July 20, 2022

EP. 274 — If Faith Moves Mountains, Can It Also Move Climate Action? with Dekila Chungyalpa

In 2015, Senator Jim Inhofe brought a snowball to Congress to “prove” that climate change wasn’t real. Only God, he claimed, could change the climate. He was wrong on two fronts: one, climate change is real. And two, faith and climate science are *not* incompatible. This week, Dekila Chungyalpa joins Jonathan to discuss her work collaborating with faith leaders on climate efforts, how she confronts climate change disinterest and skepticism, and why she’s bringing the sacred back into science.

Dekila Chungyalpa is the founder and director of the Loka Initiative, a capacity building and outreach platform at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for faith leaders and culture keepers of Indigenous traditions who work on environmental and climate issues. She received the prestigious Yale McCluskey Award in 2014 for her work and moved to the Yale School of Environmental Studies as an associate research scientist, where she researched, lectured and designed the prototype for what is now the Loka Initiative. Dekila is originally from the Himalayan state of Sikkim in India and is of Bhutia origin.

You can keep up with Dekila by visiting her Facebook and by following her on Twitter and Instagram @dchungyalpa.

For more information about the Loka Initiative, visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @LokaInitiative and on Instagram @loka.initiative.

Struggling with eco-anxiety? Read Dekila’s five tips on how to alleviate eco-anxiety or visit SoundCloud, Tricycle Magazine, or the Healthy Minds app for contemplative practices to address eco-anxiety and climate distress. 

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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.

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Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Dekila Chungyalpa JVN [00:00:00] Welcome back to Getting Curious! I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I get to sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by Dekila Chungyalpa, where I ask her: If faith can move mountains, can it also fix climate change? Welcome to Getting Curious. This is Jonathan Van Ness. We have such an interesting episode. I feel like all of our episodes are interesting, but this one’s especially interesting because it’s super intersectional. It’s, like, bringing, like, all these worlds together. So welcome to the show, Dekila Chungyalpa, who is the founder and director of the Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She works with faith leaders and religious institutions to support environmental protections, sustainable development and global health. She is also from Sikkim

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