Thursday, October 6, 2016

Quote for the Year

"...Americans are now hearing – often for the first time – that global warming will have severe impacts on the world’s poor; that it violates divine dictates on the treatment of nature; and that it requires a concerted response from all nations in the name of social justice and God’s will."

– Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, January 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Welcome and Brief Introduction

Welcome to Faith and Climate Justice. 

Faith and Climate Justice is an initiative of, Voices of Sustainability and the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Portland, Oregon.

It addresses the the role of the leaders and members of faith-based organizations in supporting climate change related public policy and programs in the name of climate justice and as part of their own sustainability by re-framing global warming for the faithful as an ethical and moral issue and doing so in the context of sustainability and protecting future generations - our children and grandchildren to start.   The problem is there are not enough leaders and members of faith-based organizations who are concerned, even alarmed, about global warming despite heaps of scientific evidence. The study notes:

 “The middle segments, however, may be more responsive to calls from religious leaders for a moral response to climate change – a potentially powerful change in light of the large majority of Americans who belong to one of these four groups."
There is hope, but it will take work.


Building on a progressive, inter-faith leadership, I see the opportunity to activate the faithful to address and act upon global warming by 

(1) moving a majority of the faithful in the U.S. to being concerned and alarmed about climate change and willing to support public policies that restrict carbon emissions and the use of vehicles, a large source of US global warming emissions;  

(2)  reframing with faith-based organizations2  climate change to climate justice, an ethical and moral issue; 

(3) framing global warming as the mission critical social, environmental, and economic issue of the sustainability3 movement; and 

(4) launching a Call for Climate Justice by alarmed and concerned leaders through their churches and spiritual organizations.  I offer this paper on this Call to Action as a conversation starter and to begin thinking about a program that targets faith-based organizations and their leaders, rather than a direct to citizen approach, what we call in marketing the distinction between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing models. 


The timing is critical because our ecological systems are changing at alarming rates and despite  “dispassionate statements by climate scientists, couched in cautious, neutral language and supported by charts, figures and statistics, that have not and are not working well at all.”  

If a moral framing resonates with values people already hold dear – protecting future generations, for example – it may shift people's perceptions
of the meaning and importance of the threat posed by climate change and as you will see from the research it involves moving the faithful and faith based organizations to the  concerned and alarmed level for the benefit of Mother Earth and her children.

In the attached document, A Call for Climate Justice, there is further discussion of this initiative in terms of the (1) why/how of reframing, (2) the voices of religious leaders for a moral perspective on climate change is growing, (3) our audience, (4) sustainability positioning, (5) importance of relationships, and (6) elements of a Call to Action to include partners/leaders, education/awareness/action.

And, of course, I encourage you to call or email me with suggestions and comments.  Your  support is greatly appreciated.  Presently I am doing more research on the people, programs, and initiatives around climate justice here in Portland, Oregon.   You will find the resources I find and use on this site are available for downloading as well as some videos of climate change activists.

Ruth Ann Barrett
(415) 377-1835

Visit our special collections on, Climate Justice and meet the voices of those speaking on behalf of Mother Earth and her children. Some you may know, some will be new and inspiring.