Environment News Service (ENS)

Evangelicals, Scientists Jointly Urge Environmental Protection


Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

WASHINGTON, DC (ENS) - In a unique collaboration, evangelical and scientific leaders announced today a joint effort to protect the environment.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington, a dozen leaders of the coalition shared concerns about human threats to Creation, including climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, species extinction, the spread of human infectious diseases, and other dangers to the wellbeing of societies.

The coalition released an 'Urgent Call to Action' statement signed by 28 evangelical and scientific leaders. The statement was sent to President George W. Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, bipartisan congressional leaders, and national evangelical and scientific organizations.

It urges a 'fundamental change in values, lifestyles, and public policies required to address these worsening problems before it is too late.'

'There is no such thing as a Republican or Democrat, a liberal or conservative, a religious or secular environment. We all breathe the same air and drink the same water. Scientists and evangelicals share a deep moral commitment to preserve this precious gift we have all been given,' said Dr. Eric Chivian, Nobel laureate and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

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 initiative.

'Great scientists are people of imagination. So are people of great faith. We dare to imagine a world in which science and religion cooperate, minimizing our differences about how Creation got started, to work together to reverse its degradation. We will not allow it to be progressively destroyed by human folly,' said Reverend Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals.

The coalition plans to meet with Congressional leaders from both parties. A summit on creation is planned along with outreach tools, such as a Creation Care Bible study guide and environmental curricula.

'If current deterioration of the environment by human activity continues unabated, best estimates are that half of Earth's surviving species of plants and animals will be extinguished or critically endangered by the end of the century,' warned Pulitzer Prize-winning author zoologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University.

The price for future generations will be paid in economic opportunity, environmental security, and spiritual fulfillment. The saving of the living environment is therefore an issue appropriately addressed jointly by science and religion,' Wilson said.

One of the imperatives of the group will be to advance the dialogue and influence policy in regards to global warming. 'In order to avoid clear and substantial dangers,' said NASA climate change scientist Dr. James Hansen, 'it will be necessary to substantially reduce CO2 emissions during the next few decades, and perhaps by 80 percent or more before the end of the century.'

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