The Creation Care Blog

  • Knowing What's Right in North Carolina

    August 27,2014, 12:32 PM

    By Alexei Laushkin

    The state of North Carolina has had some of the worst environmental spills of any state in 2014. State leaders can't seem to agree how to clean up what is a significant failure of stewardship. There's division in the realm of politics, division in how responsible certain industries are willing to be, and there's divison on what it even means to steward well.

    Yet, we don't find these kinds of divisions with our Lord Jesus Himself. In John 1:4 we find:

    "In him was life, and the life was the light of men"

    North Carolina has a lot of Christians who believe in Jesus. So where is that Life; the Life of Christ. Is it evident in our care of God's creation in North Carolina? As someone told me yesterday "we know what's right, we've just turned a blind eye."

    So, where is that great sleeper, the church? Where are God's people to say that we need to stop the quarelling, stop the division, and start loving our neighbor, start protecting our children, and start stewarding this land so that it too can flourish.

    This morning and yesterday Christians in and around Raleigh took some time to pray for the care of God's world and North Carolina's environmental woes. Scriptures and prayer were offered at sunrise at the North Carolina State Capitol.

    Many of North Carolina's legislators are Christians as are many of North Carolina's businessmen and businesswomen. Prayers were especially offered for them. We know what's right before the eyes of God when it comes to stewardship. Whether it's water pollution, air pollution, coal ash spills, chemical spills, where we place our toxic dumps, where we get our energy and how we address concerns around climate change, we know what we ought to be doing.

    So let's start by recommiting ourselves and our ways to Christ. Creation care is about discipleship because the life of faith needs to resemble the life of Christ in all of its ways. Amen.

    Alexei Laushkin is the Vice-President for the Evangelical Environmental Network

  • [ClimateWire] Evangelical leader says Fla.'s governor is being 'very frustrating' on climate change

    August 22,2014, 06:25 AM

    re-published with permission

    (All content is copyrighted and may not be reproduced or retransmitted without the express consent of E&E Publishing, LLC)

    Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter
    Published: Friday, August 22, 2014

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is being pressed by more than just scientists to act on climate change. The religious Republican is also being courted by an evangelical reverend who delivered 60,000 signatures to his office last week.

    So far, it's been a challenging effort to get the governor's attention, said the Rev. Mitchell Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network. The goal of his conservative group is to reorient climate change from a political issue to a moral one. Getting the support of someone like Scott, who co-founded the evangelical Naples Community Church, would make a big impact, he said.

    "I'm a lifelong registered Republican. I'm a conservative at heart," Hescox said. "I would love to see the governor follow his faith to see this is not a political issue and draw everybody together."

    Hescox, who lives in Pennsylvania, said the petition he left with the governor's office last Wednesday was signed exclusively by Florida "pro-life Christians." It asks Scott, who expresses doubt about people's contribution to climate change, to be a leader on the issue.

    He also left a Bible at Scott's office that was signed by 70 Latino evangelical pastors who attended a religious event in Miami last week on climate change. He's been trying unsuccessfully to schedule a meeting with Scott.

    "It became very frustrating when I got a 'no' from his staff and then a 'yes' from his staff and then his general counsel emails me back saying, 'Notwithstanding other offers you may have received, the governor is too busy to meet with you,'" Hescox said.

    Scott's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

    Climate change took on greater political dimensions this week when Scott met with five scientists who asked for a meeting to discuss the impacts of warming on the Sunshine State. They made the request after Scott said that he's "not a scientist" when asked in July about his beliefs on climate change.

    Yesterday, three of the scientists repeated the presentation they gave to Scott for reporters. It reviewed carbon dioxide's effect on warming, a description of sampling ice cores for old carbon, the drivers behind sea-level rise, and the evidence for warming from human activity.

    'I'm not a scientist, either'

    Jeff Chanton, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, showed the governor a graph with two lines representing CO2 concentrations and temperature. They follow the same up-and-down path over 800,000 years, passing through eras of glacial and non-glacial states.

    "These two things run together. There's no doubt about it," Chanton said of CO2 and temperature.

    All through that timeline, the concentration of CO2 pingponged between 180 parts per million and 280 ppm, he said. Now it's at 400 ppm, said Chanton, who had shown a graph with a line for temperature that climbed rapidly upward since the early 1800s, when the industrial era began.

    Ben Kirtman, a professor of meteorology at the University of Miami, said the scientific principles of climate change are "very robust."

    "It's solid science. We need our policymakers and our politicians to acknowledge that," he said. "When our leaders deny that it's happening, it makes it very difficult for communities to figure out how to respond because someone from the top is saying, 'Oh, don't believe in it.'"

    It's not clear what Scott believes. When asked by reporters Wednesday if the meeting changed his mind, he said, "I'm not an expert on this." Instead, he said he's focused on finding solutions like stronger beaches, cleaner drinking water and a healthier Everglades.

    That opened him up to criticism from Charlie Crist, Florida's former governor who is challenging Scott as a Democrat in this fall's gubernatorial election.

    Crist's official Twitter account yesterday publicized the governor's meeting with scientists and then asked, "why won't he listen?"

    For his part, Hescox said that a religious person can rely less on scientific studies and more on the Bible. He said it's clear that people could treat the Earth better.

    "We believe we cannot be a disciple of Jesus unless you take action to care for his creation," he said. "I'm not a scientist, either. I'm a pastor, a theologian and now the leader of a Christian nonprofit. But I have eyes to see what's going on."

  • Coverage of EEN Florida Outreach

    August 18,2014, 11:26 AM

    Here's a breakdown of some of the coverage from the last week.

    TV

    Coverage  from WCTV Tallahassee.

    Newspaper

    Coverage from The Sun Suntinel.

    Radio

    Please continue to pray for Gov. Scott. We need conservative solutions to climate change.

  • Florida's Governor Lukewarm on Creation Care

    August 07,2014, 08:10 AM

    By Rev. Mitch Hescox

    Governor Scott of Florida recently released his environmental agenda for the upcoming years. It shows progress by the Governor in at least talking about caring for God's creation. But, to paraphrase Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, it is one small step for the Governor's image, but hardly the giant leap needed to protect Floridians and God's creation. It fails to address current creation-care needs and ignores climate change and its current impacts to Floridians and the increasingly more severe threats. It's a lukewarm attempt at best.

