Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

A band of right-wing religious politicians are stopping climate action in Australia

The fact is that the great majority of religious leaders – from the Pope to the Dalai Lama – share Pickard’s views about the urgency of addressing climate change.

Yet in this country the resistance to any meaningful action to ameliorate climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases is led to a substantial degree by those politicians who claim Christian faith.

Last year 350.org released a list of the most implacable opponents to climate change action. At or near the top of the list were the following names: Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, Kevin Andrews, Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz, George Christensen and Zed Seselja. These politicians are bound together by their strong and frequently touted religious belief.

How the religious right stall climate actionWhile most religious leaders accept climate change, the Christian right in Australia and the US make scepticism a tenet of their politics. Saturday Paper, By Mike Seccombe. 26 Aug 17  It has been more than three years now since Stephen Pickard penned his letter to the religious believers among our federal parliamentarians, arguing the case for action on climate change.

The Reverend Professor Pickard, an Anglican bishop in Canberra and executive director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University, saw that conservative Christians in Parliament were unconvinced by scientific fact, so he took another tack. He argued theology.

Specifically, he took issue with the interpretation many in the religious right place on the lines from Genesis, in which God gives humankind, starting with Adam and Eve, dominion over all on Earth.

“The question of human beings having this dominion is often used as a rationale for the present way we deal with the Earth’s resources,” he tells The Saturday Paper. “It becomes a subliminal rationale for continued misuse of nature.”

Pickard’s letter, written on behalf of the multi-faith group Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, argued this interpretation of scripture – that humans should dominate and subdue nature – amounted to “a poor way of reading a piece of writing which really talks about the interconnectedness of all things”.

“If there’s one thing that needs to be subdued, it’s the human proclivity to overwhelm and to take what is not ours to take,” he says……..

The fact is that the great majority of religious leaders – from the Pope to the Dalai Lama – share Pickard’s views about the urgency of addressing climate change. So do the great majority of world leaders, including many from the centre-right of politics, such as Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. Even Margaret Thatcher did.

Yet in this country the resistance to any meaningful action to ameliorate climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases is led to a substantial degree by those politicians who claim Christian faith.

Last year 350.org released a list of the most implacable opponents to climate change action. At or near the top of the list were the following names: Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, Kevin Andrews, Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz, George Christensen and Zed Seselja. These politicians are bound together by their strong and frequently touted religious belief.

Interestingly, each of these names appears on similar lists compiled by advocates of same-sex marriage,  a reality that betrays a certain selectivity in the application of religious dogma……

climate change? How did that become a matter of religious contention?

The short answer is that in most of the world it is not, says the Reverend Tim Costello, Baptist minister and chief advocate of World Vision Australia.

“You’ll find religious leaders around the world tend to believe in climate change,” he says. “They start with the view ‘the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” and that we are here not to dominate but to tend. And they accept the science on the damage that’s being caused.”

The big exception to this reality is the United States, Costello says, …….

This week, the “vote no” brigade in our government is focused on same-sex marriage. A couple of weeks from now, the focus will shift back to climate change, and the response to the review of energy policy by Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel.

And that, in the view of Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, will be the biggest test of Malcolm Turnbull and his government.

May God help him, because the Christian right won’t. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/08/26/how-the-religious-right-stall-climate-action/15036696005126

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August 26, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, religion and ethics

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