Katharine Hayhoe has examined these issues in great detail

The Green New Deal isn’t socialist, it’s “biblical,” argue some evangelicals

From an Article by Olivia Goldhill, Quartz Newsletter, September 18, 2019

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe says her evangelical religion influences her approach to climate change. She is very concerned.

When evangelical environmentalists talk about climate change, they don’t stick to sea level rise projections and the carbon emissions associated with red meat. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, national organizer and spokesperson at Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), also points to the psalms, and the Old and New Testaments.

These texts emphasize how God created and loves the Earth, and wants humans to love it too. So for Meyaard-Schaap, choosing to care for the planet—and fight climate change—is simply following his God’s wishes.

In the United States, evangelical Christians are not known for their environmental engagement. The group is “synonymous with resistance, if we’re honest,” says Meyaard-Schaap. Evangelicals are the religious group least likely to believe the Earth is warming due to human activity: 28%, compared to 50% of all US adults, according to a 2015 survey from Pew Research Center.

But in recent years, a few leaders have started connecting environmentalism with religion. They’re starting to find a receptive audience among evangelicals.

Katharine Hayhoe, a prominent climate change scientist and evangelical Christian, says her religion motivates her interest in climate change. She finds the concept of protecting God’s planet to be an effective framing when talking to religious groups. “As Christians, we believe that we have been given responsibility over every little thing on this planet,” she says, “and we believe we’re to care for people who are less fortunate than ourselves.”

Hayhoe first started talking about the importance of combating climate change from a religious perspective in 2008. That’s when she realized that audiences thought she cared about the environment simply because she was a scientist—and disengaged as a result. Since she shifted her approach, she says, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. “I can count on the fingers of my hands and maybe just a few extra toes the letters and emails and even nasty tweets I’ve gotten from atheists over the last decade,” she says. “On the other hand, I can count on my fingers and toes how many I get from people who call themselves Christians every week.”

Of course, not every evangelical Christian applies the loving-protection maxim to climate change. There are two types of evangelicals in the United States, says Hayhoe: political and theological. “For political evangelicals,” she says, “their statement of faith is written first by their political ideology and only a distant second by what the Bible says.” Evangelicals are more likely to be Republicans than Democrats, and their religious beliefs can be interpreted to support conservative views on climate change. “As a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us,” Republican congressman Tim Walberg said in 2017. “And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

But there are ways to communicate the importance of addressing climate change across the political spectrum, says Meyaard-Schaap. He says that, when talking to conservatives, YECA emphasizes the economic freedom that comes from not accessing energy through a regulated monopoly. Also a plus: the national security benefits of not being dependent on hostile foreign powers for oil. YECA members also highlight how climate action is a pro life issue, as burning fossil fuels contributes to low birth weight and preterm babies, and heavy metals emitted through the burning of coal cross the placenta and impede fetal development.

Amidst these messages, there are signs that evangelical engagement on climate change is shifting: A recent poll found that 40% of evangelical Christians support the Green New Deal. In July, YECA released a statement highlighting the “biblical principles” in the proposed legislation. “The Green New Deal shows clear concern for making sure that we have tangible ways of protecting the natural environment, caring for God’s creation,” says Meyaard-Schaap.

Hayhoe would like to see even more support from the evangelical community, though she doesn’t expect evangelicals to embrace environmental action en masse, as long as “political ideology continues to drive the belief system of those who identify as Christian.”

Meyaard-Schaap, meanwhile, sees a distinct generational divide. Millennials and Generation Z often already care about climate change, he says, and YECA focuses on training these young leaders to talk with their parents and pastors.

Although politics is a strong indication of belief in climate change, Meyaard-Schaap says YECA activists are motivated by religion rather than politics. “We come at this work not because we’re environmentalist, even though some of us identify that way, and not because we’re Democrats or Republican,” he says. “We come at this because we’re Christians and we believe that acting on climate change and calling the church to action and it’s just part of what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st century.”

>>> This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.


Denominational Religious Statements on Climate Change

>>> Inter-Faith Power & Light Campaign Compilation

Most religious communities have released statements on “climate change” and the need to care for the earth and living things. The compiled list (organized alphabetically first by religion, then by denomination) demonstrates the unity within the religious community on these important issues.


VIDEO: Burke Lecture: An Ecological Inquiry – Jesus and the Cosmos with Elizabeth Johnson – UCSD-TV – University of California Television, July 6, 2010

Prof. Elizabeth A. Johnson, a former president of both the Catholic Theological Society of America and the ecumenical American Theological Society, argues that interfaith dialogue has made clear that each religious tradition has its own distinctive contribution to make. In this Burke lecture, she explores one line of thinking peculiar to the Christian tradition, namely, the meaning of Jesus Christ. Her question is whether the central, organizing figure in Christian faith also has anything intrinsic to do with the natural world.