    The Governor rightly focuses on water, but oddly enough fails to mention that climate change is a major driver for water challenges. From salt water intrusion to high precipitation events, Florida's water infrastructure needs a significant overhaul, especially as Florida continues to grow and attract new people and businesses to the state. In South Florida alone the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), which includes significant water infrastructure upgrades, will cost over $10 billion over the course of 30 years.1

    Water management is a significant stewardship issue and Floridians are already paying the cost. Miami Beach voted on measures totaling $400 million to keep water off its streets and has already identified an additional $200 million in water quality improvements.2

    Protecting Florida's water is vital as numerous wells along Florida's southern coast are already impacted from salt water intrusion as sea levels rise. If climate action isn't adopted, costs will soar to over a billion dollars and more. Florida needs a comprehensive plan to address the rising sea levels, decreased fresh water, more extreme weather, increased vector borne diseases, and higher temperatures. Just as important is a plan to mitigate carbon pollution and limit the amount of damage to homes, farms, and coasts.

    Scripture states that being lukewarm is worse than being hot or cold (Rev. 3:16). This current plans seems to move the Governor from cold into the lukewarm temperature range. That might be good enough for some, but as fellow evangelicals we understand the Bible's answer for those that are lukewarm.

    Revelation 3 also clearly states forgiveness and reconciliation for those that open the door and transform from lukewarm to hot. For several weeks, I have been knocking at the Governor's door to discuss both a plan and the opinions of 60,000 pro-life Christians who are asking for Governor to make action on climate change a priority. But Governor Scott has not opened the door to receive the comments of his constituents.

    Working with the Governor's office has been frustrating. First, after requesting a meeting with the Governor, I was sent a form letter telling me to contact my Florida legislator.

    Thank you for contacting Governor Rick Scott's office and sharing your concerns. The Governor asked that I respond on his behalf.

    Governor Scott wants to know how Floridians feel about the many critical issues we face and your input is important to him. You can influence legislation by contacting your local legislative delegation. To contact your legislators and track bills as they proceed through the legislative process, please visit www.leg.state.fl.us.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact the Governor's office. Information about the Governor's administration and initiatives can be obtained online at www.flgov.com.

    It does make one wonder how much of the Governor's correspondence is even read. After forwarding the form email to a senior staffer, I received an apology and the promise for a meeting with Gov. Scott. Then after patiently waiting for ten days I received a new reply on Wednesday, August 6, 2014:

    Reverend Hescox,

    Your request for an appointment with Gov. Scott has been referred to this office.

    Regrettably, the Governor's schedule is filled with travel throughout Florida and matters related to governance of our State. Accordingly, not withstanding any expectation otherwise, your request cannot be fulfilled.

    Peter Antonacci
    General Counsel

    It's amazing that a request to pray with Governor Scott went to the Governor's lawyer for an answer, especially since he shares my evangelical faith and that of the 60,000 pro-life Christians who are asking him for a plan to address climate change.

    Just as in the parable Jesus told concerning the persistent widow and judge, I'm going to keep knocking on the Governor's door, keep praying, and trusting in a miracle. So next week, I plan to show up in Tallahassee at the Governor's office to deliver in person the request of those 60,000 Floridians, and spend time in the Capitol's Chapel in prayer.

    ______

    1 http://www.evergladesplan.org/docs/fs_first_5_yrs_english.pdf
    2 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/south-florida-rising-sea-levels/

  • Testimony at Pittsburgh EPA Hearing

    July 31,2014, 13:55 PM

    Testimony of Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network
    To Be Delivered Friday August 1, 2014

    "See!" he said to all the people. "This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God." Joshua 24:17

    Good Morning,

    I am the Rev. Mitchell Hescox, President/C.E.O. of the Evangelical Environmental Network, a native and resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, an evangelical pro-life Christian, and life-long registered Republican. I am here in support of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) purposed Clean Power Plan and to offer my unique perspective not only as an evangelical Christian but as someone who spent eighteen (18) years as a local church pastor, fourteen (14) years as a professional in the coal and power industries, and who is also a father and grandfather.

    Today marks the opportunity for a new day. We have a choice to make: will we as citizens of the United States of America defend the lives and health of our children and provide them the opportunity for new clean energy economy, or will we burden them not only with a national monetary debt but the even more harmful burden of an increasing climate changed world? Will we stop the special favors that the coal industry has enjoyed and allow the real cost of coal to affect our energy decisions?

    With four (4) children and five (5) grandchildren, I have a considerable interest in their future and the future for all God's children. My kids have never experienced a June below the 20th century average June temperature, and with June 2014 as the hottest June in history and marking the 352nd month above the 20th century average, my grandchildren already live in a changed world. The future is upon us, and the question remains, will we cling to a threatening past or stretch for a new future?

    There are many good people testifying today that also are concerned for their children. They fear the loss of jobs and a way of life. At the same time, we must be concerned for coal miners and power plant workers and find ways to address their fears. Circa 1900 there were similar fears as the third largest industry in terms of workers and dollars, the horse industry, faced a similar situation from the quickly developing automobile industry. But living in a country whose economy is market based means we must allow the markets to work to create new opportunities and brighter futures, and not be hindered by political roadblocks from special interests.

    For years, we have subsidized the cost of coal generated electricity in the brains, lungs, and bodies of our children and privatized the profits. Asthma, cancers, autism, birth defects, and brain damage have a direct link to the use of fossil fuels and petrochemicals. Even today, according to the American Lung Association 2014 State of the Air Report, Pittsburgh's air still flunks, and over 26,000 children live asthma-impeded lives - with climate change making smog worse. These threats to our children make caring for God's creation a matter of life and Christian discipleship.

    The proposed Clean Power Plan begins a market correction that is long overdue. Some wish us to believe that coal provides cheap electricity. But according to several studies, when you add in the cost to our health in medical bills, lost lives, property damage and the like, coal electricity is at least triple what you pay at the meter. Coals appears cheap, but each of us pays the price in our children's health, insurance premiums, fouled air, and polluted water.

