Religious leaders urge Congress, Bush to act on climate change

After millennia of mistrust and conflict, the world’s religions might be united by … climate change? In an open letter published today in two Capitol Hill newspapers, the leaders of more than 20 religious groups urged Congress and President Bush to act on the issue. “Global warming is real, it is human-induced, and we have the responsibility to act,” says the letter. “We are mobilizing a religious force that will persuade our legislators to take immediate action to curb greenhouse gases.” That half-inspiring, half-threatening promise comes from groups including the National Council of Churches, the Islamic Society of North America, the political arm of the Reform branch of Judaism, and Episcopal, Methodist, and Baptist churches. National Association of Evangelicals board member Rev. Joel Hunter also signed on, though his group hasn’t agreed on action. Another divided sect, ye olde Catholics, held a Vatican-sponsored conference on climate change last month, and leaders are debating a way forward.