Special talk on the relationship between the faith community and climate change policy
What Does Religion have to do
with Climate Change Policy?
Sunday April 24th, 46 years and a couple days after the first Earth Day, Paul Chakroff will speak at the St. Croix Reformed Church on the relationship between the faith community and climate change policy. Paul’s research into the topic had its genesis with Pope Francis’ address to a joint meeting of Congress, which Paul attended among 10,000 onlookers who gathered on the West lawn of the US Capital last September 24th.
The talk and following discussion Sunday evening will consider several questions:
· Is religion even a credible participant in the climate change conversation?
· Shouldn’t our response to climate change be based on peoples’ knowledge of science and technology?
· Given that emotions, ethics and morality are clearly in religion’s wheelhouse, is the faith community taking up the challenge? And,
· Can the faith community be effective in meeting the challenge?
Research conducted by a sociologist in Norway on climate change denial and failure of people to take action will be explored, as will the interface between morality and socioeconomic systems, before turning to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Paper on climate change.
Finally, some of 26 faith-based policy statements on climate change will be presented. For example, a statement from American Catholic Bishops that includes: “Our response to global climate change raises fundamental questions of morality and justice, fairness and shared sacrifice. People living in poverty contribute least to climate change but they are likely to suffer its worst consequences with few resources to adapt and respond.”
And a Southern Baptist Declaration the includes: “When God made mankind, He commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures (Genesis 1:26-28). Therefore, our motivation for facing failures to exercise proper stewardship is not primarily political, social or economic – – it is primarily biblical.”
Folks from all religions persuasions are invited to join in the conversation on the relationship between religion and climate change policy, Sunday, April 24, 5:30 PM at the Reformed Church, Kingshill, St. Croix.
Paul Chakroff, a 14-year resident of St. Croix, is currently a renewable resource and environmental consultant.