Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

2/20/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The environment is a Catholic issue, and you should believe and you must care.

There's more proof of climate change and mass extinction than previously thought. As scientists acknowledge that our winter was one of the wildest ever, and note that the arctic ice sheets are changing unpredictably, the blame turns back to global climate change caused by human activity.

This is not an image from a third world country, but rather from drought conditions in Texas, in 2011. Such conditions now persist in California where much of the food for the western USA is grown.

This is not an image from a third world country, but rather from drought conditions in Texas, in 2011. Such conditions now persist in California where much of the food for the western USA is grown.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/20/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: global climate change global warming, environment, disaster, cost, price, food, management, resources, extinctions, mass extinction, the sixth extinction, rates of


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new book is topping the lists, "The Sixth Extinction" by Elizabeth Kolbert. The book recognizes five mass extinctions in Earth's history, all caused by cataclysms. Now, the author claims we are in the middle of another mass extinction as anthropogenic climate change and other factors rapidly reduce the number of plant and animal species on the planet.

It is true that humans cause extinctions. They have been doing so since prehistoric times. The extinction of the mammoth and saber-toothed tiger in North America may have been the result of human activity, although climate change likely played a role in their demise too.

Earth's climate is always changing. It has never been as stable as we might like to believe. Although we may not notice climate change in the course of a single lifetime, careful and meticulous studies have demonstrated that several smaller climate shifts have occurred throughout recorded history and much larger changes have developed over epic timescales.

Despite claims that it

Despite claims that it's ONLY 400 PPM, that tiny quantity is more than enough to cause significant climate change as the historical record proves. It's not the quantity that matters so much --it's potency.


What seems to be unique about our current period is the pace of that change, and the fact that human factors are at least exacerbating the problem. Even climate change skeptics will probably acknowledge that human activity doesn't help to preserve many species.

Generally speaking, there is a fairly strong consensus on climate change among climate scientists. Yes, there are skeptical scientists. Nonetheless, a powerful majority agree that humans aren't helping.

Last year's report to the UN by a special panel dedicated to researching the problem plainly stated that humans are causing climate change.

If 97 of 100 doctors told you to stop a dangerous habit, to whom would you listen? That

If 97 of 100 doctors told you to stop a dangerous habit, to whom would you listen? That's right, the ones who tell you what you want to hear.


And it is a problem. The current extinction rate hasn't been as bad as this in recorded history and some speculate that it's the worst since the destruction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. Specifically, the Center for Biological Diversity claims that "In fact, 99 percent of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and global warming."

Meanwhile, a couple other phenomenon have been noted by scientists in recent years. This year, scientists were baffled to see unpredicted changes in Arctic sea ice. Specifically, the ice covered more area than previously predicted, and it's a bit thicker. But this doesn't yet mean a reversal of the ice-loss trend is underway. Scientists still agree that the ice will disappear sometime soon. Last week, National Geographic and the Christian Science Monitor reported that the glacier that spawned the iceberg that sank the Titanic was racing to the ocean at record speed.

Other scientists noted that ice is breaking off in Antarctica and killing penguins. Reduced snowfall is thinning glaciers and snowpack, often relied upon by people for water. The western United States is in the third year of an epic drought with farmers and residents facing restrictions within the next year.

The jet stream has become unstable, and scientists are blaming melting ice in the warming arctic. That instability has led to massive storms of freezing snow and ice as far south as the Gulf of Mexico.

A 2009 study revealed that trees were migrating north at the astounding rate of nearly 4 feet per day. No, the trees were not sprouting legs and walking, but the forests were retreating by dying from southerly, warmer latitudes, and sprouting in more northerly regions. Animals have been migrating too.

This is normal adaptation, but it's alarming because not every tree or critter can escape in this fashion. In some places, natural barriers such as oceans and mountain ranges prevent the northward retreat of habitat, driving more species to extinction.

