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Evangelicals Embrace Climate Change Science To Save The World

I guess we'll be seeing some faith-based solutions to global warming real soon now...
by Jean-Louis Santini
Washington (AFP) Jan 17, 2007
Evangelical and scientific leaders have united for the first time to sway Americans to back urgent action to stem greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming threatening the planet. Repudiating the struggle between neo-creationists and defenders of the theory of evolution, a group of prominent scientists, including Nobel prize winner Eric Chivian and NASA's chief climatologist James Hansen, joined US evangelical leaders on Wenesday to launch this unprecedented joint-initiative.

The coalition of 28 US scientists and eminent members of the Christian evangelical movement, which boasts 30 million followers in the United States, announced an "urgent call to action" to curb habitat destruction, pollution, species extinction, the spread of human infectious diseases and other manufactured dangers that are now threatening humanity.

The statement was released at a news conference and sent to US President George W. Bush, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, bipartisan congressional leaders and national evangelical and scientific organizations.

The group pledged to "work together toward a responsible care for Creation and call with one voice" on religious, scientific, business, political and educational circles to join the initiative.

They urged "fundamental changes 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 breath the same air and drink the same water," said Chivian, Nobel laureate and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

"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," added Richard Cizik, vice-president for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals.

"If current deterioration of the environment 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," said Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Wilson.

One of the coalition's imperatives is to advance public dialogue and influence US policy in regards to global warming, he said.

For William Galston, a religion expert at The Brookings Institution, a private research institute, the "most important aspect" of this meeting of minds is the participation of evangelical groups, whose vast political influence dates back to the 1970s.

"It's another important step forward toward a change of orientation and a change of policy on the part of the US in this area (climate change)," he said. "That could have very important consequences for domestic policy down the road."

Traditionally, evangelicals' public policy agenda was focused on social issues, walking in step with Republican lawmakers, but now they have taken "a serious step toward broadening the agenda," leaning toward the Democrats, Galston explained.

Of note, Senator Barack Obama, a rising Democratic star who announced this week his much-anticipated run for the White House in 2008, was among the first to express support for the coalition's mission.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Climate Change Could Amplify Drought In East Indian Ocean And Australasia
Paris (AFP) Jan 17, 2007
Climate change could worsen the impact of an El Nino-like weather system in the Indian Ocean, bring brutal droughts to parts of Indonesia and Australasia, a study published on Thursday says. The weather system is called the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), a recently-discovered phenomenon that strikes the tropical Indian Ocean at various intervals, usually several years apart.

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