The Climate Change Thread

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:18 am

+JMJ+

Shunning virus and Big Oil, Alaska tribe revives traditions [In-Depth]
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In this June 14, 2019 photo, a four-wheeler is ridden through Arctic Village, Alaska. If the pandemic has deepened the sense of isolation for the 8,000 or so Gwich’in, sprinkled across northeastern Alaska into Canada, it has also emphasized the importance of the tribe’s traditions and its profound spiritual connection to the homelands that sustain the caribou and other wildlife on which they depend. (AP/Religion News Service/Brian Adams)

Arctic Village, Alaska — Arriving home on one of the last regular flights before pandemic restrictions went into effect in mid-February, Sarah James got to her house to find two caribous worth of meat in her freezer.

Since flights have become intermittent to this indigenous village 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, said James, a leader of the Gwich'in Athabascan people, the store periodically runs out of basics like meat and sugar. Subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering have been more critical than ever.

To ensure that Arctic Village's population of fewer than 200 have enough to eat, the village council has designated several members to hunt caribou, the Gwich'in's traditional staple. Someone had also taken time to make sure that James' freezer was well stocked.

If the pandemic has deepened the sense of isolation for the 8,000 or so Gwich'in, sprinkled across northeastern Alaska into Canada, it has also emphasized the importance of the tribe's traditions and its profound spiritual connection to the homelands that sustain the caribou and other wildlife on which they depend.

Young people, James said, suddenly understand the traditional value of sharing as they deliver fish and other foods right to elders' doors so they don't risk exposure to the virus.

While nobody in Arctic Village so far has been known to have COVID-19, medical care is precarious — at the small clinic there is no running water, and it's staffed by a health aide who is a trainee and a traveling physician's assistant who comes every couple of weeks. But the Gwich'in have long responded to multiple threats to their life and land by reinvesting in their people's place as protectors of their historic home.

For much of the past generation, the biggest threat has been an oil industry intent on gaining access to one of the country's last untapped petroleum reserves. In 1988, a year after the Reagan administration recommended development of the Alaskan coastal plain, the Gwich'in Nation held its first gathering in more than 100 years in Arctic Village and established the Gwich'in Steering Committee. The non-profit is commissioned with educating the world about the threat to the refuge.

James became one of the tribe's first spokespersons, traveling to Washington to lobby Congress and around the world to build a coalition of opposition to Reagan's plan. She still leads the legal fight against Big Oil and the federal government with partners like the Native American Rights Fund, while the steering committee pursues an education and influence campaign through traditional and social media, with support of environmental organizations.

Since the Gwich'in began their fight, too, the disposition of the coastal plain, which includes the 19 million-acre Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), almost the size of South Carolina, has become a national debate. In the mid-2000s, it helped force a government shutdown under President Bill Clinton. In 2015, the Obama administration proposed designating 1.25 million acres of the coastal plain off limits to development, along with more than 10 million acres elsewhere in Alaska, but the proposal went nowhere in a Republican-controlled Congress.

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In this June 2019, photo is Gwich'in Nation elder Sarah James at her home in Arctic Village, Alaska. Now, with flights to their remote villages curtailed due to COVID-19, the Gwich’in Athabascan people have become more dependent on hunting, fishing and gathering and the traditions that run through their ancient way of life. Young people, James said, suddenly understand the traditional value of sharing as they deliver fish and other foods right to elders’ doors so they don’t risk exposure to the virus. (Religion News Service/AP/Brian Adams)

Since September of last year, when the Trump administration announced it would carry out its own plan to open the coastal plain to drilling, the Interior Department has been weighing a sale this year of oil leases on the 1.56 million acres in ANWR. The effort has so far survived the recent plunge in oil prices.

"I don't think the bidding would be driven by today's prices," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told Bloomberg in mid-May. "I don't generally believe that decisions on whether or not to bid in a lease sale are really driven by the near-term dynamics."

But for the Gwich'in, the fight is as much a spiritual and cultural one. The tribe's defense has prompted a cultural renaissance in Alaska's rural villages. Young Gwich'in have turned to their elders to recapture indigenous languages. They are taking up traditional arts and crafts and studying food preservation techniques like smoking and drying. Tribal gatherings open and close with prayers, drumming, dancing and ceremonies that the young Gwich'ins' grandparents were discouraged and even punished for performing in colonial days.

James' leadership is representative of this rebirth, particularly of the Gwich'in matrilineal society that Alaska's white colonizers once tried to end.

