There's no doubt that to pass climate and energy legislation, a diverse constituency is needed. A big boost could come from the evangelical community, many of whom hit the Hill recently to lobby for passage of a bill now. Led by Richard Cizik, who got booted from the National Association of Evangelicals for being too liberal on climate change and gay rights, evangelicals are after similar-thinking Senators who are sitting on the fence. From the UK Guardian:
But Richard Cizik, a former executive of the National Association of Evangelicals, who is one of the leaders of the initiative, argues there is far broader support among religious communities for action on climate change that is widely understood. The younger generations especially are passionately concerned about the environment.
"These evangelicals have an intensity level that even some in the environmental community don't have. They believe this is their God-given calling," he said. "When you realise you have missed something - as I did when I had a conversion on these issues - you become like a new convert to the faith, a passionate activist."
For many, the connection between climate change and poverty in the developing world - a core issue for many churches - was crucial in forcing a rethink on climate change issues.
"There has been for some in this country a conflict between faith and religion and science and so climate change has been in certain ways a victim of the origins debate. Scientists believe in evolution, therefore I oppose evolution."
If evangelicals came on board, they would join Big Labor as two huge and influential groups that could flip coal state Senators like Claire McCaskill, Evan Bayh, and Richard Lugar. Almost a year ago, Cizik was ousted from the National Association of Evangelicals after more than two dozen evangelical leaders attacked him for his "relentless campaign" on global warming. Let's hope it was worth it.