PROTECTING THE SACRED: WATER, THE ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE, a CBS interfaith special, looks at how communities are responding to one of the greatest threats of our time. This special broadcast will air Sunday, Sept. 24 (check local listings) on the CBS Television Network.
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist and professor at Texas Tech University, speaks to the negative impact that climate change is having on the planet and how there is a narrow window of opportunity to mitigate further damage.
Last year, 10,000 Native American and non-native demonstrators took a stand against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The construction of the fossil fuel pipeline near the tribe’s land put their only source of drinking water at risk. Some of the protestors called themselves water protectors, and their rallying cry of “mni wiconi,” or “water is life,” can still be heard in similar movements across the country. In this program, Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth and a member of the Couchiching First Nation in Ontario, reflects on native traditions, their role as environmental stewards and bringing attention to issues related to climate change.
Dr. Christiana Zenner Peppard, associate professor of theology, science and ethics at Fordham University in New York, discusses how water as a vital and life-giving resource is also one of the ways people feel the effects of climate change and what the implications are for individuals and society in the long term.
In Lancaster, Pa., a grassroots coalition of people of faith and no particular faith formed Lancaster Against Pipelines three years ago to oppose the construction of a fossil fuel pipeline in the area. The Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a Catholic order of nuns, joined the resistance last year and recently filed a lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorizing the construction and operation of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. The lawsuit states that the construction of the pipeline violates their civil rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Among those interviewed are Lancaster Against Pipelines co-founders Malinda and Mark Clatterbuck and Sister Sara Dwyer, ASC.
John P. Blessington is senior executive producer and Liz Kineke is producer. In creating the topics and content for this series, they sought input from religious scholars, clergy and others including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh and various interfaith organizations.