To Dust You Shall Return

Climate Change and Christian Faith

climate-change-newThis week’s mini-series is a collaborative effort with Ecclesio. Check out these and other articles at

Ginna CarouselUnbinding Creation: Children of Dust, Children of God, Ginna Bairby

Climate change is a reality that simply cannot be denied any longer. 97% of scientists agree that the changes in earth’s temperatures and weather patterns are caused by human action. Even if we the general public are slower to consent to this reality, our denial will not change the oncoming tide. As people of faith, then, how do we respond to such a devastating reality, such an overwhelming testament to the reality of human sin? When I reflect on the crisis of climate change that our generation is facing, two particular strands of the Scriptural tradition begin to conflict in my mind. Continue Reading

Jim Irby PhotoClimate, Culture, and a Call for New Environmental LeadershipJim Irby

It’s been said by environmentalists from Al Gore to Daniel Quinn that a frog put in a pot of slowly heating water will not panic or try to escape until it is already cooked. Another year comes to a close, and our behavior continues to mirror that of the frog: we watch the earth heat slowly but fail to look for a way out. Unlike the frog, however, we have the gifts of foresight, statistical analysis, and climate models. Continue Reading

Rebecca Barnes PhotoCommunion and Climate ChangeRev. Rebecca Barnes

In our time of climate change, what does it mean to gather at the Table? Can our thanksgiving and intercession, our taking, blessing, breaking, and sharing bread, shape our response to the entire creation? How might our practice affect, and be affected by, the whole earth community? Recently, my church held an educational program on climate change. The youth in particular showed how well informed they were about the problem of climate change, quickly and accurately answering questions about what the world might look like in fifty years (hot, dry, crowded, species extinction). However, I found myself later talking with a friend about what was missing – the piece we left unsaid. Continue Reading

Ashok Chaudhari PhotoSolar Energy and God’s Providence: Machina ex Deus?Ashok Chaudhari

Climate change is upon us. Regardless of the symptoms, the diagnosis by experts is almost unanimous; the planet is warming and there will be consequences. Some would even argue that we have passed the point of no return – there is nothing that can be done to repair the damage already inflicted. But, from my faith perspective and prayer, just as climate change is upon us, so is God’s providence. And so it has been from the beginning. Or at least, from the beginning of the industrial revolution, when for the first time in history, pollution of the atmosphere became an observable phenomenon and a threat to the well-being of creation. Continue Reading

Kristina Peterson PhotoBrokenness and Blessing in the Bayou: The Real-Life Impacts of Climate Change, Kristina Peterson

Over the past 12 years, my call in ministry has been to the bayous of Louisiana, home to communities that have undergone hurricanes, oil spills, economic losses from imported seafood, and the splintering of extended families. This is a region that constantly draws upon its resources of family, faith, and culture to endure endless hardships. It is within that context that I pastor a bayou congregation and do action research with coastal communities. The work we have done over the past years includes ethnobotany, food sovereignty and security initiatives, cultural reinvigoration, employing historical methods of resilience, and forming various collaborations to address emerging issues. Our strategies for addressing these issues have to be as fluid as the changing complexities of the problems and as persistent as the ever-rising water. Continue Reading


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