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Transcript
Climate Change
The Theologians Speak
Remember the Amazon and the
Ozone Layer!
• The longest
journey begins with
the first step.
(Chinese
Proverb)
• If we work
together, we will
win! (Bob Brown 28/5/06))
Jesus as our Model
• The call to live simply “Do not lay up for
yourselves earthly treasures (Mt 5: 19)
• Seeking perfection? Give it all to the poor (Mt
20:21)
• The Rich Fool (Lk 12:16)
• The Danger of Riches (Mk 10:25)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
• Our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and Earth, for
creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God’s works
(No. 198I).
• The right to private property, acquired by work or received from
others by inheritance or gift, does not do away with the original
gift of the Earth to the whole of humankind. The universal
destination of goods remains primordial (No. 2403).
• Humanity’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings is
not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of our
neighbour, including generations to come; it requires a
religious respect for the integrity of creation (No. 2415).
Pope John Paul II
• Within the movement of nature, tranquil and
silent but rich in life, there continues to palpitate
the original delight of the Creator.
• The natural world has value in itself and should
not be valued merely for its usefulness to
humanity.
• Earth belongs to God and is only on loan to
humans who are called to care for it.
• Ecological education provides the background
for wise and moral decisions.
• There are limits to world resources and the
environmental services that Earth can meet
before pushing it to a new epoch
• Excessive demands are imposed on the Earth
by nations with a consumerist economy and lifestyle.
• Restraint, penance and self-imposed limitations
are part of authentic human living and are in the
tradition of choosing sacrifice for the greater
good.
• The right to a safe ecological environment is a
universal human right.
• Models of development, social structure and
styles of technology must integrate
environmental factors if there is to be authentic
development.
• Super-development, often for the purpose of
economic gain, poses an additional threat to the
environment.
• The richer nations have an obligation to
dismantle structural forms of global poverty and
to help poorer nations experiencing social or
environmental problems.
• Political leaders at every level have a duty to
administer for the good of all. This includes
administering prudently a nation’s environmental
resources
• Future generations should not be robbed or left
with extra burdens for they have a claim to a just
administration of the world's resources by this
generation.
• God has not abandoned the world. It is God’s
will that God’s design and our hope for it will be
realised through our co-operation in restoring its
original harmony.”
• The Eucharist “is celebrated in order to offer ‘on
the altar of the whole earth the world’s work and
suffering’ in the beautiful words of Teilhard de
Chardin.
Benedict XVI
• We have to give impulse to rediscovering
our responsibility and to finding an ethical
way to change our way of life.
• Politicians and experts must be capable of
responding to the great ecological
challenge and to be up to the task of this
challenge. (14-07-08)
Australian Catholic Bishops
• We urge Catholics as a matter of conscience to
cooperate in facing global warming as one of the major
issues of our time and take roles of responsibility proper
to them.
• We now urge Catholics as an essential part of their faith
commitment to respond with sound judgements and
resolute action to the reality of climate change.
• Given the gravity of the problem, detailed and resolute
responses need to be both swift and radical.
• The wonderful inter-relatedness that ecologists find in
the biosphere on Earth, and the inter-relatedness that
science discovers at all levels from quantum physics to
cosmology, is all sustained at every moment by the
Creator.
• We are intimately interconnected with the whole lifesystem of the planet and the complex interaction
between living creatures and the atmosphere, the land
and the water systems.
• Suffering of any one part means that all creation groans,
and rapid global climate change dramatically displays
that suffering.
• We need to keep in mind the Precautionary Principle:
Where there are threats of serious or irreversible
damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be
used as a reason for postponing remedial measures.
• Poor countries will suffer disproportionately from rapid
climate change, in part because of their geography and
in part because they lack the resources to respond.
• Human suffering in our region will increase from
maladies such as heat stress and the spread of insectborne tropical diseases south from the equator.
• Each sector of the community- citizens and consumers;
governments, business and industry; and the nongovernment sector has a role in imagining and building a
future Australia with radically reduced greenhouse gas
emissions.
• Consumers send powerful signals to the market by their
greenhouse-friendly choice of goods and services. We
dream of a fuller view of humanity, greater than a mere
owning of more material goods.
• Ultimately, profit is secondary to ecologically sustainable
living.
