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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Interfaith Climate Walk

Air Date: Week of

Participants at the Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue (Photo: Heather E. Snow)

Folks of faith, from Buddhists to Evangelical Christians and everything in between, gathered to walk across Massachusetts to call for action on global warming. Living on Earth was there and recorded these sounds.


GELLERMAN: You know it’s a movement when faiths come together around a cause. The battles against slavery Jim Crow and the Vietnam War all picked up steam when members of different religions joined the fight.

And so it is today with climate change. Suddenly, in the last year or so, concern about global warming has swept across the nation into houses of worship and onto the streets. A few weeks ago about fifty people of various faiths set out in a blizzard from rural Massachusetts, in a show of interfaith concern about climate change. Over the next week they marched a hundred miles until they reached Boston, 750 people strong. Living on Earth was there when this pilgrimage for the planet reached its destination at the historic New Old South Church.

WOMAN: Welcome, welcome, welcome. This pilgrimage is calling for people of all faiths to be good stewards of this fragile planet and all living beings.

Participants at the Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue (Photo: Heather E. Snow)


MAN: I’m Catholic. It’s a world wide problem. It’s not just here in the United States. It’s not Democrat or Republican, it’s a people issue. Um and we all have to make changes in our day-to-day lives to help to stop this.

MAN 2: Quakers have often been trying to be a voice for the earth that doesn’t have a speaking voice. We firmly believe in the sanctity of all life.

RUBENSTEIN: I was always taught as a Jew that it is our responsibility as humanity to be stewards of the earth, to protect it, to take care of it. And there’s no one else who’s going to do it for us.

Participants at the Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue (Photo: Heather E. Snow)

SMALL: All religious traditions call us to care for creation. All religious traditions forbid theft. And climate change is really theft from our own children; theft of a habitable planet. And global warming is a consequence of addiction to material things. So my faith and the faith of more and more people is calling us to act in this world.

MAN 4: In Hinduism there is the concept of duty or dharma I would say is what drives me. And then just I’ve come to accept being active around environmental issues as my duty and that I should further that as my life’s work.

Living on Earth's Dennis Foley struggles to keep pace on this walk while interviewing participants.
(Photo: Heather E. Snow)

WOMAN 3: Buddhism is about having compassion for human experience and our suffering is a common denominator. And that to recognize that suffering is happening as a result of actions that we’re doing in the US and large industrial nations.

JONUS: Because what we’re up against is so enormous it’s really a unique opportunity for the world’s religions to unite in a way they never have before. I think this is a time when people of faith need to really dig deep into their own spiritual resources to really activate in their own lives their own spiritual practices, the deep wisdom of their traditions to look for where is the ecological wisdom that each tradition can bring to the table.

Participants at the Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue (Photo: Heather E. Snow)

GIRL: My school, I go to a Christian school, and well God gave us the responsibility of taking care of the earth and everyone can join in together on this because it’s not necessarily religious. It can be seen from many different points of views and religion is one of them.

MAN 5: Paganism is, you know, long misunderstood. We’re about honoring the earth, honoring forces of nature. And the earth is our mother.

MAN 6: I’m really into a non-physical entity named Seth. I’m just, you know, doing what I can do to help humanity, you know in a time of crisis.

WOMAN 5: I actually don’t practice any faith. I’m just a spiritual person and I just love the earth and I just I’m happy to live here.

WOMAN 6: I don’t really believe in God or much higher power, but I’m really here to come and support the environment.

Participants at the Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue (Photo: Heather E. Snow)

WOMAN 7: Well as people of faith we’ve been called to protect this earth. It’s our only home to protect the earth and the air and the water for future generations.

SERVICE SERMON PASTOR: God's calling us to insure that efforts to curb global warming prevent further environmental and societal tragedies. As people of faith we are guided by the value of sustainability. But God’s also calling us to leave the planet better than we found it.


GELLERMAN: You can hear the complete service for the interfaith march for climate rescue at Boston’s New Old South Church on our webpage l-o-e dot o-r-g.




Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue

To hear the entire interfaith service for the environment click here


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