Category : Climate Change, Weather

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.

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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….

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

International Anglican Bible project aims to discover the church’s role in battling climate change

(ACNS) Members of the worldwide Anglican Communion are working together on a project to discover what the Bible tells the church about saving the planet from environmental damage.

The Bible in the Life of the Church project manager, Stephen Lyon, said that World Environment Day was the perfect moment to reveal that the first issue under discussion would be the Environment.

“We are already seeing the impact of climate change, particularly in the developing world,” he said. “Most Anglicans live in countries like India and Nigeria that will be worst hit by greater flooding, or diminishing levels of potable water.

“All faiths have a duty to protect the environment, for themselves and others. Our particular tradition, Anglicanism, has enshrined the need to protect our world in its mission statement The Five Marks of Mission*. This is one of the reasons why we have picked this issue””to ensure that all Anglicans everywhere realise the biblical imperative to protect and sustain God’s creation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, - Anglican: Primary Source, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

Thomas L. Friedman: Global Weirding Is Here

Of the festivals of nonsense that periodically overtake American politics, surely the silliest is the argument that because Washington is having a particularly snowy winter it proves that climate change is a hoax and, therefore, we need not bother with all this girly-man stuff like renewable energy, solar panels and carbon taxes. Just drill, baby, drill.

When you see lawmakers like Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina tweeting that “it is going to keep snowing until Al Gore cries ”˜uncle,’ ” or news that the grandchildren of Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma are building an igloo next to the Capitol with a big sign that says “Al Gore’s New Home,” you really wonder if we can have a serious discussion about the climate-energy issue anymore.

The climate-science community is not blameless. It knew it was up against formidable forces ”” from the oil and coal companies that finance the studies skeptical of climate change to conservatives who hate anything that will lead to more government regulations to the Chamber of Commerce that will resist any energy taxes. Therefore, climate experts can’t leave themselves vulnerable by citing non-peer-reviewed research or failing to respond to legitimate questions, some of which happened with both the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Climate Change, Weather, Globalization

ABC Nightline: March of the Penguins

I caught this one on yesterday morning’s run–really wonderful stuff.

Update: There is also a penguin slideshow here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Animals, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources

WSJ: Minister preaches a green message

When a San Francisco nonprofit was pushing a controversial California bill last year to remove the restrictions on energy that residents can generate from solar and wind systems, the group needed supporters.

So it turned to an ordained minister named Sally Bingham.

“We have very few voices that are embraced by all levels of society as moral arbitrators,” says Adam Browning, executive director of the nonprofit, Vote Solar Initiative. “But Sally speaks with moral authority.”

As the environmental minister at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, Ms. Bingham is sought after by more than just Vote Solar. Other environmental groups and political leaders are also reaching out to the 67-year-old, who operates a nonprofit interfaith environmental outreach group dubbed the Regeneration Project out of a modest office in the city’s Financial District.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

An open letter to all Canadians from the Moderator of The United Church of Canada

This letter was born in Copenhagen where, heartbroken, I watched the international climate talks fall apart.

Heartbroken because it was clear to me, as it was to many of you, that the talks in Copenhagen needed to succeed, that it is no longer safe for us to go on as we have before.

I believe this is a unique time in humanity’s fretful reign on Earth, a rare moment that will have historic significance.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

RNS: Pope Laments Slow Pace in Tackling Climate Change

Referring to last month’s United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, where political leaders failed to negotiate a way to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, Benedict said the summit offered evidence of “economic and political resistance to combating the degradation of the environment.”

“I trust that in the course of this year … it will be possible to reach an agreement for effectively dealing with (climate change),” Benedict said. “The issue is all the more important in that the very future of some nations is at stake, particularly some island states.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Fuel struggle heating up in Canadian churches

The high price of furnace oil is a burden for some church congregations which have had to find more cost-effective places to worship.
Geoff Tothill, treasurer of the Northumberland Parish, said the congregation at St. John the Baptist Anglican Church in River John is contemplating moving winter services from the 130-year-old building to the church hall following the Christmas service.

“Our church is not insulated at all, it’s the old style ”“ open to the rafters ”“ and that’s a big cost for us,” said Tothill, adding heat there usually costs about $2,500 annually.
He said in the last two years heating costs have increased about 30 per cent.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Climate Change, Weather, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry