President Obama shared in his State of Union Address that acting on climate change is not only the consensus of most world leaders but that ignoring the inevitable shift in technology and business would weaken the American economy. The President's point is clear, we must act on climate change regardless of our respective vantage point.
President Obama told the crowd, "Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it, you’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it." President Obama used this opportunity to make a salient point – the debate is over so join us or get left behind.
This clear and poignant statement came one month after the Paris Agreement, which called for a direct approach to climate change over the next five years as people begin to see the interconnectedness of all sectors and worldviews. As Lloyd Steffen wrote yesterday for the Huffington Post, "Environmental protection has been for decades an issue of science, global politics and international economics, but some voices speaking to the issue remind us that motivation for such activism can spring from deep moral concerns and religious sensibilities." As we begin to reevaluate the state of our economy, technology and politics to better address the growing concern of climate change, the motivation for taking action in these areas is firmly grounded in a moral imperative, one of which many Americans find in their religious traditions.
Media outlets are portraying President Obama's advice to climate deniers as a 'dis', and while his words were undoubtedly funny, they demonstrate the need to draw in this dwindling segment of the American public with inclusive language, encouraging climate deniers to join the efforts by demonstrating the null point of climate denialism. President Obama made his point, the argument is over, if there ever was a legitimate one to be had.
Lloyd Steffen | Huffington Post
At the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, delegates from 196 countries signed the Paris Agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions and thus halting the destructive effects of global warming. The agreement awaits ratification by signatories and takes effect only if 55 of the nations that account for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions take action and endorse the agreement–the U. S. is not expected to ratify. The Paris agreement is significant in terms of politics and economics, but religious leaders have also voiced support of the agreement, and clearly a move is underway to make climate change and environmental responsibility an integral part of contemporary religious life and practice.
Religious involvement on this issue is not new. Environmental activism today is truly global and involves countless people in organizing efforts that are aimed at improving the health of the planet and assuring a safe environment for future generations. Environmental protection has been for decades an issue of science, global politics and international economics, but some voices speaking to the issue remind us that motivation for such activism can spring from deep moral concerns and religious sensibilities. Religious thought has long attended to the natural world and the environment, whether in the Western traditions affirming the earth as a glorious product of God's creative activity or in Native American and Asian religions that emphasize the interconnectedness of human beings and nature. Religious faith and spiritual commitments are today providing the energizing fuel to sustain involvement with issues like climate change and environmental responsibility.