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By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: February 8, 2006
"Despite opposition from some of their colleagues, 86 evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."
Among signers of the statement, which will be released in Washington on Wednesday, are the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups and churches, like the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches, including Rick Warren, author of the best seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."
This is a hopeful sign. There has alway been support for environmental stewardship among evangelicals, but that fact has not always been acknowledged in the press, nor played up by the evengelicals themselves.
The list of people supporting this initiative tends toward the center of the evangelical spectrum, and there have been some high-profile people such as Chuck Colson and James Dobson that oppose taking a stand. There have been equally high-profile people such as Rick Warren and Duane Litfin, Wheaton College president, who are in support of this initiative.
There are legitimate scientific questions that need to be addressed, such as whether we are seeing a cyclical event that will eventually swing the other way, or whether we are seeing permanent change. Hopefully science will trump ideology as people strive to deal with these issues.