Over 1,500 Young Evangelicals Take On Global Warming Issue

WASHINGTON, USA - College students representing more than 1,500 young evangelicals from 41 US states have presented a statement urging government and religious leaders to take definitive action against global warming.

The statement entitled, "Cooling Our Future: A Declaration by Young Evangelicals on Climate Change," was presented last Thursday by 30 students from Christian colleges. In the declaration's opening, students expressed their concern about global warming as "the degradation of God's creation".

Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals, was among the Christian leaders who spoke to the young evangelicals at the press conference at Riverside Church on Friday.

He warned young evangelical leaders of the obstacles and difficulties they will face in raising the issue, but assured them that the movement has already been started by Christian leaders. Cizik pointed to the signers of the "Evangelical Climate Initiative" - a statement which expressed a biblically-based commitment of evangelical leaders to curb global warming - as example.

ECI, which the students are associated with, was released in February and contained at the time the signatures of more than 85 influential evangelical leaders including author of the best-seller The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel Dr. Jack Hayford, World Vision president Rich Stearns, and Wheaton College president Duane Litfin.

Jim Ball, the national coordinator of ECI, announced last Thursday that there are now 102 evangelical leaders that have signed the initiative including Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church.

During their stay in Washington this week, the student delegation talked with members of Congress about the need for legislation to control global warming pollution. In addition, letters were sent to President Bush and Congressional leaders to urge them to take stronger measures in the issue.

"Climate change is a crisis for all of us," said Ben Lowe, a Wheaton College student who is part of the delegation to Washington, in a statement. "Climate change is a crisis for all of us, and must be addressed as such. As young evangelicals, we hope that our government leaders will tackle the challenge of reducing global warming pollution. Making the world safer for our generation, and for their grandchildren, is not exclusively Republican or Democratic; it is a moral issue, and the faithful expression of God's people."

Representatives of the young evangelicals in Washington include students from Wheaton College, Abilene Christian University, Point Loma Nazarene, Azusa Pacific University, and Houghton College.