August 18, 2013 How to Talk To Religious People About Climate Change
I just read this in a book (Missing the Point by Gidon Rothstein): [from an Orthodox Jewish perspective] “it would seem to be impossible that global warming would ever get so bad as to wipe out humanity (at least before the arrival of the Messiah).” In other words, if your religion requires you to believe in a Messiah (whether a Jewish Messiah or the Second Coming of Jesus) you are not going to be amenable to overheated (pun intended) arguments about “saving the Earth.”
So if you are an environmentalists and you are speaking about climate change with religious traditionalists, don’t tell them that humanity will be destroyed, because that argument will get you instant rejection. On the other hand, it might not hurt to remind them that even if only 1 percent (60 million) of humanity dies prematurely, that’s 10 Holocausts.
Of course, if you are talking with people who are otherwise on the Right, you still have to persuade them that (1) climate change is a serious problem, and (2) that whatever you propose might actually make a difference. But these questions I leave to people with more scientific expertise than I.