Use of religious leaders in persuading the public to embrace climate change policies includes influence of prayer, ‘greening’ religious traditions and even "covert" action

Aaron Dykes
December 9, 2009

Proof of the veracity of man-made climate change? Yale University would have you take it on faith.

In the vein of revelations that FEMA recruits pastors for martial law or that Edward Bernays-style Public Relations has long-since established the co-opting of leaders for ulterior purposes– in which religious leaders are one of the most influential and important– comes a project based at Yale which seeks to "Expand Religious Coalitions on the Environment" and lists specific objectives.

To be sure, the Yale Project on Climate Change [cached] seeks to piggyback off of any/all established trust in religious leaders for mere political expediency. Its rationale of equating climate issues with "prayer" and established "religious traditions" are for the convenience of converting its membership to climate agenda goals, and are an effrontery to the original intention of religious inclination.

The Yale Project recognizes the importance of religious leaders in the public mind, and seeks to use them to legitimize its carbon agenda. It’s study "Climate Change in the American Mind", published in 2009, focused in part on the public’s "trust in different messenger." It found that religious leaders are among America’s most trusted sources of information about global warming:

Finally, the study investigated whom Americans trust as sources of information about
global warming. It found that 82 percent of Americans trusted scientists, followed by
family and friends (77%), environmental organizations (66%) and television weather
reporters (66%). About half of Americans trusted religious leaders (48%) or the mainstream news media (47%). Only 19 percent of Americans trusted corporations as a source
of information. Al Gore was viewed as a trusted source by 58 percent of Americans, leading both Barack Obama (51%) and John McCain (38%). Following President Obama’s
election, however, it is likely that trust in him as a source of information about global warming has grown.

Though religious leader don’t rank as highly as other "tools" of climate propaganda, such as "scientists," "environmental organizations," "Al Gore" and "Television weather reporters," it is clear that any pre-arranged advocacy will help to advance their agenda. Further, the Yale Project likely recognizes that religious-cover will allow the penetration of more politically conservative or otherwise reluctant pockets of public opinion.

The Yale Project on Climate Change states that "Religious leaders and communities should establish or expand religious coalitions on the environment and convene dialogues to develop common understandings and resources
specifically on the climate change issue across different religions and moral traditions."

It puts forward that in imparting this message, religious leaders should "tailor to individual traditions" and establish a "religious rationale for the U.S. to lead," advocating the use of religious traditions already in favor of development goals for the 3rd World to be applied to the climate change action argument. [/LEFT]

The Yale Project seeks to "build on" "models like the National Religious Partnership for the Environment" while taking care to avoid "tainting the unique positioning of the
partnering religious groups."

The project’s platform even advocates that religious leaders "be prepared to work together both covertly and overtly on climate change."

The day of prayer on October 4 [2009] is being held in the lead up to the next United Nations climate change summit due to take place in Copenhagen at the end of the year, Independent Catholic News said.
Even "prayer" is a tool for the climate change agenda. "Prayer: A call to action should include an emphasis on prayer, and on asking for the strength to act in furtherance of God’s will, but not to absolve human responsibility."

Keeping in place the "human responsibility" factor appears clearly to ready these enviro-converts for carbon taxes, cap & trade approaches and other "solutions" to man-made environmental problems, for which man must do penance– not only in the eyes of God– but here on earth.

Churches in Britain did indeed hold a "Day of Prayer for Climate Change" in August 2009, leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen.

Yale also hosted a 2008 conference titled, "Renewing Hope: Pathways of Religious Environmentalism" where it screened a documentary produced by Terry Kay Rockefeller called, "Renewal: America’s Emerging Religious Environmental Movement." The Renewal website includes "educational materials" on ways for seminaries and leaders of all religious faiths to include ‘putting their faith into action for the earth‘ with their religious doctrines. Inter-faith groups such as ‘GreenFaith’ are also related.

Establishing "Green Prophets" has not only meant branding icons such as Al Gore and David de Rothschild as ’saviors.’ Environmentalists have sought to bring in religous adherents, for instance, through the 2008 release of the "Green Bible" which added liner notes and emphasis on enviro-themes found in the Bible’s text.

In many ways, religious shepherds have been asked to mis-lead their flocks into a paradigm where humans feel obligated to atone for their "responsibility" as consumers, breeders, breathers, meat-eaters, drivers and etc. in contributing to man-made climate change / global warming. Religious conviction has been viewed as some sort of commodity to be translated into political-and-social power in the hopes of tipping the scales on any given agenda. For most, this translation is a distortion.

One example of this platform in action is the website, which urges political action on climate change for the (ambiguously) "faithful." Here is one of their videos:

The metaphor of atonement for ‘carbon sins’ into a growing carbon-offset market is ready-made within the religious system that already accommodates, for the Catholic tradition anyway, penance, and in their history, even indulgences for sins.

Already the Pope, the single-most influential religious leader in the Western world, as well as a great deal of the developing world, has called for people to atone for "environmental" sins. The London Independent reported in 2007 that the Pope was using his platform at the United Nations "to make climate action a moral obligation." The Pope also listed "ruining the environment" as a ‘deadly’ sin. "Seven new deadly sins: are you guilty?"

As most of these enviro-religious schemes emphasize, the differences between the major religous demoninations are not the focus; the focus is in directing part of that faithful energy into action on climate change and on ‘the earth’ (a veritable religion in its own right).