    Providing pure water and clean air shouldn't be a hindrance to our economy, jobs, and future. In fact, having a fruitful creation enhances existing industries, new industries, the attractiveness of communities, and satisfied employees. If Pennsylvania, for example, takes advantage of the standard's flexibility, there will be an equal amount of employment created in the natural gas industry as lost from fuel switching.[i] More importantly, 13,000 new jobs will be created by 2020 based on Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) Act of 2004. And if Pennsylvania's implementation plan for the Clean Power Plan returns the Commonwealth to its former leadership position, renewable energy jobs in solar and wind will increase significantly.[ii]

     Job creation is vital, but defending life remains paramount, and the proposed Clean Power Plan accomplishes significant pollution reduction in both carbon and additional co-pollutants, including particulates, SO2, and NOx. According to a recent Syracuse University and Harvard medical study, Pittsburgh and the entire Ohio River Valley will benefit with the greatest improvements in air quality from EPA's Clean Power Plan.[iii] This is something to celebrate; and with cleaner air, our out of pockets expenses will decline and so will our electric bill. The Analysis Group's recent report on EPA's new standard supports EPA own analysis that electric rates might increase slightly in the short term but will decline overall.[iv]

    The Clean Power Plan is a key aspect of a needed comprehensive national effort to mitigate and prepare for climate change's threats to the United States. The Clean Power Plan makes economic sense as well. Harvard's Robert Stavins wrote recently:

    The combined U.S.-only estimates of annual climate impacts of CO2 ($3 billion) and health impacts of correlated pollutants ($45 billion) greatly exceed the estimated regulatory compliance costs of $9 billion/year, for positive net benefits amounting to $39 billion/year in 2030.[v]

    His analysis focusing on U.S. benefits states what is obvious to many of our nation's businesses. Act now before it's too late and the costs skyrocket.[vi] Delaying action simply costs more, but procrastinating also removes the great opportunity in creating a new clean energy economy. Businesses like Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, General Electric, General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Sprint, and Walmart all have climate action plans. They have a clear vision of both the costs of climate change and the vision for the future.[vii]

    All God's children deserve a future where they can breathe freely, think clearly, and pursue their dreams for a brighter America and an entire world not threatened from the food insecurity, water scarcity, foul air, extreme weather, forced migration, and sea-level rise. We can do nothing less as a nation.

    Addressing carbon pollution from the largest single polluter, the power industry, is an essential step in facing climate change's threat and embracing the opportunity of a new future. But it is one of many steps. We need a comprehensive plan to:

    • Police methane leaks from production, distribution, and transportation of natural gas;
    • Provide coordination in preparing for the climate impacts already upon us;
    • Unify research efforts to set our American creativity and ingenuity free to be the world leader in clean energy design and manufacturing;
    • Set reasonable standards and accountability for coastal development;
    • Protect American workers from those nations who fail to establish their own climate plans.
    • Focus our assistance to the majority world in terms of renewable, locally operated electricity.

    The Clean Power Plan, once promulgated, will be the most important action to date in overcoming climate change. It shows our nation's resolve in doing the right thing, the moral action. It returns The United States to the leadership position and sets the standard for a worldwide clean energy economy. This provides the signal the market needs to spur development and action. It removes the burden of cost from our children's health and begins to establish true costs for electric generation.

     The simplest and most enforceable action to reduce carbon pollution would include a carbon pollution fee. This would simplify state implementation and be the most accountable direct market mechanism to price carbon. As such, we ask the EPA to include explicit language in the final standard assuring states the option for a carbon tax/pollution fee.

    Now is the time to act. We are quickly approaching the deadline to keep God's marvelous creation below the two (2) degree Celsius maximum urged by experts and agreed to by the United States in the international climate negotiations. While some understand climate action as political, from my evangelical Christian faith it's a scriptural and moral imperative. In the opening of this testimony, I quoted a portion of a longer biblical passage. The patriarch Joshua calls the nation together and commits to a plan to follow God and work together for the betterment of all. He even states the rocks will act as witness. Creation already witnesses our changed and changing climate. Looking out your kitchen window and going for a walk it is easy to see the changes.

    Let's join together as Christians, as people of all faiths, as Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, and become Americans, Americans working together to solve the great moral challenge of our time and to begin the greatest energy and economic revolution. Then maybe our kids and grandkids will commend us for helping them reach their American Dream, instead of a nightmare.

    _____

    [i] http://csis.org/event/remaking-american-power
    [ii] http://cleanenergywins.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CleanEnergyWins_PolicyRoadmap.pdf
    [iii] Driscoll, C.T, Buonocore, J., Reid, S., Fakhraei, H, and Lambert, K.F. 2014. Co-benefits of Carbon Standards Part 1: Air Pollution Changes under Different 111d Options for Existing Power Plants. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY and Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. A report of the Science Policy Exchange. 34 pp.
    [iv] EPA's Clean Power Plan: States' Tools for Reducing Costs and Increasing Benefits to Consumers
    Analysis Group -Paul Hibbard, Andrea Okie, Susan Tierney, July 2014
     http://www.analysisgroup.com/uploadedFiles/Publishing/Articles/Analysis_Group_EPA_Clean_Power_Plan_Report.pdf
    [v] http://www.robertstavinsblog.org/2014/06/19/what-are-the-benefits-and-costs-of-epas-proposed-co2-regulation/
    [vi]http://riskybusiness.org/uploads/files/RiskyBusiness_Report_WEB_7_22_14.pdf
    [vii] http://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/power-forward-2.0-how-american-companies-are-setting-clean-energy-targets-and-capturing-greater-business-value

  • Gov. Scott Doesn't Open the Door (Update)

    July 24,2014, 08:44 AM

    by Rev. Mitch Hescox

    UPDATE (July 25th 2014, 3:46pm)

    Gov. Scott has agreed to meet with me in the near future. Date to be determined. Please continue to pray.

    UPDATE (July 25th 2014, 11:00am)

    This morning I heard from Gov. Scott's Director of Executive Staff, Diane Moulton. She apologized and said she would be in touch about a meeting.

    I am thankful that the Governor's staff acknowledged my emails and accept their apology. My hope and prayer remains that Governor Scott will receive me on Tuesday, July 29, and the over 60,000 comments from pro-life Florida Christians who are asking Governor Scott to take action on defending Florida's children from the current and future threats.

    We would ask all Floridians and evangelicals Christians to pray for Governor Scott and that his heart would be open to addressing the great moral challenge of carbon pollution.

    _______

    Gov. Scott doesn't answer the knock on his door from fellow evangelicals. Yesterday, I received a less than gracious reply (see below) to meet with Florida's governor on a conservative approach to addressing climate change. Recently, I sent a letter (see below) to Governor Scott through his scheduler Rebecca Wood, and also through the Governor's website. I tried reaching out to the Governor to convey the request of over 57,000 pro-life Christians who believe Florida needs a plan to address climate change.

