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.
"Pope Francis has endorsed the call to 'the believers of all the religions to unite together spiritually on May 14 in a day of prayer and fasting, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic.' He also encouraged international cooperation to respond to the crisis . . . ."
americamagazine.org The appeal calls on believers in God worldwide to hold “a day for fasting, prayers, and supplications” on May 14.
"Even with the global economy at a near-standstill, the best analysis suggests that the world is still on track to release 95 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted in a typical year, continuing to heat up the planet and driving climate change even as we’re stuck at home."
grist.org The air is clear, the roads are clear, and dammit greenhouse gases are stubborn.
"We have an opportunity to invest in clean air and water strategies and technologies; build clean energy systems to eliminate fossil fuels; expand electric vehicle programs and phase out polluting transportation; open our cities to pedestrians and bicycles; and protect natural ecosystems in new ways that enhance rather than destroy chances for wildlife. But grabbing that opportunity is going to require public awareness and pressure to make permanent some of the improvements we now can only glimpse because of this crisis."
pacinst.org By Peter Gleick The 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic is having the unexpected and unintended effect of teaching us lessons about both the vulnerability and the resilience of our natural ecosystems and environment. As of this writing in late April, we are still in the middle of it, with no obvious end in...
"A global loss of forests could lead to a surge in heat-trapping carbon dioxide, causing more warming, and would also eliminate habitat for countless other animals, plants and fungi, with a rippling effect that reaches humans."
insideclimatenews.org New studies show drought and heat waves will cause massive die-offs, killing most trees alive today.
“In today’s celebration of Earth Day, we are called to renew our sense of sacred respect for the Earth, for it is not just our home but also God’s home. This should make us all the more aware that we stand on holy ground!” Pope Francis said.
americamagazine.org The pope dedicated his catechesis April 22 to a reflection on the human and Christian responsibility to care for the Earth, humanity’s common home.
Terrific 6-minute video from Jane Goodall. Happy 50th Earth Day!
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of di...
“Pandemics as a whole are increasing in frequency . . . . It’s not a random act of God. It’s caused by what we do to the environment. We need to start connecting that chain and say we need to do these things in a less risky way.”
washingtonpost.com The global wildlife trade, agricultural intensification, deforestation and urbanization are bringing people closer to animals, giving their viruses more of what they need to infect us: opportunity.
"Planting trees would slow down the planet’s warming, but the only thing that will save us and future generations from paying a huge price in dollars, lives and damage to nature is rapid and substantial reductions in carbon emissions from fossil fuels, to net zero by 2050."
nytimes.com Focusing on trees as the big solution to climate change is a dangerous diversion.
Are Electric Vehicles Really Better for the Climate? Yes. Here's Why
"[D]riving the average EV is responsible for fewer global warming emissions than the average new gasoline car everywhere in the US. In some parts of the country, driving the average new gasoline car will produce 4 to 7 times the emissions of the average EV."
"The environmental impact of seemingly insignificant voluntary actions is far greater than most people realize, for two related reasons. First, they have the power to shift how the people around us behave. Second, and more important, they change who we are, making us much more likely to support the large-scale policies needed for progress."
washingtonpost.com Buying hybrids convinces other people to buy them — a dynamic that can save the planet
"In the text known as 'Querida Amazonia' ('Beloved Amazonia,') [Pope Francis] pitches hard for justice for the region’s 33 million people, of whom 2.5 are indigenous peoples, and for the protection of their lives, their cultures, their lands, the Amazon river and rainforests, against the 'crime and injustice' being perpetrated in the region by powerful economic interests, both national and international, that risk destroying the people and the environment."
americamagazine.org In a highly significant move, Francis “officially” presents the synod’s final document, which includes the synod’s hot-button issues, to the Catholic Church worldwide.
Bishop McElroy writes, "Against the backdrop of these two monumental threats to human life, how can one evaluate the competing claims that either abortion or climate change should be uniquely preeminent in Catholic social teaching regarding the formation of Americans as citizens and believers? Four points should be considered."
ncronline.org In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis points powerfully to the vocation of faith-filled citizenship: An authentic faith … always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to lea...
"[S]ome climate scientists and energy experts say the worst-case scenario is increasingly unlikely. That’s stirred debate within the research community over whether a rare bit of good news about global warming has emerged or if, instead, the situation is far more complicated and still quite dire."
washingtonpost.com The "business as usual" climate change scenario may be too pessimistic, some scientists say, sparking a debate in the climate science community.
