The Climate Change Thread

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wosbald
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:00 pm

+JMJ+

Pope Francis discusses climate crisis with well-known Italian journalist
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Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder and former editor of La Repubblica, speaks on Italian television Feb. 1, 2015 (CNS photo/Cristiano Minichiello, AFG).

Pope Francis discussed the grave ecological crisis facing humanity with the well-known Italian journalist, Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder of the influential Italian daily, La Repubblica, in an hour-long conversation on July 30, at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Francis lives.

The 96-year old Mr. Scalfari, an atheist, broke the news in an article on La Repubblica, Aug. 2, under the headline “Pope Francis and the modern society.” In it, he recalled that they have met many times over the years since Francis was elected pope on March 13, 2013 and have exchanged correspondence over the years since then. “We are truly friends,” he states, and reports that at this new meeting “we could not but embrace physically and mentally.”

The only reports of Mr. Scalfari’s long conversations with Francis have come from the elderly journalist, who does not record or take notes.

This time, he said, they spoke first about modern society, which began with the period of the Enlightenment, and how the church has to come to terms with the changes in society, as the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) made clear. He said Francis told him that the church has not yet fully implemented that council, and saw his own task as continuing that work.

[…]

… [T]he main part of the article reflects more or less faithfully what Francis wrote in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, and the ecological crisis, including climate change, that is threatening the future of humanity, and the fact that so many people are living in poverty across the globe.

In today’s article, Mr.Scalfari said they commented on “the ageing of the sun” — something discovered by scientists — and discussed especially the duty of people to use responsibly the goods of the earth and to recognize and respect every person and all living creatures. He reported that he and the pope “agreed” that there cannot be “a genuine and lasting solution to the challenge of the ecological crisis and climate change unless it is a joint and collective response, and a shared responsibility.”

Quoting from memory, he said Pope Francis told him, “let us remember the places that are full of bio-diversity — the Amazon and Congo basin rainforests with their great aquifers, and the great importance of these for the entire planet and for the future of humanity.” He recalled that the pope spoke of how the oceans and rivers are changing, and said “the technicians [scientists] are concerned about them, but politics [the political world] is focused on other problems.” He quoted Francis as saying that “all the Christian communities have an important role to play in educating people about this.”

He concluded by saying that he promised the pope that he would do what he could to help him in this task.

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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 durangopipe » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:28 am



Yeah. I know. More of that slanted and biased reporting with interviews of one-sided researchers.

Nobody is going to rethink their understanding of climate change based on a few posts here.
But it can't hurt to post events as they occur.

I imagine that in a year or two looking back will prove illuminating.

I'll repeat my personal guiding dictum: Maybe not a good time to buy ocean front property in Miami.

:D
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:34 am

+JMJ+

Solar mandates in India's sacred groves [In-Depth]
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In India's Thar Desert, small patches of forested landscape, known as orans, are considered sacred by local communities. Plans for solar development in the area threaten the orans, which have stood for hundreds of years. (Wikimedia Commons/Khalid Majeed Afridi)

As India moves toward ambitious climate goals, it is trampling on sacred groves in desert ecosystems.

Editor's note: This story originally appeared on AGU's Eos Magazine. It is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

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

India has an ambitious target to generate 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022. Lands chosen to generate the solar component of this energy goal include the Thar Desert, a huge ecosystem in northwest India mostly located in the state of Rajasthan.

Like many deserts, the Thar is often inaccurately described as "barren" or a "wasteland" instead of a productive ecosystem with thriving niches. Among other habitats, the Thar is dotted by orans, small patches of forested landscape.

For generations, local communities have considered orans sacred groves. Orans usually host temples with local deities and are also used as grazing lands, especially during the dry months between April and June and October and December.

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Earlier this summer, demolition and construction equipment was brought in to cut down trees and make way for high-tension power transmission lines in a 9,634-hectare (23,806 acres) oran in a village called Sanwtha.

There are about eight villages around the oran, each with about 50–60 people, most of whom are herders. Locals have honored the oran as sacred for at least 600 years, and during this time, they have never cut any trees or tilled the land, only allowing their herds to graze. Today, an estimated 5,000 camels and more than 200,000 goats and sheep depend on the oran for grazing.

The power lines will connect to a 700-megawatt grid service station (GSS) located just a few meters outside the oran. The station already supports windmills installed in the area, explained Parth Jagani of the Ecology, Rural Development and Sustainability (ERDS) Foundation, a Rajasthan-based conservation organization.

The GSS will also support a large solar park. Although the park will be installed outside the oran, many residents worry it is still a threat.

"Even today they are cutting down trees and plants to install power lines in a few areas inside the oran," explained Sumer Singh, a herder from Sanwtha.

[…]

When asked about the ill effects of high-power transmission lines on local wildlife, Tulasa Ram, a tehsildar (administrative official) of the Fategarh area that comprises Sanwtha, dismissed such concerns. He said "[power] lines have to be placed if electricity has to be produced … accidents happen on roads too … animals die but we cannot stop developmental work because of this."

Power Struggle

Currently, Bhadla Solar Park near Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is India's largest solar facility, with an installed capacity of 2.25 gigawatts. "What will come up near [the Sanwtha oran] is very likely bigger than [Bhadla]," explained Sumit Dookia, a wildlife biologist at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in New Delhi and scientific adviser to the ERDS Foundation.

The dilemma faced by Indian villages over solar power echoes a similar conflict over wind power. Dookia noted that when the state government started building wind energy parks back in 2001, villagers started demanding that their lands be saved.

[…]

In 2018, the Supreme Court of India ordered that sacred groves of Rajasthan are to be treated as "deemed forests." Deemed forests, which account for about 1% of land in India, are tracts of land (which may include deserts and grasslands) that have not been officially recognized as federally or municipally protected forests in historic records. Designating the orans as deemed forests "is like the second layer of protection to the land," Dookia noted.

Nevertheless, power lines still cut through the orans. Additionally, nearby orans still held by the government "are being allotted to energy companies which are felling age-old trees, engaging in construction work, and damaging local ecology," Dookia said.

Villagers around the Sanwtha oran fear a similar outcome. "We want the land to be given back to us," Singh said.

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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 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:26 pm

+JMJ+

Virginia shines as solar hot spot in Catholic Energies expansion [In-Depth]
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In July, a 421-kilowatt solar system was installed at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, in Falls Church, Virginia. The rooftop solar array is projected to offset almost 90% of the parish's energy use and save it upwards of $1.3 million over 25 years. (Catholic Energies)

A quick scan of the parishes and groups partnering with Catholic Energies reveals a noticeable geographic pattern: Virginia is a growing hotbed of solar activity.

Last month, three parishes in the Arlington Diocese powered up new solar installations, each developed and financed through Catholic Energies, the burgeoning program of the Catholic Climate Covenant that helps church institutions find outside funding to take on energy initiatives without the initial burden of hefty upfront costs.

With the new installations, the parishes — St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Falls Church, St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Springfield and Nativity Catholic Church in Burke — will collectively offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced by powering 3,500 homes for a year or burning 15,000 tons of coal. Just as attractive to their finance councils, the solar projects came at no cost and forecast sizeable savings.

At St. Anthony of Padua, the 421-kilowatt rooftop solar system — the largest of the three parishes — is expected to cover almost 90% of the parish's energy demand. The solar panels, along with LED lighting upgrades, are projected to save St. Anthony upwards of $1.3 million over the 25-year term of the power purchase agreement.

The rooftop panels at Nativity are part of several green initiatives under way at the parish. Its creation care ministry has also begun a community vegetable garden, and its school is developing an outdoor learning space with native plants and species. In bulletins this summer, the ministry team and pastor Fr. Robert Cilinski included reflections on "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home" to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical. While the panels will save the parish money — more than $200,000 — they also reflect Christian values to safeguard creation.

A quick scan of the parishes and groups partnering with Catholic Energies reveals a noticeable geographic pattern: Virginia is a growing hotbed of solar activity.

"Our solar panels are on the rooftop shouting the wisdom of Laudato Si', the social teaching of the church," Cilinski recently told the Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper.

With each Richmond parish, none paid any upfront costs, an arrangement made possible by Catholic Energies.

The program first works with groups to determine if solar is a fit, then seeks funding, primarily through power purchase agreements. In those deals, an outside investor finances the project and sets a fixed rate for energy usage, often lower than local utility rates, which is paid directly to the investor.

Since launching in fall 2017, Catholic Energies has completed 11 solar projects in the past 13 months. Eleven more are under contract and expected to be completed by the end of 2020. By then, the program will have footprints in eight states, along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

[…]

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Roanoke Catholic High School, in Roanoke, Virginia, installed 155 solar panels on its roof in June. The school, part of the Richmond Diocese, worked with Catholic Energies on the system, which is expected to save $250,000 in energy costs over 20 years. (Catholic Energies)

[…]

So why are Virginia parishes turning to solar?

Page Gravely, Catholic Energies executive vice president for client services, told EarthBeat the biggest factor has been support at the diocesan level. He said the leadership has recognized the economic benefit of reducing energy costs and also sees that adopting renewable energy can represent faith in action.

