Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2014 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis is writing an encyclical on the environment.

The latest revelation from climate scientists is that they now believe global climate change as a result of human activities is now inevitable and irreversible. Furthermore, it will affect everybody in the years to come-if it hasn't already. It is nigh time for a new attitude.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/1/2014 (3 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: global climate change, global warming, pope francis, ecology, encyclical


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Climate scientists met in Japan last week to provide the most comprehensive assessment of all climate change data available. With the exception of very few published reports, the vast majority, about 97 percent of climate scientists have reaffirmed their contention that the Earth's climate is warming and that humans are either partly, if not wholly to blame.

St. Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment.

While there may be less consensus on the causes of climate change, we know it is happening. Climate change is part of a natural cycle on Earth, and it is almost intuitive to see that human activities, which cause pollution on a scale that isn't apparent to most, are having a negative impact.

This week, a dramatic illustration of the human impact on the planet is unfolding in the Indian Ocean as patrol craft and ships search for the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight 370. Every "lead" no matter how promising, has turned out to be garbage. The world is beginning to see for itself that the oceans, even thousands of miles from land, is heavily polluted with junk.

While flotsam may not contribute to global warming, it provides a visual illustration for the harm we are doing to our planet. We are even more caviler when it comes to carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses, such as methane, which we cannot see with our eyes.

Simply put, you cannot have a planet populated by nearly 8 billion people, all producing methane, carbon dioxide, discarding plastic, and physically altering the natural environment on a global scale without global consequences.

Among the most concrete predictions of climate scientists are crop yields forecasts. Crop yields in much of the world will decline in the decades to come as a result of climate change. Meanwhile, crop yields in traditionally colder areas, including Canada, Eastern Europe, and northern Asia will increase. This "shift" in growing area will offset some of the food production loss that will happen in more central latitudes, but it may not compensate entirely for the change. The net result will be less food for even more people.

As climate changes so will crop yields. The red areas reflect anticipated decline, the green expansi

As climate changes so will crop yields. The red areas reflect anticipated decline, the green expansion. The expansion is unlikely to offset the losses.


Fishing stocks are also expected to decline significantly, and indeed they already are. New England fisheries are expected to collapse entirely. Not just as a result of overfishing, but also because of ocean warming and acidification.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the Great Barrier Reef is dying and is expected to be completely lost due to acidification. Whether this comes to pass and how quickly is a matter of some speculation.

Scientists have grown weary of the vocalism of critics who say the Earth isn't warming and that the climate isn't changing. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, for what it's worth, went so far as to proclaim that "denial of the science is malpractice."

Kerry is a politician, and in the United States the issue of global climate change has become heavily politicized, which stymies efforts to develop cleaner activities and better public policies. People who express concern for the environment are subject to labeling and criticism. Likewise, people who criticize the science and engage in debate are labeled "deniers" which is intended to be pejorative and to place them on the same par as holocaust deniers.

Both practices are reprehensible.

The truth is in the data, but it should be acknowledged that there is no absolute consensus as to the cause of global climate change, or that humans are responsible. The pace of climate change strongly suggests humans play the dominant role in climate change, yet the climate models remain incomplete and are only able to provide general predictions, making it difficult for the hardest skeptics to accept them. Case-and-point is the north polar ice cap that was supposed to be entirely melted last summer. It did not even come close.

Despite the missed predictions, there remains a general trend and there is also a right way and a wrong way to be. Certain issues are too important to be left to the discretion of politicians and care of creation is one of them. Creation care is a moral issue.

Although there are some who disbelieve that God would permit humans to destroy the planet, we should ask if that is a hypothesis we care to test with our homes and our lives?

The resources of the environment are a gift from God, intended for the benefit of all humankind, not just a few who happen to be lucky, smart, or wealthy. While the hard worker deserves to profit most from his efforts, there is no excuse for profiting by destruction of the environment to the point that others needlessly suffer.

It is time for us to develop a new appreciation for our ecology, one that refocuses us on our place in creation as a centerpiece, but not as the whole of creation. We must come to see ourselves as a keystone in creation, important, but not independent of it.

Fortunately, this direction is coming. Pope Francis is said to be writing an encyclical on the environment that will do just this. It will stress the importance of the environment to man and our responsibility towards one another as we manage the resources with which we have been gifted. Until this new focus is given, we should back off the political rhetoric (which includes Kerry's comments) and instead focus our efforts on how we can better co-exist within, rather than use up our environment.

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Green

DOOMSDAY PROPHECY: 'There will be no water by 2040 if we keep doing what we're doing today' Watch

Image of Hydroelectric energy needs are even larger than those demanded by agriculture, researchers said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers from Denmark's Aarhus University, Vermont Law School and the U.S.-funded Center for Naval Analyses Corporation have come out with a chilling prophecy. Due to heightened demand for drinking water and energy needs, "There will be no water by 2040 if ... continue reading


What happened to all the bugs? Insect population is down by 45 percent in just 35 years Watch

Image of We rarely think of insects as being little more than everyday pests. Flies interrupting a breezy day, ant invading a picnic, crickets disrupting the quiet of an early evening.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

We rarely think of insects as being little more than everyday pests. Flies interrupting a breezy day, ant invading a picnic, crickets disrupting the quiet of an early evening. There are less bugs to worry about these days -- and scientists say this is good ... continue reading


Beware of fluffy! Those scary dinosaurs may have actually been quite comical to look at Watch

Image of Most dinosaurs may have had feathers, a new study suggests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The discovery of several 150-million-year-old fossils in Siberia indicates that a majority of dinosaurs were either covered with feathers or had the potential to grow feathers, a new study suggests. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Until this study-published in ... continue reading


California drought likely to worsen as El Nino observed weakening Watch

Image of A sign intended to build public support for water rights for farmers now has a new significance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bad news for California is about to get worse. The state, wracked with drought, is eagerly anticipating the formation of a strong El Nino event in the Pacific, which would bring significant rainfall to the region. However, the El Nino may not develop as strongly as ... continue reading


Bats are the super animals, science says! New study reveals that not only can these flying pest eaters see sound, but they can also see invisible light Watch

Image of Bats can see with polarized light, and may use it to navigate with, a new study says.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Polarized light may be a useful tool for bats to navigate, and the greater mouse-eared bat-Myotis myotis-is the first mammal known to navigate using polarized light. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Polarized light is light waves that are parallel to each other ... continue reading


Bald eagles make a surprising comback in California! Watch

Image of Bald eagles, which had disappeared from the Channel Islands in the 1960s, have made a comeback following a re-population effort started in 2002.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in more than 50 years, a nesting pair of bald eagles have been found on San Clemente Island, officials reported on July 17. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This discovery means that bald eagles have re-established territories on five of the ... continue reading


TO FEED THE HUNGRY: More efficient agricultural systems could feed three billion more people Watch

Image of When it comes to water, rice and wheat are the crops that create the most demand for irrigation worldwide.

By Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Targeted efforts to make food systems more efficient in key parts of the world could meet the basic calorie needs of 3 billion extra people and reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture without using additional land and water, researchers said on Thursday. ... continue reading


Four wings: Amazing prehistoric raptor fossil found in China Watch

Image of This nightmare creature traveled light. Only four feet long and nine pounds heavy, the Changyu lived about 125 million years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Since gaining popularity in the "Jurassic Park" movies, raptors, next to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, are probably the most feared dinosaur by modern man. Short and compact with razor sharp teeth and claws, their speed and agility make for real nightmare fodder. ... continue reading


Ancient flesh crawler 'resurrected' with computer generated imagery Watch

Image of Comparing them to living arachnids, the researchers used an open source computer graphic program called

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There would be few reasons as to why anyone would want to bring an ugly spider, long extinct, back to life. Thanks to computer generated imagery generated by fossils of a 410 million-year-old arachnid, however, scientists have been able to recreate how it ... continue reading


What is a 'zombie' weather station and why is it bad? Watch

Image of Zombie outbreak locations? No, this is a map of  NOAA weather stations that are not made up.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forbes has published an article which alleges that U.S. climate scientists have manipulated climate data, using "zombie" weather stations that did not exist and "estimating" temperature data there. The article also states that a standardized network of NOAA monitoring ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter