Religious leaders acknowledging climate change

By Russell Patterson

During a Feb. 25 commencement speech at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) leader Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “Sea coast cities are concerned with the rising level of the ocean, which will bring ocean tides to their doorstep or over their thresholds” and, “Global warming is also affecting agriculture and wildlife.”

Other religious leaders are speaking out about climate change.

Pope Francis says “climate change is a moral issue.” His encyclical on the environment calls for urgent action to protect the Earth and fight global warming, which the pope says “is mostly due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels.”

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI also accepted the reality of human-caused climate change and recognized it as a moral issue.

The Dalai Lama says, “Strong action on climate change is a human responsibility.”

At a climate change rally in North Carolina, evangelist Billy Graham said, “We know that God created the world, and it belongs to Him, not us. Because of this, we are only stewards or trustees of God’s creation, and we aren’t to abuse or neglect it.”

I’m glad religious leaders are recognizing climate change as a moral issue.


Russell Patterson, a resident of West Valley City, Utah, is affiliated with the 50,000-member Citizens Climate Lobby that is a nonpartisan group working with both Republicans and Democrats to find solutions to climate change. 

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