Georgetown Professor Receives Grant to Study Impact of Weather Changes on Animals

Georgetown University biology professor, Leslie Ries, is studying the “impact of climate change and natural disasters on the springtime emergence of plants, birds and insects.” Ries has received several grants from the National Science Foundation to research how monarch butterfly habitats have changed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. These grants give Ries and her students the opportunity to study the impacts of climate change and natural disasters in order to determine how to best respond to these changes.

Monarch butterflies make a multigenerational migration from Canada and the U.S. to Mexico each year, which makes the perfect species to examine in order to better understand climate change. Monarchs have been slowly declining for the past 20 years, with reasons attributed to the increase of tropical storms and hurricanes. Ries “sees her research as vital in helping people understand the impacts of climate change and major weather events on complex ecological systems.”

To read more about the research by Ries, visit Georgetown news.

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Salve Regina University Hosts Film to examine the Consequences our Actions have on the Environment

Salve Regina University recently screened an award-winning documentary titled “The Age of Consequences.” The film “examines the intersection of fossil fuels, climate change and national security and investigates the impacts of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration and conflict through the lens of U.S. national security and global stability.”

This documentary was hosted by the Citizens Climate Lobby Rhode Island in partnership with the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy in order to inform students, faculty, and the local community. The documentary features Pentagon insiders that discuss the effects and consequences of climate change if people do not change the way they live. The film seeks to set an unnerving tone among audience members in order to call for action and cause them to rethink how we use and produce energy.

To read more about the screening by Salve Regina, visit Salve Regina news.

Register for Catholic Climate Covenant Webinar on the Response to Climate Change

Join Catholic Climate Covenant on Thursday, November 2nd at 2:00 pm (eastern) for a webinar titled “Faith and Science Responses to Storms, Wildfires, and Climate Change.” In light of the recent wildfires in California and hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean, there is no better time to immerse yourself in this discussion. The webinar will address the question, “Is climate change to blame for the recent hurricanes and wildfires?” Register for this webinar to learn from top climate scientists about climate change and its effects.

Chaplains for Earth Write Letter for Earth Day

The Chaplains for Earth initiative is a collaboration of Deans and Directors of college and university religious and spiritual life departments in the United States. They are working to gather signatures on an open letter to President Trump, Secretary of State Tillerson, and EPA Administrator Pruitt calling them to honor U.S. commitments made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. The goal for the letter is to have signatures representing all 50 states by April 22. The letter will be released in time for Earth Day.

The letter quotes the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions Interfaith Call to Action on Climate Change: “The damaging impacts of climate change are already extensive…If human behavior does not change, these impacts will become far more extreme, resulting in turmoil and suffering on an enormous scale with immense harm to both humans and other forms of life. People affected are, and will be, disproportionately the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable, including women and children—those who have done least to create this crisis. This is a massive injustice.”

To read the letter and to learn more, visit the Chaplains for Earth website.

Catholic College and University Leaders Sign Letter in Support of the Clean Power Plan

Faculty, staff, and presidents of Catholic institutions of higher education were among the 125 Catholic leaders who have signed a letter of support for the Clean Power Plan, promoted by the Catholic Climate Covenant. The Clean Power Plan is an effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce the carbon pollution of existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030. It is the nation’s most ambitious effort to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas pollution. The letter stresses the Church teaching on the care for creation that is deeply connected to the protection of human life and dignity, especially of the poor and vulnerable. Pope Francis, in Laudato Si’, advocates for the reduction of carbon dioxide and other polluting gases emissions through environmental policy.

Currently, the Clean Power Plan is being challenged by nearly two-dozen states. No matter the legal fate of the policy, signers urge Congress to replace the plan with new policies that reduce carbon emissions in an equal or more ambitious way, joining with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops promote policy action on reducing carbon emissions in response to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’.

The letter was delivered on February 16 to the new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, as well as President Trump, top Congressional leaders, and state governors. Read the full letter here.