Prayer to End Climate Change

At a time when religion and science are often at odds -- from stem cell research to evolution -- many say the willingness for scientific and religious institutions to work together to bring about change in human behavior is unprecedented.

"I don't think we have any differences on this," McCarrick said. "Every religion realizes that this world is a gift from God and we have to reserve it."

The Roman Catholic Church, criticized in the past for its stance on man's use of nature, is especially concerned with how global warming will affect the world's poor.

The United Nations has predicted that land lost to rising sea levels, intensified storms and rising food prices due to droughts and floods caused by climate change will make the world's poor the most vulnerable.

"Global warming will be an enormous cost for them, and we have to make sure that this doesn't happen," McCarrick said.

Last year in the United States, 86 evangelical Christian leaders, including megachurch pastor Rick Warren, backed a major initiative to fight global warming. But they weren't met entirely with consensus.

In January 2006, some of the nation's top evangelical leaders sent a letter to the National Association of Evangelicals asking its members not to take a stance on global warming, The New York Times reported.

McCarrick will travel with leading scientists and religious leaders, including Bishop Sophie Peterson of the Danish National Church, Rabbi Soetendorp from the Netherlands, and a senior figure of the Orthodox patriarch, to meet with leading scientists who are experts on the subject of climate change. They will also meet with the government and indigenous people of Greenland to hear how global warming has already affected their way of life.

The symposium, organizers say, will produce recommendations from theologians that will be addressed at an environmental conference in December.

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