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Religious leaders, who know how to relate to communities on an emotional level, may be best positioned to convince people to support climate activism, experts say. Hardin-Nieri, who was ordained in the Christian church inworks in North Carolina trying to get congregations across the state to care about climate change.

Creation Care Alliance, an organisation he has directed sinceaims to connect the religious with the environment around them. Across religious pockets of the south, Hardin-Nieri sees fertile ground for climate activism — and believes scripture is uniquely suited to help religious communities better comprehend the unfolding environmental catastrophes happening around them.

Hardin-Nieri knew people in North Carolina were already feeling the impact of climate change: the state faces increased flooding, as well as droughts and extreme heat. He spent a year talking to other religious leaders, brainstorming his communication style, and inbegan volunteering for the Creation Care Alliance.

At the time, the project was a loose network of congregations in Asheville meeting in church basements.

The alliance developed a toolkit for congregations, giving guidance on everything from waste reduction to building relationships with legislators to promote climate action, and organized climate reading groups. After one reading session, a grandmother who volunteered with the alliance cried as she told Hardin-Nieri that her grandchildren were scared about climate change.

Another man spoke of sleepless nights, where he lay awake anxious about environmental destruction.

People of all ages showed up, some of whom were climate activists or pastors themselves. Claire Burnet, a year-old climate activist, has been involved in groups like the Sunrise Movement, but says she has often felt uncomfortable with how academic circles speak about climate change in clinical terms.

She sees these kinds of initiatives as filling a gap in the climate justice movement.

Inwhile Bates was working in the small community of Candler, he noticed people were struggling with higher energy bills. Along with people from his rural congregation, Bates went door to door, handing out energy-efficient LED light bulbs that people could use in their houses, as well as vegetables grown by church members. Bates used this as an opportunity to talk with community members about changes to their environment.

Experts say religious leaders, who know how to relate to their communities on an emotional level, may be best positioned to convince people to support climate action, especially in conservative areas. Environment Climate change Wildlife Energy Pollution. Covering Climate Now North Carolina. Supported by. Melissa Godin. Tue 20 Apr Reuse this content.

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