The haughty will reflect upon the past year's events and dismiss global warming with a harrumph, but scientists are taking to the news media, almost nightly, to proclaim each of these phenomena, although not individually and directly caused, to be closely related to climate change. Climate change which is caused by humans.

Not that many Americans get it, or care of course. Some Americans remain astoundingly ignorant of science, as one survey revealed. A survey conducted by the National Science Foundation revealed that a quarter of Americans don't realize the Earth revolves around the Sun.

This has to be made up, but apparently it's not.

Americans claim to love science, but they remain ignorant of it. That's a problem because America is one of the leading polluters in the world, and Americans are in a better position than most other countries to do something about worldwide and local pollution.

Granted, China is out front with their pollution, but the United States could curtail emissions in these countries too by pursuing policies that insist upon greener development. By the way, the USA is still second in overall pollution (scroll down for chart, source: EPA).

Yet we won't because we love cheap electronics and other doodads too much and our capitalist system, ever at odds with labor, is powerfully discouraged from cleanly manufacturing the same products here in the USA.

This is a matter of Catholic concern. Although the environment and its resources have been given to man, we are expected to exercise creation care, and to manage these resources for the benefit of all. Mass extinctions, pollution, and the despoiling of the environment for the profit of a few, or even a single nation, is unjust to the rest of humanity. Naturally, the poor must take the brunt of the suffering caused by mismanagement of the environment.

Nobody (sane) is saying we can't log or mine, or generate electricity and infrastructure, but we must do so in a way that demonstrates responsible stewardship of creation and respect for our fellow man.

The next encyclical by Pope Francis is expected to address this topic.

Of course, this is the sticking point, how should we handle the problem? Some fear a significant crimping in their quality of life, or that the reality of climate change can lead to other forms of social control, such as population controls. Indeed, there is a dark side to the discussion. However, this is beyond the scope of the science, which is merely to make predictions about the future with reasonable accuracy (not always with precision). What is done with those predictions is up to individuals in each nation. Because of this, Americans need to do a better job. Not just in the science classroom, but at home, in the streets, and in the political process.

Correlation between human population and extinction, although this is misleading. The real correlati

Correlation between human population and extinction, although this is misleading. The real correlation is between behavior and extinction.


Right now, the rate of climate change is far beyond what it would be if natural forces alone were spurring it on -as they always have. The mechanism of natural selection, which powers adaptations and evolution, simply does not work fast enough, especially in larger organisms.

The result is mass extinction. Should we care?

Of course. Some of the species we are losing may be keystone species, species that are critical to other species and in turn influence the food chain. A warmer ocean can combine with overfishing to reduce fish populations to levels below that which can sustain coastal populations of people.

Crops can fail as bees and birds, and other creatures that are part of the life cycle of the things we eat, die out. As farmland moves north, it too can run into barriers, such as cities, meaning there is less land on which to produce food. Ask any farmer in California's San Joaquin Valley how they feel about the growing conditions this year and the critical lack of water. 

All of this means higher prices and a lower standard of living for someone. Generally, that lower standard is borne by the poor living in other nations. However, it is only a matter of time before it impacts you in your home.

A store posted an apology to customers after a bizarre cold snap in December devastated crops in Cal

A store posted an apology to customers after a bizarre cold snap in December devastated crops in California and Mexico. Following the cold snap, little rain has fallen and temperatures have been well above average. Such extremes are evidence of climate shifts on a global scale and will become commonplace, forcing rapid human adaptation. The human cost is much more than higher prices. Jobs and businesses have been lost.


Any doubts? Watch the prices of food in the year to come. Watch the price of milk, especially if you live in the western USA. The impacts of global climate change have already started to reach you. Most of you simply haven't noticed it yet, and that's bad.

Very bad indeed.

--

Pray for the environment.
Do something about it and JOIN Catholic Team Global.
Help Pope Francis feed the hungry NOW.



Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Green

'We see it:' The realities of global warming are finally accepted around the world Watch

Image of The Paris climate agreement saw Sen. Jeff Merkley state global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With more and more nations agreeing that climate change is not only real, but also dangerous, more world leaders are making a move to save the planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Senator Jeff Merkley took the Senate floor last week to say global warming is one ... continue reading


Volcanoes erupting everywhere! Is this a sign? Watch

Image of Popocatepetl erupts in Mexico. Prominent volcanoes in Russia and North Korea are also erupting.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thirty-eight volcanoes are erupting right now. Earthquakes are making the news. Is something supernatural about to occur? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Take care that no one deceives you," Jesus admonished his disciples in the book of Matthew. The Disciples were ... continue reading


Major quakes predicted - As massive quakes strike the Ring of Fire, North America remains eerily quiet... Watch

Image of North America is overdue for a major quake, but when and where it will strike is impossible to predict.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Both a psychic and a scientist have predicted the current spate of quakes which have shook Asia, the South Pacific, and South America, and their predictions are on record. The eerie occurrence has many asking if North America is next. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Scientists alarmed as massive ice sheet begins rapid melting Watch

Image of Greenland's ice sheet has begun melting early, alarming scientists.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists are in shock as a massive Greenland ice sheet has started melting far sooner than expected and in great volume. The data is so surprising, the researchers initially believed it to be an error. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - On April 11, sensors that ... continue reading


Maybe this is why you're sick? Watch

Image of Global warming isn't just heating the planet, it's making people sick.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Anthropocentric global warming is going to make you sick, according to a new federal report. The 332-page report was released Monday and it predicts a host of consequences from global warming that will begin, or have already begin to affect the country. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Arctic ice continues to decline as global warming accelerates Watch

Image of Sea ice will begin melting and will reach its annual low point sometime in September. If the present is any indicator, we will see less ice in the Arctic this September than at any time in modern history.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Arctic is melting and it's happening faster than anticipated. So far, Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest level ever on modern record. It is also thinner. While the Arctic sea ice does not contribute to sea level rise, it does serve as an indicator for how our ... continue reading


You'll never believe what blessing God bestowed upon California! Watch

Image of Lake Shasta reservoir is in danger of overflowing (California Department of Water Resources).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Imagine you have a farm and the years have been kind. You look out at your bountiful harvest that God has blessed for generations and you smile with pride and joy.Then the unthinkable happens; a horrible drought hits and suddenly the future of your farm, which has ... continue reading


Four scary new things about global warming we've just learned Watch

Image of As acids and CO2 build up in the ocean, coral reefs die globally. A quarter of all sea life and over half-a million people depend on healthy coral reefs for survival.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Report after report, study after study confirms, the planet is in serious trouble. Within 50 to 150 years, and within the lifetime of children born today, the world will experience catastrophic weather changes. Carbon dioxide, and methane emissions have spiked and ... continue reading


Searing February heat shatters global record, called 'whopping' by skeptic Watch

Image of A polar bear lies dead on an Arctic beach that ought to be covered in ice. The record warm temperatures have resulted in havoc on Arctic ecosystems.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does everybody still believe global warming is a hoax? Yet more data confirms what scientists have feared for a long time, the planet is warming, and it may have passed a tipping point. The latest data now reveals that February 2016 was the hottest February on record, ... continue reading


BIG quake prediction for California caused by... Watch

Image of A road worker examines damage done by a quake in California.

By Marshall Connolly, California Network (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive earthquake predicted for California in early March did not occur, although scientists now know what set off the alarm among so many scientists. The answer is, a glitch in satellite data. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In late February, California was ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • Captain James Cook wreckage discovered!
  • 'Our warriors are everywhere': ISIS uses CHILDREN to threaten Europe
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 5th, 2016 HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: I fear no evil!
  • St. Florian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • St. Matthew HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 17:15, 22--18:1
15 Paul's escort took him as far as Athens, and went back with ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh from the heavens, praise him in the ... Read More

Gospel, John 16:12-15
12 I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 4th, 2016 Image

St. Florian
May 4: The St. Florian commemorated in the Roman ... Read More