On Easter, Churches Preaching the Environment
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
While the PZ Myers Affair dominates discussion at Scienceblogs this weekend, it's important to remind ourselves that there is an invisible middle of perspectives from scientists, atheists and the religious that emphasizes shared common values rather than the continual drum beat of conflict. Indeed, there's much more to the relationship between science and religion than just the loud voices of Myers and the Expelled producers.
From a front page story at the Arizona Republic yesterday headlined "Churches Preaching Green."
Parishioners are being asked to embrace environmentalism in a variety of ways. Members of Community Christian Church in Tempe are encouraged to go outside and reflect on Scripture surrounded by nature. Churches in Arizona's Episcopal Diocese have formed green teams that conduct energy audits of individual churches. At First United Methodist Church in Tempe, the most recent adult Bible-study topic was "Taking Care of God's Earth."
Jeff Rossini, 24, of Phoenix, bikes 16 miles to and from work four days a week as a way of practicing his faith.
"One person not driving isn't going to save the world," he said. "But it boils down to me believing that I should be a good steward of the Earth to the best of my abilities and that I am to protect God's creation."