Why Should Interfaith Dialogue Include Climate Change?

 Date: Monday July 08, 2024

Time: 08h00 – 09h30 PST

In Deep Dialogue is a series of six global online conversations with a broad spectrum of representatives of diverse religious, ethnic, age and educational backgrounds.

The purpose of the series of engagements is for people of all faiths and none to think together about the world, our place in it and some of the most pressing issues facing humanity today.

Bringing together the wealth of our sacred teachings, ancient wisdoms and scientific knowledge, we aim to formulate a set of human responses to our world that we may consider “best practice” for peace making and for building harmony and understanding beyond our differences. Perhaps even more importantly, we aim to listen together to what it is that is calling us at the level of mindful and purposeful co-Creation, whether we are discussing issues of technology, environment, education or the human condition.

Most people want peace. Many are choosing war. Religions ask people to love one another. Many families are deeply divided about perceptions of right and wrong. Our perspectives inform our actions, and sometimes our actions and our words may be incomprehensible to others. How do we learn to understand each other if we do not communicate with one another? And how do we learn about our impact on the world around us if we do not explore together the most pressing issues of our times?

Change is upon us, and together we must navigate a new world or remain stuck in a never-ending cycle of hopelessness and despair.

Hosted by Rev Berry Behr, Interfaith Ambassador for the Emissaries of Divine Light, In Deep Dialogue is designed to grapple with some of the challenges facing our world today, in the context or our diverse religions and cultures. The world today is calling for a considered response from people of faith. The quality of our thinking together today, will impact the quality of our future.

July 08, 2024

Time: PST 08h00 – 09h30


Why should interfaith dialogue include climate change?

 Faith leaders are all about saving souls and many don’t have too much to do with eco justice or earth care, right?

These things have to do with the sciences of agriculture, geography, city planning and waste management, not faith. Shouldn’t we be leaving the questions of climate change and human impact on the earth, to the scientists?

All faiths have foundational Creation Stories that tell us not only how the earth was created, but also provide signposts to a relationship between humans and the rest of Creation. And perhaps that is the issue: what makes humans separate from the rest of Creation, and what can we learn from the way the rest of the world interconnects?

Climate change refers to long term shifts in weather patterns that can affect farming and other commercial activities such as shipping, building, transportation and more.

Last summer I visited a friend in the Karoo, an arid region of South Africa. On the seven hour drive from Cape Town, I noticed puddles of water in many fields, and some fields were entirely swamped. While I was in the area, it didn’t stop raining. I was confused! The friend I was visiting told me that over the past 100 years, statistics show the rainfall has moved steadily from winter towards summer. That is climate change. Climate change includes warming and the “side effects” of warming—like melting glaciers, heavier rainstorms, or more frequent drought and unseasonal rainfall.

Climate change is linked to the phenomenon of Global Warming, but it’s not quite the same thing. Global warming refers only to the Earth’s rising surface temperature.

The United Nations says that since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases.

So, assuming it were possible to reverse the trend and heal the damage to our planet,  how can we change human activities to mitigate climate change?

Most foundationally, what has all this got to do with faith?

To register email bbehr@emnet.org or visit Sunrise Ranch on Facebook.

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