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Independent Mormon Groups Back Climate Action

Rick Bajornas
UN Photo
A pair of LDS groups has a petition encouraging world leaders to act on climate change. More than 360 have signed the petition, which treats global warming as a moral issue and is independent of the LDS Church.

Utahns want their voices to be heard during the Paris climate talks. They include Mormons whose church has been silent about a problem they see as a moral issue.

Jared Meek, a conservation biology student at Brigham Young University, is a leader BYU’s EcoResponse Club, which has teamed up with the nonprofit, LDS Earth Stewardship. They’ve developed an online petition urging world leaders to take speedy action on climate change.

Meek says it gives faithful Mormons an opportunity to weigh in even though church leadershave not taken a stand.

“The main purpose of the petition is to really add the Mormon voice to the whole climate-change discussion,” he says.

So far, more than 350 people have signed an online petition that quotes the Bible and texts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Meek hopes the number grows as LDS faithful realize that climate change threatens the environment and the people who depend on it. He says some Mormons view global warming as a leftist political issue, while more and more like himself see it as a spiritual problem.

“We brought these scriptural accounts together,” says Meek, “to point out that God has actually asked us to care for the Earth and care for all life on Earth and especially our fellow human beings.”

A contingent of the environmental advocacy group, Utah Moms for Clean Air is also in Paris. And Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is part of the U.S. delegation to the talks.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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