The loss of ice is increasing

Polar ice caps melting six times faster than in 1990s

From an Article by Damian Carrington, The Guardian (UK), March 11, 2020

Losses of ice from Greenland and Antarctica are tracking the worst-case climate scenario, scientists warn. The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, according to the most complete analysis to date.

The ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is tracking the worst-case climate warming scenario set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists say. Without rapid cuts to carbon emissions the analysis indicates there could be a rise in sea levels that would leave 400 million people exposed to coastal flooding each year by the end of the century.

Rising sea levels are the one of the most damaging long-term impacts of the climate crisis, and the contribution of Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating. The new analysis updates and combines recent studies of the ice masses and predicts that 2019 will prove to have been a record-breaking year when the most recent data is processed.

The previous peak year for Greenland and Antarctic ice melting was 2010, after a natural climate cycle led to a run of very hot summers. But the Arctic heatwave of 2019 means it is nearly certain that more ice was lost last year.

The average annual loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica in the 2010s was 475bn tonnes – six times greater than the 81bn tonnes a year lost in the 1990s. In total the two ice caps lost 6.4tn tonnes of ice from 1992 to 2017, with melting in Greenland responsible for 60% of that figure.

The IPCC’s most recent mid-range prediction for global sea level rise in 2100 is 53cm. But the new analysis suggests that if current trends continue the oceans will rise by an additional 17cm.

“Every centimetre of sea level rise leads to coastal flooding and coastal erosion, disrupting people’s lives around the planet,” said Prof Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds. He said the extra 17cm would mean the number of exposed to coastal flooding each year rising from 360 million to 400 million. “These are not unlikely events with small impacts,” he said. “They are already under way and will be devastating for coastal communities.”

The melting can be observed in many locations

Erik Ivins, of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California, who led the assessment with Shepherd, said the lost ice was a clear sign of global heating. “The satellite measurements provide prima facie, rather irrefutable, evidence,” he said.

Almost all the ice loss from Antarctica and half of that from Greenland arose from warming oceans melting the glaciers that flow from the ice caps. This causes glacial flow to speed up, dumping more icebergs into the ocean. The remainder of Greenland’s ice losses are caused by hotter air temperatures that melt the surface of the ice sheet.

The combined analysis was carried out by a team of 89 scientists from 50 international organisations, who combined the findings of 26 ice surveys. It included data from 11 satellite missions that tracked the ice sheets’ changing volume, speed of flow and mass.

About a third of the total sea level rise now comes from Greenland and Antarctic ice loss. Just under half comes from the thermal expansion of warming ocean water and a fifth from other smaller glaciers. But the latter sources are not accelerating, unlike in Greenland and Antarctica.

Shepherd said the ice caps had been slow to respond to human-caused global heating. Greenland and especially Antarctica were quite stable at the start of the 1990s despite decades of a warming climate.

Scientists are jumping thru hoops to get out the warnings of ice melting & sea rise

Shepherd said it took about 30 years for the ice caps to react. Now that they had a further 30 years, melting was inevitable. And it will continue, even if emissions were halted today. Nonetheless, he said, urgent carbon emissions cuts were vital. “We can offset some of that [sea level rise] if we stop heating the planet.”

The IPCC is in the process of producing a new global climate report and its lead author, Prof Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, of the University of Iceland, said: “The reconciled estimate of Greenland and Antarctic ice loss is timely.”

She said she also saw increased losses from Iceland’s ice caps last year. “Summer 2019 was very warm in this region.”

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Natural Gas is a Health Issue, an Environmental GHG, and an Economic Dilemma

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Weld Records Fraud Found on Mariner East Pipeline in S.W. Penna.

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County Commissioner Bloom Repeated Longview’s Concerns about the Appalachian Stewardship Funding

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Federal Court Halts Shale Drilling Leases in Wayne National Forest in Southeastern Ohio

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Court Stalls Fracking Leases in Ohio’s Only National Forest From the Ohio Environmental Council, Contacts: Wendy Park, Emily Bacha, & Jonathon Berman, March 13, 2020 COLUMBUS, Ohio― A federal judge today stalled oil and gas leasing in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest, ruling that the Trump administration failed to consider threats to public health, endangered species [...]

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Shell suspends work on multi-Billion-dollar cracker plant in Beaver County From an Article by Tom Fontaine, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, March 18, 2020 Shell Chemicals said Wednesday it will temporarily halt its multibillion-dollar project to build an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County because of coronavirus concerns. The company then plans to gradually ramp work back [...]

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