Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Michigan Religious Leaders Take on Global Warming

Michigan is the headquarters of the American auto industry which for years has led a successful fight against raising fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles. This is the same auto industry that invented gas-guzzling luxurious SUVs which now clog up our highways and spew out far more carbon dioxide per mile than traditional cars that have to share the roads with these behemoths whose drivers seem so oblivious to warnings about global warming and climate change. The inspiration for this invention came from trying to a find a way to circumvent the fuel efficiency standards for cars. Since SUVs are classified as light trucks they are not counted in the fleet average for cars. Good old American ingenuity. Given this association between Michigan and global warming it is particularly interesting to read an article in The New York Times about a Catholic priest who is fighting global warming in a working class suburb of Detroit. This priest has placed some solar panels and a small wind turbine on the roof of the rectory of his church. He is also very involved with a religious association that is showing films on global warming this month to thousands of congregations throughout the country. The article also describes environmental efforts in Michigan by a rabbi of a Conservative synagogue and a Catholic religious order for women.

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