At the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, leaders of faith, government, academic, civic and grassroots organizations convened on the theme “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity: Working Together for a World of Compassion with Peace, Justice and Sustainability.” Of six critical issues, climate change and care for creation was addressed in plenary sessions spotlighting the expertise of leaders on environmental justice issues. 

These are some of the takeaway quotes from our keynote speakers:

Dr. Vandana Shiva

“We have two thirds of the planet diseased because of bad food. Not good economics. The dominant system has made greed, money accumulation [sic], annihilation, extermination, [and] intolerance [into] a false religion of our time. We need to put faith in women who have the courage to say enough is enough, no more.. we are going to celebrate life”

“We are going to celebrate the life with a deep awareness that we are part of the earth, not separate from her.”

“I save seeds, I do organic farming, I do the science of ecological agriculture and I can tell you, we produce more food by caring for the earth. We produce more wealth by sharing. We produce more peace through cooperation. Competition has been made into a religion. It must go and be replaced by co-creation, collaboration, co-production...”

“Today, in the name of free trade...of thousands of other free trade treaties, Freedom of corporations has been used to replace and displace the freedom of diversity of the earth, the freedom of all cultures and all faiths, the freedom of women to be free of violence against them.”

 

Marc Barasch

Founder Green World Campaign and creator of the Green World Charter

On Planetary Healing:

“There are 5 billion acres damaged and deforested land that can be restored in ways to serve both human and ecological needs.. Scientists are now realizing that large scale restoration of trees and greenery and healthy soil can also absorb vast amount of Carbon Dioxide and even help to reverse climate change.”

Fmr. Vice-President of the United States Al Gore (via exclusive pre-recorded video message)

“Must we change? Everyday we pour another 110 million tons of global warming pollutants into the atmosphere as it is an open sewer and the extra heat energy trapped by all of that man made global warming is now equal to the heat energy that would be released by 400,000 hiroshima bombs exploding every single day in our atmosphere.”

“Not only are the atmosphere is telling us we must change, mother nature is telling us we must change.”

“2015 is a critical year for climate action. Later this year the leaders of governments from every nation from the world will meet in Paris to try to finally to secure global agreement to solve the climate crisis. We need support from everyone, including the grassroots activism to encourage and to insure that the necessary actions are taken by the leaders attending these talks.”

“Leaders in the faith communities of this nation and nations all around the world the world should continue to actively engage in helping people in empower themselves to defend their communities, families, the earth.”

“Every great moral cause ultimately is resolved into a choice between what is right and what is wrong. It has been a long hard journey to reach that stage in the fight to solve the climate crisis.”

 

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

“Through generational change from parent to child, we can change our attitudes and we can change our perspectives, we can change what matters to us.”

“Climate change today is been caused for the first time in the history by humans choices. If it was for natural causes the earth would be cooling. But instead we are warming faster and faster because of the choices we make and how we get our energy.”

“Whenever we burn carbon based fuels, we produce carbon that is rapping around our planet like an extra blanket that we do not need and that is trapping the too much of the heat inside.”

“It is not the case of living within our limits of our available resources, it’s the case of not using the resources that we do have.”

“Climate change is urgent. Every year that goes by without coordinating consistent efforts to wean ourselves off our addiction to a dirty an increasingly dangerous source of energy is a year than increases the risks. It increases the very real risks to human life.”

“We have to fix it now with the broken and imperfect systems in which we live.”

“We all have a list of things that we care about. Some of the things in that list relate to ourselves and our family, others relate to our community, others relate to issues like global poverty or hunger. Climate change should not be an issue on that list. Because the reason why we care about climate change it is because it is impacting all of the things on the list we already care about today. How can we fix world hunger when since 1980 climate change has been causing 5 billion crop loses on average every year. Most of the loses are in countries where people live off of $2 a day. We can’t”

 

Brian McClaren

“Global warming is a matter of science and economics and politics, but it is a spiritual and moral and religious issue.”

“The movement we need must transform organized religions into organizing religions.”

“The burning of fossil fuels is closely related to the combustion of human beings; to fuel a destructive economy.”

 

Chief Francois Paulette

"The greatest sin man can make is to abuse mother earth"

 

Rev Dr. Anne Benvenuti

“Earth is our home. We have nowhere else to go and time is running out. What is needed now is total commitment and effective action by every one of us.”

 

Jonathan Granoff

“Ask every politician these three questions:

  • What are you doing to protect the environment?

  • What are you doing to eliminate poverty?

  • What are you doing to eliminate nuclear weapons?”

 

Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Archbishop Bernadito Auza

“The time to redirect our steps has passed, but it is never too late to take it now. Let’s take it now in the path that we must take, the path that leads to achieving in Paris something beautiful for our common home, and for the entire humanity, today and for all generations to come.