This article is a couple of years old but still timely and important: "It’s not that we aren’t building clean energy fast enough to address the challenge of climate change. It’s that—even after decades of warnings, policy debates, and clean-energy campaigns—the world has barely even begun to confront the problem."
technologyreview.com Here are the real reasons we’re not building clean energy anywhere near fast enough.
Good summary of where we are with respect to climate change, as global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. “What happens in the future depends a lot on our emissions of greenhouse gases as a society. If we continue emitting at current levels, we will continue warming at about the same rate."
washingtonpost.com It also marked the second-warmest year ever. “What happens in the future is really up to us," said one scientist.
"The 2010s were a 'decade of disappointment,' said [Kallan] Benson, now 15 and a national coordinator for the youth climate organization Fridays for Future. If the world is to stave off further disasters, the next decade must be one of unprecedented climate action, she said."
washingtonpost.com By the final year of the decade, the planet had surpassed its 2010 temperature record five times.
Climate talks in Madrid ended Sunday with no real progress. Meanwhile, "[a] federal assessment on Tuesday found that the Arctic might already have crossed a key threshold and could become a contributor to global carbon emissions as huge amounts of permafrost thaw."
washingtonpost.com Delegates from nearly 200 nations wrestled for more than 40 hours past their planned deadline.
“We don’t have to understand all the nuances of the science. We just have to understand it’s real, it’s us, it’s serious and there are solutions.”
washingtonpost.com They get the big picture right, but some are confused about plastics, the sun and volcanoes.
"What we're talking about is a point of no return, when we might actually lose control of this system, and there is a significant risk that we're going to do this."
insideclimatenews.org From melting ice caps to dying forests and thawing permafrost, the risk of ‘abrupt and irreversible changes’ is much higher than thought just a few years ago.
"Global emissions have risen about 1.5 percent annually on average over the past decade. In the coming decade, that trend must reverse — profoundly and rapidly — if world leaders are to limit the Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) or even 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with preindustrial levels, scientists say."
washingtonpost.com Smoke rises from chimneys of the gas boiler houses as the temperature dropped to minus-7 Celsius in Moscow this month. (Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) By Brady Dennis Brady DennisReporter focusing on environmental policy and public health issuesEmailBioFollowNovember 26, 2019 at 3:00 AM ESTTh...
Here's a chart from the article just posted illustrating the key findings for projected fossil fuel production (top line) versus where it needs to be (bottom line).
"The report said supply-side restrictions, including production bans in countries like France and New Zealand, offer a model of how to quickly scale down new extraction. Eliminating century-old subsidy programs for fossil fuels could make a considerable dent in production."
huffpost.com Planned oil, gas and coal drilling is enough to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 120%.
"There is no time to lose, the scientists say: 'The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.'"
theguardian.com Statement sets out ‘vital signs’ as indicators of magnitude of the climate emergency
Challenging and inspiring message from Pope Francis for the start of the Season of Creation, September 1 to October 4. "Each Christian man and woman, every member of the human family, can act as a thin yet unique and indispensable thread in weaving a network of life that embraces everyone."
w2.vatican.va Message of the Holy Father for the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, 1 September 2019
"Brazilians . . . have been blessed with a unique planetary patrimony, whose value is intrinsic and life-sustaining as much as it is commercial. Letting it perish would be a needless catastrophe."
economist.com Brazil has the power to save Earth’s greatest forest—or destroy it
“We have a choice: do we balance the needs of human development and nature, or do we sleepwalk into a future of failing farmlands, eroding soil, collapsing ecosystems and dwindling food resources?”
washingtonpost.com The world cannot avoid the worst impacts of climate change without overhauling the ways we grow food, raise livestock and manage forests, a major new study says.
"Despite a drumbeat of scientific warnings, the Trump administration Wednesday issued a new rule that cuts carbon emissions from power plants by less than half of what experts say is needed to avoid catastrophic global warming."
washingtonpost.com The energy sector is already on track to far exceed the rule’s carbon reduction goal of 35 percent by 2035.
Good article on the environmental effects of beef production and consumption--what's bad, what's less bad, and what may potentially be good in different ways of raising cattle.
globalecoguy.org It’s easy to get confused about beef these days, especially when it comes to the environment. Some environmentalists say we should avoid…
ncronline.org In case you weren't keeping up with realities that matter, or were stressed dealing with ones that don't, May was National Bike Month. It's notable that we have no National SUV Month or No National Bi...
Short, powerful address by Pope Francis, reiterating the need for urgent, effective action to address the climate crisis:
w2.vatican.va To Participants at the meeting promoted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Notre Dame University-Mendoza College of Business on the theme:: The Energy Transition & Care for our Common Home (June 13-14, 2019, Casina Pio IV, Vatican City), 14 June 2019
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