A Pastor’s Perspective on Climate Change
For many people, climate is abstract. But for Rev. Dr. Salguero, it’s personal. In a recent op-ed for The Huffington Post, Rev. Dr. Salguero (a member of the Blessed Tomorrow Leadership Circle and president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition) explains how has seen climate’s impacts firsthand in the faces of the poor and vulnerable in New York where he helped spearhead relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy. He has even seen it in his own home where his wife and son struggle with asthma worsened by poor air quality and higher temperatures.
Solving climate change, according to Rev. Dr. Salguero, begins with recognizing how it affects the people and values we treasure most and acting based on our hopes, rather than our fears. He points to Blessed Tomorrow as a powerful program that can help people of faith work towards climate solutions as a means of living out the mission of their faith.
The Rev. Gabriel Salguero, Contributor to The Huffington Post and President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition
When you say climate change, the first thing that most people think of is polar bears. For me, a different image comes to mind — my family and my flock.
I’ve not always realized the significance of climate change. It wasn’t until the topic was part of a summit in London that I attended where Prince Charles hosted us at his organic farm that I began to recognize how it is affecting populations around the world. Talking with scientists and representatives from all over the world, and particularly the Global South, whose communities are being displaced by climate change, I came to understand the disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations. It was then that I committed to do everything I can to help those most affected.
Together with my wife, Jeanette, I serve a diverse evangelical congregation in Lower Manhattan. When Hurricane Sandy struck our city, causing billions of dollars in damage, we knew we had to act. We launched an inter-denominational relief effort spearheaded by an organization I lead, the National Latino Evangelical Association (NaLEC), which represents over 3,000 congregations across the country. With the help of many different churches, local volunteers and the generosity of thousands, we were able to provide water, food, clothes and other support to people whose homes were lost and lives turned upside down.