Environmentalism is not a religion, any more than the fight against poverty or human rights abuses is. But, as with issues of social justice, religion sure can help elevate the conversation and move things forward by reminding us of our duties to our fellow humans and the world around us. (I say all this as a devout atheist.)
So as I was researching a recent piece on NC churches fighting climate change, I was encouraged to learn about an upcoming national "preach in" on climate change and its impacts to be held in February (pre-registration is open now). Organized by Interfaith Power and Light, the preach in will this year focus on putting pressure on our President to live up to his rhetoric on climate change:
Following his re-election, President Obama pledged to work for an America “that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet,” so as our advocacy focus for 2013, we will ask him to make climate protection a priority. We’ll also help congregants learn about climate-driven threats to vulnerable communities worldwide.
Given that President Obama seems to be dropping carbon bombs left and right, any pressure that faith communities can excerpt is both welcome and timely. And given that there is a battle going on to define what is realistic and feasible in terms of emissions reductions, we could all probably learn a thing or two from people of faith about keeping on believing, even when things look their bleakest.