[…]

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In this June 2019 photo, Gwich'in Nation elder Sarah James shows the altar at the Episcopal Church in Arctic Village, Alaska. If the coronavirus pandemic has deepened the sense of isolation for the 8,000 or so Gwich’in, sprinkled across northeastern Alaska into Canada, it has also emphasized the importance of the tribe’s traditions and its profound spiritual connection to the homelands that sustain the caribou and other wildlife on which they depend. (AP/Religion News Service/Brian Adams)

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:37 am

+JMJ+

Living Laudato Si’ in Appalachia leads to mix of efforts to feed families [In-Depth]
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Lori Helfrich and Emily Whitaker of Hazard, Ky., are seen in this undated photo. (Credit: Don Clemmer/Cross Roads via CNS)

Recognizing the challenge of hunger, Helfrich and other faith leaders stepped up to create what is in effect a quilt of their own out of the patchwork of services as they develop a plan to cover the chasm of need.

HAZARD, Kentucky — Quilting used to be a big deal across Perry County in eastern Kentucky, but over the years and from one generation to the next, the craft of making quilts has fallen out of practice.

“A lot of that is dying, because people haven’t continued it,” said Lori Helfrich, parish life director at Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Hazard.

The same could be said of farming and gardening in the area. The lack of families who grow at least some of their own foods is one of numerous factors contributing to widespread food insecurity in the area.

Some churches have responded with programs to feed hungry people, but in a largely scattered and uncoordinated way. Recognizing the challenge of hunger, Helfrich and other faith leaders stepped up to create what is in effect a quilt of their own out of the patchwork of services as they develop a plan to cover the chasm of need.

“You have to be creative about it,” Helfrich told Cross Roads, the magazine of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. “How do you encourage people to come together? … You have to build relationships between people who don’t normally interact.”

[…]

Helfrich said the area’s deep poverty is rooted in different factors.

“You have people who have jobs, but they’re not paying enough to be living on. If you’re a single parent, you might be working three jobs, but you still might not be able to cover what you need to,” she said.

Helfrich also cited the widespread role of drug and alcohol addiction. “It’s in nearly every family, because it’s available and it’s a numbing of the other issues that people are facing,” she said. The addictions make it difficult for people to pass a drug test, a requirement of many employers.

Also contributing is the legacy of strip mining in the area, which “strips the land of everything and any topsoil,” Helfrich said. “That adds to food insecurity.”

And most recently, there’s the impact of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

“Food security was precarious here before the pandemic, and now the problem becomes exacerbated,” Helfrich said. “The most vulnerable populations are hit hardest when something like this unexpected happens. All of this ties together with care for our common home and Laudato Si‘.”

After last fall’s summit, Helfrich and her allies established the Food and Faith Coalition. The organization is seeking funding for some of their initiatives, which often draw on the values expressed by Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical on integral ecology, Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.

“We’re trying to link all these things,” said Emily Whitaker, a Presbyterian and one of Helfrich’s collaborators. “I love being involved in all of these projects.”

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:45 am

+JMJ+

Laudato Si' five years out: five themes from a scholarly review of its impact [In-Depth]
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Environmental activists hold up a poster with an image of Pope Francis during a "Climate Solidarity Prayer" march in Manila, Philippines, Nov. 29, 2015, ahead of the U.N. climate change conference, known as the COP21 summit, in Paris. (CNS/Reuters/Czar Dancel)

Last year at Creighton University, more than 200 people gathered for the first of a series of conferences aimed at deeper daily integration of the messages of "Laudato Si', on Care of Our Common Home." The participants arrived in Omaha from many corners of Catholic life, among them parishes, high schools, congregations of religious women, universities and the Vatican.

Dan DiLeo, an assistant professor at Creighton and one of the conference organizers, proposed publishing papers presented at the conference in the Journal of Moral Theology, which I edit. It seemed like a good way to reflect some of the work and scholarship underway as a result of Pope Francis' encyclical.

I hope you read the whole issue. But for starters, I highlight here five themes that emerged from the collection of papers and even now reflect much of what's resulted from Laudato Si' five years after its release.

1. There is still resistance.

While Laudato Si' is celebrated by so many inside and outside the church, there is still resistance to it. In her essay "What is Happening to Our Common Home?," the director of the Nebraska State Climate Office, Martha Shulski, bemoans the fact that, even though climate change is an accepted reality for scientists, it is "a 'debated' political issue." Such a situation means that the work scientists do "studying how much the climate is changing, how it varies regionally, what is causing the change, and how can we improve the models that give us projections" is in danger of being ignored.

