Climate Hero: Rev. Michael Malcom

Michael Malcom is the Executive Director of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light.

Unit 1 Faith Leaders
  • Main
  • Hill
  • Somplatsky-Jarman
Unit 1 Climate Decoders
  • Hill-Hendershot-Moore
  • Sister Jayanti            
  • Casey Camp

Climage change threatens many of the world’s people, and the window to change course is closing quickly. At COP26 in 2020, countries will make high-stakes decisions that will chart the course for future climate response globally. US faith communities must advocate intensely for strong decisions at COP26 and for strong global climate policy in the next 10 years.

Meeting Plan

Opening Reflection (5 min) 

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

Watch video (15 min)

Discussion (20 min)

Follow the guidance in Unit 1 for organizing and recording your discussion.

Work on Action Plan (10 min)

If you are doing a project that involves participation in worship, use this time to prepare for that. If you had a meeting with a policymaker last week, you could use this time to write a thank you note or interact with them on social media. If your meeting is not until next week, make a solid plan about how you will take care of follow-up afterward.

Wrap Up and Next Steps (10 min)

Decide how your group will continue to act together—for example, by planning a forum on climate, or by holding each other accountable for calling lawmakers regularly.

Don’t forget to have group members fill out the evaluation form, either online or on paper. If the evaluations are on paper, remember to send them to Texas Impact one of three ways:

  1. Mail them to 200 East 30th Street, Austin, Texas 78705
  2. Scan them and email the PDF to
  3. Take pictures of them with your phone and email them to
Learning Objectives

Learn about the next steps in global climate policy.

Learn about practical strategies to take faithful climate action.

Lear about the risks if the U.S. does not assume strong global climate leadership.

Key Takeaways

1.  There is no guarantee that the nations of the world will make wise choices, so advocacy matters.

2. Faith communities have special ways of communicating and relating that can be helpful at bridging partisan gaps and other polarizations.

3. The US has not always acted quickly in the face of global threats, and we should learn from that experience.

4. People of faith can employ practical strategies to raise their voices and provide climate leadership.

Discussion Questions
  1. What would people-centered climate policies look like?
  2. What does it mean when we say that “the face of action is inadequate in the U.S. and globally?”
  3. Name some current examples of policies that put people over profit–not necessarily related to climate change.
  4. What pressures exist in the U.S. that prevent strong climate policies? Are all of them economic?
  5. Why does Cherise Udell say that the answer to questions about how Americans can act for the climate are difficult? Do you agree with her?
  6. If the U.S. assumed bold, substantive global climate leadership to reduce global emissions, how would that impact you, your household, and your community in the next 10 years?  
  7. Can you envision a York Plan for climate? What elements might it include?
  8. Which speakers and statements are MOST compelling to you in Episode 4? What about in the whole video series? How can you use those statements in your own work?
  9. Which speakers and statements are LEAST compelling to you in Episode 4? What about in the whole video series? Why is that? What problems does your answer reveal for overall discussion about climate change in U.S. faith communities?
  10. What does the path of hope look like to you? How will you step forward on it?
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