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Opinion piece in Nature: Tobias Müller on people of faith being allies to stall climate change

Tobias Müller, post-doctoral researcher in the field of Terrorism and Political Violence at ISGA, writes how together, religious groups and scientists can be a powerful force for a liveable planet.

Müller grew up in a conservative Christian community where concerns for the environment came well behind the preparations for the Lord’s second coming. He was left heartbroken after going to university and learning how climate change was destroying thousands of peoples’ livelihoods. ‘How was it that we Christians, for whom love for neighbour is a sacred duty, were contributing to the destruction of God’s creation?’

Müller now works to get scientists to take religious groups seriously as allies in the fight against climate change. Certain framing would work effectively as many fellow believers of faith communities are severely affected by climate change such as in South Asia, the home to many Muslims and Hindus, and the Christians in sub-Saharan Africa.

What works?

‘Time and again, I see chances to connect falter because of wrong assumptions and miscommunication. As a result, I’ve developed strategies, such as a common framing, that help to strengthen these opportunities.’

Müller lists what he found that works in terms of these strategies:

  • Collaboration with religious scientists and leaders
  • Stories speak louder than graphs
  • Talk about what matters to the audience

Read the full opinion piece in Nature here

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