New Alliances Prove It's Easy to Go Green

"I'm on the left," says the Rev. Al Sharpton, the radical face of American liberalism.

"I'm on the right," says the Rev. Pat Robertson, the evangelical voice of Christian conservatism.

Sitting cozy on a sofa on the beach against a backdrop of pounding surf, two political opponents find unlikely agreement on one common cause: the environment.

"Let's face it, we're polar opposites, except on one issue," says the brash Sharpton.

"That would be the planet," chimes in silver-tongued Robertson. "Taking care of it is extremely important ... so get involved. It's the right thing to do."

"There you go again," chides Sharpton.


This surprising pairing was orchestrated by environmental champion Al Gore in a new television ad that is funded by the Nobel laureate's Alliance for Climate Change.

It was a surprising love fest.

"It's the first time they ever met, and it was kind of cool," Brian Hardwick, the group's communications director, tells "It was sincere, and they had a real connection that was actually inspiring to watch."

'Unlikely Alliances

The ad -- one of the group's first of a series called "Unlikely Alliances" -- was filmed at Virginia Beach and created by the Martin Agency, which has produced the also surprising and popular Geico commercials.

"We wanted to make the point that people from all walks of life can disagree on other matters but need to come together to urgently solve the climate crisis," Hardwick says.

Its tone and message reflect an emerging movement of religion and the environment that crosses all denominations and political affiliations. The ad dovetails with a new report by the Sierra Club, "Faith in Action."

In the report, Sierra, the oldest and largest grass-roots environmental organization in the United States, highlights groups of all religious affiliations -- including evangelicals, Quakers, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, Unitarians and Episcopals -- working to protect "God's creation" in each of the 50 states.

Sierra dedicated three years to finding programs around the country that use wide-ranging approaches, "preaching sermons and worship styles to installing light bulbs and solar panels," according to Sierra spokesman Orli Cotel.

Like the Sharpton-Robertson love fest, such an alliance would at first glance seem a paradox: granola-crunching environmentalists and strait-laced church people. But that, says project manager Lyndsay Moseley, is a stereotype.

"A lot of folks are surprised to know that nearly half the members of the Sierra Club attend worship regularly," Moseley, who helped direct the faith partnership program, tells

"We are recognizing their amazing work and we're also breaking down stereotypes," she says. "People of all walks of life are environmentalists. We have this literal Earth in common to protect."

Nuns Teach Caring About Earth

The Ursuline Sisters of Owensboro, Ky., are raising money to build their education center, a near zero-energy demonstration building that will include solar technology, wind technology and renewable, recycled or reused building materials.

The 780-acre mother house for training nuns has been a self-sustaining farm since 1874 with their own grass-fed cattle for beef, a slaughterhouse and their own gardens for corn and hay. About 500 schoolchildren a year come to the farm.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
United States Carli Lloyd celebrates with teammates Ali Krieger and Morgan Brian after scoring on a penalty kick against Germany during the second half of a semifinal in the Womens World Cup finals, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Montreal, Canada.
Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP
Elaine Thompson/AP Photo
PHOTO: In this image released by Lionsgate, Theo James, from left, Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller appear in a scene from The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
Andrew Cooper/Lionsgate/AP Photo