The atmosphere within the evangelical community has been heating up since the Evangelical Climate Initiativewas introduced in early February.
The statement, which is endorsed by more than 80 prominent evangelical leaders, asserts that climate change is an urgent problem and that the Christian faith mandates a strong response to global warming. Evangelicals have been reluctant to embrace environmental activism because of its connections with liberal agendas. The group as a whole has had a general tendency to prioritize spiritual rather than social and physical concerns. As scientific data increasingly supports observations of human-induced climate change, however, many are now taking action.
It is a very appropriate move in terms of a biblical basis and, in fact, long overdue, said Fred Van Dyke, who teaches environmental ethics at Wheaton College. The evangelical community has long associated the environmental agenda with a liberal agenda, but they are getting over it.
Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and former senior climate scientist with NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center, said he is concerned that...