Faith principles and quotes on climate for Faith-Climate Week
Catholicclimatemovement.global/resources and the Catholic Climate Covenant have a lot of resources on Catholic perspectives.
It’s useful to know where other religions stand too. Much of this information is taken from the Alliance of Religions and Conservation website. Further information is available on their website at: www.arcworld.org
The Baha’i Faith
‘The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.’ These words of Baha’u’llah summarize the Baha’i sense of world citizenship and commitment to stewardship of the earth. The oneness of humanity is, for Baha’is, the fundamental spiritual and social truth of this age. It implies a major restructuring of the world’s educational, social, agricultural, industrial, economic, legal and political systems. Baha’is believe this restructuring will enable the emergence of a sustainable, just and prosperous world civilization.
Nature reflects God
The world reflects the qualities and attributes of God, and should therefore be greatly respected and cherished. Baha’i Scriptures describe nature as an emanation of God’s will.
All things are interconnected and flourish according to the law of reciprocity. This principle underlies the Baha’i understanding of the way the universe works and the responsibilities of humanity.
Science and technology
Science and technology should help humanity to live in harmony with nature. Science should be guided by spiritual principles, to preserve as much as possible the earth’s bio-diversity and natural order, in a way that ensures long-term sustainability. A spiritually based civilization in which science and religion work in harmony will preserve the ecological balance of the earth, foster stability in human population, and advance the material and the spiritual well-being of all peoples and nations.
Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world Tablets of Baha’u’llah p 142
All beings are connected
Buddhism teaches that the idea of separateness is an illusion. The health of the whole is inseparably linked to the health of the parts, and the health of the parts is inseparably linked to the health of the whole.
Respect for life
Buddhist practice makes one feel one’s existence is no more important than anyone else’s. If one treats nature as a friend and teacher, one can be in harmony with other creatures and appreciate the interconnectedness of all that lives.
Simplicity and moderation
Buddha taught people to live simply and appreciate the natural cycle of life. Craving and greed only bring unhappiness, since demands for material possessions can never be satisfied and people will always demand more, so threatening the environment. Buddhists in Japan tell a story. The Buddha once received a donation of 500 new robes for his followers. So he considered what to do with the old ones. They would be used for bed-sheets, he decided. And the old sheets would become towels. And the old towels would be used as cleaning rags. Everything should be used and reused.
According to Buddhism, the way you earn your livelihood – not killing, not stealing, not taking more than you need – all these are part of the Buddhist way of life. A livelihood that avoids harming others, such as trading in weapons, meat, alcohol or poisons – is in harmony with nature.
Humanity’s responsibility to care for creation
Christians believe that we are stewards of creation, not masters of it, with an example cited from the book of Genesis: ‘The Lord God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it.’
Christianity recognises a tension that exists between humanity’s responsibility to care for God’s creation, and the human tendency to rebel against God. The main Christian churches have in the past decades re-examined their teachings and practice in the light of the environmental crisis.
Commitment from the Churches
In his Encyclical Letter in 2015, ‘Care for our common home’, Pope Francis confirms climate change as a moral issue, pointing out that the poor suffer the most from consequences of improper care of the environment even though they have contributed the least to climate change.
For the Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate taught in 1990 that humanity ought to perceive the natural order as a sign and sacrament of God, and that to respect nature is to recognize that all creatures and objects have a unique place in God’s creation. The Orthodox Church teaches that it is the destiny of humanity to restore the proper relationship between God and the world as it was in Eden. The Protestant Churches, speaking through the World Council of Churches in 1990, committed themselves to conserve and work for the integrity of creation both for its inherent value to God and in order that justice may be achieved and sustained.
Christians increasingly recognize the need to repent for what harm has been done to creation. In the words of the Orthodox Patriarchate, ‘This may well mean that just as a shepherd will in times of greatest hazard lay down his life for his flock, so human beings may need to forego part of their wants and needs in order that the survival of the natural world can be assured. The challenge to all Christians is to discover anew the truth that God’s love and liberation is for all creation, not just humanity, and to seek new ways of living that restore balance and hope of life to the endangered planet (based on the 1995 Windsor Statements)
A moral code
Confucianism is a system of thought based on the teachings of Kong Zi, Master Kong (better known in English as Confucius) who lived from 551 to 479 BC. He is revered in Chinese history for the moral code he taught, which was based on ethics, humanity and love. “If the foundations of living are strengthened and are economically used, then Nature cannot bring impoverishment. But if the foundations of living are neglected and used extravagantly, then Nature cannot make the country rich,” observed his follower, Xunzi, Master Zi.
