Evangelicals join coalition to protect creation
“Urgent Call to Action” sent to government leaders and national evangelical and scientific organizations.
In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, evangelical and scientific leaders recently announced a joint effort to protect the environment. Speaking at a news conference in Washington, DC, a dozen leaders of the coalition shared concerns about human-caused threats to creation—including climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, species extinction, the spread of human infectious diseases, and other dangers to the well-being of societies.
Rev. Rich Cizik, Vice President for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Nobel-laureate Eric Chivian, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, were among 28 signers of a statement demanding urgent changes to avert disastrous changes in climate.
Stating that they share a moral purpose, the coalition released the “Urgent Call to Action” statement and sent it to government leaders including President George W. Bush, and national evangelical and scientific organizations. The statement urges “fundamental change in values, lifestyles, and public policies required to address these worsening problems before it is too late. Business as usual cannot continue yet one more day.” The group pledged to “work together toward a responsible care for creation and call with one voice” to the religious, scientific, business, political and educational arenas to join them in this historic initiative.
“Great scientists are people of imagination. So are people of great faith. We dare to imagine a world in which science and religion work together to reverse the degradation of creation. We will not allow it to be progressively destroyed by human folly,” said Cizik.
One focus of the group will be global warming. “In order to avoid clear and substantial dangers…it will be necessary to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions during the next few decades, and perhaps by 80 percent or more before the end of the century,” said Dr. James Hansen, the leading U.S. climate change scientist.
During a recent retreat, the group agreed that science proves that the natural world is imperiled by human behaviors and policies, particularly by the unsustainable burning of fossil fuels and degradation of living systems. They decided to embark on a continuing collaboration and authored the “Urgent Call to Action” statement.
Other supporters of the project are Edmund O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer prize-winning scientist and author; James Hansen, prominent NASA climatologist; and Calvin B. DeWitt, president of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists.
Institutional affiliation is given for identification purposes only. All signatories do so as individuals expressing their personal opinions and not as representatives of their organizations.
From the website of the NAE, www.nae.net