Image credit: Christian Ecology Link
Given the combative nature of recent discussions on TreeHugger, I am bracing myself for a slew of comments about environmentalism being a religion for this one. But just as burgers being food does not imply that all food is burgers, so too the existence of sustainability-oriented religious groups does not imply that sustainability is a religion. Now we've gotten that out of the way, what the heck am I actually talking about? Churches across the UK are getting involved with the widespread and influential Transition Towns movement—a community led response to peak oil and climate change. And they've set up a network to support these efforts.The Churches in Transition initiative is a project of the interdenominational Christian Ecology Link, and is seeking to provide support and encouragement to Christians of all backgrounds and traditions who "hear the call to cut carbon emissions and prepare for increasing scarcity of oil."
The project was officially launched at the Christian Ecology Link's national conference in Scarborough, Yorkshire last weekend where 50 participants from across the Christian spectrum came together to explore the implications of climate change and peak oil. The group is encouraging individuals and churches to initiate 'ecocell' study courses in sustainable living.
It's good to see faith groups getting officially involved in this important community led initiative. Talk of "hearing the call to cut carbon" and "ecocells" may sound an awful lot like religion to atheist greenies like me, but that's the whole point. This is, after all, a religious group.
Concern for our environment is, to my non-Christian mind, a natural moral consequence of most religious philosophies. But then, it's also a natural moral consequence of being human.