Sunday, April 04, 2010

Inclusive Green Politics

This Christian Science Monitor article profiles an evangelical Christian couple who have embraced the importance of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This article interests me because climate change mitigation today is a "left/right" issue. Liberals vote in favor of mitigation while conservatives vote against. The people profiled in this article represent relevant counter-examples. A sociologist might ask; "why have these people "flipped"? What convinced them to buck their group's common belief?".

Who cares? Obama needs such voters. There aren't enough liberals in the Congress to give him the votes on cap & trade to mitigate carbon. He needs to identify swing voters. What messages and thoughts are persuasive to evangelicals?

"Merritt hopes that even those Evangelicals who can't bring themselves to accept human-induced climate change will accept other parts of the environmental message to care for God's creation.

Harming God's creation is as destructive as "tearing a page out of the Bible," Merritt says. "We are asked by God to act to preserve the planet and to protect the people who depend on the planet's resources." The command in the book of Genesis for humans to care for the world "has never been revoked, ever, in Scripture," he says. From the very beginning of the Bible "we get a very clear picture that God has gone green, and He's never looked back."

The reason Evangelicals should care about climate change is "not because we worship the earth," Hayhoe says. It's recognizing that the impact is likely to be most severe in some of the most impoverished areas of the world.

"Doing something about climate change is loving our global neighbor," she says. "It's about caring about people who are already hurting around the world. And it's about caring for our children and future generations, who are going to inherit this earth that God has given us.""

I'm getting interested in persuasion. For different types of people; "liberals versus conservatives, young vs. old etc", what is a convincing argument?

Here is a brief paper by two Clark Medalists on this broad topic.