WASHINGTON, DC -- A coalition of evangelicals and scientists has formed to unite behind what it calls a "moral imperative" to protect the global environment from such things as "global warming," pollution, and species extinction.
Since the release last February of the document Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action, "global warming has turned from a partisan debate among politicians into a moral concern for all Americans." That observation is offered by Rich Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), who -- along with Dr. Eric Chivian, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School -- brought the coalition together.
Last month in Georgia, Cizik convened a group of 28 scientists and evangelicals who share a mutual concern over "human-caused threats to Creation." During a press conference Wednesday in Washington, DC, he said it is his hope that the conversation that took place that day will blossom into an international movement.
"Obviously, as evangelicals we believe that God will judge us if we destroy [the Creation] through bio-diversity, human-induced climate change, and the like ...," stated Cizik. "And therefore we, as evangelicals, have a special obligation -- a duty of stewardship -- to be more vigilant, in fact, than others."
Of the coalition, Cizik acknowledged he has brought together individuals with a wide range of views on the origin of life. But that should not be an obstacle to the coalition's objectives, he says.
"We desire to imagine a world in which science and religion and cooperate together, minimizing our differences about how Creation came to be -- [and] to work together to reverse its degradation," he said at the press conference. And speaking for the evangelical Christians and scientists making up the coalition, he stated clearly: "We will not allow ... the Creation to be degraded, destroyed by human folly."
The coalition has already sent an "Urgent Call to Action" statement to President Bush, congressional leaders and evangelical and scientific organizations. In addition, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has announced his support for the coalition's efforts.
Cizik says next month the NAE will announce the first-ever partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency's "Energy Star" program to reduce energy consumption in the group's 45,000 churches from 54 denominations.
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