Concepts and Definitions

The Episcopal Creation Care & Eco-Justice Glossary provides the following definitions of major creation care concepts

Climate Crisis: Severe problems that arise as human activity increases the level of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases (greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere, and the world’s average global temperature soars.


Clean, Safe, and Renewable Energy: Clean energy is energy produced by methods that do not release greenhouse gases or other pollutants. Safe energy is energy produced with minimal harm to the environment and/or human health (for example, it does not require the disposal of radioactive waste or coal ash). Renewable energy is energy that comes from sources that are naturally regenerated over a short period of time (as opposed to the 300 million years required for fossil fuels). It is derived directly or indirectly from the sun or from Earth’s natural movements and mechanisms, and it is appropriate in scale to work symbiotically with its ecological surroundings. Clean, safe, and renewable energy might be sourced from wind, solar, or geothermal power; it is not sourced from large-scale biofuel, biomass, mega-hydro dams, nuclear energy, or energy derived from burning waste.


Eco-Justice: The well-being of humankind on a thriving earth.  The condition or principle of being just or equitable with respect to ecological sustainability and protection of the environment, as well as social and economic issues.

Environmental Justice: 1. Fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies (EPA). 2. The universal right to collective environmental, political, economic self-determination.

Environmental Racism: 1. Environmental injustice that occurs in practice and in policy within a racialized context (Benjamin Chavis). 2. Any policy, practice, or directive that differentially affects or disadvantages (whether intended or unintended) individuals, groups, or communities based on race or color (Robert Bullard).

The National Geographic Society also provides useful definitions and descriptions of the various types of pollution that are causing serious deterioration of Earth as a habitat for all living things, including people. 

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