Catholic Energies worked with each diocese to streamline the process for evaluating whether solar might work and, if so, obtaining approval. The ultimate decision still rests with each individual parish, school or organization. In the Richmond Diocese, which spans three-fifths of the state, the chancery took the lead in creating a template power purchase agreement for interested parishes. After parish committees sign off on a project, it is presented to the diocesan building and renovation committee.

"I think that gave them all a lot of comfort, knowing that the diocese really stood behind them and supported it if they chose to do it. And that got a lot of parishes engaged with this at the same time," Gravely said.

Charles Mikell, real estate director for the Richmond Diocese, aims to get at least 30% of the 146 parishes running on solar power. At least 15 more parishes are exploring their options. He said the diocese sees the efforts as in line with Pope Francis' guidance urging the church to reduce its carbon footprint. But they also see savings in the numbers.

"If we can come up with a simple way and it costs the parishes almost nothing out of pocket, and they can save thousands and thousands of dollars a month, it's kind of a no-brainer," Mikell said.

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Solar panels sit on top of the roof at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, in Springfield, Virginia. The 248-kilowatt system was completed through the Catholic Energies program. (Catholic Energies)

[…]

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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 Aug 24, 2020 12:54 pm

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Missionaries gain access to Amazon's Indigenous peoples, despite pandemic [In-Depth]
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Uncontacted Indigenous people look up at an aircraft in the western Brazilian state of Acre in 2009. (Government of Acre/Creative Commons/Gleilson Miranda)

SAO PAULO — When the first COVID-19 cases hit Brazil in March, the government agency in charge of protecting the country's Indigenous peoples, the National Indigenous Foundation, ordered all civilians to leave the Indigenous reservations. Only essential workers, such as health care personnel and those involved in food distribution, could remain.

But a new law signed by President Jair Bolsonaro on July 7 has made an exception for one group: Christian missionaries. A simple form from a doctor vouching for a faith worker's health is enough to allow the person to stay as an essential worker.

According to Eliesio Marubo, a lawyer for the Indigenous Peoples Association of the River Javari Valley, known as UNIVAJA, some missionaries had never heeded the order to leave. "A few villages reported that there were evangelical missionaries in their areas who refused to go away," Marubo told Religion News Service.

In April, UNIVAJA sued to force the expulsion of several evangelical missionaries, at least two of whom are U.S. citizens, from the Javari Valley, an important legal victory against a group that is closely aligned with Bolsonaro.

Now, Indigenous groups and those who defend their rights worry that the new law will prompt missionaries to enter their reservations, which have long been protected by the Brazilian government in an effort to preserve their culture.

"We're questioning the legislation in order to restore the self-determination prerogative of the Indigenous peoples," explained Marubo, a member of the Indigenous Marubo people himself.

One of the missionaries expelled in April was Andrew Tonkin, a member of the Frontier International Mission, an independent Free Will Baptist mission ministry based in the United States that trains missionaries who are then sent by their home churches. One of its goals, according to its website, is to "establish mission work among the unreached Indigenous people groups across the world."

According to a story published by the Brazilian newspaper O Globo in March, Tonkin tried last year to get to the River Itacoaí, one of the Javari's tributaries.

"He already managed to approach an area of isolated peoples without authorization," said Marubo. "People who know him say that he believes that the men's rules don't apply because [his presence] is God's will."

In an email to RNS, Tonkin said the federal government granted him permission to go "into the reserve" to "help and better the life of the people. The people in the reserve also have every right as a community to invite who they wish to visit their village."

[…]

Tonkin said his efforts in the Javari Valley are "a spiritual battle against evil and against darkness" and are not about "people and policy."

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A village of uncontacted indigenous people in the Brazilian state of Acre, in the Amazon, in 2009. (Government of Acre/Creative Commons/Gleilson Miranda)

Beto Marubo, one of UNIVAJA's coordinators, dismissed Tonkin's claim that he is welcomed by residents of the valley. "The only Indigenous persons who don't oppose their presence are the ones who were catechized by them," he told RNS.

He explained that previous encounters with the non-Indigenous society often ended in violence, especially during the Amazon rubber boom, which ended in the 1940s and saw many Indigenous people killed in their forests. "Now they're in the last place they found to be left alone, and these fundamentalists show up to disturb them."

He said that the missionaries' teaching, by introducing other ways of thinking about community and even the locals' cosmology, attacks the society as a whole.

[…]

Beto Marubo believes the Bolsonaro administration supports the missionaries' activities in the Amazon. "He's backed by the evangelicals. There's a plan behind all this: The missionaries get into those territories, dismantle the policy of no contact and then the landowners appear to grab their lands," he said.

In February, Bolsonaro appointed the evangelical pastor and anthropologist Ricardo Lopes Dias to coordinate FUNAI's department of isolated Indigenous peoples. Dias worked with the Brazilian New Tribes Mission for several years. "It's all being orchestrated by the current administration," Beto Marubo said.