The golden rule, applied to ecology
One day a disciple asked the Master: “Is there one word that should cover the whole duty of humankind?” And Confucius replied: “Fellow-feeling, perhaps, is that word. Do not do to other people what you do not want them to do to you.” And this golden rule in Confucianism is key to understanding the Confucian understanding of ecology.
The notion of benevolence
The follower of Confucianism aspires to becoming a junzi (a sage) – a morally noble person who understands what is right and behaves accordingly. Directing this morality is the principle of ren – humanity (literally ‘personâ’) – that should inform the relationship between people and nature, extending our filial love for parents and family to all living things. We should therefore show love and care for nature in all our dealings with it. The rewards for this moral behaviour are great, as Confucius follower Xunzi said: “Respond to it with peace and order, and good fortune will result. Respond to it with disorder, and disaster will follow.”
Heaven, Earth and Humanity
Confucius taught that humanity exists in an inter-relationship between heaven and earth. ‘Heaven’ is seen as the guiding force, giving direction to change and progress, while ‘earth’ provides the natural context and seasonal changes. Humanity has a moral task to work in balance with these other two forces. Underlying and unifying this triad of heaven, earth and humanity is the notion of qi (pronounced chi). This is understood as the material life force of the universe that runs through all things, integrating human beings with nature and driving the continuous process of change and creativity. The Confucian understanding of the universe as a holistic unity emphasises the responsibility of every person to behave respectfully and with care to contribute to the general wellbeing of creation, acting as an orderly part of a collective effort. In this way the interests of humanity are served by looking after the interests of all of nature.
Four main principles of Daoism guide the relationship between humanity and nature:
1. Follow the Earth
The Dao De Jing says: ‘Humanity follows the Earth, the Earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Dao, and the Dao follows what is natural.’ Daoists therefore obey the Earth. The Earth respects Heaven, Heaven abides by the Dao, and the Dao follows the natural course of everything. Humans should help everything grow according to its own way. We should cultivate the way of
no-action and let nature be itself.
2. Harmony with nature
In Daoism, everything is composed of two opposite forces known as Yin and Yang. The two forces are in constant struggle within everything. When they reach harmony, the energy of life is created. Someone who understands this point will not exploit nature, but will treat it well and learn from it. It is obvious that in the long run, the excessive use of nature will bring about disaster, even the extinction of humanity.
3. Too much success
If the pursuit of development runs counter to the harmony and balance of nature, even if it is of great immediate interest and profit, people should restrain themselves from it. Insatiable human desire will lead to the over-exploitation of natural resources. To be too successful is to be on the path to defeat.
4. Affluence in bio-diversity
Daoism has a unique sense of value in that it judges affluence by the number of different species. If all things in the universe grow well, then a society is a community of affluence. If not, this kingdom is on the decline. This view encourages both government and people to take good care of nature. This thought is a special contribution by Daoism to the conservation of nature.
This ancient temple hangs precariously onto the side of Heng Shan, a sacred mountain where Taoist monks meditate close to nature, and pilgrims come to pray.
Life is sacred
All living beings are sacred because they are parts of God, and should be treated with respect and compassion. This is because the soul can be reincarnated into any form of life. Hinduism is full of stories that treat animals as divine, such as how Krishna used to herd cows, or how the monkey Hanuman was a faithful servant of the Rama. Most Hindus are vegetarian because of this belief in the sanctity of life. Even trees, rivers and mountains are believed to have souls, and should be honoured and cared for.
The virtue of a simple life has always been prized in Hindu society. Teachers, or brahmanas, are advised to live on the charity of others and not accumulate too much wealth. The most highly respected person in Hindu society is the sadhu, or sage who lives outside normal society, in forests or caves, or travels on foot from one town to another. Sadhus take pride in living simply and consuming as little as possible.