[…]

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Click for "Laudato Si' at Five". (CNS photo/logo by Toni-Ann Ortiz for EarthBeat)

2. Work is being done in society.

Shulski's essay is not just about political resistance but also about how politics can help. She uses her role as head of Nebraska's climate office to help "farmers and ranchers, natural resource managers, public power utilities, cities, Rotarians, business leaders, the media, state agencies, insurance firms, law offices, youth, retirees, researchers, faith communities" in the state. Her office gathers and analyzes data that helps all of these constituencies make decisions and manage risk associated with climate change in the area.

In contrast to the inaction of the federal government, Goodwin notes how local activists are addressing climate change. With the support of a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the United Workers in Baltimore spent five years fighting, and eventually stopping, the construction of one of the largest incinerators in the country near a school in one of the poorest parts of the city.

3. Work is being done in the church.

Creighton University is working to be carbon neutral by 2050. En route this goal, Jesuit Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, Creighton's president, states in his opening remarks to the 2019 conference that the campus has received LEED Silver certification on new buildings and founded interdisciplinary academic programs to study environmental change. (On Feb. 18, Hendrickson announced that Creighton will partially divest its half-billion dollar endowment from fossil fuel companies.) Dominican Sr. Patricia Siemen, an attorney and prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, writes how her motherhouse negotiated with their energy provider to have 100% green sourced energy for the campus and how the Adrian Dominicans as a whole have worked to reduce their energy consumption.

[…]

4. Work comes from many corners of the church.

This collection of essays reflects several of those corners: Biviano is an academic. Siemen is a civil attorney and a Dominican sister. Hendrickson is a college administrator and a Jesuit. Martha Shulski works for the state government, and Meghan Goodwin lobbies the federal government.

[…]

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Adrian Dominican Sr. Patricia Siemen, founder of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)

5. Environmental care is part of the Gospel.

The authors see concern for the environment as part of the Gospel, echoing Pope Francis' claim that concern for creation is not "a secondary aspect" of the faith. Lucas thanks the organizers of the conference because a better integration of environmental concern into people's lives will help "people to mercifully and lovingly live the three relationships that 'ground ... human life': 'with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself' (Laudato Si', no. 66)." Hendrickson notes that Laudato Si' is bound up with "the Church's commitments to protect human life and dignity, exercise a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, and promote the common good."

Kenneth Himes, professor of theology at Boston College and a leading scholar on Catholic social teaching, makes the connection between faith and environmental care most forcefully. Himes notes that, in the early years of Christianity, believers addressed a widespread epidemic in the Roman empire by helping anyone they could, believers and non-believers alike with a system of assistance. This broader concern for society, this love of the far away neighbor that is called justice, was at the very origins of Christianity. So, today, with climate change, Christians are once again to "love their neighbor" as they care for creation.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:39 am

+JMJ+

Podcast: How ‘Laudato Si’’ changed U.S. Catholics’ minds on climate change [Audio]
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Parishioners of St. Thomas Aquinas in Palo Alto, Calif., pose next to solar panels in this undated 2015 file photo. The Archdiocese of San Francisco launched a "Laudato Si'" initiative to help parishes respond to Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical and form "care for creation" teams. (CNS photo/courtesy St. Thomas Aquinas Parish)

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It’s been five years since the release of Laudato Si’, and Pope Francis has called for a year of prayer and study on the encyclical’s themes of integral human ecology — that is, the importance of protecting the environment and the poor, who are most directly affected by climate change and the destruction of nature.

But five years out, as the church works with new resolve to implement Laudato Si’, it is worth asking: Did the document make a difference the first time around?

On this episode of Inside the Vatican, I speak with Sam Winter-Levy and Bryan Schonfeld, two Princeton University doctoral candidates in political science, who recently released a paper studying the impact of Laudato Si’. The two examined data sets from a survey of Americans’ opinions on climate change from before and after the encyclical’s release, and they found that among churchgoing Catholics, there was a significant shift towards belief that climate change is real and caused by humans, and that there is a moral imperative to take action on it.