    Climate change already impacts Floridians, and over 57,000 pro-life Christians have asked Gov. Scott to make a plan to defend our children and protect human health and well-being. Climate change is a moral issue that threatens our life, our health, and even our wallets. For us caring for God's creation and God's children is a spiritual issue and not some political football. We believe the issues transcends political parties and all Americans need to find common ground and work together for overcoming the challenges and seeking the opportunities.

    After receiving the reply, I forwarded the answer to Rebecca Wood and Diane Moulton, Director of the Governor's Executive Staff, asking if this was the Governor's response to a fellow Christian (no response).

    So, I am going to knock again. On Tuesday, July 29, I will knock on the door of Government Scott's office in Tallahassee, provide the staff our request and the thousands of Floridians asking for help. Then I will go and pray for the Governor's heart and that the door be opened for the need to defend our kids from our changing climate.

    My Original Letter

     July 16, 2014
    Governor Rick Scott
    State of Florida
    The Capitol
    400 S. Monroe St.
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

    Dear Governor Scott:

    You and I share two common and profound allegiances that unite us together: love of country and love of Jesus Christ.

    Our shared belief in Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, protect the vulnerable ("the least of these"), and care for God's creation. These commands are directly linked to a great moral threat to humanity, climate change.

    The Lausanne Movement, founded by Billy Graham and John Stott, states in the Cape Town Commitment:

    Probably the most serious and urgent challenge faced by the physical world now is the threat of climate change. This will disproportionately affect those in poorer countries, for it is there that climate extremes will be most severe and where there is little capability to adapt to them. World poverty and climate change need to be addressed together and with equal urgency.

    We know of your outstanding mission efforts in Africa and caring for those in need, especially children. We too share those values and are working with the Assembly of God in Malawi to adapt and mitigate the climate change's current impacts. (You can learn more from this brief video.)

    Climate change just isn't in faraway places. Florida, your home, literally represents "ground zero." Sea level rise, more extreme weather, saltwater contaminated wells, loss of farm land and increased air pollution all pose significant threats to the health and well-being of Floridians.
    This points to why for us Creation Care is a Matter of Life, human life. For we share another value, life. As committed evangelicals our understanding of Scripture calls us to protect life from conception until natural death. As Focus on The Family recently put it, "It's a world view...it's a life-view. It's a way of looking at each human life that transcends culture, class, race, age and opinion""

    Unfortunately, a few in our nation are attempting to portray addressing climate change as liberal issue. It's not "it's a moral challenge to all Americans. It is a call to follow our Risen Lord and act to prepare for the impacts, many of which are already happening, and to work to reduce our carbon pollution to help our children, now and in the future.

    While a great challenge, overcoming climate change is also a great opportunity for clean energy, new technologies, increased employment, and restoring American leadership in manufacturing and business. One of the rising stars in this clean energy economy is Florida's own Algenol.

    Preparing for climate change impacts and making plans to address the cause are not just my concerns. To date, over 50,000 pro-life Christians in Florida are asking you lead and take action on climate change. They too share the understanding that climate change is not a political football but a moral challenge and grand opportunity.

    During the week of July 28, I will be in Florida to follow-up on a very successful evangelical climate change meeting in Orlando and finish planning for a Latino evangelical gathering in Miami on creation care. At your convenience during the early part of the week, I ask to meet with you in Tallahassee to present the names of those urging you to lead on climate change, and to offer my hand in Christian friendship to work together for conservative ways to address this great moral challenge.

     In Christ,

    The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox
    President/C.E.O.

    Governor's Response

    Governor Rick Scott
    10:46 AM (24 hours ago)

    to me, Sunburst

    Thank you for contacting Governor Rick Scott's office and sharing your concerns. The Governor asked that I respond on his behalf.

    Governor Scott wants to know how Floridians feel about the many critical issues we face and your input is important to him. You can influence legislation by contacting your local legislative delegation. To contact your legislators and track bills as they proceed through the legislative process, please visit www.leg.state.fl.us.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact the Governor's office. Information about the Governor's administration and initiatives can be obtained online at www.flgov.com.

    Sincerely,

    Kelly Pacchioli
    Office of Citizen Services
    Executive Office of the Governor

  • Hugs for Life

    June 04,2014, 13:40 PM

    by Rev. Mitch Hescox

    In my family we hug a lot. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but what can I say, we're huggers. My wife Clare and I especially love it when our grandkids give us hugs.

    My seven-year-old grandson runs into my arms to give me the biggest hug he can muster, and when I say, "I love you" he replies, "I love you more!" My three-year-old just jumps in my arms, plants a big wet kiss, and says, "Love you, Poppop!" The youngest, just 4 weeks old, simply looks at me when I hold and hug him.

    My grandkids and their future immediately came home to me on Monday morning as I received a hug from a friend. It just happened to be at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the friend giving me the hug was the head of the EPA, Administrator Gina McCarthy. She did so immediately after she signed the proposed standards for reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.

    I've made no secret of the fact that Administrator McCarthy and I have a good working relationship. Our ministry at the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has supported Administrator McCarthy and the EPA on a number of occasions. We worked hard to put the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards into effect because mercury harms the brains of our unborn and newly born children. We stood alongside EPA and others to support new fuel standards that would make cars more efficient and therefore reduce harmful air population linked in numerous medical studies to birth defects. And now, we are standing with the EPA for a proposed standard for reducing carbon pollution from the single largest source, electric power plants.

    Administrator McCarthy and I make an odd couple. I'm an evangelical pro-life Christian and have been a registered Republican my entire life. McCarthy grew up with an Irish Catholic background and is a member of President Obama's cabinet "much more progressive. She's also a Red Sox fan while I support the Orioles.

    However, what we have in common is so much greater than our differences. We love our kids and grandkids. Climate change is a serious threat to those we love and a tremendous opportunity for creating a better life for them via a clean energy economy. Following the leadership of our Risen Lord Jesus, we can work to provide an abundant life in tune with God's plan for humanity as caretakers for His world.

    As a fiscal conservative, I would prefer a market based approach to reducing carbon. It is simply egregious that we put the costs of carbon pollution in our children lungs and brains while the profits are privatized. Simply put, the market has never realized the true cost of fossil fuels. As an example, we might like our neighbors and be thankful for ways that they helped us, but none of us would be happy with the same neighbors tossing their trash into our yards and expecting us to clean it up. That's exactly what has been happening with our fossil fuel use and it's time to act before it's too late.

