Tools for Getting Engaged
A YouTube search for videos about “religion and environment” pulls up “about 86,000” selections. Fortunately those near the top include excellent contributions from leading activists such as Sally Bingham, Andrea Cohen-Kiener, Katherine Marshall, Bron Taylor, and Mary Evelyn Tucker.
A better way to look for resources, however, is to survey the archives of the major interreligious video houses, all of which have made important contributions.
Odyssey Networks, one of the largest producers of interreligious video, has paid considerable attention to the environment, climate change, and the social justice issues they raise. Currently you can download 69 features on religion and the environment; their climate-change webpage lists four documentaries. Another nine videos focus on Caring for the Earth.
Link TV not only explores climate change in a number of documentaries and news stories to watch. It is an activist media resource, providing links to dozens of climate change causes and encouraging readers to get involved. As such, it may be the most important video portal for teachers and activists focused on climate, religious or not.
Along with these media outlets, two other groups deserve mention. The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development in Jerusalem has a superb collection of 43 videos and major statements on climate by religious leaders from different traditions, including the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Jonathan Sacks. And the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, profiled in this issue, has a large descriptive, annotated bibliography of videos available on DVD and VHS that teachers should find useful.
Remembering Thomas Berry
The religious/spiritual environmental thinkers and advocates in the resources above almost universally nod in deep appreciation to Thomas Berry (1914-2009). He was the wise one who, more than anyone else, opened up for us an arena where religion, science, the Earth, and all living beings are intimately engaged with each other. Berry’s work can be found all over the web. In the short video on the right, he makes the case that the issues of climate change and the health of the Earth are the most important issues of the day.