Care for Our Common Home Ministry

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.

You can't save the climate by going vegan. Corporate polluters must be held accountable.

This is so important: "[A] fixation on voluntary action alone . . . plays into the hands of polluting interests by distracting us from the systemic changes that are needed. There is no way to avert the climate crisis without keeping most of our coal, oil and gas in the ground, plain and simple." Many individual actions to slow climate change are worth taking. But they distract from the systemic changes that are needed to avert this crisis.

Faith-based environmentalists see hope in Green New Deal goals As debate around the Green New Deal continues, count more and more Catholics and religious leaders among those taking a closer look at the ambitious blueprint to address climate change. Despite an ea...

Study: U.S. Fossil Fuel Subsidies Exceed Pentagon Spending

"The human, environmental and economic toll of these subsidies is shocking to the conscience. The authors found that if fossil fuels had been fairly priced in 2015, global carbon emissions would have been slashed by 28 percent. Deaths from fossil fuel-linked air pollution would have dropped by nearly half." Fossil fuel subsidies cost Americans billions more than the U.S. government spends on defense, according to the International Monetary Fund.

How To Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen

"As challenging, as stressful and as painful as it might be, fixing climate change begins by actually talking about it. And over the years, I found a way to do so that’s actually constructive. It begins with why climate change matters to us." As a climate scientist, I’ve been called everything from a charlatan to the handmaiden of the Antichrist. Here’s how I handle the tough conversations.

These Countries Have Prices on Carbon. Are They Working?

"[I]n practice, most countries have found it politically difficult to set prices that are high enough to spur truly deep reductions." More than 40 governments have adopted a price on carbon, but many of the programs are still too weak to drive truly deep cuts in emissions.

Would Pope Francis back the Green New Deal?

According to Creighton University theologian Richard Miller, the Green New Deal sets up principles that are in line with what Francis says are necessary to address both environmental and social problems. "It reflects what Francis is up to." "Everything is connected." With those words, Pope Francis began Paragraph 91 of his landmark encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home." He continued: "Concern for the environment thus ne...

Oil Producers Are Burning Enough 'Waste' Gas to Power Every Home in Texas

Here's a dramatic example of the wasting of energy described in the previous article. The solution is not more pipelines (as the article suggests) but shifting away from natural gas and other fossil fuels. America’s hottest oil patch is producing so much natural gas that by the end of last year producers were burning off more than enough of the fuel to meet residential demand across the whole of Texas. The phenomenon has likely only intensified since then.

U.S. energy use rises to highest level ever

Fascinating chart showing energy use in the U.S. last year. Note that over two-thirds of the energy produced was wasted, mostly in the form of wasted heat. "That’s why efficiency is by far the best way to address our energy and related climate challenges, followed by using renewables," according to Dr. Jonathan Foley of Project Drawdown. Americans used more energy in 2018 than in any other year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Earth's Glaciers Melting Much Faster Than Previously Thought: Study

This article highlights the significant impact glacier melting is having on sea level rise. It also threatens millions of people with the loss of water needed for drinking and irrigation. Glacier melt is accelerating due to global warming, and adding more water to already rising seas, the study found.

Last time CO2 levels were this high, there were trees at the South Pole Pliocene beech fossils in Antarctica when CO2 was at similar level to today point to planet’s future

Whats the big deal about a few degrees anyways?

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.

Signs of the Time: Responding to the cry of creation with hearts full of mercy | ICN

Lenten reflection by Scott Wright, Director of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach in DC. 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)

Why the “Anthropocene” Is Not “Climate Change”

"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." 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,”...

We have to fix fashion if we want to survive the climate crisis

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." 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.

The Good News About a Green New Deal

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." 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.

Planting 1.2 Trillion Trees Could Cancel Out a Decade of CO2 Emissions, Scientists Find

"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 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...

New Study Shows Plastics Release Greenhouse Gases, Contributing to Climate Change

"[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." 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...

Opinion | Want a Green New Deal? Here’s a better one.

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. The planet does not need just any plan to fight global warming. It needs the smartest one.

Lent 2019: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rm 8:19) | Francis

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. Lent 2019: For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God (Rm 8: 19)

How to Cut U.S. Emissions Faster? Do What These Countries Are Doing. How the United States could cut emissions in half, using policies that other countries already have in place.

Oh Canada | Global Weirding

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...

Global Warming Concerns Rise Among Americans in New Poll

"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." “I’ve never seen jumps in some of the key indicators like this,” the lead researcher said.

Carbon Dividend Act gets support from head of bishops' justice office

"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 . . . ." 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...

One Earth Climate Model

"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." 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.

Opinion: Here are 11 climate change policies to fight for in 2019

"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." More competitive electric markets, a Green New Deal, carbon farming and other ideas that could help slow global warming.

Why the “Anthropocene” Is Not “Climate Change” and Why It Matters

"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." “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…

Greenland’s Melting Ice Nears a ‘Tipping Point,’ Scientists Say

"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." 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.

Opinion | Time to Break the Silence on Palestine 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.

I Live in the Midwest & Northern Great Plains - Does Climate Change Matter to Me?

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...

'Momentum is growing': reasons to be hopeful about the environment in 2019

"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." As we reflect on a year of extreme weather and ominous climate talks, 2019 could see some much-needed breakthroughs

10 ways to accelerate progress against climate change

"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." From pricing carbon to shifting diets, here’s what we need to prioritize now.

Climate change: six positive news stories you probably missed this year

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." We asked climate researchers to peer through the smog and highlight some positive stories from 2018.

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11900 Lawyers Rd
Reston, VA
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St. John Neumann Catholic Community - Reston, Va St. John Neumann Catholic Community - Reston, Va
11900 Lawyers Rd
Reston, 20191

We, the faithful of SJN, commit ourselves to celebrating & giving witness to the presence of God in our midst by living the Gospel to its fullest.