Climate Hero: Adrian Shelley

Adrian Shelley is a retired oil and gas executive from Houston, Texas

Unit 1 Faith Leaders
  • Regina Q. Banks
  • Reverend Bill Somplatsky-Jarman
  • Reverend Mel Caraway
  • Christian Brooks
  • John Hill
Unit 1 Climate Decoders
  • Reverend Susan Hendershot
  • Sister Jayanti Kirpala
  • Ruth Ivory-Moore
  • John Hill
  • Casey Camp

Climate change is important to people of faith, and faith communities have been involved in global climate policy since the beginning. Faith communities have helped make the process more inclusive and open for everyone. That’s important, because while scientists can diagnose the problems, it’s up to voters and communities to help policymakers address the issues.

Meeting Plan

Opening Reflection (10 min)

Consider opening your meeting with a prayer or reading from your faith tradition that focuses on ideas of shared responsibility. See some examples under the Resources section of this study guide, or feel free to use whatever speaks to your group.

Remember to invite all participants to introduce themselves. Depending on your circumstances, you might ask each person to say one sentence about why they are participating in this study.

Watch video (15 min)

Options for watching the videos:

  1. Play them on the study guide website
  2. Play them directly on YouTube
  3. Download them and play from your computer

Discussion (20 min)

Depending on how many people are in your group, you might want to break into smaller groups for discussion, or even break into pairs. You probably will not have time to discuss all the questions that are suggested—and you might have some additional questions of your own. Consider writing the questions you are discussing on a whiteboard or other area where everyone can see them.

Capturing your discussion

It’s a good idea to capture your discussion in some form, for group members who aren’t present or to share with others. Here are a few suggestions for ways to record your discussion: 

  1. Use a flip chart and note-taker to capture the discussion.
  2. If you break into smaller groups, have each smaller group write 3 “takeaways” on Post-It notes and stick them next to the relevant question on the whiteboard. Take a photo of the board when everyone is done.
  3. Take your notes into a shared online document like a Google doc and share it with the group members.

Work on Action Plan (10 min)

The point of this study it to prepare and mobilize you to advocate for strong U.S. climate policy leadership. For three weeks, your group will learn about climate policy. As you learn, you will have chances to share what you are learning in your faith community; your local community; and the public square.

This week, your group should review the suggested projects in the Action Center. Ideally, you will do one project directed at each of the three audiences (faith community, local community, public square). Depending on your circumstances, you might choose to do more or fewer projects, or you might decide to divide the projects among subgroups.

Use the form found in the Action Center to describe what you will be doing, and how your group will be dividing up the work.

Wrap Up (5 min)

Invite each group member to say one thing they learned today that surprised them.

Learning Objectives

Understand key terms and facts about the global climate policy process

Understand why US faith communities would be invested in the global climate policy process

Learn about four Americans of faith who are participating in climate action in the US and internationally and orient to their various perspectives

Key Takeaways

Faith communities are core participants in the COP as part of Civil Society

Faith communities have worked hard to make the COP inclusive

Faith communities bring unique perspective to the climate conversation because of their involvement in ministries with impacted people and their moral lens

US faith communities have a responsibility to engage climate policy because of that unique perspective, and US policymakers want to hear from faith communities

Discussion Questions
  1. How much did you already know about climate change as a faith issue?
  2. The speakers gave different rationales for connecting climate and faith. Which rationales resonated most deeply for you?
  3. Which, if any, did you disagree with?
  4. How much did you already know about your own faith tradition’s involvement in the COP?
  5. What are some of the ways that ministries of faith communities intersect with climate change?
  6. Have you seen that intersection in your own faith community?
  7. How are youth voices important in the climate policy conversation?
  8. What hopes and concerns do you have for youth participation in global policy discussions?
  9. Who in the video do you identify with most?
  10. Who do you identify least with least?
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