The blog entries on this page are meant to support and reinforce what my book Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change discusses and advocates. Blog and book are both written with the belief that the faith communities that embrace the Bible can strongly influence the course of the climate change debate in this country.
Arguments from the faith perspective, in tandem with those from a scientific one, are essentially uncontestable. That’s a tremendous advantage. That is, willful deniers of climate change in the energy sector, for example, are unlikely to challenge a teaching of Jesus or a verse in Deuteronomy. They can repeatedly question the science and the magnitude of human influence, but they are not likely to debate Scripture.
I hope therefore, that leaders in biblically inspired religious communities will understand that the fate of this planet may rest in their hands: offering an uncontestable argument that complements the environmental one can persuade millions of people to engage with this issue in a similarly unassailable way. The huge faith community can push companies and politicians to respond to the reality of climate change and acknowledge the imminent threats it poses to America and the world.
Clergy and congregants must rise to the occasion, driven by the biblical mandate and the environmental imperative. As the Rev. Fletcher Harper wrote:
If religion cannot provide meaningful leadership on one of the most pressing issues facing the human family, then it will lose its ability to present itself as a moral force.
We are at an inflection point in human history. The vast majority of us are well aware of the reality of climate change, have pushed for actions to mitigate it, and have expressed gratitude for the measures taken. But our actions are not happening fast enough to avoid devastating effects. We do not know whether our efforts will continue to remain unheeded and thereby allow greenhouse gas emissions to increase, or whether we will witness an acceptance and a commitment to reduce those emissions fast enough to limit our long-term temperature increase to a manageable figure. We are poised at that inflection point, fighting for sanity.
We are the last generation that can preserve this hospitable planet. We did not choose to live at this point in time, but we do. Our descendants will not forgive us if we choose expediency over action.
A note from Steve:
My profound thanks to those who have written kind comments about past blog entries – your words are much appreciated.
If you have not yet done so, please check out my book and, if you like it, let as many others as you can know of both the book and the blog. Please click on the tab labeled “The Book” to read an overview, the endorsements, and testimonials from clergy who have invited me to speak.
We must motivate huge numbers of people to push politicians, electric utility companies, car manufacturers, and others, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a rapid pace. We must meet the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.
Like many others, each in their own way, I am working to alleviate this crisis. In my case, by seeking opportunities to speak at congregations, civic organizations, and other places about climate change and religion. My book does not just discuss biblical environmental teachings, but also identifies 10 measures that would reduce those emissions significantly and advocates an environmental rights movement, akin to the civil rights movement, to push for their implementation.
Please use the Contact form on the website to reach me about a possible engagement. Consider this an urgent request, for time is not on our side.