Minnehaha Academy Blog

Paul Douglas & Rev. Mitch Hescox Talk Climate Change and Creation Care

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Nov 16, 2016 11:44:00 AM

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Creation care and climate change were the topics of the day yesterday at the Upper School. Students had the opportunity to hear meteorologist Paul Douglas and Evangelical Environmental Network Director Mitch Hescox talk about these issues in several classes and during assembly.

Douglas and Hescox discussed not only the science behind climate change, but the Biblical call for Christians to care about the earth. 

“Piling on more science doesn't help,” said Douglas. “In fact, it may hinder efforts to open eyes, hearts and minds. We approach this from the standpoint of stewardship, creation care and energy freedom.” 

Creation Care is Caring for Others

Hescox noted that creation care is really caring for people, and referenced Matthew 25:30, "...when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!" The effects of climate change will first impact those that have the least - those in the developing world, Hescox explained to the students.

Optimistic for the Future

While Douglas and Hescox both noted many challenges we face because of climate change, they are at the end, optimistic for two reasons:

  1. Technological innovations - lower prices in solar and wind power
  2. The upcoming generation isn't skeptical and can innovate to make change happen

Douglas said, “Solving this challenge requires nothing less than a transformation to the world's energy sector. But the arc of technology is moving in our direction - we will figure this out, just like we've tackled other looming challenges. It’s a chance to prove American exceptionalism one more time.”

It wasn't just students who were inspired by the visit. Following the event Douglas commented, "Mitch and I were very impressed with your staff and kids - it provided a much-needed jolt of inspiration and hope. I'm not just saying that to be polite - you have AMAZING kids, and they really helped to get us pumped up." 

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Community Conversation

Community members gathered in the evening at Minnehaha Academy to hear Douglas and Hescox speak as well. The event was a chance to hear the latest in climate change science, understand why Christians should care about the earth and hear tips for making earth friendly changes, such as getting a home energy audit to uncover energy waste, reducing food waste and getting more involved in the conservation conversation. 

A Series of Visiting Professionals

Having Paul and Mitch come to discuss climate change with the students rounded off a series of visits by professionals that offer a variety of perspectives on the issues. Last spring, Katharine Hayhoe discussed her research from a scientific perspective. Earlier this semester, Bob Inglis discussed the political intricacies of the climate change discussion. On Tuesday, Paul Douglas brought the economic and entrepreneurial perspective and Mitch Hescox discussed the Biblical and ethical responsibilities we have to God's creation, including people all over the world that are being significantly affected by changing climate.
 
"Discussing a topic like this can often lead to despair, but Paul and Mitch encouraged our students that they can make a difference, whether it be through politics, prayer, entrepreneurship or engineering," said STEM teacher Sam Meyers."Their prediction that these students will become the next 'greatest generation' was inspirational to me as a teacher and, I hope, our students as the future leaders of our world." 
 
"While not all views from the guests are shared with all of our students, it is important to hear and understand the perspectives of a variety of people on important issues like this," explained Meyers.
 
"Minnehaha wants its graduates to have an empathetic approach to solving the challenging problems facing our world today. My goal in bringing these professionals to Minnehaha is to foster that sense of empathy. The students welcomed all of the guests with open arms and minds, interacted with them on a very professional level, and asked great probing questions that they were curious about. They continue to follow the happenings of these guests as they surface in the news. I truly believe that the curriculum of several classes has been enriched through these visits."
 
Further Reading

For more information, Hescox and Douglas have a new book Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment. for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment. 

Special thanks to Audubon Minnesota, Fresh Energy, and Bethany House for helping to make the event a success! 

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