Hinduism stresses that true happiness comes from within not from outer possessions. This means that the search for material possessions, and the consumption of materials and energy it brings, should not be allowed to dominate life. Life’s main purpose is to discover the spiritual nature and the peace and fulfilment it brings. The efforts to exploit the things of this world are considered by Hindu teachers to be a distraction from this central purpose of life.
How do Hindus care for the environment?
Hindus revere sacred rivers, mountains, forests and animals, and love to be close to nature. For example, many Hindu villages have a sacred lake, and around it a grove of trees to catch rainfall and protect the banks from erosion. The lake and its grove store rainfall to irrigate surrounding fields and supply village wells with drinking water. These lakes and groves are places of tranquillity and sanctuaries for wildlife, but in recent times the neglect of these simple techniques for gathering and protecting clean water has led to serious water shortages and advancing desertification in many parts of India. Krishna, who lived in the forest and herded cows, represents the highest expression of love in Hinduism.
Khalifa – trusteeship
Islam teaches that Allah created humans to be guardians of His creation. In other words, nature does not belong to us to do with as we wish, but is entrusted by Allah to our safe-keeping.
Tawheed – unity
The central concept of Islam is tawheed, or unity. Allah is unity, and His unity is reflected in the unity of humanity and nature. We must therefore maintain the integrity of the Earth, its flora and fauna, its wildlife and environment. Our responsibility is to keep balance and harmony in Allah’s creation.
Akrah – accountability
Islam teaches that we will one day be judged by Allah for how we have discharged our responsibilities following the guidance of Islam. Have we been good trustees, and have we kept nature in harmony? So there will be a day of reckoning.
It is said in the Qur’an that Allah invites us to enjoy the fruits of the earth, but to avoid excess leading to waste, ‘for Allah does not love wasters.’
All these principals have been translated into practical directions for how to live, embodied in the Shariah, the laws of Islam. For example, Shariah law protects animals from cruelty, conserves forests, and limits the growth of cities.
Islamic quotations about creation
‘The world is green and beautiful, and Allah has appointed you his guardian over it,’ taught the prophet Muhammad.
‘No creature is there crawling on the earth, no bird flying with its wings, but they are nations like unto yourselves’. Qur’an 6:38
CA: Muslim Green Team https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoAOIX60Ot8, DC: Green Muslims
According to the Tattvartha Sutra there are 8,400,000 species of living things – each of which is part of the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth, and is therefore precious.
This central teaching of Jainism was made famous in recent times by Mahatma Gandhi, who was greatly influenced by Jain ideas. He made ahimsa the guiding principle of his struggle for social freedom and equality. Ahimsa means more than not hurting others, it means not intending to cause harm, physical, mental or spiritual, to any part of nature, for, in the words of Mahavira: ‘You are that which you wish to harm.’
This is the positive aspect of non-violence: to practice an attitude of compassion towards all life. Jains pray that forgiveness and friendliness may reign throughout the world and that all living beings may cherish each other.
This ancient Jain principle teaches that all of nature is bound together, and says that if one does not care for nature one does not care for oneself.
An important Jain principle is not to waste the gifts of nature, and even to reduce one’s needs as far as possible. As Gandhi said, ‘There is enough in this world for human needs, but not for human wants.’
Jain quotations on the Environment
‘Lord Mahavira preached about the environment in the first book of ‘Acharanga Sutra’, which is accepted, as His direct words. The elements of nature were described as living beings and under the fundamental principle of AHIMSA these were to be protected in all ways – no waste, no overuse, no abuse, no polluting. If we follow these principles, then we would stop destroying our environment as well as preserve the resources that are available for all to share. If there are more resources available for all, then the poor will also get a fair share thereof’. Quotation from R. P. Chandaria, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology
The cluster of Jain temples perched on the summit of Palitana Hill in Gujarat, India, demonstrate the Jain ideal of care and attention for nature.
“Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge.” — Rabbi Heschel
Humanity and Creation
The Jewish attitude to nature is based on the belief that the universe is the work of the Creator. Love of God includes love of all His creations: the inanimate, plants, animals and humans. Nature in all its beauty is created for us, and our connection to nature restores us to our original state of happiness and joy. The Bible informs us that the earth is given to man ‘to use and protect’. But the ‘dominion’ mentioned in the Bible should not be the dominion of a tyrant. God’s mercy extends to all He has created, as is written, ‘the earth is founded upon mercy’.
Letting the Land rest, People and Animals too, The Sabbatical Year – A Return to Nature
This is the core conservation principle in the Bible: ‘Six years shall you sow your field, and six years shall you prune your vineyard, and gather in the produce thereof. But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath unto the Lord; you shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.’ (Leviticus 25:1-5). According to Maimonides, one of the goals of ceasing all agricultural activity is to improve and strengthen the land. Sabbath is a return to nature. The last Sabbatical observed in Israel was in 1993-94.
The Bible says we must preserve the natural balance of creation. Every species was created for some purpose and should not be interfered with.
‘You shall not let your cattle gender with a diverse kind; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; neither shall there come upon you a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together.’ (Leviticus 19:19)
Jewish teachings prohibit the destruction of anything from which humans may benefit. This applies to animals, plants, and even inanimate objects. Even in time of war, the Bible forbids the destruction of fruit-bearing trees. Sages compared the death of a tree to the departure of man’s soul from his body:
‘When people cut down the wood of a tree that yields fruit, its cry goes from one end of the world to the other, and the sound is inaudible… When the soul departs from the body, the cry goes forth from one end of the world to the other, and the sound is inaudible.’ — Based on the Windsor Statements. The Jewish statement was compiled by Professor Nahum Rakover
Reverence for life
Paganism is very much a religion of reverence for life. Nearly all Pagans believe that Nature is sacred and understand divinity – whether perceived as divine beings or in more abstract terms – to be manifest within the living world and present within every part of the cosmos, including all living beings, all the relationships between them, and all the processes of life. That divinity is something to be encountered and honoured within Nature lies at the heart of most modern Pagan theologies.
Nature is Sacred
Believing that Nature is sacred, nearly all Pagans see the natural cycles of birth, growth and death observed in the world around us, and in the transitions of our own brief lives, as carrying profoundly spiritual meanings. Human beings are seen as part of Nature, woven into the great web of life along with other animals, trees, plants and everything else that is of this Earth, all of which have spiritual as well as material aspects. The living Earth itself is, to nearly all Pagans, a very visible and tangible manifestation of divinity.
To most Pagans, everything that lives contains a small spark of the Divine. As human beings, the life in us is, in essence, the same as the life in the animals and plants with whom we share this earth. We are not ‘special’ to the universe, merely to each other. Every molecule in our bodies once formed part of other living beings and will do so again after we die. Our minds are constantly assimilating information from our environment, and our actions constantly influence what happens around us. Within a Pagan world-view everything is connected to, and influenced by, everything else. Everything that is has spirit. Every identity is woven into larger patterns of belonging.
Pagan ethics generally emphasise the responsible exercise of personal freedom in trying to live in harmony with others and with Nature. They tend to be based upon recognition of interdependence and appreciation of consequences and place strong emphasis on empathy, respect, responsibility and reciprocity – in our relationships to all of life rather than to human beings alone. Pagans use the phrase, “If it harms none, do what you will,” to sum up this apparently simple, but rather demanding approach. Many Pagans see environmental activism as a religious duty and are heavily involved in a range of Green activities and campaigns.
Nature and Worship
Pagan forms of worship seek to honour the Divine powers and bring the participants into harmony with them, to celebrate the turning of the seasons, and to mark the transitions of human life with appropriate rites of passage. Believing that religious ceremonies are best conducted out of doors, and that the finest temples need not be built by human hands, many Pagans hold their ceremonies in woods, on hilltops, by standing stones, in parks or gardens or along the seashore.
Science & technology
Pagans are concerned about the damage some technological developments, especially mass industrialisation, have caused to the Earth but are generally positive about science. They believe that the grave ecological problems facing our civilisation can only be dealt with through further scientific studies and more appropriate and responsible technologies.
