Past Event

Climate & Culture

Religious Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

Climate & Culture: Religious Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship

Featured Speakers:
John Carr, Secretary, Department of Social Development and World Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Rev. Richard Cizik, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals
Sister Patricia Daly, Executive Director, Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Coordinator, Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light

Moderated by:
John Podesta, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Center for American Progress

Caring for the earth as God’s creation is a mandate of many faith traditions. Sacred texts are filled with reverence for the world and its inhabitants as manifestations of the divine. And yet the world is in peril. Global warming threatens to bring massive hardship and destruction to people as well as nature. In the face of this threat, many religious leaders and congregations are becoming increasingly active on global warming issues. Does the religious community offer a new way to mobilize the public on climate change? What can the environmental and religious communities learn from each other? Are there obstacles to these groups working together or can they forge a successful partnership? Should cooperation be a goal?

Please join the Center for American Progress in the second of a series on “Climate and Culture” as we explore these questions with a distinguished panel of religious leaders.



Note: All video provided in  QuickTime (MPEG-4)  format.

Event Transcript

Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Program: 10:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M.
Admission is free

Center for American Progress
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For the last decade, John Carr has served as director of the Department of Social Development and World Peace at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In this role, he assists the bishops in sharing and applying Catholic social teaching, advocating on the moral dimensions of key domestic and international issues, and building the Catholic community’s capacity to act on its social mission. For 25 years, Carr has been involved in Catholic social ministry, serving as Cardinal Hickey’s Secretary of Social Concerns in Washington, D.C., as Education Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, as Coordinator for Urban Issues at the USCC, and as Legislative Coordinator for the Archdiocese of St.Paul-Minneapolis. Outside the Church, he has served as Executive Director of the White House Conference on Families and as Director of the National Committee for Full Employment. John Carr and his wife, Linda, have four children.

The Reverend Richard Cizik is Vice President for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals.  His primary responsibilities include setting NAE’s policy direction on issues before Congress, the White House, and Supreme Court, as well as serving as a national spokesman on issues of concern to evangelicals. His background includes a B.A. (cum laude) in Political Science from Whitworth College; M.A. in Public Affairs from the George Washington University School of Public & International Affairs (now called the Elliot School of International Affairs); Master of Divinity (Master of Divinity) from Denver Seminary, and an honorary Doctorate of Ministry from the Methodist Episcopal Church in Christian Leadership. Post-graduate research awards include a Scottish-Rite Graduate Fellowship to George Washington University and a Rotary International Graduate Fellowship to the Republic of China.  He is the author of over 100 published articles and editorials, author and editor of The High Cost of Indifference (Regal Books), a contributor to On Christian Freedom (University Press of America), the Dictionary of Christianity in America (Inter-Varsity Press), and the landmark document “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Engagement.” Rev. Cizik was ordained in 1992 to a specific ministry calling in public affairs with the National Association of Evangelicals by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (one of 51 member denominations of NAE) and maintains a very active preaching and speaking schedule. He is married to Virginia Jackson Lutz and is the father of two boys, Rich, Jr. and John, ages 15 and 12. The family resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Sister Patricia Daly serves as the Executive Director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, an organization of 35 Roman Catholic Dioceses and Congregations of Women and Men in the New York metropolitan area. Daly is also the Corporate Responsibility Representative for the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, New Jersey. She has worked in Corporate Responsibility and Socially Responsible Investing for over 25 years. Over the years Daly has negotiated with companies on issues of human rights, labor, ecological concerns, militarism, equality, health and tobacco and international debt and capital flows. She has played a role in forcing General Electric to pay for a clean-up of the Hudson River, positioning the agenda of global warming into the priorities of Corporate America, and is a founder of Campaign ExxonMobil: calling this oil giant to task on matters related to climate change. Daly has worked to encourage investors to participate in the work of their companies and continues to mentor people in effective strategies for systemic change. She has lectured internationally and has been featured in a variety of news outlets including The New York Times, CNN, 60 Minutes, The Star Ledger and NPR.

Rabbi Daniel Swartz serves as the Coordinator for Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, a new project of the Churches’ Center on Theology and Public Policy and the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. GWIPL works with congregations and other religious institutions in the Washington area to address moral and practical dimensions to energy use – including how to save energy and money, how to buy clean, renewable energy, and how to educate congregants about climate change, social justice, and religious ethics. Before coming to Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, Rabbi Daniel Swartz was the Executive Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network, Associate Director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, and Director of Congregational Relations for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. He has also published op-eds in national papers, as well as studies of religious traditions and environmental values, including “To Till and To Tend: A Guide for Jewish Environmental Study and Action”, published by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. Rabbi Swartz is also a published children’s book author, including Bim and Bom: A Shabbat Tale. In addition to ordination and his MHL, Rabbi Swartz holds degrees from Brown University in Geological Sciences and in Environmental Policy. He has received numerous academic honors, including prizes Scholarship and Scholastic Excellence from the Hebrew Union College, the Senior Prize in Environmental Studies from Brown, and election to both Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. The most important thing in his life is his marriage to Roya Fahmy Swartz and their daughter, Alana.

John Podesta is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress. Podesta served as Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, where he was responsible for directing, managing, and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, Congressional relations, and staff activities of the White House. He coordinated the work of cabinet agencies with a particular emphasis on the development of federal budget and tax policy, and served in the President’s Cabinet and as a Principal on the National Security Council. A frequent guest of Sunday morning news programs, Podesta is known for his straight talk, acerbic wit, and fierce defense of the Clinton Administration – which he also served from 1997 to 1998 as both an Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. Earlier, from January 1993 to 1995, he was Assistant to the President, Staff Secretary and a senior policy adviser on government information, privacy, telecommunications security and regulatory policy. Podesta is currently a Visiting Professor of Law on the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center, a position he also held from January 1995 to 1997. He has taught courses on technology policy, congressional investigations, legislation, copyright and public interest law. Podesta is considered one of Washington’s leading experts in technology policy, and has written a book, several articles and lectured extensively in these areas. Podesta has held a number of positions on Capitol Hill including: Counselor to Democratic Leader Senator Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996); Chief Counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee (1987-1988); Chief Minority Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks; Security and Terrorism; and Regulatory Reform; and Counsel on the Majority Staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee (1979-1981). In addition, in 1988, Podesta founded with his brother Tony, Podesta Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C. government relations and public affairs firm. A Chicago native, Podesta worked as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Honors Program in the Land and Natural Resources Division (1976-1977), and as a Special Assistant to the Director of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency, (1978-1979). He has served as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the United States Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Podesta is a 1976 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and a 1971 graduate of Knox College.