The Care for Our Common Home Ministry (CCH) at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston, VA, promotes the vision of Laudato Si' in our parish and beyond.
Mission: The SJN Care for Our Common Home (CCH) Ministry, guided by a rich tradition of Catholic social teaching, works to bring to life the message of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, in all relevant aspects of parish life, including worship, faith formation, social ministry, and facilities management. In response to the Church’s moral call for action, we seek to better understand the interconnectedness of all of God’s creation and act in solidarity with vulnerable populations around the world and for future generations. We will share Church teaching on care for creation, strive to reduce our carbon footprint as a parish, and provide resources and encouragement so that all parishioners can live in a more sustainable manner as faithful stewards of creation.
Another good episode of climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe's "Global Weirding" series.
What's the big deal about a few degrees anyway? Find out in the last episode of Global Weirding. We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way.
Lenten reflection by Scott Wright, Director of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach in DC.
indcatholicnews.com Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and preparation for Easter by calling us to a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Christians around the world are offered a heart-felt plea to change from our merciful and compassionate God: "Return to me with your whole heart!" (Joel 2:12)
"The phrase 'Earth System' refers to the entirety of our planet’s interacting physical, chemical, biological, and human processes. . . . Climate is just one element of this system; if we focus on that alone, we will misunderstand the complexity of the danger."
commondreams.org Slowing climate change is crucial but navigating its challenges is only possible if it is understood as one facet of planetary overshoot.. “Anthropocene” is a widely proposed name for the geological epoch that covers human impact on our planet. But it is not synonymous with “climate change,”...
This article is a good follow-up to the presentation at our January meeting on "Clothing: Past, Present and Future." From the article: "[T]he real, underlying issue here is that brands are producing way too many clothes–and they’re convincing customers that it’s normal to buy way more than they need."
fastcompany.com The industry churned out 100 billion pieces of clothing for 7 billion people in 2015. The problem is so bad, some brands are burning unsold inventory. The waste has got to stop.
Researchers "said the drafters of the Green New Deal were perfectly right to urge large-scale action across many parts of the economy, and they emphasized the technological opportunities that now exist to meet many of the environmental goals that underpin the proposed legislation, if not the exact timetable it lays down."
newyorker.com Achieving anything close to zero emissions by mid-century would be a historic transformation for the U.S. economy. But rapidly advancing technology and the falling costs of clean energy make this goal eminently achievable.
"The United Nations’ Trillion Tree Campaign has planted nearly 15 billion trees across the globe in recent years. And Australia has announced a plan to plant a billion more by 2050 as part of its effort to meet the country’s Paris Agreement climate targets."
e360.yale.edu E360 Digest February 20, 2019 Planting 1.2 Trillion Trees Could Cancel Out a Decade of CO2 Emissions, Scientists Find Fox Maple Woods in Wisconsin. Joshua Mayer / Flickr There is enough room in the world’s existing parks, forests, and abandoned land to plant 1.2 trillion additional trees, which wo...
"[P]lastic, when exposed to the elements, releases methane and ethylene - two powerful greenhouse gases that can exacerbate climate change. . . . Degrading plastic pollution is a source of climate change gas emissions not previously identified in the global greenhouse gas budget."
surfrider.org This month, a team of researchers from University of Hawaii published a ground-breaking study revealing that plastic, when exposed to the elements, releases methane and ethylene - two powerful greenhouse gases that can exacerbate climate change. The study examined the seven most common types of plas...
The Washington Post is running a series of editorials in its print edition, combined into this online version, calling for a more ambitious carbon tax and spending plan than what's been proposed in the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, and a more single-minded focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions than what's been proposed in the New Green Deal congressional resolutions.
washingtonpost.com The planet does not need just any plan to fight global warming. It needs the smartest one.
The Vatican has just released Pope Francis's message for Lent 2019, calling us anew to an ecological conversion, sharing our spiritual and material goods with those in need and radiating the transforming power of Christ’s victory over sin and death to all of creation.
w2.vatican.va Lent 2019: For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God (Rm 8: 19)
nytimes.com How the United States could cut emissions in half, using policies that other countries already have in place.
Another good short video from climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. This one focuses on Canada, but it's well worth watching for people in the U.S. too.
Canada is so far north, global warming would actually be good for it…right? After all they don’t have as much to lose as other countries. Find out more on th...
"The rise in the number of Americans who say global warming is personally important to them was even sharper, jumping nine percentage points since March to 72 percent, another record over the past decade."
nytimes.com “I’ve never seen jumps in some of the key indicators like this,” the lead researcher said.
"Dewane said the proposed carbon dividend program is but 'one possible remedy to addressing' the full costs of greenhouse gas emissions, which include social, economic and environmental factors. He also stressed the need to ensure that a price on carbon does not negatively impact the poor . . . ."
ncronline.org A bipartisan bill aiming to place a price on carbon emissions represents "a hopeful sign" that legislators are taking climate change seriously, said the head of the U.S. bishops' domestic justice offi...
"The vision is based upon three pillars of action – 100% renewable energy, protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans, and a transition to regenerative agriculture, all by 2050. Together, these pillars of action give us a global roadmap to tackle the climate crisis and to ensure a sustainable future for all of Earth’s inhabitants."
leonardodicaprio.org It’s possible to stay below the threshold of 1.5˚C in global temperature rise, addressing the climate crisis through three pillars of action.
