Slate magazine has been poking around the evangelical environmental movement, which has been a focus of my attention the last five years. The article appears today. It presents different viewpoints, ideologies, and strategies within the movement, but suggests that we’re not getting along. In fact, this diversity is more an indication of breadth of the movement and different approaches, coalesced around common faith and driven by the goal of being good stewards of God’s creation.
I am quoted fairly, foreshadowing our coming work to involve conservatives in policy through the Terra Dei Institute for Environmental Policy.
…Stridency makes some of his creation-care brethren uncomfortable. Quite frankly, they’d rather not couch it as a “fight” at all. Jim Jewell, former chief-of-staff to Chuck Colson and now co-founder of Flourish, an organization focused on grass-roots creation-care outreach, worries that the movement has strayed too far left. “The progressive DNA of groups such as EEN makes it difficult for them to make inroads in the conservative core of the evangelical community,” he wrote in an e-mail. Rather than fight, Jewell prefers to quietly cultivate conservative support. He argues that the creation care movement needs to “decouple climate and energy policy from the progressive Democrats and work with both sides of the aisle.”
Is there any hope of such bipartisan climate policy in the next Congress? Jewell doesn’t make predictions, but he did tell me that “a conservative leader like Lindsey Graham who takes action on climate shouldn’t be hung out to dry the next time around.”