What will it take to motivate the public to address climate change?

V. Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography believes it will require a three-pronged approach. He says the first two, science and governance, are already well established on this issue.

V. Ramanathan and Pope Francis

Ramanathan: “The missing third leg is the role of faith and religion.”

Ramanathan says behavior change will require a fundamental change in attitude by the general public – and not just anyone can make that happen.

Ramanathan: “Neither scientists, nor technologists, nor our national leaders have that authority. But faith leaders, and religious leaders have that authority. We have not so far seen the value faith and religion brings to the table in solving environmental problems.”

The Pope has taken a strong position on the need to address climate change. But Ramanathan says this message must be preached in every church, synagogue, temple, mosque and all other religious faiths, so it can inspire deeper engagement. Only then does he believe the public will give elected officials the support they need to take action.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Ramanathan [left] delivers message of climate change to Pope Francis (May 2014) (Photo courtesy of the Vatican).
Source: V. Ramanathan website.

More Resources
V. Ramanathan website
Yale Climate Connections Series on Climate Change and Faith Groups

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