You may not know it, but I am an atheist. I am a very solid atheist and, moreover, an ontological materialist. But I am also a fond and strong member of the Universalist Unitarian Area Church in Sherborn, MA, with my wife, Claire. There is no contradiction there. (Write me if you think there is.)
One area of hope for changing policy on climate change is the activism which some communities of faith have strongly embraced. It doesn’t matter if these are:
- The United Church of Christ.
- My own Unitarian Universalism.
- And Judaism has many initiatives: (1) COEJL, (2) URJ, (3) Jewish Environmentalism and the Energy Imperative, for a sample of three.
These days, Republicans seem to be allied with historically non-Republican positions. Although cynics might doubt his sincerity, it is a historical fact that President Richard Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency. President Theodore Roosevelt may have had “progressive” inclinations, but, looking at their platform and terms, these sound very Republican to me. Professor Kerry Emanuel of MIT is a self-described conservative. And there’s much to argue for climate regulation from a market-based position of fiscal conservativism, which is often how I see it myself.
In the next video, Professor Hayhoe sounds a bit like my minister, the Reverend Nathan Detering:
These are just a sample. Professor Hayhoe bridges science and religion, and argues evidence rather than belief. You need to engage people who have doubts, teach them, respect them, listen to them … And lead them.
As Professor Hayhoe reports, evangelical communities are “targeted” by disinformation campaigns regarding climate, as I imagine are small government conservatives. She counters. She’s written a book, with her husband, Minister Andrew Farley, A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. I’ve not read it yet. I will.
Still, she works on, now has a science and policy consultancy.
This is great work.
And, closer to (my) home, don’t forget to check out her joint paper on “A general method for validating statistical downscaling methods under future climate change“, co-authored with M. Vrac, M. L. Stein, and X.-Z. Liang.