    Common sense and our own experience tells us it is better to act sooner to address a looming threat than to ignore it and wait until it's harder and more expensive. That's what economists tell us about climate change: act now or the costs both human and economic will escalate. With each year of delay, the costs multiply for addressing increased disease, sea-level rise, extreme weather, food scarcity, and resource conflicts.

    It would be great to have a national discussion on the best policy approaches to address climate change, and as I've said, I think a market-based approach is best. But it's hard to have a discussion when one team refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem. Now there are many reasons that Republicans don't want to discuss climate science, but I believe it's time that we start to engage and I think most conservative policy makers agree, at least privately. A few months ago, during a private meeting, a leading Republican in U.S. House of Representatives said, "We all know we have to price carbon."

    As a Republican, I am proud of my party's conservation legacy. Ronald Reagan signed the Montreal Protocol to save our ozone layer (and bought us some time in addressing climate). President George H.W. Bush revised the Clean Air Act and reduced acid rain. These basic protections did not significantly impact the economy, in fact, they produced a lot of co-benefits and spurred new industries.

    My prayer is that people I respect, like Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell might lead a new discussion on addressing our environmental challenges. Perhaps we could share a pat on the back as well. For me, hugs celebrate not only the importance of love and life but a job well done.

    We're not there yet. Addressing global warming will take all of us working together. So for the moment at least, I will keep hugging and praying for my grandkids, follow our Risen Lord, and help provide hope for a new future. Our kids, grandkids, and all God's children deserve the best from all of us.

    The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox is President/C.E.O. of the Evangelical Environmental Network and lives in New Freedom, PA.


  • Evangelicals Support Historic Effort to Address Climate Change

    June 02,2014, 06:25 AM

    Over 130,000 Comments of Support by Pro-Life Christians Already Generated

    NEW FREEDOM, PA (June 2, 2014) - The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) applauds President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the release today of the EPA's draft rule to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants.

    "Today's release of the EPA's draft regulation of existing power plants is a historic step in our nation's journey to overcome climate change," said the Rev. Mitch Hescox, EEN's President and CEO. "We look forward to studying the draft carefully as we offer our support and suggestions for possible improvements."

    EEN's efforts to stand with President Obama and the EPA on the need for strong action on climate change have already begun. To date, EEN's efforts have generated over 130,000 comments from pro-life Christians to the EPA in support of carbon regulations.

    "This 130,000 is simply a down-payment," said Alexei Laushkin, EEN's VP in charge of grassroots campaigns. "Now that the draft rule is out, we plan to step up our activities and generate even more support."

    A chief concern of pro-life Christians is the health impacts of the pollution from fossil fuels that is driving climate change.

    "The health and well-being of our children is already being affected," said the Rev. Emilio Marreo, VP of Esperanza, one of the nation's premier Hispanic evangelical organizations and organizer of the biennial Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. "The impact of air pollution is a significant concern for the Latino community because Latino Americans are more likely to live in areas with high levels of air toxicity due to poverty. We can't afford not to act. We need better policies that address climate change and provide for the well-being of our communities. We are glad that these standards will help families in our community."

    The need for serious action is driven home by the fact that climate impacts are already upon us.

    "I'm a Christian, entrepreneur and meteorologist - I've been tracking the symptoms of a changing climate on my weather maps for 15 years. We've been poking at Earth's climate system with a long, sharp stick and then acting surprised when the weather bites back," said Paul Douglas, Meteorologist/Founder & CEO of Broadcast Weather in Minneapolis, MN.

    "Climate Change represents the greatest threat to life and the greatest opportunity for hope of our generation and the generations yet to come," said Rev. Hescox. "Reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants will protect children from health impacts and help lead to cleaner air and purer water. By providing states flexibility in how to reduce carbon pollution, including market-based approaches to pricing carbon, this proposal from EPA will be a major impetus for a clean energy future that creates good jobs and continues to position our country as the world's innovative business leader."

  • Podcast with Anna Jane Joyner

    May 28,2014, 11:22 AM

    Listen in as Alexei speaks with Anna Jane Joyner about her recent experiences on Showtime's "Years of Living Dangerously." We'll be discussing the episode "The Preacher's Daughter" which highlights Anna Jane's engagement with her dad, mega-church pastor and Christian leader Rick Joyner. Be sure to listen in.

    Related Podcast Resources:


  • Join Us for a May 20th Panel Discussion in Orlando

    May 13,2014, 05:43 AM

  • Dr. Katharine Hayhoe Named TIME's 100 Most Influential People

    April 24,2014, 04:45 AM

    Statement by the Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network:

    We are pleased that Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, scientific advisor to the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), has been named TIME's 100 most influential people in the world. Dr. Hayhoe demonstrates that a person of strong evangelical faith can also be a world-class scientist. She understands that creation-care is truly a matter of life and speaks to churches and conservative groups across the country to demonstrate the need to take prudent steps to address climate change. Her particular scientific specialization has allowed her to help communities and organizations across the country and around the world understand how to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

    Dr. Hayhoe's efforts have led to her being targeted by climate deniers like Rush Limbaugh, resulting in a continual fuselage of opposition -- even threats to her family.

    But it is precisely her love for her children and for Jesus Christ that has Dr. Hayhoe refusing to be intimidated from speaking the truth.

    Dr. Hayhoe and her husband Dr. Andrew Farley's seminal book, A Climate For Change, has been instrumental in educating the evangelical church. Her continuing efforts to educate evangelicals are also highlighted in the current Showtime series, Years of Living Dangerously.

    TIME's recognition of Dr. Hayhoe reflects not only her achievements but also the evangelical Christian faith that guides Katharine to follow Jesus' commands "to care for the least of these." My support and appreciation for Dr. Hayhoe is summarized in her own words:

    It's not about saving the planet: the planet will be fine without us. It's about helping people, real people who are being affected by climate change today. Higher energy bills for air conditioning, freak rainstorms, and droughts wiping out their food supply -rising sea level threatening their homes and fields. It's the poor and disadvantaged who are being hardest hit: those very people the Bible tells us to care for.

    Dr. Hayhoe is a top communicator in the field of climate science and her evangelical prospective informs her views on the need to protect human life. As a climate expert, she champions doing what's right without compromising her evangelical convictions. We are proud to call her our advisor, friend, and sister in the faith.

    Here's a recent video of Katharine being interviewed by EEN's Dr. Jim Ball.

