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Scientist-evangelical Alaska expedition
Date:8/29/2007

Portage Glacier, AK The historic collaboration between leading scientists and Evangelicals to protect the environment, spearheaded by the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) continues this week with a trip to Alaska. A group of five scientists and five evangelical leaders began traveling together on August 25th to observe first- hand the dramatic effects of climate change on local people and on the land, ocean, plants, and wildlife of the nations northernmost state.

The goal of our trip is to witness together what human-caused climate change is doing to our world, said co-leader of the trip Eric Chivian, who shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize and is Director of the HMS Center. While this collaboration may come as a surprise to some, it makes perfect sense. Both scientists and Evangelicals see life on earth as sacred and share the same deep sense of responsibility about protecting it.

The idea is for all of us to experience what human activity is doing to Gods Creation so that we can understand the urgent importance of caring for it, added expedition co- leader Rev. Richard Cizik, Vice President for Governmental Affairs of the NAE. We dare to imagine a world in which science and religion cooperate, minimizing our differences about how Creation got started, to work together to reverse its degradation.

Led by a naturalist from Homer, Carmen Field, the group began its journey with a two- day stop in Shishmaref, a traditional Inupiaq Eskimo village in the Bering Strait with a population of about 500 people. The Inupiats have inhabited this village, located on Sarichef Island in the Chukchi Sea, for over 400 years. Because of melting sea ice and permafrost, however, the village is at high risk from storm surge erosion, and already 14 houses have fallen into the sea in recent years, raising concern that t
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Contact: Emily Huhn
Emily_Huhn@hms.harvard.edu
617-384-8739
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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