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Majority of Protestant Pastors Believe Climate Change Is Human-Caused

Five years ago, Pope Francis wrote a major encyclical about protecting the earth, and he has advocated for adding an entry on “ecological sins” to the Catholic Catechism. On Wednesday, the pontiff referred to a Spanish proverb about nature never forgiving. “If we have deteriorated the earth,” he says, “the response will be very ugly.”

Italy’s Earth Day group, which was selected to kick off today’s worldwide celebrations, praised Pope Francis for creating awareness about climate change.

Practical Conservation Tips

The influential Millennial age group places a high priority on sustainability, research shows, and Christian colleges are leading the way in promoting environmental stewardship. At Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Azusa, California, a Creation Care Council focuses on the spiritual aspects and biblical principles of sustainability.

“Caring poorly for creation will end up making human life more difficult, particularly for the most vulnerable among us,” says Toney Snyder, APU’s environmental stewardship director. “In many ways, choosing sustainable practices is an act of love for our neighbors.” Educating young people, Snyder adds, involves preparing them to be “difference makers” and environmental advocates in their post-college communities.

Snyder offers these practical suggestions for reducing our environmental footprint: Take shorter showers, turn off lights, recycle white paper, run only full loads of dishes and laundry, and adjust window coverings before adjusting the furnace or air conditioner.

Global warming, research shows, can increase the risk of disease outbreaks, yet the current pandemic, by forcing much of the world’s population to shelter in place, is having positive effects on the environment. The internet is filled with before-and-after photos of heavily polluted cities that now are enjoying blue skies—though with few people outside to enjoy them. Wild animals also have been roaming through empty city streets.

In some countries, pandemic recovery has focused on economic stimulus packages. Others, especially in the European Union, want recovery acts to align with key climate goals. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is urging governments to consider a “green recovery” response to the coronavirus. “The current crisis is an unprecedented wake-up call,” he said in an Earth Day address. “We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future.”