Anna Jane Joyner Talks Climate Action to Rolling Stone

anna jane joyner from yearsoflivingdangerouslycom screencap

Featured in this month’s Archive Issue of Rolling Stone, popular climate change activist Anna Jane Joyner received another boost in her already lofty platform. “Can a Christian Make Conservatives Care About Climate Change?” Is the title of Coco McPherson’s spotlight on the famous Preacher’s Daughter.

Anna Jane Joyner’s father, Rick, founded a global-wide mega church home based in South Carolina. Featured last year on Showtime’s documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, Anna debated with her famous preacher father on an exciting episode about climate change.

As Anna told Coco, “What I found was that his resistance had very little to do with theology and much more to do with his entrenched political ideology.” Anna explained, “Conservative talking heads and think tanks don’t have to prove the science, they just have to introduce an element of doubt.” To get an idea of the current state of climate change denial, just read the comments following Anna Jane Joyner’s spotlight, they are incredible.

Anna Jane Joyner Preaching Climate Action

Zooming to the top of popularity charts among Millennials, 29-year-old Anna Jane Joyner has found her own spot of sunshine in which to stand. She doesn’t stand still for long, though. Preaching her own brand of climate action is clearly Anna’s forte’ and she has become a highly sought-after spokesperson representing religious conservatives who care deeply about environmental stewardship.

As a consultant for the Here Now campaign initiated by the innovative team at Purpose, Anna is part of a group testing new story-telling techniques for discussing climate change with evangelical Christians and other difficult-to-engage audiences.


The Popularity of Faith-Based Story-Telling

As M.C. of the 2nd annual Climate Stewardship Summit in Connecticut last Fall, Anna joined with many faith leaders and notable environmental activists for a weekend of in-depth spiritual exploration of how to combat climate change. Hosted by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN), this summit was attended by hundreds of members from faith communities across the New England East Coast region.

The first goal of the summit was to empower participants, training them in the art of faith-based storytelling, to improve communication at local, regional and national levels. The second goal was to give participants more information about addressing climate change through direct advocacy actions.

A Huge Host of Non Mobilized Evangelicals

Regarding 80 million evangelicals in the U.S. who need more convincing about biblical compatibility with environmentalism, Anna Jane Joyner explained to Coco, “There’s a huge host of faith communities who get it theologically, who even get the science piece of it,” she said, “but they’re not mobilized in taking action.”

Taking the strategy of story-telling to a higher level, Purpose’s Here Now campaign (@weareherenow on twitter) is actively engaged in building solutions for reaching new audiences and mobilizing greater numbers of people.


Here Now: “The Big Change We Need”

As Here Now says on their website, “All over the world people are taking heroic action to save our climate… We’re banding together a global team of campaigners, storytellers, creatives and data geeks to help the climate movement test and try bold, new things faster. Together we’re unlocking new forms of participation to create the big change we need.”

The first project of Purpose’s new global climate initiative, Here Now, was #WalkTheWalk. It was launched in concert with the Peoples’ Climate March in New York City last September.

An ownerless, open-source social media campaign, #WalkTheWalk reached 85 million people through online videos, tweets, and other social posts. The campaign “provided a highly visual, easy, and personal way for people around the world who couldn’t be at the march, or who wanted to take dynamic action online, to attend in spirit and send a message to world leaders that they care about climate change.”

Movement Entrepreneurship

Here Now is a project of Purpose, a home for building movements driven by people and enabled by technology. Creating and launching new ventures and movement organizations in the areas where they believe Purpose can make the most difference, they describe Purpose as, “movement entrepreneurship.”

As Purpose says on their Facebook page: “People are waking up to their own power, coming together at a scale and speed unimaginable just a few years ago. How can new social and economic models harness this power—and what should enlightened organizations do to respond to this new world? That’s why we created Purpose.”

Following in Pope Francis’ Footsteps

In the new Rolling Stone article, Anna Jane Joyner told Coco she is excited about Pope Francis’ planned action on climate change prior to Paris 2015. Anna said optimistically, “We’re experiencing climate impacts, but we have the solutions ready to go.” Continuing, she explained, “Renewable energy is an economic driver and a climate solution, and getting [Obama’s] Clean Power Plan enacted is critical.”

Please join me in offering Anna Jane Joyner a loud “Amen!”

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About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid (Birth-name Kathleen Vail) is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, sustainable economics, corporate social responsibility, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.