One of the most powerful women in Christianity told the Guardian people who reject climate science are turning their backs on one of God’s most generous gifts: knowledge. Episcopalians understand the life of the mind is a gift of God and to deny the best of current knowledge is not using the gifts God has given you,” said Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. “I think it is a very blind position.” Jefferts Schori — the first woman elected as a primate in the Anglican Communion and a former oceanographer — also called climate change a “moral issue, in terms of the impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable around the world already.”
“It is in that sense much like the civil rights movement in this country where we are attending to the rights of all people and the rights of the earth to continue to be a flourishing place,” she said.
Jefferts Schori’s comments to the Guardian come as the Episcopalian church is strengthening its voice in the fight against human-caused climate change, a phenomenon that is expected to have the worst impacts on developing countries. On Tuesday, the church is holding a 90-minute webcast to discuss both the regional impacts of atmospheric warming and the moral implications of those impacts.
The webcast also kicks off a 30-day campaign by the Episcopal church to raise awareness of climate change, called 30 Days of Action. The campaign calls on Episcopalians to address the issue in some way each day for the next months — to “learn, advocate, act, proclaim, eat, play and pray.”
“Focusing on environmental change on a personal, community and global level for 30 days can help Episcopalians proclaim a commitment to caring for God’s creation,” the church’s website reads.