VIDEO: Featuring Reb Arthur at Greening of Religion Conference 4/1/16, Columbia SC

Reb Arthur Waskow joined other religious leaders and scholars in Columbia, SC 4/1-2/16 for a conference discussing solutions for "global scorching. See Reb Arthur in WLTX TV's report." Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Experts from all over the world are discussing the link between faith and climate change for the Greening of Religion Conference this weekend at the University of South Carolina. Many of the educators and religious leaders say environmental issues are moral problems that faith communities must get involved in. “A promise that we have to act for each other and for the earth in order to prevent the kind of incredible flooding not only Columbia but that’s happening in many places around the world, droughts are also being caused by global scorching,” Rabbi Arthur Waskow explained. Waskow is the director of the Shalom Center in Pennsylvania. He is at the conference to show how many religious teachings talk about being good stewards of the earth. “It’s so deeply at the heart of not only Jewish but Christian sacredness and even Muslim sacred thought as well,” Waskow said. “How do we draw on that in order to do what we need to do to save the planet and ourselves as a part of the planet?” He is hoping people make that connection when thinking about the threats of climate change. His organization is trying to get synagogues, churches, and mosques to partner to become centers for neighborhood solar co-ops to conserve energy, and decrease pollution. “Instead of kind of wishing we could shift to solar energy, we would begin to do it and not just as private individuals but as communities working together,” the rabbi said. It is ideas like these that are being shared this weekend by religious leaders and scholars. They are looking at climate change through a religious lens, because drought, famine, flooding and other natural disasters can lead to crime and crises. Those are issues that many believe faith communities should be doing all that they can to prevent those tragedies from happening. “We need to rethink everything, we need to rethink our values, we need to rethink our spiritualties,” University of Florida Environmental and Religious Studies Professor Bron Taylor said. Taylor is the keynote speaker and will be discussing the need for religious communities to start thinking about how humans fit into nature. “We need to think about how we could more effectively incorporate modern scientific understandings into our everyday lives in our politics,” Taylor said. There are educators and religious leaders from all over the nation and from as far as Canada, Australia, Thailand, and Scotland. The conference is being put on by the Cherry Hill Seminary and the University of South Carolina’s department of archeology and anthropology. "Scholars have come here to officially present a paper with what we hope are new ideas and we‘re looking for a synthesis of scholarly research and ministerial concerns from various religions," Cherry Hill Seminary's Holli Emore said."Like the environment, if you don’t have diversity, you’re not very strong so we’re happy to have some diverse input during our conference this weekend." The conference wraps up on Sunday. For more information, please visit: https://cherryhillseminary.org/greeningofreligions/ (© 2016 WLTX)

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