Combating Climate Change with Religion

by Riley Hoffman

In her article “Can Science and Religion Respond to Climate Change?” (2015), Mary E. Tucker acknowledges the flaws of science and religion but suggests many ways that if the two were able to unite, the world could know how better to respond to global climate change. Her article explains that in order for true change to occur, the public needs the scientific base knowledge and an incentive, or an ethical reason, to pursue these changes.

Tucker proposes twelve ways for policy makers to induce change if science and religion came together. The first two ways describe how we need to change our perspective on global climate change. It cannot be treated as a side effect of economic growth; climate change would not be inevitable within if developed countries succeeded in reversing the effects that their emissions caused. Along those lines, she also suggests that Earth shouldn’t be seen as a tool for us, but instead as something that needs to be preserved and used sparingly to ensure long-term fitness.

The next suggestions ask for natural, environmental human rights, such as having livable land and clean air to breathe. Unfortunately, just as the United States has emitted 25% of the total global CO2 emissions, other developed nations are also inducing global climate change, which harms developing countries. Tucker calls these countries to action, to reduce their output to help save others. Due to rising sea levels in island countries, much land is being lost and their residents are forced to leave. These forced migrations cause over-population in nearby areas.

Further, Tucker describes the growing importance of using renewable energies, but stresses the equal importance of helping developing countries by sharing new technologies to combat climate change. She suggests that there be a new initiative that forces countries to participate in the renewable energy programs so that there will be a greater response.

Tucker’s last suggestions are about the increase in global population and how gender equality with higher education opportunities for women and more access to birth control and other forms of related health care will eventually slow the population growth as more women enter the work force; slowing the rate of global population growth will buy the Earth more time.

In each of the suggestions Tucker explains how the morality and scientific backgrounds coming together will help get the communities on the right track to combating climate change effects. With as many countries as possible lined up to help, humans can preserve their home for the long term.

Tucker, M. E., 2015. Can Science and Religion Respond to Climate Change?. Zygon. 949-961.




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