Using God Talk—or Not—to Help the Planet?

Posted by Jim Gunshinan on January 12, 2018
Using God Talk—or Not—to Help the Planet?

I am always impressed with the work of Susan Shelton and the Shelton Group. So an email message with the subject line from her office, “Age, religion & environmental messaging: what works?” immediately caught my attention.

In an Eco Pulse special report, “United We Understand,” the Shelton Group digs into their research on how best to reach an audience about environmental concerns. An associate of Shelton, Lea Ann Head, looked at some of that data and wrote up a report, “Should we try to leverage religious beliefs in environmental messaging?

It’s an interesting report and I won’t spoil it here, but I want to share one finding of the Eco Pulse survey. A whopping 42% of people who took a human-centric, we-rule-the-earth approach—that of most Evangelical Christians—were not so open to environmental messaging. But the 28% who took an earth-centric, we-care-for-the-earth-for-the-earth’s-sake approach—that of most Millennials—were much more open to environmental messaging. This offers some promise. If we can get people of all stripes to see that human life and the life of the earth are connected, and that a healthy planet means healthy human communities, than the messages about environmental stewardship may just get through.

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