In the US, January 2006 was the warmest January on record–and the records extend back to 1895. So it’s apropos that today also heralded an unusual alignment of actors, all striving to address climate change (and accomplish some other things too).

Sweden vows to one-up President Bush’s pledge to break America’s addiction to oil. The Scandinavian country of 9 million pledged to end its dependency on oil by 2020, for economic as well as environmental reasons. Ambitious, to say the least.

NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman argues strongly for a high federal gas tax—as a matter of national security. [Pay subscription required.] Friedman quotes a foreign policy expert saying, "We have a Marshall Plan. It’s our energy policy. It’s a Marshall plan for terrorists and dictators."

And perhaps most importantly, a group of 86 major US evangelical leaders signs onto an initiative to combat global warming. Among the supporters are such influential leaders as Rick Warren (megachurch pastor and author of The Purpose-Driven Life), Ted Haggard, (pastor of New Life Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals), and Duane Litfin (president of Wheaton College).

The group’s statement is worth reading. It argues that, "Love of God, love of neighbor, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action."

The Cascadian leaders joining the pledge are…

  • Dr. Jay A. Barber, Jr., President, Warner Pacific College, Portland, OR
  • H. David Brandt, Ph.D., President, George Fox University, Newberg, OR
  • Brent Hample, Executive Director, India Partners, Eugene OR
  • Jennifer Jukanovich, Founder, The Vine, Seattle, WA
  • Brian O’Connell, President, REACT Services; Founder and Former Executive Director, Religious Liberty Commission, World Evangelical Alliance; Mill Creek, WA
  • William P. Robinson, Ph.D., President, Whitworth College, Spokane, WA
  • Richard Stearns, President, World Vision, Federal Way, WA
  • John Warton, President, Business Professional Network, Portland, OR