. Schellnhuber, S. Sorooshian, T. F. Stocker, L.G. Thompson, O.B. Toon, D. Zaelke, J. Mittelstraß. “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene”. 2011. Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
  2. Friends Committee on National Legislation. “Faith Groups Speak Out on the Environment”.
  3. Hindu Press International. “Hindu Declaration on Climate Change”National Hindu Students Forum.
  4. The Dalai Lama. “Ecological Buddhism: A Buddhist Response to Global Warming”. Dec. 20, 2008. Endorsement hosted by Buddhist Climate Project.
  5. Submitted by Thomas Banyacya, Kykyotsmovi, Arizona. “The Hopi Message To The United Nations General Assembly”. 12-10-92.

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