A Christian environmental group is asking Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to form a coordinated response to the threat of climate change and to consider the environment as a “pro-life” issue.
According to Think Progress, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) is circulating a petition among Florida Christians that asks Scott to undertake a comprehensive plan to face the realities of climate change out of a duty to take “care of God’s creation.”
“As Christians, we believe that God’s grace empowers us to honestly confront the challenges we face and change for the better,” reads the petition. “We are failing to keep our air and water clean for our children, contributing to a changing climate that most hurts the world’s poor, and putting Floridians at risk as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise.”
“To meet these challenges, we need leaders who understand our duty to God’s creation and future generations,” it continued. “That’s why we are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to create a plan to reduce carbon pollution and confront the impacts of a changing climate.”
While it may seem to be a sharp about-face for the Christian right to embrace what most Republicans see as a liberal cause, EEN’s president, Rev. Mitch Hescox, doesn’t see it that way.
“We wanted to help the evangelical church understand in Florida that climate change is not a liberal issue or any issue other than a people issue,” Hescox said.
While Scott himself has expressed skepticism about the realities of climate change, Hescox believes that the governor will respond to an appeal to his Christian faith.
“I think he’s gotten caught up — at least, this is just my own opinion — in some of the rhetoric that’s flying around of climate change being, you know, a polar bear issue.” said Hescox.
“We’re hoping that with his values and his understanding of scripture, that helping him to understand climate change in a way that uses the values that he and I probably share — more conservative, pro-life values — will help him understand climate change is a real and very big threat to Florida.”
[Gov. Rick Scott photographed by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]