  • This Earth Day, Love the Least of These

    April 22,2014, 08:02 AM

    By Kelli Trujillo

    Being green and caring for the planet is about a lot more than caring for fish or trees or birds or rivers or dirt or air. As Christians, we care for creation as a means of loving our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40). We believe that human life is of inestimable worth"far beyond the value of diamonds or gold or rubies or dollar bills. Because of our belief in the sanctity of life, we take seriously Scripture's call to protect the vulnerable (Isaiah 58), care for the "least of these" (Matthew 25:31-46), and do unto others as we'd want others to do unto us (Luke 6:31).

    love least these

    It's a basic biological fact: Human life is inextricably tied to the health of the created world. The harsh reality is that environmental degradation directly and negatively impacts human lives! All over the globe, people are getting sick, remaining mired in cycles of poverty, and even dying as a result of environmental degradation. Air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, climate change, and many other factors are directly hurting humans whom God created, whom God loves, and whom God has called us to love like he does.

    So as Christians we care that unborn babies are born with toxic levels of mercury in their blood as a result of the pollution caused by certain forms of energy production. And we care that other babies are born with birth defects linked directly to air pollution.

    We care about kids who live in dumps or polluted urban areas"who suffer from cancer, heart disease, asthma and worse as a result of the toxins they're exposed to daily.

    We care about impoverished subsistence farmers and fishermen who must attempt to feed their family from depleted soil, unsanitary water, and contaminated fish.

    We care that the global poor are profoundly affected by erratic weather patterns, droughts, rising water levels all linked to pollution and carbon emissions.

    I could go on and on here listing example after example of how human-caused environmental degradation directly and disproportionately harms the most vulnerable around the globe . . . but I won't. These examples suffice to make my point: Being green isn't just about the "earth""but it's also about caring for human life. I firmly believe that being pro-life is about more than just abortion; more broadly, the reiterating biblical call is to speak up for all who are vulnerable.

    I'd never want my kids to eat toxic food or drink polluted water, to starve or suffer from preventable disease! Would you? This is where God calls us to embrace Scripture's profoundly-challenging Golden Rule: To care for the global poor the same way we'd care for ourselves and our loved ones. To defend, to love, to protect.

    And this love for humankind compels us to consider the environmental implications of our lifestyle and daily choices. Though "greening" our lifestyles can seem like an overwhelming task, I believe we can make small and simple choices, then build upon them with more small choices, as we each grow as stewards. (I'm still growing! It's still a journey for me and my family, one small choice at a time!)

    Friends: God calls us to love.

    It's worth it.

    Re-posted with Permission. View the Original Post here.

    Kelli B. Trujillo writes to encourage Christian women in discovering the sacred opportunities hidden in the seemingly mundane aspects of their everyday lives. With a focus on spiritual formation, Kelli's books lead women to encounter God in ways that fit the reality of their often busy lives"as wives, as mothers, as employees, as leaders, and more. Kelli's works invite women to re-imagine what their relationship with God could be, emphasizing that faith isn't about perfection, idealism, or fitting into some cookie-cutter version of what it is to be a Christian woman. Read more of her writing by clicking here.

  • Reflections from the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast

    April 16,2014, 09:29 AM

    by Rev. Mitch Hescox

    It's rare to have the opportunity to shake the hand of the President of the United States and share a few words. In all honesty, it's something I never, ever expected to do. But it happened this week at the annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast.

    After worship ended, the President walked to each table, greeted us all, and stopped for a photo opp. In my normal unreserved fashion, I told the President, "I'm your friendly evangelical Republican environmentalist." The President smiled. Then, referring to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Administrator Gina McCarthy, I said "Thanks for supporting Gina and her work!" The President gave one of his classic gigantic grins along with a big thumbs up.

    Many know that I have strongly supported Gina McCarthy. While there are things in which we profoundly disagree, together we work to defend our kids from environmental threats.

    At the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) we believe that Creation Care Is A Matter of Life. We worked long and hard to defend our unborn babies from the hazards of mercury pollution, and now we support Administrator McCarthy's leadership in overcoming the greatest environmental threat to all God's children, climate change.

    Some of my brothers and sisters in the evangelical community and a good number of my fellow Republicans are aghast at my support. However, God is calling us to find common ground. We are not to settle for lowest common denominator, but reach for the summit of the highest peak in protecting the most vulnerable. If the Church won't act as a bridge for political and cultural divides, who will?

    This week at the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast, the Holy Spirit brought us together. When the choir sang, I felt I heard angels, and The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, who some consider the best preacher in the country, delivered a truly inspired message.

    The spirit of unity at the Easter Prayer Breakfast reminded me of one aspect of American church life in the first half of the 19th Century. Baptist and Methodist traditions grew at an amazing pace. One reason for their tremendous popularity was the altar call. At the altar, there were no black or white, slaves or free, rich or poor, or even political parties. There were simply children of God in need of redemption and restoration.

    Like the alter call of old, it's time for our country to experience a new spirit of unity, a new day in our public discourse. It's time to bridge differences like our partisan divide and unite our nation under God to turn our challenges into opportunities. In this most Holy Week as we Christians remember Jesus' suffering on the cross, let us continue our journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday and encounter our Risen Lord and His Love. Even today too many Christian see Easter as an empty tomb instead of an encounter with our living Savior.

    This week I experienced hope that we might come together not because of our differences, but because of God. Miracles happen. Who would have believed a coal miner's kid from a little town in western Pennsylvania would ever shake the hand of the President of the United States in the White House. May God work in all of us to follow our Risen Lord. May our encounter with the risen Jesus transform our lives, overcome the divide, and guide us over the mountain to work together.

    The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox is President/C.E.O. of the Evangelical Environmental Network and lives in New Freedom, PA.

  • Holy Week Podcast

    April 16,2014, 06:43 AM

    Here's the latest episode:

    Listen in as the entire EEN team (Rev. Mitch Hescox, Rev. Jim Ball, Ben Lowe, and Alexei Laushkin) weighs in for this special Easter podcast.They talk about climate change and pollution, their recent successes, and hope for the future.


    Related Podcast Resources:

    Check out our other podcasts!

  • Caring For God's Creation is Pro-Life

    April 14,2014, 06:57 AM

    by The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox

    From the formation of a child's first tiny cell to life's final breath, all life has dignity and value because each and every one of us is made in the image of God. And that is why when we talk about being "pro-life," it's not just about a political issue. It's a world view...it's a life-view. It's a way of looking at each human life that transcends culture, class, race, age and opinion.

