Docstoc

Christian Writings on Climate Change

Document Sample
Christian Writings on Climate Change Powered By Docstoc
					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 life-
  style.
• 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 life-
  system 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 insect-
  borne tropical diseases south from the equator.
• Each sector of the community- citizens and consumers;
  governments, business and industry; and the non-
  government 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, growth-
  oriented, 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          •We are to respond to God’s love by caring for that which is
Foundations        loved by God.
                   •Working for the common good
                   •God loves Creation.

Theological &      •Solidarity
Ethical
                   •Justice
Perspectives
                   •Sufficiency
                   •Sustainability
                   •Prudence


Climate Change –   Joint science academies statement: Global response to climate
science, impacts   change. Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
and policy
Impacts on the most vulnerable      Pacific Small Island States Developing
                                    country impacts




Faith Communities – responses and   •Witnessing to climate change as a
challenges                          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-

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:9
posted:4/14/2012
language:
pages:37