We discuss their findings, and what the results reveal about the role religious leaders like Pope Francis can have in shaping public opinion.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Thunktank » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:28 pm

wosbald wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:39 am
+JMJ+

Podcast: How ‘Laudato Si’’ changed U.S. Catholics’ minds on climate change [Audio]
Image
Parishioners of St. Thomas Aquinas in Palo Alto, Calif., pose next to solar panels in this undated 2015 file photo. The Archdiocese of San Francisco launched a "Laudato Si'" initiative to help parishes respond to Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical and form "care for creation" teams. (CNS photo/courtesy St. Thomas Aquinas Parish)

Image

It’s been five years since the release of Laudato Si’, and Pope Francis has called for a year of prayer and study on the encyclical’s themes of integral human ecology — that is, the importance of protecting the environment and the poor, who are most directly affected by climate change and the destruction of nature.

But five years out, as the church works with new resolve to implement Laudato Si’, it is worth asking: Did the document make a difference the first time around?

On this episode of Inside the Vatican, I speak with Sam Winter-Levy and Bryan Schonfeld, two Princeton University doctoral candidates in political science, who recently released a paper studying the impact of Laudato Si’. The two examined data sets from a survey of Americans’ opinions on climate change from before and after the encyclical’s release, and they found that among churchgoing Catholics, there was a significant shift towards belief that climate change is real and caused by humans, and that there is a moral imperative to take action on it.

We discuss their findings, and what the results reveal about the role religious leaders like Pope Francis can have in shaping public opinion.
I wonder why minds had to be changed? What was holding them back to begin with? So the Pope is dragging the faithful into the truth that the secular folks already knew.
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Del » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:28 pm

Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:28 pm
wosbald wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:39 am
+JMJ+

Podcast: How ‘Laudato Si’’ changed U.S. Catholics’ minds on climate change [Audio]
Image
Parishioners of St. Thomas Aquinas in Palo Alto, Calif., pose next to solar panels in this undated 2015 file photo. The Archdiocese of San Francisco launched a "Laudato Si'" initiative to help parishes respond to Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical and form "care for creation" teams. (CNS photo/courtesy St. Thomas Aquinas Parish)

Image

It’s been five years since the release of Laudato Si’, and Pope Francis has called for a year of prayer and study on the encyclical’s themes of integral human ecology — that is, the importance of protecting the environment and the poor, who are most directly affected by climate change and the destruction of nature.

But five years out, as the church works with new resolve to implement Laudato Si’, it is worth asking: Did the document make a difference the first time around?

On this episode of Inside the Vatican, I speak with Sam Winter-Levy and Bryan Schonfeld, two Princeton University doctoral candidates in political science, who recently released a paper studying the impact of Laudato Si’. The two examined data sets from a survey of Americans’ opinions on climate change from before and after the encyclical’s release, and they found that among churchgoing Catholics, there was a significant shift towards belief that climate change is real and caused by humans, and that there is a moral imperative to take action on it.

We discuss their findings, and what the results reveal about the role religious leaders like Pope Francis can have in shaping public opinion.
I wonder why minds had to be changed? What was holding them back to begin with? So the Pope is dragging the faithful into the truth that the secular folks already knew.
This is fake-catholic-news from Amerika. Pretty much nobody changed a mind about climate change alarmism due to the Pope's encyclical. I believe that the Pope's effort was impaired by the immediate effort to score political points his encyclical.

Catholics have always been big on conservation and stewardship of the land and environment, with preferential care for the poor. Laudato Si was received as encouragement to keep doing what we have always been doing. Homeschooling families and such are leaders in solidarity and subsidiarity..... They raise gardens, raise chickens, spend as little time as possible commuting in minivans.

As to whether the vast mass of lukewarm suburban "church-going Catholics" have changed their lifestyles a teensy bit -- I haven't seen any evidence of it.
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm

Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Thunktank » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:34 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
I’m just trying to get him to talk with me instead of at Del.
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:27 pm

+JMJ+
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
But if you were to see it … then how could the room be empty?

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Del » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
No comment.
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:17 pm

Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
No comment.
Hey. "We" agree! :lol:
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Del » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:34 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:17 pm
Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
No comment.
Hey. "We" agree! :lol:
That's a brush too broad, sir. :lol:
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:44 pm

Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:34 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:17 pm
Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
No comment.
Hey. "We" agree! :lol:
That's a brush too broad, sir. :lol:
Shhh. Keep your voice down...Goose doesn't like us talking about anything except for his truck. :chili:
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by tuttle » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:55 am

hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:44 pm
Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:34 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:17 pm
Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
No comment.
Hey. "We" agree! :lol:
That's a brush too broad, sir. :lol:
Shhh. Keep your voice down...Goose doesn't like us talking about anything except for his truck. :chili:
Is his truck good for the environment?
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:23 am

+JMJ+

Five years on: Exploring four puzzles in Laudato Si' [In-Depth, Analysis]
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A leader of the Celia Xakriaba peoples walks along the banks of the Xingu River in Brazil's Xingu Indigenous Park Jan. 15. (CNS/Reuters/Ricardo Moraes)

Pope Francis packed a great deal of straightforward and clear advice into the climate encyclical he issued five years ago, challenging as it may be to put that advice into action. But there are also some thought-provoking puzzles that confront us as we dig more deeply into the document, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home."