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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 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:06 am

+JMJ+

Care of the earth, concern for migrants are connected, cardinal says
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Cardinal Michael Czerny, undersecretary for the Vatican's Migrants and Refugees Section, stands on the terrace of the Jesuit residence in Rome where he lives and, during the coronavirus lockdown, works. (CNS photo/courtesy Cardinal Czerny)

VATICAN CITY — Catholics will mark the World Day of Migrants and Refugees during the ecumenical celebration of the Season of Creation, highlighting the obligation, as Pope Francis says, to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, said Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny.

"With Pope Francis, we hope to come out of the COVID crisis better than before: more welcoming, more cooperative, more sharing, more attentive to the needs of our common home and everyone in it, and closer to our loving God and creator," said the cardinal, who is undersecretary at the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The Catholic Church and Christians around the world mark Sept. 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and celebrate the Season of Creation from that date through Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The World Day of Migrants and Refugees is Sept. 27.

The "common thread" among the celebrations, especially in 2020, the cardinal said, "is our common home in which the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are one cry."

"Among those forced to flee are those driven from their homes by the climate crisis, which takes many different forms around the world: fires, flooding, drought, storms, etc.," the cardinal told Catholic News Service Aug. 26.

And, he noted that in Pope Francis' message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, he wrote: "To preserve our common home and make it conform more and more to God's original plan, we must commit ourselves to ensuring international cooperation, global solidarity and local commitment, leaving no one excluded."

"Clearly," the cardinal said, "these words apply with equal precision and urgency to how everyone needs to respond to threats to our natural environment" and not just to the situation of migrants and refugees.

[…]

"During the COVID lockdown, people discovered that basic and essential services were often provided by foreign seasonal workers and recently arrived refugees and migrants," he said. "These include utter necessities like healthcare, food, maintenance, security, deliveries, etc. etc."

"We didn't notice" those workers; "we took them for granted until COVID stopped them from working or even coming," he said.

And, the cardinal said, "We have been equally oblivious to the bounty of nature: we have taken the environment for granted, until human interference in the forms of pollution and careless extraction, production and consumption stopped nature from giving us what we need."

"The two situations are more than parallels; they connect concretely in the area of food production," he said. "The need for the energies, talents and creativity of migrants has become more evident everywhere; so too has the need for ensuring the survival of earth, air 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 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:51 am

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The Amazon faces two crises: Coronavirus and deforestation [In-Depth]
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A member of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources fire brigade attempts to control a fire in a tract of the Amazon jungle in Apui, Brazil, on Aug. 11. (CNS photo/Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters)

Exactly one year ago, Brazil experienced deforestation and fire indexes in the Amazonian forest that reached then record highs. Escalating during the first year of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, this environmental crisis cast Brazil as a major global eco-villain.

This year conditions are even worse. Deforestation alerts issued by a satellite-based monitoring system report that losses this year may be about 35 percent higher. From Aug. 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020, more than 9,205 square kilometers, about 3.554 square miles, of Brazilian Amazon forest are threatened.

But those ecological offenses have been overshadowed by an arguably graver crisis, according to members of the local church, the government’s disastrous response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The government has shown that it has little or no interest in providing adequate health care,” Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, the president of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (known as Repam), told America by email.

But at least a few global leaders have been able to keep their eyes on two Amazonian crises at the same time. Asked if Pope Francis were aware of the increasing degradation of the Amazon, Cardinal Hummes replied: “Absolutely.”

The Synod of Bishops on the Amazon in 2019 defined the current economic model applied to the region as unjust and unsustainable. In an allusion to the fires last year that burned the largest tropical forest in the world, Pope Francis said that the Amazon really needed the “fire that comes from the love of God.”

According to Cardinal Hummes, the nation’s reputation for ecological stewardship has been severely undermined by the Bolsonaro administration. “The world no longer trusts the justifications of the Brazilian government,” he said.

[…]

According to Cardinal Hummes, the church should accompany Amazonian peoples “in their historical journey, especially Indigenous peoples,” he said. Among the proposals that emerged from the Amazon synod in 2019, he highlighted the need to promote “self-determination of the original peoples so that they may be protagonists in their history, and not the object of projects by those who only seek to extract wealth from their soil, their forests and their biodiversity.”

[…]

“Rebuilding Brazil’s credibility before the world will take a lot of time and concrete results,” Cardinal Hummes said. For now, he said, “one cannot believe in a real change in direction by this government.” He added that, even if the official discourse is softening, “the real intention is to distract” from the ongoing ecological degradation of the Amazon.

