Category : Climate Change, Weather

(C of E) Bishop of Salisbury calls for UK ‘net zero’ commitment as climate change report published

The Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment has said that a report published today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals a ‘critical risk-level’ for global communities.

Speaking from the European Churches Environmental Network in Katowice, Bishop Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, urged the UK Government to commit to a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

“The evidence published by the IPCC today shows that the risk level of climate change is now critical. Ours is the first generation to know and understand this and probably the last to be able to do something meaningful towards climate justice,” he said.

“This year has been the hottest on record. Extreme weather events happen with increasing frequency, and the poorest are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change which affects us all.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Climate Change, Weather, CoE Bishops, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology

(NYT) Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040

A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The authors found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels by 2040, inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology

(Local Paper Front Page) How will South Carolina cope as ‘extreme’ weather becomes the new norm?

Scant attention is devoted to how we might avert the next catastrophe or whether we need to change the ways we function in a world where “extreme weather” no longer lives up to its name.

Climate change has caused our seas to rise and fueled ever-more powerful storms that hurl massive amounts of water from the oceans and clouds. And while much of our attention has been focused on the fragile coast, South Carolina’s inland communities have repeatedly taken a beating, as well, most recently from the trillions of gallons of water dumped by Hurricane Florence.

Consider that the tiny town of Nichols, a 90-minute drive from the coast, sank beneath floodwaters for the second time since Hurricane Matthew drowned the community in 2016. Rebuilding was still under way when Florence caused the nearby rivers to again jump their banks.

Climatologists and risk management experts say South Carolina, like much of the country, is woefully unprepared for these new threats, partly because the resources to help people understand and prepare for flooding are decades out of date.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood risk maps don’t consider several key factors, including sea level rise, development trends and extreme rainfall that can exacerbate flooding. Yet they are still the primary guides for how and where homes get built….

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Posted in * South Carolina, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(FT) Shell faces push from shareholders, among whom is the Church of England, on climate change goals

…climate activists are disputing Shell’s claim that its goal is in line with the Paris agreement — the 2015 international pact aimed at limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.

“The ambitions announced by Shell are inconsistent with the Paris agreement, in particular when taking into account expected global energy demand growth,” said Mark van Baal of Follow This, the shareholder group that has submitted a resolution calling for more aggressive targets.

Activists point to forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency, which advise governments on climate change and energy policy, that an absolute reduction in carbon emissions of 60-65 per cent would be required by 2050 to fulfil the Paris agreement.

Moreover, they say that Shell’s goal for a 50 per cent reduction would be only 25 per cent in absolute terms if the group maintains its share of a global energy market that is forecast to grow by 50 per cent by 2050.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Climate Change, Weather, Corporations/Corporate Life, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stock Market

Summerville, South Carolina, Turned into a Winter Wonderland with 6 1/2 inches of snow from the Latest Storm

Posted in * South Carolina, Climate Change, Weather, Photos/Photography

(NYT Op-ed) Archbp Justin Welby–Our Moral Opportunity on Climate Change

Climate change is the human thumb on the scale, pushing us toward disaster. It is not a distant danger — it is already with us. As we continue to burn fossil fuels, its effects will only grow.

Some years ago I worked in Nigeria, helping to find peaceful solutions to conflicts. Its capital city, Lagos — one of the world’s megacities, with a population estimated at 14 million to 21 million — will most likely experience a sea-level rise of around 35 inches in the next few decades if current warming trends continue.

Even in this best-case scenario, which depends on the global community’s sticking to the Paris climate change agreement, many of the shops I visited and homes I passed during my years in the country will be flooded. The rising waters are already changingways of life and pressuring people to leave their homes. In the coming years, experts predict that millions of peoplein Lagos will be forced to move.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria

Overnight Hurricane Irma Computer Models Shift East

Posted in * South Carolina, Climate Change, Weather, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew calls for urgent action on the environment

The Ecumenical Patriarch His All Holiness Bartholomew has called for urgent action for climate justice ahead of the UN summit on climate change in Paris in December.

In a lecture held at Lambeth Palace as part of a two day visit, the ‘green patriarch’ spoke of the ethical and honourable obligation ahead of COP21:
“It is not too late to act, but we cannot afford to wait. We all agree on the necessity to protect the planet’s natural resources ”¦. and we are all in this together.” The Patriarch urged cities, governments and individuals to voice opinions, make decisions and act to drive a new environmental ethos.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Climate Change, Weather, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ecumenical Relations, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology

(PRC) Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat

In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December, many publics around the world name global climate change as a top threat, according to a new Pew Research Center survey measuring perceptions of international challenges. This is particularly true in Latin America and Africa, where majorities in most countries say they are very concerned about this issue. But as the Islamic militant group ISIS maintains its hold in Iraq and Syria and intensifies its grisly public executions, Europeans and Middle Easterners most frequently cite ISIS as their main concern among international issues.