• The three levels of government have duties of leadership
to take decisions for the common good and future of the
nation, involving citizens in public debate on ecological
issues. Short and long term ecologically sustainable
options, and unsustainable dead ends, need to be
identified and appropriate laws framed.
•
Locally, government agencies can preferentially choose
greenhouse gas reducing procurements, buildings and
energy options. Internationally, Australia must continue
to support structures that help reduce global warming.
Strengthening Biodiversity compliance and ratifying the
Kyoto Protocol seems minimal.
• As one of the world’s biggest emitters, per capita, of
greenhouse gases, Australians have a particular duty to
recognise the fact that they are directly implicated in the
causes of atmospheric pollution which is harming the
many innocent peoples of the Pacific region. Ironically,
the ecological footprint of the victims is considerably
lighter than our own.
• In justice, it is an urgent task for Christians today to be
reconciled with all creation, and to undertake faithfully our
responsibility of stewardship of God’s gifts. To achieve
such reconciliation, we must examine our lives and
acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s
creation through our actions and our failure to act. We
need to experience a conversion, or change of heart.
(Ecological conversion)
• As a matter of justice and out of a pastoral concern, we
Bishops address ourselves to the Catholic communities
and ask them to lead by example, to see care for our
planet Earth as a 'vocation'.
– We encourage all Catholics to help our nation by
developing an ecological ethic and to face up to the
radical changes required for tackling global climate
change.
– Our nation, in turn, may become an example to other
nations both for the wise choices it takes internally
and the generous spirit it shows to developing
nations.
– God is not mean, nor should we be.
• We recognize God’s presence. God is within us,
calling us, inspiring us, reassuring us, as we
work together in reverence and love to protect
and sustain this sacred handiwork
Fr Denis Edwards
• For a Christian believer, committed to love for God’s
creation and to respect for the dignity of every person,
responding to this issue will have to be a central
dimension of the life of faith.
• When we come to the Eucharist we bring the creatures
of Earth with us.
• We remember the God who loves each one of them.
• We grieve for the damage done to them. We feel with
them and for them – an ecological ethos.
• In Christ, we remember God’s good creation: the 14
billion year history of the universe, the emergence of life
in its diversity and beauty.
• We remember the vulnerable community of life on Earth
today and bring this to God.
• In this vision of things, all that respects and celebrates
the life systems of our planet is one with the work of the
risen Christ.
• Knowingly destroying the living systems of our planet
amounts to a denial of what we celebrate when we
gather for Eucharist.
• Climate change aggravates social and economic
injustice. To contribute to this destruction “is not only a
sin against the weak and unprotected but also against
the earth-God’s gift of life”
• Solidarity involves personal and political commitment to
the two strategies of mitigation and adaptation.
• Adaptation: re-ordering society, budgeting for disasters
and hospitality to refugees.
• We commit ourselves again to discipleship, to an
ecological lifestyle, politics and praxis as people of hope
and commitment.
Fr Sean McDonagh SSC
• Human activity causes extinction in three ways
according to Dr McDonagh: habitat destruction, the
introduction of alien species into an ecosystem, and
human-created pollution.
• Human-created pollution includes not just by-products of
industrial activity and oil spills, but also global warming.
The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide,
methane, chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) and other
'greenhouse' gases is expected to increase by 30% by
2050.
• The 'most important role' that the churches can play is to
'articulate a competent theology of creation'. This can no
longer be based solely on religious texts, but 'needs to
be grounded in scientific knowledge'.
• The churches too must develop 'an appropriate ethical
framework for promoting the integrity of creation and
justice'. Such an ethic would demand a legal framework.
• More adequate accounting systems are also needed to
show the finite nature of the world. One such model, the
'human ecological footprint', defines the land area
required to provide the resources and absorb the
emissions for the global society. According to one
source, this measure was exceeded by 20% in 1990.
• For the sake of future generations, we need to
– lower population,
– alter consumption levels and
– promote more resource-efficient technologies.
• This has ramifications, for instance, for the Catholic
position on birth control, and for the modern, growthoriented, industrial model of development, which has
been the principal cause of ecological devastation in our
world today.
• The challenge facing this generation is quite different. It
is one that has never faced a generation of humans in
the past and never will be faced by a future generation of
humans.
• This is the mass extinction of other creatures in just a
few short decades.
