From the Pacific Northwest to the Chesapeake Bay, and stretching beyond American borders to every continent, climate change is a global problem that concerns many people of faith. It's an issue that continually stirs interest, research and action among San Francisco Theological Seminary faculty and students.
During the 2009 Doctor of Ministry Summer Term in San Anselmo, scholar-pastors researched the effects of climate change in the regions they call home. The seminar "Thinking Ethically and Theologically about Climate Change" was led by Dr. Carol Robb, the Margaret Dollar Professor of Christian Social Ethics at SFTS.
"Increasingly, I am impressed by how significant our imaginations are to envision a world in which we acknowledge the dignity of all persons and the web of relationships in nature that sustain us,'' Robb said. "For if we cannot imagine such a world, we are incapable of insisting upon it."
Using resources from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), plus governmental reports and news coverage from their specific regions, scholar-pastors reflected biblically and theologically on the responsibilities of their own churches to be proactive in addressing climate change. Their findings and insights are now available as a resource on the SFTS web site.
Many of the projects contain links to further resources, plus bibliography, suggesting how people of faith can research this topic and prepare to address your communities.
Below are links to the research produced by SFTS scholar-pastors:
Annapolis, the State of Maryland, and the Chesapeake Bay:
Shifts of Species, Habitat Fragmentation, and Drought
By MaAn Barcelo
Modesto and the Central Valley of California: Climate Change's Effects on Water, Agriculture, and Chinook Salmon
By James E. Scarborough
Oakland, California, and the Mokelumne River: Thinking Ethically and Theologically about the Relationship
By Curtis Michael Brown, III
The Impact of Climate Change in the San Francisco Bay Area: One United Methodist Church's Response
By Kim A. Smith
Seattle, the Cascades, and Puget Sound: Apples, Cherries, and Salmon on the Line
By Ken Sunoo
South Korea: The Shift from Temperate to Subtropical Climate
By Paul, SangKi Kim
Climate Change in Seattle and Washington State: Moral Argument
By Katie M. Ladd
Yosemite Park and Region: Decrease in Snowpack Affecting the State's Water, Trees, and Bears
By Rick Lemberg