"The Post asked activists, politicians and researchers for climate policy ideas that offer hope. Radical change from one state, or even the whole United States, won’t address climate change on its own, but taking these actions could help start the planet down a path toward a better future."
washingtonpost.com More competitive electric markets, a Green New Deal, carbon farming and other ideas that could help slow global warming.
"Reducing our problem to climate change, then to CO2, and finally to measuring emissions only at the point of energy production is a dramatic misrepresentation of our dilemma. An Anthropocene perspective is needed to keep the totality of the predicament in view."
asiaglobalonline.hku.hk “Anthropocene” is a widely proposed name for the geological epoch that covers human impact on our planet. But it is not synonymous with “climate change,” nor can it covered by “environmental…
"The study is the latest in a series of papers published this month suggesting that scientific estimates of the effects of a warming planet have been, if anything, too conservative."
nytimes.com With the Arctic warming rapidly, ice loss in Greenland is accelerating and may soon be a major factor in rising sea levels, according to a new study.
nytimes.com Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. We must do the same when it comes to this grave injustice of our time.
Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe continues her series of Global Weirding episodes looking at regional impacts of climate change:
Climate change is a distant problem...right? Not quite. We're already seeing the impacts all around the United States. On this episode, we take a look at how...
"Public opinion around the world is that our leaders, governments and businesses should be doing more on this vital issue. . . . Through well-publicised and effective movements and actions, more and more people are refusing silently to acquiesce in ignoring the dangers to the climate."
theguardian.com As we reflect on a year of extreme weather and ominous climate talks, 2019 could see some much-needed breakthroughs
"One bright spot in the [recent IPCC] report is that we already have the tools we need. Let’s make something clear, though: The emissions we need to focus on now are the ones at the industrial, corporate level, not at the individual level."
vox.com From pricing carbon to shifting diets, here’s what we need to prioritize now.
Among the six: an economic slowdown "may actually be good news for the climate and possibly for society too. This is because less global economic growth means less production, less consumption – and lower emissions.
But any slowdown or eventual reversal in growth must happen in an equitable way to make sure that human well-being still increases."
theconversation.com We asked climate researchers to peer through the smog and highlight some positive stories from 2018.
Excellent article on the dangers we face and the transformation needed. As St. Paul says, "[T]he time is running out. From now on, let . . . those using the world [act] as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away" (1 Cor 7:29-31).
motherboard.vice.com The IPCC has been criticized for being "too alarmist. If anything, it is the opposite. With their latest report, they have been overly conservative."
The risk is that, once major tipping points are reached, mutually reinforcing natural feedbacks will negate any efforts to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
theguardian.com Scientists warn policymakers not to ignore links, and stress that ‘every action counts’
Another holiday recycling tip:
americandisposal.com Trash and refuse removal. Curbside Trash Service, Bulk Item Pickup, Yard Debris Collection, Recycling
"[W]e encourage much greater ambition in delivering Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and stronger mechanisms toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing the decarbonisation of the current fossil fuel-based economy, transparently sharing the way each nation implements its commitments, addressing the issue of loss and damage, ensuring solid financial commitments, and promoting education in sustainability, responsible awareness, and lifestyle changes."
press.vatican.va In His Encyclical Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis stressed the importance of strengthening responsibly the policies related to climate change, which is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods (see...
Holiday recycling tip: "[M]ost of today’s wrapping paper has very little paper in it at all. It’s a composite made of different materials including plastics. The flashier it looks, the more likely it is to be made up of nonrecyclable materials."
americandisposal.com Trash and refuse removal. Curbside Trash Service, Bulk Item Pickup, Yard Debris Collection, Recycling
Interesting information about cement and what can be done to reduce its big climate impact. "If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world - behind China and the US. It contributes more CO2 than aviation fuel (2.5%) and is not far behind the global agriculture business (12%)."
bbc.com Cement is the source of about 8% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. How can this be changed?
"Many people expected a complete derailment of this conference, so the fact that countries were able to agree on a rulebook shows there's still some spirit of commitment. But they should have gone further."
ncronline.org Catholic participants and observers criticized a "lack of ambition" by government negotiators at a U.N. conference on climate change that ended Dec. 15 with agreement on a rulebook to implement the 20...
"Some experts at the talks argued that the march of cheaper, cleaner energy technologies would do far more to break the deadlock around climate policy than any complicated treaties could."
nytimes.com The deal puts in place detailed implementation rules, but analysts said it was now up to individual countries to honor their commitments.
Catholic Climate Covenant
Today is Pope Francis’ 82nd Birthday! Yesterday, kids from the Vatican’s free-of-charge pediatric clinic surprised him with a cake. The message reads: “We cannot become accustomed to the situations of degradation and misery around us. A Christian must react." On his birthday, we want to thank the pope for constantly reminding us that we must never be content or indifferent in the face of injustice and suffering. We must take action against the degradation of the environment and the misery of the poor and vulnerable. We must replace a culture of indifference with a culture of solidarity.
St. Thomas à Becket is a Roman Catholic community. We believe in Jesus Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Parish website: www.saintjn.org Parish Young Adult Group Page: www.facebook.com/SJNYA