As religious groups become more and more committed to protecting the environment and more aware of the tradeoffs involved, the pros and cons of conservation are starkly visible in the mountains and hollows of Appalachia. There, coal companies engage not only in deep mining and strip mining, but also in what's called mountaintop removal.
Read more of Bob Abernethy's October 16, 2006 interview in Cambridge, Massachusetts with E.O. Wilson.
According to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, solid majorities of all major American religious groups back stronger measures to protect the environment. Even though some conservative evangelicals are less likely to make environmental protection a priority, evangelical leaders are speaking out about what they see as a biblical obligation to protect all of creation.
Earth Day is the day set aside each year for reaffirming a commitment to protecting the environment. In recent years, because of a shift in thinking about the natural world, many faith communities have been taking up the cause of the environment. This movement is particularly strong along the banks of the Columbia River, where salmon has been declared an endangered species.