boston.com your connection to The Boston Globe

Evangelical leaders join scientists to fight global warming

Leading scientists and evangelical Christian leaders have agreed to put aside passionate differences over the origin of life and work together to curb global warming.

Representatives met recently in Georgia and agreed on the need for action. Details are to be unveiled in Washington on Wednesday.

"Whether God created the Earth in a millisecond or whether it evolved over billions of years, the issue we agree on is that it needs to be cared for today," said Rich Cizik, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 45,000 churches.

Eric Chivian, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School agreed, saying, "scientists and evangelicals have discovered that we share a deeply felt common concern and sense of urgency about threats to life on Earth, and that we must speak with one voice to protect it."

In February 2006, 86 evangelical leaders signed a statement to fight global warming, saying human-induced climate change is real, its consequences will hit the poor the hardest, and Christian moral convictions demand urgent response to the problem.

They contended that governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play. Signatories included presidents of evangelical colleges, aid groups, and churches.

The National Association of Evangelicals did not sign the statement.

Speakers at the Wednesday announcement will include Pastor Joel Hunter, who refused to take the leadership of Christian Coalition of America because the organization wouldn't let him expand its agenda to include the environment and poverty.

Others are Harvard biologist and two-time Pulitzer prize winner Edward O. Wilson, and NASA scientist James E. Hansen who came under fire from the White House after a December 2005 lecture in which he called for urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to slow global warming.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES