From Medina to Cleveland, 18 Stories about Faith and Climate Change
by Nathan Empsall, Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 10:32:33 AM EST
Part 3 in a series on voices of faith and climate change.
On Friday, I wrote about statements and actions from the leaders of the world's three largest Christian denominations on climate change. On Saturday, I posted eight faith-based videos from Repower America (including my own). Today's post will broaden the scope of this series considerably.
Faith in Public Life is a progressive organization that coordinates faith-based political campaigns and monitors the news for stories about faith communities involved with issues like health care, hunger, immigration, and the environment. Each day they send out a helpful newsletter highlighting around a dozen articles of interest. Using those newsletters as a guide, here are 18 faith-based environmental links from the first half of November.
So far this series has focused almost exclusively on Christianity, so I would like to give special attention to one story in particular. From the Telegraph, "Medina to go green":
Medina will be the first Islamic city to go green, the Grand Mufti of Egypt has announced, as part of a seven year plan to make the religion more environmentally friendly.
Speaking at the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) conference at Windsor Castle, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, said Islam teaches its followers to protect the Earth. He announced the plans for Medina as part of a seven year plan to make the faith more environmentally friendly by teaching about climate change in Islamic schools, using renewable energy in mosques and encouraging green habits in places of pilgrimage.
Medina, the second holiest city in Islam, will go green by improving public transport, providing clean water from taps so pilgrims do not continue to use plastic bottles and printing leaflets and the Koran on recycled paper...
As an oil-producing nation, Saudia Arabia has not been seen as a "green destination". However the pronouncements of the Grand Mufti is likely to influence the deeply religious country and encourage millions of pilgrims to reduce their carbon footprint.
Headlines and, in some cases, summaries of 17 other stories are below the jump. Evangelicals, Catholis, Protestants, the Orthodox, Sikh, Shintos - most everyone makes at least a brief appearance. Some are commentary; most are hard news. I know you don't have the time to read all 17, but I encourage you to scan the headlines and pick one or two that sound interesting.
These links begin with last Friday because today's and yesterday's clippings did not include any environmental links, focusing instead on health care, immigration, and hunger.
Disclosure: I am the Nebraska faith outreach coordinator for the environmental non-profit Repower America. Repower does not sign my paychecks, but an Episcopal Church program does pay me to work for a non-profit of my choice and I sought out Repower. I am writing entirely on my own and my views do not necessarily represent those of either the Alliance for Climate Protection or the Episcopal Church.