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Australia: Common belief in climate change

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Saving the Earth can't be left up to God, faithful warned

Linda Morris, Sydney Morning Herald
IN THE beginning, the environment ranked behind public morality, personal salvation and social justice as the chief concerns of the religious majority.

But the face of faith is now a deeper shade of green, with the leaders of 16 religious faiths today saying their beliefs ask Australians to become responsible stewards of God's creation and immediately tackle climate change.

Invoking Genesis, three Christian denominations - Anglican, Greek Orthodox and Baptist - declare the wilful destruction of Earth a sin in a document published this week by the Climate Institute.

The Australian Evangelical Alliance says Christians are answerable to God for the way their actions affect the world and future generations, and should be happy to bear the extra cost of new energy options.

And the Australian Christian Lobby warns that the faithful will use their votes to "weigh the degree of determination in each party to tackle it [climate change] at the next federal election".

The collection of statements, titled Common Belief, is believed to be the most comprehensive gathering of Australian contemporary religious thought on climate change.
(5 Dec 2006)

Common Belief: Australia's Faith Communities on Climate Change
Climate Institute via Global Public Media
...The Climate Institute invited Australia’s faiths to join the discussion earlier this year. It was our hope that Australia’s faith communities could aid the broader dialogue on climate change by speaking the language of morality and of faith itself.

Australia’s religions responded enthusiastically. Here, for believers by believers, is the beginning of a dialogue on the morality of climate change.

The Climate Institute encourages this new and vital focus on morality and spirituality in the environmental conversation. We hope the moral dialogue may bring greater light into the debate.

Statements from:
Aboriginal People
The Australian Christian Lobby
BAHÁ’Í Believers
Evangelical christians
Greek Orthodox
Jewish People
The Salvation Army
The Uniting Church
(Dec 2006)

Common Belief on Climate Change
(audio and transcript)
Religion Report, ABC (Australia)
In what's believed to be a world first, 16 of Australia's leading faith communities released a document on global warming. Entitled 'Common Belief', it's a collection of theological and spiritual statements on the climate change debate. The Religion Report, ABC Radio National, Australia. Guests:

Corin Millais
CEO of the Climate Institute

Pravrajika Ajayaprana
Hindu nun and representative if the Hindu Council of Australia

John Walker
National Secretary of the Australian Baha'i community

Jim Wallace
Managing Director of the conservative Australian Christian Lobby

Dr Brian Edgar
Australian Evangelical Alliance
(6 Dec 2006)
Also at Global Public Media.

Transcript is also available at the ABC site, and is re-posted at Global Public Media.

Editorial Notes: A previous posting of these articles was buggy. Sorry for the inconvenience. -BA

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