Address Climate Change
|Religious Leaders Celebrate Earth Day
Washington, D.C. (April 17, 2006) –
Four leaders representing a wide spectrum of religious faiths will discuss the
importance of taking action to address global warming at an Earth Day Network (EDN)
live internet chat on Friday, April 21, 3-5 p.m. EDT.
Religious Response to Climate Change is the second of two live web-casts
which will help launch EDN’s new Earth Day Television.
The panel discussion, co-hosted by Interfaith Power and Light, will highlight
the views of various faiths as religious communities become increasingly more
vocal and active on the issue of climate change.
"Global warming is the greatest moral issue of our time. It threatens
all of life and thus people of faith must answer the call to environmental
stewardship for the sake of all who live on this earth," said The Rev.
Sally Bingham, executive director of The Regeneration Project and the Interfaith
Power & Light campaign. "We must contribute to the solutions in order
to secure a healthy future for our children. Practical solutions to climate
change are available and we need to begin implementing them. It is immoral not
to do so."
The religious panel includes Rev. Richard Cizik, National Association of
Evangelicals; Rev. Alida M. DeCoster, Unitarian Universalist Association
Washington Office; Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Coordinator for Greater Washington
Interfaith Power and Light; and Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain at Georgetown
“Accepting the scientific validity of climate change is a 'threshold issue'
for the evangelical movement, which indicates a willingness to overcome historic
suspicions about environmental science,” said panelist Rev. Richard Cizik of
the National Association of Evangelicals. “But that is exactly what's
necessary in order to not only understand what's occurring to this planet but to
be part of the solution. Those who reject such a role for our [evangelical]
movement risk a lot, namely, to be on the wrong side of history."
Panelist Imam Yahya Hendi, muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, agrees
and added. “Acts of worship involve respect and sincerity towards others, and
humility to our Lord, however, we are neglecting a vital component of our lives
that we must begin to recognize: care for our home and silent nurturer, the
Panelist Rev. Alida DeCoster notes that Unitarian Universalists have drafted
statements about the potential dangers of greenhouse gases since 1977. “The
2006 draft ‘Statement of Conscience’ of the Universalist Association states
that the Earth is our home and Unitarian Universalists are called to defer to a
balance between our individual needs and those of all other organisms,” said
DeCoster. “Spiritual growth leads us to a broader identification with all of
life, so that we recognize more and more that damage to any part of the
ecosystem affects the whole.”
Religious Response to Climate Change will be directly in response to climate
change issues raised during a scientific panel discussion from 1-3p.m. EDT at
the same location, the AARP Broadcast Center, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, DC.
Both panel discussions will be featured live on Earth Day Television,
as part of Earth Day Network’s new Climate Change Solutions campaign.
EDN is also encouraging churches, synagogues and other institutions of faith
to address climate change in their sermons and addresses on Sunday, April 23rd,
immediately following Earth Day. EDN has prepared Religious Earth Day in a Box,
which is all the information you need to organize your own event, get involved,
and help combat climate change. www.earthday.net/resources/2006materials/EarthDay-in-a-Box.pdf
About Earth Day Network:
Earth Day Network was founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970 and promotes environmental citizenship and year round progressive action
worldwide. Earth Day Network’s global network reaches more than 12,000
organizations in 174 countries. Earth Day is celebrated by more than half a
billion people each year making it the largest secular holiday in the world.
April 22, 2006 marks the 36th anniversary of Earth Day.
About The Regeneration Project/Interfaith Power and Light The mission of The
Regeneration Project is to deepen the connection between ecology and faith. Our
Interfaith Power and Light campaign is mobilizing a religious response to global
warming in congregations by promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and
conservation. Interfaith Power and Light affiliates currently work in 18 states
and Greater Washington DC. More information is available at the organization's website: www.TheRegenerationProject.org