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.

Catholic Climate Covenant Webinar: “Just Transition”

Join Catholic Climate Covenant on Thursday, March 23 for their next webinar:

Just Transition: Shrinking our Carbon Footprint While Leaving No One Behind
2:00-3:00 p.m. (Eastern time)

Presenters: Dr. Erin Lothes Biviano, Assistant Professor of Theology at the College of Saint Elizabeth, New Jersey; and Dr. Jessica Wrobleski, Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies at Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia.

REGISTER HERE

The webinar will focus on:

1) How poor and vulnerable communities bear the biggest burden of the impacts and consequences of climate change and how these same communities bear the biggest burden of the primary cause of climate change–fossil fuel extraction, transportation and combustion.

2) How we address the challenges of the transition to a clean energy economy and the rebuilding of communities left behind as we move away from a fossil-fuels based economy.

3) What Catholic Social Teaching has to say about a just transition to a clean energy economy and the communities impacted by the transition. Special focus will be given to Appalachia and how the decline of the coal economy has devastated an already forgotten region.

Loyola University Chicago Featured on EcoAffect

Loyola University Chicago was featured on EcoAffect as winner of the 2016 Climate Leadership Award. The article focused on how climate change action is rooted in Catholic identity for Loyola University Chicago:

“As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Loyola is guided by the responsibility to care for our world and especially those who are suffering the most. They’ve made climate change a priority for several reasons:

  • Loyola’s commitment to protecting the vulnerable predisposes them to address issues of global and generational inequality – and climate change will exacerbate social justice issues globally and locally
  • As a research institution, many of their students and faculty are seeing the impacts of climate change in their fields of study
  • They believe it is much more efficient to prevent problems than respond to catastrophes”

Loyola created a three part action plan, addressing climate policies on campus, creating curriculum around climate, and developing community development.  Details on these three areas are available in the full article here.

Congratulations to Loyola University Chicago for their great work!

Climate Change and Human Health Webinar

Have you wondered how climate change is impacting our health and what steps we can take to reduce these impacts? Catholic Climate Covenant invites you to register for their upcoming webinar:

The Growing Crisis: Climate Change’s Impacts on Human Health

   Tuesday, November 22 from 3:00-4:00 pm (EST)

The webinar will explore:

  • Why climate change is an issue for people of faith.
  • How climate change is impacting health.
  • Steps we can take to reduce our impact on climate change and address health problems related to climate change.

Presenter: Laura Anderko, Ph.D., RN, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies. She is a scholar and educator in the fields of epidemiology, public health, and environmental health.

REGISTER HERE