[…]

Cardinal Hummes believes that [Brazil environment minister, Ricardo Salles’ recent statements] are “a dishonest way to leave everything as it is and even to speed up the devastation of the territory, while distracting public opinion with many meetings, speeches, theoretical, ideological and political discussions.”

The ecologist Ima Vieira, who was an expert at the synod, told America that creating a development model for the Amazon cannot be an isolated project but should be comprehensive and shared by all civic actors and concerned Amazonian states. According to Ms. Vieira, a researcher at the Emilio Goeldi Museum and an advisor to Repam, the main conflict in the region is between powerful multinational economic interests, especially in agribusiness and mining, and local communities that wish to promote ecologically sustainable initiatives.

“There is an interest in the appropriation of regional goods by the private sector, ignoring the needs of local actors,” she said. “It is necessary to question whether it is possible to build a new development paradigm in the Brazilian Amazon, reconciling and converging such diverse interests. I do believe it is.”

Ms. Vieira confirms that the inspection, control and monitoring of forests have decreased over the past two years. She believes the government stewards of the Amazon should aim for “zero deforestation and degradation.”

Sustainable forest management techniques have been applied on a small scale by many communities. She also proposes the formal demarcation of Indigenous lands and areas that for centuries have been home to Afro-Brazilian communities (known as quilombola). In most cases, demarcations have been pending for years.

“Mining and illegal logging bring huge risk to Amazonian communities, and this has been [adversely] impacting the territory and the peoples by perpetuating high deforestation and fire indexes,” she said. “We should be encouraging a forest economy that preserves local peoples’ rights to use and manage their lands, avoiding the clearing of native forests, as well as promoting justice, social equality and respect for cultural diversity,” Ms. Vieira said.

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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 Goose55 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:21 am

Ask anybody here in Arizona these days if they think there might be global warming.

They answer is yes.

I ask myself if there has ever in earth's history been 8.5 billion humans all now wanting to burn fossil fuels.

The answer is no.
"At present we're on the wrong side of the door. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so." ~ C.S. Lewis

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:00 am

+JMJ+

Oklahoma governor asked EPA to strip tribes of environmental authority [In-Depth]
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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt address his remarks during a roundtable discussion with Governors and small business owners on the reopening of America’s small businesses Thursday, June 18, 2020, in the State Dining Room of the White House. Stitt has asked the EPA to give his state jurisdiction over environmental regulations on Native American reservations (White House/Shealah Craighead)

GOP leaders quietly working to circumvent Supreme Court ruling giving tribes control of half the state.

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in The Young Turks, and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

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

Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) has asked the EPA to give his state jurisdiction over environmental regulations on Native American reservations. This would include regulating fossil fuels, a multi-billion dollar industry which donated $239,102 to Stitt this election cycle.

This move could destroy opportunities for tribal leaders to reduce pollution and fossil fuel dependency in the eastern half of Oklahoma, effectively thwarting July's Supreme court ruling giving the tribes sovereignty over the vast area.

Stitt revealed his EPA request in a little-noticed webinar hosted by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, a farming trade group. The farm bureau's president, Rodd Moesel, noted that in 2005, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) attached a midnight rider to an appropriations bill, creating a federal law that the EPA must regulate environmental issues on the state’s tribal land or, if requested, the state of Oklahoma gains regulatory control.

In the Aug. 3 webinar, Stitt explained, "The EPA will regulate environmental issues. That's good and bad. It’s good right now with President Trump's environmental folks at the helm. And could be bad if there’s a switch in the administration."

What Stitt considers a "good" EPA, during the Trump Administration, rescinded some 100 regulations governing vehicle and power plant exhaust, mercury and carbon tetrachloride poisoning, water and air pollution, and drilling on federal lands and waters.

In the following exchange, Stitt confirmed that he had already asked Wheeler to use the midnight rider's authority to give regulatory control to the state:
Stitt: … that's what the safety is, something that Inhofe got across the finish line for us.

Moesel: And it had a provision, I think, that gave the state — if there was a change in the sovereignty rulings — to request the ability for the state to administer environmental rules within the Indian Territory…And that‘s essentially the request I think you just made to Mr. Wheeler who heads the EPA and to give the state that regulatory authority, if I understand correctly.

Stitt: Yes. That’s correct.
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Shortly after the ruling, Stitt had said publicly and repeatedly that he intended to work with his state’s Native Americans on the jurisdictional issues. "I respect and recognize the sovereignty of every Tribe in Oklahoma and look forward to working with every Tribe to ensure that we meet our shared economic, security and social goals," he said in a press release two weeks prior to the webinar.

