Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anglican primates speak on environment

Anglican Communion Environmental Network - News

Archbishop Moxon calls for moral lead in campaign against global warming

Posted On : February 12, 2009 4:34 PM | Posted By : Webmaster
Related Categories: ACEN

Archbishop David Moxon has told an international press conference that the Anglican Communion should offer "moral leadership" in the campaign against global warming.

Archbishop Moxon has been in Alexandria, Egypt, for a meeting of the Anglican primates of the 34 Anglican provinces that make up the worldwide Anglican Communion.

He had earlier led a special session on the impact of global warming on the environment. He was supported in his 90 minute address by Archbishop Paul Sarkar of Bangladesh, a country which faces dire consequences if sea levels rise. Archbishop Moxon later told a press conference that the gathered Anglican leaders were agreed that the Anglican Communion should offer "moral leadership" in the campaign against climate change.

This, he suggested, was significantly a matter of setting an example. He spoke of the need for Anglicans to embrace lifestyle changes, and to cutback unnecessary or environmentally hazardous modes of travel. He also spoke of the need for Anglican leaders to encourage what he called "eco-friendly congregations and environmental projects."

Archbishop Moxon told the media that the primates believed that the church has a "Biblical, theological and practical role to play in every community" on the issue. Anglicans needed to do what they could to prevent carbon emissions, and the "overcooking or choking of the planet."

Such efforts, he said, should be seen as "an act of participation in God's creation and redemption."

NOTE: A PDF of Archbishop David's Powerpoint presentation to the primates is available at
This has four main parts, entitled: The evidence and effects of global warming and climate change; A Biblical imperative; The Christian moral climate; What can the church do?


Rory Short said...

It is good that the Anglican Church leadership is beginning to address the issue of climate change and humankind's responsibility for, and continuing, activity toward generating it.

Climate change is a consequence of the West's historically exploitative, rather cooperative, attitude toward the rest of creation, which attitude is now, sadly, being adopted by all cultures across the world. Such an attitude can produce short term gains, which the West has experienced up until now, that is why others are adopting this exploitative attitude too, but long term it inevitably creates problems. Right now we are beginning to experience one of these problems in the form of climate change.

If we are to be successful in addressing the matter of climate change, and the other problems that arise because of our exploitative attitude toward the rest of creation, we need, as a culture, to change our attitude to one of cooperation rather than exploitation. This will require a seismic shift in the mindsets of the majority of the population. A massive task so the place to start this is with the upcoming generation, the children, so that their ingrained, or default, way of addressing the outside world, i.e. the rest of creation, is, ‘how do I work cooperatively with’ rather than ‘how do I exploit to my own advantage’, this, whatever it is.

Religious institutions can and should play a major role in this change. As a life long Christian I am very much aware that the Christian Church, in particular, needs to look at how in its teachings and behaviour it has historically supported and nurtured this exploitative attitude toward the rest of creation.

Rory Short said...

On rereading my earlier comment I see a 'typo' in the second line of the second paragraph it should read
... historically exploitative, rather than cooperative....

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