    --- The Dignity of Life by Focus on The Family

    My organization, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), has long believed "creation-care is a matter of life." For us this means protecting human life from conception until natural death. As the recent video, The Dignity of Life, by Focus on the Family puts it: "From the formation of a child's first tiny cell to life's final breath, all life has dignity and value because each and every one of us is made in the image of God."

    For us, being pro-life includes not only defending our unborn children, but also the biblical mandate to care for all life. Toxins and other pollutants foul our water, air, and soil, impacting the purity of life God intends for His creation. Every concern mentioned in the video by Focus on the Family is impacted by our poor stewardship of God's creation; creation-care is foundational to our quest to overcome poverty, human trafficking, racism, women's rights, and Jesus' call for abundant life. That's why creation-care remains integral to being pro-life. As the Focus video states, being pro-life is "not just about a political issue. It's a world view " it's a life view."

    Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its latest study on the human impacts of climate change already occurring, and the more serious threats yet to come. On a recent EEN trip to Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries, we saw the consequences ourselves and listened to those whose lives have been made worse. Listen to this firsthand account from Lifnette James, mother of six. Recently the Assembly of God's relief agency in Malawi sent a letter asking the American Church to awaken to their plight. Will pro-life Christians answer this call? Will we answer the call of the one who is leading the way in overcoming climate change, our Risen Lord?

    As we approach Easter, our current inability to seek the opportunities for overcoming climate change reminds me of my favorite Bible passage describing Jesus' resurrection. In John's gospel, there is a unique and often overlooked story:

    14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher"). 17 Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her." (Jn. 20:14-18, NIV).

    This text has caused lots of thoughts and opinions throughout the Church's life. To me the text is quite simple. Mary, so overcome with joy in finding Jesus alive, wanted to hold on to him. Mary clings to what she knew. She desires holding on to the past and is completely blind to a new future.

    Most of us can identify with Mary. We don't like change and are apt to live in the past. Mary couldn't understand that Easter was a transforming moment. The past, wiped clean at the cross, became a new hope and new opportunity in the resurrection. Beginning with Mary on that Easter morning, the Risen Lord offers us the choice to follow Him into a new future, a new reality.

    Today part of following our Risen Lord means letting go of our outdated dependence on fossil fuels and seeking new opportunities. Coal, oil, and natural gas provided some great benefits, but with a cost long unknown and a price unrealized. Now we know that part of the price we have paid and will pay is the health of our children. Dirty air, fouled water, and contaminated soil have left a legacy of brain damage, malfunctioning lungs, and a host of other health concerns.

    It's hard to let go. Our history remains filled with examples of people and industries failing to grasp new ideas. In the 1800's Western Union turned down the opportunity to buy the telephone; in the early 20th century the equine industry believed automobiles to be a fad, and the list of foolish decisions could go on and on. Let's not make the same mistakes again.

    Climate change already impacts food production, water resources, increases disease, and forces more and more of God's children to flee their homes. Addressing these pro-life concerns will require us to let go of the past, dream big, and together follow our Risen Lord toward a new day.

    Here's what I see: I see cleaner skies and purer water; healthy children free to enjoy the beauty of God's creation, their bodies not hindered by pollution, their brains not diminished by toxics. I see an economy that is the envy of the world, producing the technologies that help us achieve life, liberty and happiness, ones that lead to a cleaner environment, plentiful, affordable energy to power our homes and vehicles and businesses, freeing up time to spend with family and loved ones, to rebuild community life, and to be creative with the gifts God has given each of us. I see such a life being made possible in the Majority World, where American technology creates clean energy that empowers sustainable economic progress, lifting billions out of poverty and into prosperity.

    It's time to see visions of a new day, a new beginning. Let's move beyond our fear in holding on to the past and see what Risen Lord is doing. Being pro-life is caring for life and following our Risen Lord. This Easter let's move beyond our past and rise to a better future; Jesus did.

  • Our Children Can't Afford Small Thinking on Climate

    April 08,2014, 07:43 AM

    In our current political moment many have given up on achieving anything big, like a "grand bargain" on the budget and deficit reduction (e.g. The New York Times recent editorial, "An End to the Grand-Bargain Charades"). The realism of incrementalism is back. A fatigue factor has set in after 3 years of political brinkmanship and paralysis. In this political climate, forget trying to find common ground with one's political adversaries to solve the big issues of the day.

    Thing is, most of the big problems got big precisely because we've ignored them or given up trying to find common ground. And these issues are not going away. Thinking small isn't helpful, either. That's certainly true with one of the most divisive issues of our day, climate change.

    As an evangelical Republican working on climate change, I know how hard it is to find common ground. Yet my own experience within the evangelical community is that shared values overcome polarization and working together is possible on big issues that matter to people's lives.

    Recently I spoke at an event of religious leaders with senior White House and Administration officials to talk about overcoming climate change. I'll be searching for a way forward together, despite our differences, and I'm hopeful -- confident, even -- that such a way can be found.

    My confidence rests on our shared values as expressed in our Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. From these American values can we create a vision of the future worthy of our past bequeathed to us by our forbearers, worthy of the love we have for our children, a vision big enough to inspire us once again to greatness?

    Our Founding Fathers issued the Declaration of Independence and fought the American Revolution because tyranny threatened our values.

    President Obama and I have found common ground in believing that we must declare our independence from another form of tyranny, global warming, and its threat to life, liberty, and happiness:

    Life: While global warming's tyranny has and will threaten the lives of millions, the solutions we create will enhance the lives of billions.

    Liberty: While global warming's cruelty has and will threaten the political and economic liberty of around the world, American ingenuity and can-do spirit will foster freedom through clean energy growth and the creation of new industries both here and abroad.

    Happiness: While global warming tries to steal happiness from us in the misery it portends, a richer, deeper quality of life awaits us, one of deep fulfillment that comes from creating a better future for our children.

    President Obama said recently, in announcing the start of creating new fuel economy standards for big trucks, that we should learn from past fuel economy efforts. The lesson? Don't make small plans, make big plans.

    The President is exactly right. Global warming is a big challenge that creates an even bigger opportunity to overcome this tyranny and build a brighter future for our children.

    We need to envision this future together. To get the conversation started, let me share what I believe our future can look like.