[…]

Later Stitt said about the Supreme Court ruling, "The problem is a couple of the chiefs I've talked to think it's fantastic, it's a great, it was a great day for their people. It validated what they've always believed: That they're sovereign over this jurisdiction, so they don't see any need for, for a congressional fix or federal legislation to fix anything. They're happy to have us [conduct] government-to-government negotiations."

So Stitt has asked the EPA to turn over regulation of environmental issues on Reservation land to the state agency, which must be done because of the federal rider Inhofe maneuvered in 2005.

Will the EPA agree? Consider this: Andrew Wheeler, the present EPA administrator worked 14 years as an aide to Inhofe, who maneuvered that federal rider stealing tribal rights to environmental regulations on reservations.

And denying tribes environmental jurisdiction could be a major boon to the fossil fuel industry, hurting now because of the pandemic slowdown. Although some tribal leaders may be inclined to pursue much-needed revenue from pipelines and drilling, others favor stricter measures, such as a ban on fracking.

[…]

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People raft and kayak in the Illinois River in northeastern Oklahoma. In July 2020, the Supreme Court legally affirmed that most of eastern Oklahoma is still various Native American reservations in McGirt v. Oklahoma. (Unsplash/Rod Ramsell)

Eastern Oklahoma

[…]

History: The Trail of Tears

[…]

The new war in Oklahoma

Last month’s Supreme Court ruling [i.e. McGirt v. Oklahoma] pits Oklahoma’s white ruling class against these five Native American tribes. The high court ruled that they are still legal sovereign nations, governing most of eastern Oklahoma. What was three million acres under tribal and federal jurisdiction reverted back to the original 19 million acres. Beyond criminal law, this has become a battle for the economic control and self-determination of the eastern half of the state and sent shock waves still reverberating through the state. In one fossil-fuel industry publication an oil executive was said to be "worried that tribes could impose new taxes or environmental restrictions on developers." Potentially billions are at stake and could mean tribal or federal regulations for oil and gas facilities that in Oklahoma previously have had few restrictions. A conservative think tank described it as, "chaos."

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A storm builds over farmland in Oklahoma. Native American environmentalists believe the Supreme Court ruling on the Muscogee Tribal sovereignty provides an opportunity to move the state to a more sustainable, less polluted future. (Unsplash/Raychel Sanner)

Green tribal sovereignty?

[…]

Fossil fuel versus tribes. Two sides organize for battle.

[…]

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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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Cleon
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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Cleon » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:23 am

Goose55 wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:21 am
Ask anybody here in Arizona these days if they think there might be global warming.

They answer is yes.

I ask myself if there has ever in earth's history been 8.5 billion humans all now wanting to burn fossil fuels.

The answer is no.
You gonna give up yer big honkin' truck then? :confused:
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" - Jesus

"More people need to put their big boy britches on." - JMG

"Dang, a pipe slap." - JimVH

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Thunktank » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:46 am

Cleon wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:23 am
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:21 am
Ask anybody here in Arizona these days if they think there might be global warming.

They answer is yes.

I ask myself if there has ever in earth's history been 8.5 billion humans all now wanting to burn fossil fuels.

The answer is no.
You gonna give up yer big honkin' truck then? :confused:
I doubt it. Despite the fact that human caused climate change exists, we are still subject to our current technological advances. I suspect Goose has a good reason to have that sort of truck with that kind of capability. Of course, this is why we need to develop technology that improves energy use big honkin trucks require, which is why various standards with goals have been made. It requires all sorts of companies and industries to research and develop better technology on a fair playing field.

I bought my last car with emissions and fuel usage in mind. Normally, I would have been a bigger and faster is better kind of guy, but climate change and urban living changed that. But once in a while I like to off road too, gas guzzler it is for my second vehicle. Even so, the big trucks are getting better and better all the time with efficiency. It’s amazing and encouraging really.

But if we all want to do away with the modern world and go back to being shepherds and hunter gatherers I’m down for that!

An interesting presentation I came across recently:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Yoda

No complaining + gratefulness= happiness

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Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:44 am

+JMJ+

Creation must be protected, not exploited, pope says at audience
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Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in the San Damaso courtyard at the Vatican Sept. 16, 2020. (CNS/Reuters/Yara Nardi)

VATICAN CITY — Human beings must change their relationship with nature and view it not as an "object for unscrupulous use and abuse" but as a gift they are charged by God to care for and protect, Pope Francis said.

People are called to contemplate creation as a reflection of "God's infinite wisdom and goodness" and not act as if people are the "center of everything" and the "absolute rulers of all other creatures," the pope said Sept. 16 during his weekly general audience.

"Exploiting creation — this is sin," he said. "We believe that we are at the center, claiming to occupy God's place and thus we ruin the harmony of creation, the harmony of God's design. We become predators, forgetting our vocation as guardians of life."