In the course of editing a new book, “Laudato Si'” and the Environment: Pope Francis' Green Encyclical, I had occasion to ponder quite a few such issues, including the following:
  • How can we respond adequately to "the cry of the earth" while paying proper attention to "the cry of the poor?" For instance, how do we reconcile the expenditure of energy (and resulting harmful carbon emissions) required to lift more people out of poverty with reducing those emissions overall?
  • How can Christianity draw insights from indigenous religions that might help us achieve the sort of ecological conversion that Francis advocates?
  • To what extent — and in what ways — can we rely on sacred Scriptures written thousands of years ago to help guide us through a crisis that was unimaginable when these Scriptures were written?
  • Does the "ecological sensitivity" that Francis encourages require a total rethinking of where we humans fit in on planet Earth?
I will take these one at a time, briefly mentioning some of the ideas advanced by some contributors to my book.

Heeding the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth

Responding appropriately both to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor is a central theme in Laudato Si'. But responding to both cries may sometimes pull us in different directions.

As people get richer they use more resources, their ecological footprint increases and other forms of life suffer. Poor people need access to electricity and in reality that often means burning fossil fuels. With 7.8 billion people now and close to 10 billion projected for 2050, it is hard to see how massive additional environmental destruction can be avoided if — as also predicted and as current trends bespeak — many poor people become richer.

The pope's vision is for the best-off to bear more of the burden of the worst-off becoming better off. But what if the better-off fail miserably to play their part?

[…]

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Pope Francis meets indigenous people from the Amazonian region during the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican Oct. 17, 2019. (CNS/Vatican Media)

Attending to indigenous religious perspectives

Drawing on the emphasis on indigenous religious perspectives in Laudato Si', both Celia Deane-Drummond ("A New Anthropology? Laudato Si' and the Question of Interconnectedness") and Zainal Abidin Bagir ("Reading Laudato Si' in a Rainforest Country: Ecological Conversion and Recognition of Indigenous Religions") propose that Christianity would benefit from taking account of indigenous perspectives. Bagir contends that this is also the case for Islam.

These scholars mention the need to accommodate theologically a greater reverence for nature, the presence of nonhuman persons in nature, and the presence of the sacred in nature.

Deane-Drummond says that an adequate Catholic theological approach to being human must combine its traditional emphasis on human dignity and human uniqueness with a new appreciation of what anthropology and other fields are teaching us about indigenous religious perspectives.

[…]

Reading Scriptures ecologically

Margaret Daly-Denton ("Laudato Si' and the Reinterpretation of Scriptures in Light of the Ecological Crisis") considers Francis' use of Scripture in the encyclical and, more broadly, ecological readings of the Bible.

Central to "ecological hermeneutics" is the idea that believers should reinterpret their Scriptures in light of current realities and challenges. She writes about "the meaning that lay thousands of years ahead … when [sacred texts] were first written, but that jumps off the page when we read them in the twenty first century, standing on our damaged Earth."

Is there an implicit assumption that Christian Scriptures, or other sacred texts, have the wherewithal to address all current and future dilemmas and challenges? How is the line between interpretation and creative reconstruction to be drawn?

Valuing ecosystems

Francis exhorts us to respect "the delicate equilibria existing between the creatures of this world." Ecosystems are "good and admirable" and have an intrinsic value independent of their usefulness.

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A heron is seen in the Amazon's Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve in 2018 in Uarini, Brazil. (CNS/Reuters/Bruno Kelly)

[…]

Francis points out that on many issues dealt with in Laudato Si', there can be honest debate among the advocates of divergent views. And he repeatedly advocates dialogue. It is in the spirit of these injunctions that I identify some themes that merit additional reflection.

On the other hand, it requires nothing more than paying a little attention to see that our common home is falling into disrepair. And there can be no debate about the wisdom of cultivating a "simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack."

