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Religion and the Environment on Tuesday's Access Utah

Logo for Utah Interfaith Power & Light showing a CFD light bulb in yellow, looking like a beehive, with bees buzzing around it.

About 80 percent of Americans say they belong to a faith community. Some people of faith feel a strong sense of stewardship for the earth which moves them to environmental action. Many view climate change as moral issue. Some churches are divesting their investment portfolios of stocks related to oil and gas extraction. At the other end of the spectrum, some religious people feel that the earth is in God’s hands and that unwarranted action on climate change is morally wrong because of effects on the poor. How does your faith inform your views on the environment? Is this a moral issue? What does your church or faith tradition teach about the earth, the environment and/or social justice? Can interfaith dialog find common ground that eludes us in the political arena or will similar debates follow us into the faith arena? What effect do you think religion is having on the climate change debate? We’ll talk with members of the interdenominational group, Utah Interfaith Power & Light which is working to find common ground in Utah’s faith communities to promote earth stewardship, clean energy, and climate justice. We’ll explore environmental issues with the group’s Executive Director Susan Soleil who was raised LDS but has since explored other faith traditions and spiritual practices; writer & photographer, Stephen Trimble, who is a member of Salt Lake City’s Jewish Reconstructionist congregation, Chavurah B’Yachad; science teacher, climber, skier, and community organizer, Ryan Pleune, who is a practicing Buddhist; and stay at home mom, Rachel Whipple, an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and member of the group LDS Earth Stewardship.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.