Monday, May 22, 2017

Working with a "Catholic Climate Covenant" Mindset

Everything is connected...everything is connected...everything is connected: Ever since Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si' repeated this mantra dozens of times, we have been left with many practical questions about how best to address the complex crisis of social and environmental issues which we currently face. 

What follows is a sample letter from the Catholic Climate Covenant, designed for easy delivery to our nation's leaders. If it speaks to you, please feel free to send it to your elected officials (the link is below), and pass it along to family and friends:
“Our nation’s willingness to honor our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement is in doubt.   As a Catholic echoing, Pope Francis’ call for climate action, as your constituent, and for the sake of our shared present and future, I urge you to support our nation’s continued and constructive involvement in the Agreement.  I ask that our nation’s participation include honoring our commitments under the Agreement to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, so that we may do our part in the global effort to limit global average temperatures to well below 2°C.
Climate change is impacting poor and vulnerable peoples around the world right now in tragic ways.  More frequent and intense storms, prolonged droughts, food and water shortages, and reduced crop yields, threaten their ability to survive.  These circumstances foster suffering, desperation and displacement that lead to global instability and unrest.  It is our moral duty and in our national interest, to honor our pledge in the Paris Agreement and assist the poor and vulnerable among us to adapt to climate change.
Pope Francis makes it clear that our care for one another and our care for the Earth are intimately bound together. The Church calls all of us to be stewards of God’s creation, respectful and mindful of the fact that we depend on nature to survive. The Paris Agreement is a manifestation of this stewardship, recognizing we all contribute to the causes and solutions to climate change. 
As Pope Francis receives President Trump in the coming days, I hope that our nation’s commitment to the Paris Agreement will be affirmed.  The world’s leaders have an obligation to protect God’s creation, to ease the suffering of the poor and vulnerable, and to protect our nation and world from the harms of climate change.  Choosing to remain in the Paris Agreement helps further these goals.  I urge you to affirm our commitments to the Paris Agreement and the resources needed to implement the U.S. commitments to the Agreement.” 

To support the U.S. remaining part of the Paris agreement, simply follow this link and email this message to President Trump, as well as to your Representative and two Senators (you will also have the option to edit the letter).

As Pope Francis wrote in his environmental encyclical: "A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system....Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it." (LS, n. 23).

Isn't it time to act, given that "everything is interconnected" (LS, n. 138)?!