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:19 am

+JMJ+

At five-year mark for “Laudato Si’,” Vatican offers a ‘users guide’ [In-Depth]
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A cormorant is seen on the Anacostia River April 26, 2020, near Bladensburg, Md. Dioceses and other organizations around the world are planning to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis's encyclical on care for creation with online events and prayers during Laudato Si’ Week May 16-24, 2020. (Credit: Chaz Muth/CNS)

ROME — To mark the five-year anniversary of Pope Francis’s eco-encyclical, Laudato Si’, the Vatican Thursday published a “users guide” for both parishes and public officials on how to implement the document, including such concrete measures as a balanced diet, carpooling to reduce energy consumption, recycling, and “drip-by-drip” irrigation to curb water waste.

The document also calls on legislators and governments to adopt eco-friendly policies, such as enshrining water as a “universal human right” and promoting international efforts to protect vulnerable ecosystems such as the Amazon and the Congo River Basin.

In keeping with Pope Francis’s view of “integral ecology,” the document also advocates for poverty relief, family-friendly policies to combat a “demographic winter,” prison and healthcare reform, and the protection of human life from conception to natural death.

The text also touts several steps within the Vatican City State to become more “green,” including discontinuing the use of toxic pesticides and recycling the water from the famed Vatican fountains.

Presented June 18 and titled, “On the Path to Caring for the Common Home: Five Years after Laudato Si’,” the lengthy 220-page document — longer than Laudato Si’ itself — is an initiative of the Vatican’s department for Integral Human Development and is the product of an inter-departmental “Table” on integral ecology established after Laudato Si’'s publication in June 2015.

[…]

Consisting of two chapters dedicated to Education and Ecological Conversion and Integral Ecology and Integral Human Development, the text is directed toward local churches, parish communities, public representatives and average faithful.

It covers topics addressed in Laudato Si’ such as education; the dignity of human life; interfaith and ecumenical dialogue; work; finance; deforestation; food, water and energy; the economy; healthcare and communications, offering both a reflection on passages from the encyclical on each of the topics mention and suggested action points based on an educative and pastoral perspective.

Also included in the text is a list of different steps the Vatican City State has taken to become greener and more environment friendly. Suggestions made in the action points include creating more opportunities to reflect on creation, specifically as it is described in the Bible.

Readers are also encouraged to “defend the family” and all human life, “from conception to natural death,” and to reflect on the concept of a “sin against human life” as it applies to the poor, the unborn, the sick and the elderly. States are encouraged to promote intelligent family policies that counter “the so-called ‘demographic winter’, especially in the west.”

[…]

The text also appears to take a swipe at journalists and critical reporting of Laudato Si’ and climate change, suggesting that formation courses be offered to journalists to give them “clear, complete and correct” information on the encyclical, and that “a culture of truth” be developed among the press “so as to counter the spread of misleading news created to deny the existence of the environmental crisis.”

Investments in small-scale food production and support for rural communities are encouraged. The document also urges better care for animals in slaughterhouses and encourages readers to have a balanced diet.

Offering numerous suggestions to curb water shortages while also assuring that there is enough for both food and hygienic needs, the text encourages people at all levels of society to promote the idea that water is a “fundamental universal right” and that it must be accessible at reasonable prices.

Much like Laudato Si’, the document urges people to use environment friendly energy sources and energy-efficient materials, as well as less pollutive methods of transportation, such as bicycles or carpooling. Renewable energy sources, it says, must be sold at “accessible” prices.

[…]

In terms of the economy, the document says it must be based on the person rather than profit, and argues for recycling natural resources such as bioenergy, biofuel and compost. Projects aimed at cleaning oceans and beaches, as well as investments in sustainable infrastructure, are to be encouraged, it says.

[…]

A fundamental rethinking of the prison system is also suggested, particularly in terms of punishments for parents and first-time offenders. In terms of healthcare, the text urges an investment in diagnosis and care for unborn children with malformities or illnesses, “rather than promoting the diagnosis in view of selection and elimination.”

[…]

The document also encourages raising awareness about policies and technologies that combat air pollution and climate change, with special attention to the Amazon region, as well as the development of a clear definition of a “climate refugee,” and the adoption of measures to ensure they have the necessary legal and humanitarian protections.

Highlighting the Vatican’s own efforts to promote more environment friendly practices, the document mentions several steps that have been taken within the Vatican City State to save energy and water.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:54 am

+JMJ+

Racism in pollution and policing: A conversation with Robert Bullard, father of environmental justice [In-Depth, Interview]
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EarthBeat interview with Robert Bullard, left, June 12, 2020, on NCR's YouTube channel
Robert Bullard is no stranger to how racism pollutes everyday life in America.

The professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Houston's Texas Southern University has watched closely as America again confronts its long record on racism in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and others. Bullard's decades of study make it clear that racism goes deeper than policing — it plays out in housing, food access, development and the environments where we live.

Considered the father of environmental justice, Bullard became involved in that movement before it ever had a name. In 1978, he conducted research on landfill locations in Houston for a class-action lawsuit that his wife, Linda McKeever Bullard, an attorney, was working. What he and his students found was that all five municipal landfills were located in black neighborhoods, as were nearly every privately owned landfill and city-owned incinerator. Or put another way, from the 1930s through 1978, approximately 82% of Houston's garbage was dumped into black neighborhoods, representing a quarter of the population.

That case, as well as several others, formed the early moments of the environmental justice movement.

"All communities are not created equal," Bullard told NCR's EarthBeat. "There are some that are more equal than others. And if a community happens to be poor, working class or a community of color, it generally receives more than its fair share of things that other people don't want. That's the injustice involved."

"And it's more than just environmentally. It also involves health and wealth. When these many facilities [like landfills, power plants, refineries] are placed near homeowners, they lower the property value, which means lowering wealth. They also create pollution, which is also impacting health. So it's a double whammy that we're fighting."

Bullard recently spoke with EarthBeat about America's current moment of reckoning with racism, and how environmental justice factors into it. Below are excerpts from that conversation, edited for clarity and length. You can also watch the full interview at the top of the page.

==================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

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The Houston skyline is seen from the Holmes Road landfill in this May 1972 photo. A study by sociologist Robert Bullard in 1979 found that the majority of the Houston metro's garbage was dumped near black communities. (Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

EarthBeat: I thought a good place for us to start with is just the concept of environmental justice itself. How would you define that?

Bullard: Well, environmental justice embraces the principle that all communities are entitled to equal protection of environment, housing, transportation, energy, food security. And that no community should be somehow discriminated against or left out because of their race or income or their location.

[…]

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Homes are seen surrounded by floodwaters and oil slicks in St. Bernard Parish, south of New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina swept through the area in 2005. (CNS/Clarion Herald/Frank J. Methe)

You mentioned connecting the dots of these different challenges, whether it's racism, the pandemic, pollution, all of these things. It reminded me of what Pope Francis has talked about in his encyclical Laudato Si', where he says that everything is connected, and hearing the cry of the Earth at the same time as the cry of the poor. What power does that message from a prominent religious leader add to the environmental justice movement? And what role can faith communities play in environmental justice?

Well, you know that the environmental justice movement is an extension of the civil rights movement and the struggle for human rights. And some of the first major movement-building strategies came out of the church. Came out of the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, a black civil rights organization based in a white denomination.

And so we've had collaborations with the various denominations, in terms of United Church of Christ, United Methodist, Catholics, Lutherans. And so again that civil rights history … filters into our environment justice movement. You know, Dr. King was a Baptist minister.

And the idea of religion playing a major part in the modern civil rights movement, it's playing a major part in our environmental justice movement in terms of the constituencies that … use their church as their meeting place for fighting, fighting for justice. And many of our priests and ministers and moms have really worked very hard to challenge the institutional framework that will keep pollution somehow concentrated in one area, but we know that ultimately it will affect us all. Because there's one Earth. And when we don't protect the most vulnerable, we place everybody at risk.

And so we here are talking about justice for all. We're talking about making sure that no community is left behind, whether it's during a disaster — natural or man-made — or whether it's during a pandemic, like right now, or whether it's talking about addressing issues of affordable housing, healthcare or policing. And I think the religious leaders have a major role and have always played a major role when it comes to justice issues. And I think that's a good thing.

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Msgr. Ray East, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Washington, speaks during a prayerful protest outside the White House June 8, 2020, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man whose neck was pinned to the ground by police for more than eight minutes before he was taken to the hospital. (CNS/Bob Roller)

[…]

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An oil refinery site in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is shown in this 2012 aerial photo. (Wikimedia Commons)

In terms of solutions, there's a lot of ideas being thrown out there right now. In terms of environmental justice, what do those solutions look like in addressing racism?

I think what we have to do when we talk about environmental racism and environmental justice, we have to talk about what really essentials are. That means that all communities should have a right to a clean and healthy, livable environment. That no community should somehow be targeted for things that other people don't want. We want a healthy, livable environment.

We're talking about changing our whole paradigm in terms of what kind of economy we should have. And if we are moving to a clean energy, renewable energy green economy, then that economy should not leave people behind just because they're poor, just because they're people of color. We're talking about a just transition that will be inclusive.

When we talk about environmental justice, it's also talking about health equity. Making sure that people have access to health care, access to a safe workplace. And we're talking about employment opportunities where people have not a minimum wage, a livable wage. And that people can have employment and opportunity that they can take care of their families and live out the American dream. Buy homes and being able to buy homes and live in housing that's not in floodplains and next to the refinery, the landfill.

We talk about education and making sure that educational opportunity is open to all. You know, everybody's not going to be able to go to college or university, but making sure that junior college and community colleges are available to young people. And making sure that there are skills and training that people can get jobs, so that they can have good careers and that kind of thing.

And so, environmental justice involves all of that. We're not just fighting pollution. We're fighting for a good economy that can provide good, healthy and sustainable lifestyles for everybody. Parks and green space. Good farmers markets and good access to supermarkets and other kinds of grocery stores that can make people have access to alternatives of just going to the fast food and eating all the junk. … That's what environmental justice is all about. And that's what we will be pushing for as we look at these candidates for the presidential races, for the governorships and for the legislature, the city council, county commissioners, school boards.

[…]

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A man kneels in front of police officers in St. Louis June 1, 2020, during a protest following the death of George Floyd. (CNS/Reuters/Lawrence Bryant)

[…]

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Displaced people fill containers with water Sept. 26, 2017, in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.(CNS/Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Del » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:07 pm

tuttle wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:55 am
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:44 pm
Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:34 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:17 pm
Del wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Dammit, boys, I'm just trying to see one page completely full of Wosbald talking to an empty room. Is that too much to ask? :lol:
No comment.
Hey. "We" agree! :lol:
That's a brush too broad, sir. :lol:
Shhh. Keep your voice down...Goose doesn't like us talking about anything except for his truck. :chili:
Is his truck good for the environment?
Yes!

Without Goose's truck to haul some environment around, the environment would remain unchanged.
"Anyone who knows anything of experts will know one thing for certain; that they will always be disturbing our way of living; and therefore we shall always be disputing their right of governing." - GKC. Feb 11, 1933.

The future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing. ~ Old Soviet joke

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:07 am

+JMJ+

Pope appeals for care for refugees and for creation
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An Afghan refugee in a slum area in Lahore, Pakistan (AFP or licensors)

Pope Francis says the coronavirus pandemic has heightened awareness regarding the need to protect refugees and migrants and to care for the environment.

Pope Francis on Sunday asked believers to join him in praying for a renewed and effective commitment to protect refugees and migrants.

Addressing the pilgrims in St. Peters Square after the recitation of the Angelus prayer, the Pope appealed for respect and care for displaced persons recalling that on Saturday the United Nations celebrated World Refugee Day.

“The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the need to ensure the necessary protection for refugees, in order to guarantee their dignity and safety” he said.

He invited all believers to join him in praying “for a renewed and effective commitment, on the part of us all, to the effective protection of every human being, especially those who have been forced to flee as a result of situations of grave danger to them or their families.”

The Pope’s appeal comes as statistics show there are almost 80 million displaced persons across the globe, the highest number ever recorded.

Care for the environment

Pope Francis went on to note that “Another aspect on which the pandemic has made us reflect is the relationship between man and the environment.”

“The lockdown has reduced pollution and revealed once more the beauty of so many places free from traffic and noise,” he said, inviting us to resume activities with a heightened awareness and responsibility in looking after our common home.

Countries across the world are gradually lifting lockdown restrictions as the curve of coronavirus deaths and infections flattens in some continents and regions. The easing of limitations is triggered mainly by the need to kick-start flagging economies and cut down on further unemployment and poverty.

The Pope expressed his appreciation for many “grass roots” initiatives that are emerging in this regard all over the world, and voiced his hope that they may “foster a citizenship that is increasingly aware of this essential common good.”

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by tuttle » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:53 am

I haven't read anything yet, but waiting to hear from the alarmists that the COVID-19 shutdown gave us an oh, so brief respite in the doomsday countdown. That it was the earth fighting back in her last gasps. SO LET'S NOT WASTE IT! ACT NOW!
"The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them" -JRR Tolkien

"Better to die cheerfully with the aid of a little tobacco, than to live disagreeably and remorseful without." -CS Lewis

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