This 300 Year Cycle was Recently Titled the Cycle of Creation
Sikhism follows three hundred year cycles, the most recent of which finished in 1999. In 1999 the name of the next cycle, due to end in 2299, was chosen by the Sikh leaders. It is the Cycle of Creation, and the giving of this title has already led to a dramatic increase in environmental practices by Sikh temples.
Sikhs teach that humans create their surroundings as a reflection of their inner state, and hence the increasing barrenness of the earth reflects a spiritual emptiness within humans. The solution according to Sikhism can be found in prayer and the spirit of humility before the divine will of God.
Sanctity of nature
Sikhs cultivate an awareness and respect for the dignity of all life, human or otherwise. Such respect is fostered where one first recognises and nurtures the divine inner spark within oneself, then sees it and cherishes it in others. The history of the Gurus is full of stories of their love for animals, birds, trees, vegetation, rivers, mountains and sky. Many Sikhs, though not all, also have a strong tradition of being vegetarian. A simple life free from conspicuous waste is the Sikh ideal – a life that stresses mastery over the self rather than mastery over nature.
Equality and service
Sikhism places a strong emphasis on equality and service. This encourages a spirit of co-operation and an equal sharing of resources. For example, the langar, or community kitchen, is maintained by the voluntary services of the community and the donation of foodstuffs by the local community. In the Punjab, where many Sikhs are farmers, water is seen as a source of life, bringing food for humans and animals. The element of water is therefore a primary link in the interdependence of humanity and nature, to be used is in a sustainable and fair way. In particular access to clean water is a focus for the community and the Gurdwara is often sited beside a water tank or a river. The Gurdwara is often sited beside water
The first ecologists
Zoroastrianism claims to be the world’s oldest revealed religion and also the world’s first proponent of ecology, through caring for the elements and the earth. The Zoroastrian faith enjoins the caring of the physical world not merely to seek spiritual salvation. Human beings, as the purposeful creation of God, are seen as the natural motivators or overseers of the Seven Creations. As the only conscious creation, it is humanity’s ultimate task to care for the universe. The faith endorses the caring of Seven Creations (sky, water, earth, plant, animal, human and fire), as part of a symbiotic relationship. Zoroastrianism sees the physical world as a natural matrix of Seven Creations in which life and growth are inter-dependent if harmony and perfection is to be the final goal.
The sacredness of the creations demands a greater awareness on the part of Zoroastrians, for at the end of time humanity must give to Ahura Mazda a world in its original perfect state. As an example of their concern, it is a tradition that Zoroastrians never enter a river, to wash in it or pollute it in any way. Purity of nature in their tradition is seen as the greatest good.
Zoroastrians in India remembered their traditional story of how, once upon a time, Mother Earth was in trouble. She asked God – Ahura Mazda – if He could send her a prince, with warriors, to stop the people from hurting her, using force. But Ahura Mazda said he could not. Instead he would send Her a holy man, to stop the people from hurting her, using words and inspirational ideas. And thus was born the prophet, Zoroaster.
Scripture texts on Faith and the Environment
Baha’i “Ye are all the fruits of one tree, leaves of one branch” Gleanings from the writings of Baha’ullah “We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us…” Shoghi Effendi, known as “the Guardian of the Baha’i faith”
Buddhist As the bee collects nectar and leaves without injuring the flower, or its colour or scent, so let a wise person live in community. Dhammapada 4
Christian ‘Then the angel of life showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing … through the middle of the street in the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life … and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.’ Revelation 22: 1, 2
Hindu “Trees are like good people who care for others. They have to keep standing in the sun but they give shade to others. Whatever fruits they bear they do not eat themselves, but give them to others. How kind they are.’ Vikrama Caritam 65
Jewish And G-d said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit trees yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is on the earth,” and it was so. And the earth blossomed with grass, herbs and trees, and G-d saw that it was good. Bereshit (Genesis) 1:9-13
Muslim The Earth is green and beautiful, and Allah has appointed you his stewards over it. The whole earth has been created a place of worship, pure and clean. Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded. If a Muslim plants a tree or sows a field and humans and beasts and birds eat from it, all of it is love on his part. Hadith.
Musnad Ahmad b.Hanbal , IV, 61, 374 Pagan The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation.”
Edain McCoy – Wiccan Author Sikh Nature we see Nature we hear Nature we observe with awe, wonder and joy All nature is yours, O powerful Creator You command it, observe it and pervade within it. Guru Granth Sahib
World Religion and Traditions Climate and Environmental Resources
Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) – The Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) is a multi-dimensional organization, that has earned an international reputation as leaders in developing a specifically Islamic approach to environmental protection and natural resource management.
Encyclical Letter LAUDATO SI’ of the Holy Father Francis on the Care of Our Common Home – Laudato si’ is an encyclical letter from Pope Francis in which he critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action”
Rabbinic Letter on Climate – 425 rabbis signed a Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, calling for vigorous action to prevent worsening climate disruption and to seek eco-social justice.
Hindu Declaration on Climate Change – The Hindu Declaration on Climate Change is a global call to the 900 million Hindus living worldwide to lead lives in harmony and balance with the natural world. It also asks world leaders to find long and lasting solutions to climate change at the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris (COP21).
Buddhist Leaders Call For Climate Change Action At Paris Talks – A dozen Buddhist authorities, in what they’re calling an unprecedented effort, appeal to world leaders to take strong climate change action.
World Methodist Council – Honoring 1st September as a Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
Ecospirituality Resources – Ecospirituality Resources connects concern for creation with growing faith in the Mystery within it, integrates new scientific discoveries with beliefs and lifestyles, and deepens understanding of threats to Earth’s life systems and our call to respond.
Web of Creation – The Web of Creation was established to foster the movement for personal and social transformation to a just and sustainable world from religious perspectives.
Interfaith Power & Light – The mission of Interfaith Power & Light is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.
Eco-Congregation Scotland – Does your church celebrate Creation Time?
Alliance for Religions and Conservation – ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.
Jewcology – Jewcology is a project of graduates of ROI, who have come together to create a resource for the entire Jewish-environmental community. Jewcology incorporates collaboration from a wide range of Jewish environmental leaders and organizations worldwide. This project was funded by the ROI Innovation Fund.
Partnership for Earth Spirituality – The Partnership for Earth Spirituality is a non-profit membership organization which brings together people from various religious traditions, ages, cultures and economic backgrounds to promote a better understanding of the interdependence of ecology and spirituality. The Partnership’s vision is explored through retreats, forums, seasonal rituals, wilderness experiences, programs for children, hands-on projects and education for sound environmental policies.
Presbyterians for Earth Care – Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC), formerly Presbyterians for Restoring Creation, invites individuals and congregations to participate in the growing earth care movement within the PC(USA). PEC is a national eco-justice network that cares for God’s creation by connecting, equipping, and inspiring Presbyterians to make creation care a central concern of the church.
Presbyterian Church (USA) Environmental Ministries – PC(USA) Environmental Ministries exists to equip and connect you, your church, and your presbytery for your earth care ministry. Join us in this vital, meaningful work for God’s creation.
Quaker Earthcare Witness – Quaker Earthcare Witness is a network of Friends (Quakers) in North America and other like-minded people who are taking spirit-led action to address the ecological and social crises of the world from a spiritual perspective, emphasizing Quaker process and testimonies.
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth -Connecting and inspiring an active community of UUs for environmental justice, spiritual renewal, and shared reverence for our Earth home.
United Church of Christ Environmental Ministries – When confronted with environmental responsibility, people of faith now face an additional choice: to live in despair or to live with hope. We in the United Church of Christ are called to live with hope. We are called to go beyond lifestyle adjustment. We are called to spiritual and lifestyle transformation based on justice and reverence for all of God’s creatures and creation. We are called by Jesus to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. With God’s grace, we invite individuals to transform their lives and their communities to become hopeful, restorative, and just.
National Religious Partnership for the Environment – The National Religious Partnership for the Environment brings together a diverse alliance of faith institutions and leaders in order to bring voice and action on behalf of caring for God’s Creation. NRPE offers resources and accounts of how people of faith are acting upon God’s mandate to be stewards of God’s Earth.
Creation Justice Ministries – Creation Justice Ministries represents the creation care and environmental justice policies of major Christian denominations throughout the United States.
Mennonite Creation Care Network – Mennonite Creation Care Network is a Christian organization affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA and the Mennonite Church Canada. Our primary focus is the Mennonite community, but anyone who wishes to be part of a faith-based network of people engaged in caring for creation is welcome to join us.
Greenfaith – GreenFaith is an interfaith coalition for the environment that was founded in 1992 working with houses of worship, religious schools and people of all faiths to help them become better environmental stewards.
Evangelical Environmental Network – Petition to protect national and public lands.
Earth Sangha – Founded in 1997, the Earth Sangha is a nonprofit public charity based in the Washington, DC, region. Our mission is ecological restoration as a form of socially engaged Buddhism. Although we work in the spirit of Buddhist practice, our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and our work is secular and science-based.
Episcopal Ecological Network – The EpEN’s mission is to educate, encourage, and facilitate congregations, dioceses, provinces, and the Episcopal Church, USA, toward local, regional, national, and international activities for the stewardship of God’s Creation.
EarthCare – EarthCare is a Christian organization that exists to promote stewardship of creation especially within the Christian community. It seeks to raise environmental awareness and participation through various educational programs (such as sponsoring semiannual workshops, maintaining an informative website, and distributing resource materials), and by modeling creation care values in our daily lives. EarthCare also exists to provide a medium for fellowship, interaction, and inspiration for Christians concerned with the biblical mandate to be stewards of God’s creation.
First Nations Environmental Network – The First Nations Environmental Network – is a national organization of individuals, non-profit groups and Nations who are actively working on environmental issues.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Environmental Justice Program – The Environmental Justice Program (EJP), a program of the Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development, educates and motivates Catholics to a deeper reverence and respect for God’s creation, and encourages Catholics to address environmental problems, especially as they affect poor and vulnerable people.
Thomas Berry and the Great Work – The mission of the Thomas Berry Foundation is to carry out the Great Work of Thomas in enhancing the flourishing of the Earth community.
Work that Reconnects Network – A community of Work That Reconnects facilitators and supporters linked together for communication, collaboration and mutual support.
Joanna Macy and Her Work – Joanna Macy Ph.D., is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with learning from five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application.
Earth Charter Initiative – The mission of Earth Charter International is to actively participate, in a systemic and integrated way, in the present transition to sustainable ways of living on the planet, founded on a shared ethical framework that includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, social and economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace.
United Nations Environment Programme – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
World Wildlife Foundation – The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
Ocean Conservancy – Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges, creating science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.
Global Coral Reef Alliance – The Global Coral Reef Alliance is a small, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to growing, protecting and managing the most threatened of all marine ecosystems—coral reefs. Founded in 1990. GCRA is a coalition of volunteer scientists, divers, environmentalists and other individuals and organizations, committed to coral reef preservation. We primarily focus on coral reef restoration, marine diseases and other issues caused by global climate change, environmental stress and pollution.
Sierra Club – The mission of the Sierra Club is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; and to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Bioneers – Bioneers is an innovative nonprofit educational organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet.
Humane Society of the United States – The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization. We and our affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and we professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. We are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. We are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.
On Sustainability – Interdisciplinary perspectives on sustainability, where environmental, cultural, economic, and social concerns intersect.
Radical Joy for Hard Times – Radical Joy for Hard Times is a worldwide community of people dedicated to bringing meaning, beauty, and value to places that have been damaged by human or natural acts.
350.org – 350.org is building a global climate movement. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are coordinated by a global network active in over 188 countries.
International Union for Conservation of Nature – The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – Our birds and wildlife are increasingly vulnerable in a rapidly-changing world. Together, we can create bigger, better, more joined-up spaces to save our wildlife, and our shared home.