Global economic instability also figures prominently as the top concern in a number of countries, and it is the second biggest concern in half of the countries surveyed. In contrast, concerns about Iran’s nuclear program as well as cyberattacks on governments, banks or corporations are limited to a few nations. Israelis and Americans are among the most concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, while South Koreans and Americans have the greatest concern about cyberattacks relative to other publics. And apprehension about tensions between Russia and its neighbors, or territorial disputes between China and surrounding countries, largely remain regional concerns.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Defense, National Security, Military, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Sociology, Terrorism, Theology

(CC) Norman Wirzba–All creatures: Ecology and the eyes of faith

Christians have come lately and weakly to the causes of environmental healing and restoration. When environmental activists in the 1960s noted that Christianity bore a major responsibility for our environmental crises, the vast majority of Christians remained unmoved. In the curricula of leading institutions of theological education in the 1980s, ecological concerns barely made an appearance. Now, roughly 30 years later, it’s still not uncommon to find Christians who are either in denial or fail to see how the environmental problems of our day are distinctly theological concerns.

How can this be? How can one affirm God the Creator and at the same time degrade the health and vitality of God’s creation? We can offer many reasons to explain this contradictory state of affairs, but I believe that our problem goes to the manners and methods of theological practice itself, so that even when theologians turn their attention to ecological concerns, they often have considerable difficulty finding anything helpful to say other than “Come on, people. It’s time to take care of creation!” In other words, the problem is theology’s inadequate form and function. The destruction of the earth is, among other things, a theological catastrophe, and Christian apathy is a sign that theological reflection has lost its way.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Climate Change, Weather, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(C of E Comm. Blog) Nigel Genders–Retaining vision for Church schools in new educational landscape

Most of our schools are rated good or outstanding, with pupils attaining academic benchmarks. But we want more for our children. Church of England schools focus on spirituality and creativity which values the arts and religion as much as it looks for the beauty in maths, the wonder in science and the emotional understanding enhanced through poetry and music.

We also focus on the development of character and virtue that enables pupils to play their part in transforming the neighbourhood and world in which they live. That is why we are delighted to be one of fourteen from more than a thousand applicants, to be awarded a grant from the DfE Character Fund to carry out a substantial research project examining how various approach to teaching and pedagogy might better develop not just resilience and grit but ways of thinking which lead to service and mutual understanding.

We are also pleased to be developing ways in which schools and colleges can help communities live well together. This is not simply about fundamental British values which might be driven by the fear of extremism, but flows from a desire to use the diversity that is present in our schools to demonstrate what living well together really means.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Climate Change, Weather, Education, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Lent & Beyond: Resources for Praying for those threatened by Hurricane Sandy

Lent and Beyond is posting regular entries with information and prayer related to Hurricane Sandy. You can find all the entries here.

Of particular note is a Hurricane Prayer Litany here.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Climate Change, Weather, Spirituality/Prayer

Vatican Radio–The Horn of Africa: A chronic crisis

The segment description is as follows:

The U.N. will airlift emergency rations this week to parts of drought-ravaged Somalia that militants banned it from more than two years ago. The foray into the famine zone is a desperate attempt to reach at least 175,000 of the 2.2 million Somalis whom aid workers have not yet been able to help.

Tens of thousands already have trekked to neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia, hoping to get aid in refugee camps. Responding to the Horn of Africa crisis, the Jesuit Refugee Service has also announced plans to step up ongoing work for Somalis in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Lydia O’Kane sat down with Father Peter Balleis SJ, International Director of JRS and Communications Co-ordinator James Stapleton.

Speaking about severity of the situation Father Balleis says, “ The crisis or so it looks like a new crisis is a chronic crisis. For years and years Somalia is at war, not all parts but a central part and the Somali population are leaving the country as refugees”.

James Stapleton adds that some aid agencies are reporting that they have never seen a crisis on this scale before.

Listen to it all (a little over 14 minutes).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Climate Change, Weather, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Poverty

(ACNS) Anglicans prepare for Climate Change conference

The eyes of the world will be on South Africa from Sunday 27 November to Friday 9 December this year. Negotiators and political leaders from around the world will gather in Durban at the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17). With provincial and diocesan programmes around the Communion, particularly in the southern hemisphere, increasingly having to integrate a response to the impacts of climate change within local mission, it is hoped that governments will make firm and urgent commitments to decrease national carbon emissions.

In the Diocese of Natal, the Revd Dr Andrew Warmback is Rector of the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, Pinetown, where parishioners have planted an indigenous, waterless garden as a ”˜green lung’ for their area, set up recycling facilities and established a vegetable garden in the church grounds to show how a small area can be used to grow food.

Dr Warmback describes how the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is playing a key role in mobilising its own and other faith communities to join together in the work of influencing governments to make these firm commitments in Durban.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Climate Change, Weather

Fiona Harvey reviews Paul Collier's new book "The Plundered Planet"

A good portion of the book is given over to setting out the problems. This is not as dry as it sounds; Collier has a good line in the wry anecdote, the telling statistic and judicious use of research studies. He makes complex economic theories accessible to the lay reader in a briskly chatty style.

Early on, Collier tells us he is breaking fresh ground. He faces two opposing armies: the environmentalists, characterised as deluded romantics, and the traditional economists, or ostriches as he calls them, who bury their heads in their theories without paying heed to the plunder of the real world around them.

Collier is right to portray aspects of the green movement as foolishly romantic, and many mainstream economists as too doctrinaire….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Books, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology