Spurred by rising tides and temperatures, Texas’ religious leaders are leveraging the power of faith and community to reshape the way Texans engage with the environment. Their efforts are designed to inspire new ranks of environmentalists driven less by fear and doomsday predictions than a shared belief in stewardship as an act of worship.
From El Paso to Tyler, Texans have to cope with the rapidly shifting climate. Crop-killing drought torments farmers in the west even as residents along the Gulf Coast brace again and again for flooding brought by storms that seem to grow in size and numbers with each passing year. Meanwhile, people in Dallas-Fort Worth are left to fend off severe property damage brought on by hail storms featuring ever-larger hailstones. Wildfires, flooding and dangerous heat waves are increasing in Texas, and research indicates that the problems will get worse.
Even on the precipice of such suffering, vital education on the subject remains hard to come by, with Lone Star politicians opting instead to tiptoe around the issue. This year, Texas was one of just six states to receive an “F” grade for its school curriculum on climate change from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund and the National Center for Science Education.
Faced with Austin’s failings, leaders of diverse religious backgrounds are teaming up to offer hope and practical daily tips to an increasing number of Texans, and in so doing infuse spiritual weight to the call to climate activism.
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