Being a climate advocate can be very difficult. How do you maintain hope in the face of bad news and apathy from those around you? Where do you find encouragement and inspiration? What role can faith play in our climate work? These are the questions Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade and Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, editors of a new anthology of essays by climate change faith leaders, wanted to answer. They bring together 21 climate leaders in the book Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis.
Contributors include Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Rev Fred Small, Cristina Leaño, and Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman. In his introduction to the book, Bill McKibben argues for the need for a faith-based book about climate action,
…love, I would suggest, is what finally roots this volume: a love for the world around us, in all its improbable glory, and for the people who alone can bear witness to that glory and rise to its defense. If they are indeed summoned to that calling, it may be in part by fear – by the proper functioning of the survival instinct. But I suspect it will be more by love, the ever-great mystery. This volume opens some windows on that mystery, because the people whose words are collected in it have been powered by that force.
In the Art House this month, the editors speak briefly about the book, and then contributor Dr. Nathasha DeJarnett, a research coordinator at the National Environmental Health Association, reads a portion of her essay The View from My Window. Corina Newsome, from Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, shares how her hope was rekindled through the process of writing her piece The Thing with Feathers. Once she received her copy of the book and read the other essays, she found even more hope.
Coming up next month, Irish author Shirley Anne McMillan, on why she was at first resistant to engage with climate change, and the challenge of doing good art about the climate crisis.
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(Top image: Corina Newsome and feathered friend.)
This article is part of The Art House series.
As host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano regularly features artists who address climate change in their work. The Art House section of his program includes singer/songwriters, visual artists, comics, creative writers, and playwrights. Through a collaboration with Artists and Climate Change and Citizens’ Climate Education, each month Peterson reissues The Art House for this blog. If you have an idea for The Art House, contact Peterson: radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org
Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.
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