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E-M:/ PRESS RELEASE - Bush, global warming, & faith community



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Enviro-Mich message from KWinch5940@aol.com
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The Michigan Interfaith Global Warming Campaign

                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 2, 2001                       Contacts:  Kim Winchell  (517) 695-2402
                                                 Catherine Greener (810) 
914-0941
                                    
                                      
CITING RELIGIOUS VALUES, STATE RELIGIOUS LEADERS "DEEPLY         TROUBLED" 
OVER BUSH'S (IN)ACTIONS ON GLOBAL WARMING

Recent actions and statements by the Bush Administration on global warming 
policy have brought a rapid and strongly negative response from leaders in 
the faith community of Michigan and across the country.  In recent days, the 
President has announced that he will not continue U.S. participation in the 
Kyoto Protocol's international negotiations on climate change.  

"This is an extremely disappointing failure of leadership and responsibility. 
 The way to solve a global problem such as human-accelerated climate change 
is to stay engaged in negotiations, not walk away," said Kim Winchell, a 
Lutheran and the state coordinator for the Michigan Interfaith Global Warming 
Campaign.

Last Thursday (March 29), as reported in the Washington Post, a number of 
national religious leaders sent a letter to President Bush to express their 
concern over recent developments and their desire to meet with him for 
discussion.  They described the threat of climate change to the "quality of 
life for God's creation and God's children" as a matter of "paramount moral 
concern."

Since June 1999, a broad diversity of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Muslim, and 
Jewish congregations and leaders have been educating and organizing as part 
of the Michigan Interfaith Global Warming Campaign.  A Bible study guide on 
global warming and information on energy efficiency have been distributed to 
hundreds of congregations around the state.  

The SE Michigan Chapter of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life 
(SEM COEJL), which was formed shortly after Michigan's campaign began,  is 
also actively working to raise awareness on the religious implications of 
global warming.  "Jewish tradition teaches that 'The Earth is the Lord's and 
the fullness thereof.'  We are merely caretakers of God's creation, and are 
obligated to preserve and protect it for future generations.  Responsible 
stewardship demands that we address the damaging effects of global climate 
change and other environmental threats,"
said Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, of the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan 
Detroit.

"At the outset of our campaign, we issued a statement signed by 41 senior 
religious leaders of Michigan, affirming our belief that global warming 
presents a challenge filled with religious, moral, and justice implications.  
We are called to tend the earth and have concern for our fellow humans," said 
Winchell.

The statement calls global warming an "inescapable religious challenge" that  
"violates God's creation, afflicts God's children [and] violates moral and 
religious principles of justice."   The U.S., with 4% of the world's 
population, is responsible for 25% of global warming gas emissions.

"As people of faith committed to justice, protection of creation, and strong 
U.S. leadership in the world, we are deeply troubled by President Bush's 
decision to abandon the Kyoto Protocol, the international global climate 
change treaty that is the only current mechanism to seriously address global 
warming" said the Rev. Dr. Kent J. Ulery, Conference Minister of the United 
Church of Christ's Michigan Conference, Lansing.  "We've heard a lot about 
what the President is not going to do; we'd like to know what he is going to 
do about the very real problem of global warming."

Similar organizing activities are currently underway in more than 20 states 
across the U.S., with participation of leaders and members from Jewish, 
mainline Protestant, historic Black Church, Roman Catholic, Orthodox 
Christian, and Muslim denominations.


[text of and signatories to the 1999 Michigan leaders' statement available on 
request]




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