• The task quite simply is to take decisive action to stave
off the extinction of species which could sterilize the
planet.
• If this generation does not act, no future generation will
be able to undo the damage that this generation has
caused to the planet.
• It is an extraordinary and awesome moment that the
behavior of a single generation of humans can have
such a profound and irreversible impact, not just on
human history, but on the life of the planet as well.
• Sooner or later, extinction will rob our planet of the ability
to sustain many forms of life, possibly even our own.
World Council of Churches
• Spiritual Foundations
• Theological & Ethical Perspectives
• Climate Change – science, impacts and policy
• Impacts on the most vulnerable
• Faith Communities – responses and challenges
Spiritual
Foundations
•We are to respond to God’s love by caring for that which is
loved by God.
•Working for the common good
•God loves Creation.
Theological &
Ethical
Perspectives
•Solidarity
•Justice
•Sufficiency
•Sustainability
•Prudence
Climate Change –
science, impacts
and policy
Joint science academies statement: Global response to climate
change. Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Impacts on the most vulnerable
Pacific Small Island States Developing
country impacts
Faith Communities – responses and
challenges
•Witnessing to climate change as a
spiritual issue
•Education within faith communities
•Faith-based relief and development
agencies
•Collaboration in ecumenical advocacy
initiatives
Solutions?
• The right to private property does not do away with
the original gift of the Earth to the whole of
humankind.
• a religious respect for the integrity of creation
• The natural world has value in itself
• Ecological education
• Restraint, penance and self-imposed limitations
• dismantle structural forms of global poverty
• administering prudently a nation’s environmental
resources
Solutions?
• Future generations should not be robbed
• cooperate in facing global warming as one of the major
issues of our time and take roles of responsibility
• respond with sound judgements and resolute action to
the reality of climate change.
• detailed and resolute responses need to be both swift
and radical.
• Each sector of the community- has a role in imagining
and building a future Australia with radically reduced
greenhouse gas emissions.
Solutions?
• detailed and resolute responses need to be both swift
and radical.
• Each sector of the community- has a role in imagining
and building a future Australia with radically reduced
greenhouse gas emissions.
• Consumers send powerful signals to the market by their
greenhouse-friendly choice of goods and services.
• profit is secondary to ecologically sustainable living.
Solutions?
• Short and long term ecologically sustainable options,
and unsustainable dead ends, need to be identified and
appropriate laws framed.
• Australia must continue to support structures that help
reduce global warming.
• Australians have a particular duty to recognise the fact
that they are directly implicated in the causes of
atmospheric pollution
Solutions?
• we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in
which we have harmed God’s creation through our
actions and our failure to act. We need to experience a
conversion, or change of heart.
• see care for our planet Earth as a 'vocation'.
• help our nation by developing an ecological ethic
• responding to this issue will have to be a central
dimension of the life of faith.
• Solidarity involves personal and political commitment to
the two strategies of mitigation and adaptation.
Solutions?
• We commit to an ecological lifestyle, politics and praxis as people of
hope and commitment.
• For the sake of future generations, we need to
– lower population,
– alter consumption levels and
– promote more resource-efficient technologies.
• take decisive action to stave off the extinction of species which could
sterilize the planet.
• Solidarity
• Justice
• Sufficiency
• Sustainability
• Prudence
A SPIRITUAL DECLARATION ON CLIMATE
CHANGE
Made by Faith Community Participants during
the Montreal Climate Conference
December 4, 2005
• We hear the call of the Earth.
• We believe that caring for life on Earth is a spiritual commitment.
• People and other species have the right to life unthreatened by
human greed and destructiveness.
• Pollution, particularly from the energy-intensive wealthy
industrialised countries, is warming the atmosphere. A warmer
atmosphere is leading to major climate changes. The poor and
vulnerable in the world and future generations will suffer the most.
• We commit ourselves to help reduce the threat of climate change
through actions in our own lives, pressure on governments and
industries and standing in solidarity with those most affected by
climate change.
• We pray for spiritual support in responding to the call of the Earth.
• We make our prayer to the eternal creator, through Jesus, in whom
the whole cosmos finds unity. Amen.
Next Time
• A Cosmic, not Anthropocentric
Worldview
– We Are Stardust-
• Personal Change
– Lord, what must I do?-
• Communal Change
– Ecological education– Political and social action-