Jesus and palm trees
Paul Simpson

When it comes to using energy, what would Jesus do?

We’re guessing he wouldn’t use more than he needed, and he wouldn’t condemn generations to climate hell by burning fossil fuels when cleaner options were available.

Some Evangelical Christian leaders in Florida are making just that point, calling on Republican politicians in the state to take climate change seriously. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently went full-on climate denier, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is a denier too.

Rev. Mich Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, has started a petition drive calling on Scott to make climate change and “creation care” priorities. Here’s an excerpt:

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. 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.

And the Tampa Bay Times reports that Hescox and prominent Evangelical pastor Joel Hunter are taking part in a panel discussion tonight titled “Climate Change: Should Christians Care?” From the Times article:

Evangelical leaders in Florida have taken on climate change as a cause and are trying to increase pressure on Gov. Rick Scott to take action, while criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio’s stance on the issue. …

Hunter, who is a spiritual advisor to President Obama, says he’s taken to urging congregants to do their part: Turning off lights that aren’t needed, setting air conditioning at a reasonable temperature, keeping car tires properly inflated.

He said he was neither panicked nor preoccupied with the issue. “But this is part of what I think is the moral responsibility of the church to lead in areas that can benefit and protect people.”

Should Christians care? The answer seems obvious to those who put their flocks before politics.