Earth Journalism Network – Internews developed the Earth Journalism Network (EJN) to empower and enable journalists from developing countries to cover the environment more effectively. With a mission to improve the quantity and quality of environmental coverage and over 8,000 members from 120 countries, EJN trains journalists to cover a wide variety of topics, develops ground-breaking digital media sties, establishes networks of environmental journalists in countries where they don’t exist, and builds their capacity where they do, through workshops and development of training materials, Fellowship programs, support for story production and distribution, and dispersing small grants.
Biohabitats – A list of select publications by featured experts and scholars
Science and Environmental Health Network – SEHN is a consortium of North American environmental organizations concerned about the misuse of science in ways that failed to protect the environment and human health.
Environmental Legal Resources
Natural Resource Defense Council – NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund – CELDF provides free and affordable legal services, education and organizing help to communities facing threats to their local environment, agriculture, economy, and quality of life.
Australian Earth Laws Alliance – The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) was created in early 2012 to carry out research, education, promotional and activist work that furthers the understanding, theoretical development and practical application of Earth Jurisprudence or ‘Earth Laws’ and ‘Wild Law’ in Australia.
Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature – The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) is a global network of organizations and individuals committed to the universal adoption and implementation of legal systems that recognize, respect and enforce “Rights of Nature”. Rather than treating nature as property under the law, the time has come to recognize that natural communities have the right to exist, maintain and regenerate their vital cycles.
Statistics about the economic and societal benefits of solar power.
Photo and Image Resources
Wikipedia Commons – A collection of millions of freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.
TrekEarth – TrekEarth is dedicated to fostering a global community interested in photography from around the world. TrekEarth members strive to provide engaging photographs and useful critiques for each other and the entire internet community.
National Geographic Photography – Great photography happening across National Geographic
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The NOAA Photo Library has been built so as to capture the work, observations, and studies that are carried on by the scientists, engineers, commissioned officers, and administrative personnel that make up this complex and scientifically diverse agency. (MORE)
Astronomy Picture of the Day – Picture gallery of the universe provided by NASA.
Hubble Site – Images from the Hubble telescope.
Wildscreen Arkive – ARKive is a not-for-profit initiative of the charity Wildscreen. With the help of the world’s best wildlife filmmakers and photographers, conservationists and scientists, we are creating an awe-inspiring record of life on Earth.
Pexels – Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through our discover pages.
Pixabay – All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.
Public Domain Archive – New 100% Free Stock Photos. Every. Single. Week.
Freeimages – Free images is a high quality resource of digital stock photography for use by all.
Flickr – Flickr is a great place to connect with friends and family, find new and amazing images from photographers all over the globe, and let others catch a glimpse of your vision of the world!
Photobucket – Photobucket is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community dedicated to preserving and sharing the entire photo and video lifecycle.
Pixnio – High quality copyright free pictures, no rights reserved and without any restriction.
US Library of Congress – Resource of links and galleries related to the US Library of Congress science reference services.
Raster Vecor – List of websites that offer images that are either public domain or have very generous usage rights.
Forestry Images – Links to images related to the world forests.
73 Best Sites To Find Awesome Free Images – Canva collected and ranks the best sites on the internet to find free and royalty free images
explore – explore is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Both educational and inspirational, explore creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others.
I Am Eco Warrior – IAMECO Warrior seeks to raise awareness by building a global community of influencers, innovators, visionaries etc for a sustainable future.
Green World Rising – Green World Rising is a series of short films on the state of climate and solutions to the climate crisis. All the films of Green World Rising are for global distribution, free to the public and hold a Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International.
Living on Earth – Living on Earth with Steve Curwood is the weekly environmental news and information program distributed by Public Radio International. Every week approximately 250 Public Radio stations broadcast Living on Earth’s news, features, interviews and commentary on a broad range of ecological issues.
Renewal – Renewal is the first feature-length documentary film to capture the vitality and diversity of today’s religious-environmental activists. From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist andMuslim traditions, Americans are becoming caretakers of the Earth. With great courage, thesewomen and men are re-examining what it means to be human and how we live on this planet. Their stories of combating global warming and the devastation of mountaintop removal, of promoting food security, environmental justice, recycling, land preservation, and of teaching love and respect for life on Earth are the heart of Renewal.
What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough — BBC – Watch this one! Amazing!