    I see cleaner skies and purer water, healthy children free to enjoy the beauty of God's creation, their bodies not hindered by pollution, their brains not diminished by toxics. I see an economy that is the envy of the world producing the technologies that help us achieve life, liberty and happiness; plentiful, affordable energy to power our homes and vehicles and businesses, freeing up time to spend with family and loved ones, to rebuild community life, and to be creative with the gifts God has given each of us. I see such a life being made possible in the Majority World, where American technology creates clean energy and new industries that lift billions out of poverty and into prosperity.

    Leaders of our past dared to think big -- Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Edison, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs -- and achieved great things that make our lives better today. Let's be inspired by their example and not make the mistake of thinking small and achieving even less.

    And so, strange as it may seem in our current moment of polarization and disillusionment, now is precisely the time to think big. Although it may seem that the big issues divide us, it's just as true that an issue like global warming has the potential to unite us and bring us together as we envision a brighter future based on our shared values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox is president of the Evangelical Environmental Network and lives in New Freedom, PA. Before leading EEN, Rev. Hescox pastored a local church for 18 years and previous to ministry worked in the coal and coal utility industries.


  • Podcast with Katharine Hayhoe on the Latest Climate Report

    April 04,2014, 10:31 AM

    Listen in as host Alexei Laushkin talks to Dr. Katharine Hayhoe about the latest IPCC Climate Report. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and is an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, her life's work has been dedicated to discovering and communicating the realities of a changing climate to those who will be affected most by it. As an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, part of the Department of Interior's South-Central Climate Science Center, Katharine develops new ways to quantify the potential impacts of human activities at the regional scale. As founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, she also bridges the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change will affect our lives to a broad range of non-profit, industry and government clients.

    Related Podcast Resources:

  • On The Latest Climate Report

    April 04,2014, 06:49 AM

    By Katharine Hayhoe

    The IPCC reports represent a stunningly comprehensive and carefully balanced summary of everything scientists know about climate change.

    Every six years or so, hundreds of scientists volunteer weeks and even years of their time to help with this process in authoring, reviewing, and communicating the findings. Because all these hundreds of scientists have to agree on the report's key conclusions, these reports tend to be quite conservative and understated in their conclusions.

    This tendency towards understatement underscores the urgency of scientists message today. Around the world, many of the impacts of climate change are occurring faster and/or to a greater degree than were predicted 20 or even 10 years ago. While the science has grown more certain with every year, however, public opinion in the United States has moved in exactly the opposite direction. From a scientist's perspective, our viewpoint is perhaps best captured by this poignant cartoon:

    The Australian 28 September 2013
    The Australian 28 September 2013

    This new Working Group 2 report addresses the impacts of climate change: in other words, how will climate change affect people, places, and the natural environment? The findings of this report emphasize once again how climate change is not just a concern for polar bears in the Arctic, or for South Pacific islanders living in low-lying areas. Specifically, the report clearly shows how:

    • Climate change is already affecting us today, in the places where we live
    • Climate change disproportionately affects the poor, the socially vulnerable, and the disadvantaged- not coincidentally, the very people we are told to love and care for as Christians
    • We will need to adapt to the impacts of climate change because they are already occurring and will continue to occur in response to both past and future emissions from human activities
    • The risks of potentially dangerous impacts increase with emissions. We need to reduce our emissions in order to be able to successfully cope with the impacts of climate change.

    So how do we, as Christians, respond? Looking to the Bible, there aren't any verses about climate change per se. But there are plenty of verses talking about what and who we should care about, and what should be our motivation.

    Ephesians 5:2 tells us to love others as Christ loved us

    Verses like Acts 4:34 and others demonstrate how caring for the poor was a key priority of the early church

    Lastly, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love.

    When we look at the issue of climate change, we see that it is affecting others, particularly the poor. And when we look at resistance to climate change, we see fear: of losing our comfortable lives, our freedom, our money, our ideology.

    So if we find ourselves reacting out of fear, or to secure our own well-being at the expense of others, we know that we are not acting in accord with the new creation we have become. On the other hand, when we act from love, caring about others and desiring the best for them, we know we are acting from God's compassion.

    Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change, one of the most pressing issues facing the planet today. An expert reviewer for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, her life's work has been dedicated to discovering and communicating the realities of a changing climate to those who will be affected most by it. As an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, part of the Department of Interior's South-Central Climate Science Center, Katharine develops new ways to quantify the potential impacts of human activities at the regional scale. As founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, she also bridges the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change will affect our lives to a broad range of non-profit, industry and government clients.

  • EEN Statement on Climate Report

    March 31,2014, 10:12 AM

    Statement by the Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network:

    The current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report provides even more evidence for what we have known for some time: climate impacts have and will continue to hit the poor the hardest, those least able to cope with the consequences, especially children and the elderly.

    Pro-life Christians should be especially concerned about what these conclusions will mean for young children and the unborn. Pollution impacts young children and even developing children in utero. Both groups are at increased risk for Asthma, developmental challenges, environmental toxins, severe allergies, and more in a world where pollution will become more common as the world warms.

    Even though the news is becoming stark, we have hope. Hope that God will empower us to develop the next generation of technologies and adaptations to address climate change. Hope that God will work through His people to provide better outcomes for the unborn and the vulnerable.

    In light of this hope, we believe we can take steps towards a brighter future, one where we have:

    1. increased our energy efficiency, thereby saving money;

    2. reduced air and water pollution that harms children and the unborn;

    3. created good, well-paying jobs from developing the next generation of clean energy and climate friendly innovations in the United States;;

    4. created more effective responses by governments, businesses, and churches and non-profits to help everyone impacted by climate-intensified weather events and increased pollution.

    We urge Christians to set aside this Thursday (April 3rd, 2014) for the first National Day of Prayer for Climate Action.

  • EEN Statement on Finalizing The Tier 3 Fuel Standards

    March 03,2014, 08:15 AM

    Statement by Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network:

    We're proud to stand together with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, The American Lung Association, the car industry and wide variety of other manufactuters to celebrate the promulgation of the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards.

    We've made good process in cleaning up our air, but our children are still at risk. The American Lung Association calculates that these standards will prevent more than 2,000 premature deaths and more than 19,000 asthma attacks each year by 2030. For pro-life evangelicals like myself this is great news, given that medical research links vehicle pollution to birth defects. It's simple: cleaner fuels lead to purer air and healthier kids. And all for one penny a gallon. That's a good deal for all of us.

    The Tier 3 Standards are another great example of industry, government, and citizens working together for a healthier, cleaner America. The more we work together the better for us all.

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