What would Jesus drive?

The question makes a clever bumper sticker, available from the Washington, D.C.-based Evangelical Environmental Network, a Christian group that bases its fight against global warming on the Bible. The network is one of several religious groups trying to slow climate change by getting its followers to reduce the amount they pollute.

Evangelical Christians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Unitarians: All are committing time and effort to transforming their buildings and their congregants’ mindsets. Some were slow to jump on this bandwagon because they are wary of government studies and environmental activists. But with several recent studies emphasizing the urgent need to slow climate change, they say they are getting the message out to their followers through Web sites, e-mails, films and Sunday sermons.

Just this month, a United Nations panel said it is more than 90 percent likely that global warming is fueled by carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, and that the air will continue to heat up. Many religious people say this warming is contrary to God’s plan because God commanded people to take care of the Earth, not destroy it.

Among many passages in the Bible, they cite Genesis 9:12: “God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations.'”

David Clark, president of Palm Beach Atlantic University, a Christian college in West Palm Beach, describes himself as a political conservative who believes God created the Earth. But he has become so convinced that the Earth is being destroyed, a year ago he joined 84 other Christian leaders in signing the Evangelical Climate Initiative, which called for federal legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. . .

Altaf Ali, a Muslim from Pembroke Pines, said a film about global warming almost transformed his politics. He said he regretted not voting for Gore for president in 2000 after seeing An Inconvenient Truth last year.

Ali was so moved by the film that he redesigned his backyard so the National Wildlife Federation could certify it as an official wildlife habitat. Ali said he doesn’t use pesticides and attracts an assortment of bugs, birds and animals to his yard, filled with fruit trees and a compost heap made of food scraps and egg cartons.

“I felt motivated to do something,” said Ali, executive director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “It’s important for Muslims to have a close connection with the Creator. It’s our humble duty to play an active role.”


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