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Earth next to plant and heart

Creation care and the climate crisis

James Whitehead James Whitehead
2 min

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the tree of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:11-12 

The climate crisis can feel overwhelming. How can we as Christians respond in the face of such momentous changes? God’s creation is in crisis. Yet it can seem that we are up against entrenched interests and powerful forces that have little interest in solving the devastating warming of our planet.

The consequences are all too obvious – whether it’s successive droughts in the Horn of Africa or wildfires in Australia, unseasonal flooding in Bangladesh or, closer to home, the constant breaking news of another hottest or wettest month since records began.

International Tree Foundation 

I have seen the effects of the crisis up close. For example, in Uganda earlier this year I saw how torrential rain has stripped the soil off already degraded hillsides resulting in dangerous mudslides. The consequences in terms of flooding for families living downstream are devastating. Communities are becoming worse off and life becomes more precarious.

At International Tree Foundation, we work on both sides of the climate crisis – working with those dealing with the consequences but also tackling the causes. We know that tree-planting, when done right, locks carbon into the vegetation and the soil. At the same time this restorative work creates resilience and improves the lives of those who are at the frontline of climate change.


Is there any hope?

As Christians, what is our role in all this? Where do we start? My view is that every step matters, every small contribution helps us heal our planet. As a note of hope, at International Tree Foundation we are seeing landscapes restored, step by step, tree by tree, including on the slopes of the Ruwenzori mountains in Uganda. Creation care in action, a joyful sight! My Christian faith also gives me cause for hope. I believe that God cares deeply for humanity and for creation. We can all play a role in healing our precious planet.

In-person event on faith and the climate crisis

Stewardship is organising a panel discussion with International Tree Foundation to discuss creation care and the climate crisis in London on 12 October at 18:45.



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Written by

James Whitehead

James has been CEO of International Tree Foundation since October 2022. James has twenty years’ experience in development and environmental work bridging community-led local action and international policy across multiple regions. He has had a number of high level roles in the third sector and is passionate about advancing social justice while addressing climate change. His favourite tree is the Common Oak!