[…]

Continuing his series of talks on "healing the world," the pope reflected on the theme of "caring for the common home and contemplative attitude."

Contemplation, he said, is the best "antidote against the disease of not taking care of the common home" and falling "into an unbalanced and arrogant anthropocentrism," in which humans place themselves and their needs "at the center of everything."

"It is important to recover the contemplative dimension, that is, to look at the earth, at creation as a gift, not as something to be exploited for profit," the pope said. "When we contemplate, we discover in others and in nature something much greater than their usefulness."

Departing from his prepared remarks, the pope warned that those who are incapable of contemplating nature and creation, are often incapable of contemplating their fellow human beings.

"Those who live to exploit nature, end up exploiting people and treating them like slaves," the pope said. "This is a universal law: if you do not know how to contemplate nature, it will be very difficult for you to contemplate people, the beauty of people, your brother, your sister."

Recalling a Spanish proverb, the pope also cautioned that exploiting creation brings costly consequences because "God always forgives; we forgive sometimes; [but] nature never forgives."

Citing a recent report that the Pine Island and Thwates glaciers in Antarctica are collapsing due to global warming, Francis said the consequential rising sea levels "will be terrible," and he called on people to "guard the inheritance God has entrusted to us so that future generations can enjoy it."

"Each one of us can and must become a guardian of the common home, capable of praising God for his creatures [by] contemplating them and protecting them," the pope said.

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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 Sep 28, 2020 10:21 am

+JMJ+

Who has the ‘greenest’ Catholic diocese in the U.S? Maybe Virginia. [In-Depth]
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Left: The Rev. John Grace on top of the Immaculate Conception Church roof in Hampton, Va. (Photo by Vy Barto) Right: Immaculate Conception Church (Photo by Dan Misleh)

“My goal is for the Diocese of Richmond to be the greenest in the country,” Charles Mikell, the diocese’s director of real estate, told America. That dream means converting or connecting 146 parishes, 23 schools, eight nursing homes and eight cemeteries to solar energy. For a diocese that covers 33,000 square miles, about four-fifths of Virginia, the metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions could quickly add up.

The Diocese of Richmond has responded to the call to care for our common home with a project that will soon generate 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of solar electricity every year. Richmond’s solar energy production is projected to offset over 45,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas over the next 25 years. That is about the same amount of gas it would take to drive 100 million miles, according to the Catholic Climate Covenant. And these figures only reflect reductions from the first seven solar panel projects — Mr. Mikell hopes to have 10 to 15 more underway next year and to double that by 2022.

The effort, which aims to have another diocesan property outfitted with solar panels by December, has been selected as a finalist in the Project of the Year competition sponsored by Solar Builder Magazine. A winner will be selected after online voting ends on Sept. 27.

The diocese teamed up with Catholic Energies, a program of the Catholic Climate Covenant (a climate justice advocacy group that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. helped create in 2006), and began converting diocesan properties to solar energy in 2019. The Immaculate Conception Church in Hampton, Va., was the first to undergo the transformation that year. The church roof is now covered by 440 solar panels.

Richmond’s solar energy production is projected to offset over 45,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas over the next 25 years.

[…]

Catholic Energies negotiates a 25-year power purchase agreement for each church, so most parishes spend nothing upfront to finance their solar projects, Mr. Mikell explained. They do make regular payments to third-party investors, typically at a cost below their previous electric bill, and churches have the opportunity to buy themselves out from the finance arrangement after five years.

[…]

Catholic Energies assesses whether switching to solar is even a viable option, looking at a community’s electrical grid capacity and the solar potential of the roof at proposed project sites. Then its team creates and reviews designs and economic models, prepares contracts with local companies and secures funding from third-party investors.

Those investors may not be interested in small projects, so Catholic Energies may bundle multiple projects together. Catholic Energies manages the project through to completion — navigating the paperwork and local regulations governing contractors, grants, tax breaks, commissions and permits from the city.

[…]

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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 Oct 12, 2020 12:26 pm

+JMJ+

Oxfam: World's poor suffer from carbon emissions generated by the rich [In-Depth]
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A woman and children walk through a drought-stricken rice field in Cebu, Philippines, in April 2016. (CNS/Reuters/Jay Rommel Labra)

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

Editor's note: This story originally appeared at Cornell Alliance for Science and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

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

The world's poor and marginalized people are suffering the most from climate change impacts, though they contribute the least to the carbon emissions that are driving global warming, according to new research by Oxfam.

The 3.1 billion people who make up 50% of the world's poorest population generate just 7% of the cumulative emissions that are harming the planet, the Oxfam research shows. Meanwhile, the 63 million people who make up the world's richest 1% generate more than double that amount, or 15% of the total.

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"Over the past 20 to 30 years, the climate crisis has been fuelled and our limited global carbon budget squandered in the service of increasing the consumption of the already affluent, rather than lifting people out of poverty," the report, jointly published with the Stockholm Environment Institute, noted.

"The two groups that suffer most from this injustice are those least responsible for the climate crisis: poorer and marginalized people already struggling with climate impacts today, and future generations who will inherit a depleted carbon budget and a world accelerating towards climate breakdown," the report observed.

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon noted in a comment on the report that it "shows once again that to tackle climate change we must fight for social and economic justice for everyone. My indigenous peoples have long borne the brunt of environmental destruction, and now is the time to listen, to integrate our knowledge and to prioritize saving nature to save ourselves."

The data show emissions by sub-Saharan Africa account for less than 1% of the total. Yet the African continent is already bearing the brunt of negative climate change impacts, Sulemana Issifu, director of research at the Centre for Climate Change and Food Security, told the Alliance for Science.

"Climate change threatens the very existence of humanity," Issifu said. "Although industrialization in Africa is very low, other models have shown that if climate change becomes very severe, Africa stands the chance to be the greatest casualty."

African agriculture is already being adversely affected by heavy downpours that result in flooding, as well as drought — both of which could be consequences of climate change, he observed. Climate change is also promoting the spread of pests on farms across the continent, Issifu said.

[…]

The report, titled "Confronting Carbon Inequality," made a number of recommendations to help deal with the situation. They include:
  • Setting science- and equity-based national targets to reduce carbon emissions from consumption, as well as production.
  • Incorporating principles of social dialogue at all levels to ensure that the voices of workers in affected industries, women and low-income and marginalized groups are heard in designing just transitions to an economy that keeps global heating below 1.5 C and a society that enables all its members to thrive.
  • Imposing punitive measures against the rich for their role in polluting the environment, with the revenues invested in public infrastructure that benefits the masses.
"Taxes or bans are more appropriate measures to curtail luxury carbon consumption of items like SUVs and high-end sports cars, or frequent business-class and private jet flights," the report stated. "Alternatively, public investment, such as in energy efficiency improvements in affordable housing, is more appropriate to improve footprints associated with home heating, to avoid regressive impacts on lower income households," the report stated.

Issifu called for a change in behavior not only by the rich, but by the poor as well.

"Human consumption behavior is a major accelerator of climate change," he said. "It is true that the lifestyle of the rich is a major accelerator. But the poor also have a role to play. … For example, government is putting a ban on importation of more than 10-year-old vehicles in Ghana and the poor are protesting. Government wants to ban plastics and the poor are protesting. So, if we begin to apportion the blame, we will not get anywhere. So, I will say behavior of human beings in general should change."

[…]

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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 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:50 pm

+JMJ+

Around world, adults, children 'bear burden' of climate change, says nuncio [In-Depth]
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A fisher in Taholah, Wash., on the Quinault Indian Reservation, is seen on the Quinault River March 4, 2020. (CNS/Reuters/Stephanie Keith)

United Nations — Protecting "our common home for present and future generations is one of the most urgent demands of our time," Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, said Oct. 13.

"Like all global challenges, it requires the unified response of the international community, based on consensus and shared commitment," he said. "An interdependent world, as the one in which we live as members of one human family, requires us to think in terms of one world with a common project."

He made the comments regarding an agenda item on sustainable development before the Economic and Financial Committee, or Second Committee, of the U.N. General Assembly at its 75th session.

Caccia said the international community needs to continue to address climate change, natural disasters and environmental degradation "on three levels — mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction."

[…]

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Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, delivers the homily during his welcome Mass at Holy Family Church in New York City Jan. 28, 2020. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

But beyond finding technical solutions, the "human face" of climate change should not be forgotten, Caccia said.

"Every day across the world, children, women and men bear the burden of climate change consequences and climate-related disasters," he explained. "For them, this phenomenon is not an abstract environmental question, but rather an existential threat attacking their already precarious habitats and destabilizing their vulnerable economies, societies, agriculture and food systems."

Overcoming climate change also requires "addressing poverty, inequality, social injustice and all other forms of degradation affecting people's lives, especially in the poorest countries," the prelate said.

"The fight against climate change is a question of justice and a moral imperative," he continued. "It should combine protecting the environment with advancing the dignity of the human person, eradicating poverty and promoting integral human development, and caring for both present and future generations."

Caccia pledged the Vatican's "continued commitment to the protection of our common home."

This commitment, he said, is illustrated by many projects of Catholic institutions and faith-based organizations as well as the Vatican's ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons.

[…]

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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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