Climate Change: the "Silent?" Issue

If there is any clear mandate in Christianity, it is the call to care for our planet, for the natural world that God has entrusted to us. But for decades now, scientists have been warning us about the dangers of climate change, and the fact that human activity is the major cause of it. It is a consensus endorsed even by the Vatican.

Enter Rick Perry. He announced on the campaign trail that he does not believe that climate change is caused by human action. I’m not sure what planet he is living on, but he seems to have missed the entire scientific consensus on this issue.

But aside from “climate deniers” like Perry (which really means they deny the human causes of climate change; it is difficult even for Perry to ignore – for example – the record drought in Texas these past months), there is precious little said on this issue by public officials.

Even President Obama, who does believe the scientific consensus, has not “made the case” to the general public. He talks about the importance of “renewable energy,” ending our dependence on foreign oil (that “polls” well) or creating “green jobs.” Al Gore -- who has made the case eloquently -- just recently complained that Obama needs to say a lot more on this issue.

But next week, the issue may be silent no longer. For the first time in the history of the environmental movement, there will be large scale civil disobedience in Washington, DC. Bill McKibben, the creator of, and a person of faith, will be leading the efforts. Look for lots of people of faith, including Catholics, to join in.

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