Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Science, Religion - and Global Warming

In the wake of the most significant scientific report to date on the potentially dire consequences of global warming, a ray of hope has emerged. Ironically, it emanates from the convergence of forces that have often been at odds. One force, the world of science, has long been on the forefront of the issue of climate change. Another equally powerful force, religion, has often remained on the sidelines -- until recently.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body of more than 2,000 of the world's top scientists from more than 100 nations, stated in a Feb. 2 report that global warming is "unequivocal," that it is rapidly changing the nature of our planet and its ecosystems, and that it is "very likely" being caused by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

In the course of the last decade, a significant movement within the faith community has been mobilizing around the call to care for God's creation, the web of life that sustains us all. This calling is the essence of religious life, and people of faith are beginning to hear it, even as scientists sound the alarm that we may be nearing a climactic tipping point.

We view science and religion as powerful potential partners. The hope is that the clarity of the science will inspire a concerted effort by the leaders in both communities and thus avoid the most catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis.

more: San Francisco Cronicle

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