Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

4/1/2014 (1 year 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Green

Why are there more animals around Chernobyl than nearby wildlife preserves? Watch

Image of The wolf population around Chernobyl has recovered to seven times what it is in non-contaminated areas.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists assessing wildlife populations around Chernobyl have learned something startling. Despite the radiation, there's more wildlife around Chernobyl than on surrounding wildlife preserves. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists recently conducted a survey ... continue reading

Hurricane Joaquin heads to NE America Watch

Image of Overhead view of Hurricane Joaquin (NASA).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The National Hurricane Center reported hurricane Joaquin intensified Thursday afternoon to a Category 4, which means the wind speed ranges between 131 and 155 mph. Joaquin had maximum sustained winds at 130 mph. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - CNN reported ... continue reading

JUST IN CASE: Scientists plan to save world from giant asteroid - as in 'Armageddon' movie Watch

Image of Both the NASA and the European Space Agency plan to implant the device into the 52-foot Didymoon. The experiment will test the principle that a much larger asteroid threatening the Earth could be deflected.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not saying it's going to happen -but just in case, scientists are planning a space mission to nudge an asteroid out of its orbit. You know, like in that 1998 Bruce Willis movie Armageddon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The joint European-U.S. effort, ... continue reading

Mars revelations may reveal God's personality according to Vatican astronomer Watch

Image of Architectural Digest's winning design for a 3-D-printed habitat on Mars.


An exciting discovery found on the surface of Mars revealed details about the planet which gives people a better understanding of God's personality, Vatican astronomer Brother Consolmagno reported.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - NASA scientists confirmed ... continue reading

Climate Talk: Al Gore spreads the environmental gospel Watch

Image of Al Gore leads environmental training prior to Paris climate change talks.


Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore trained an army of organizers and encouraged them to promote and spread the environmental gospel prior to climate talks that will occur in Paris later this year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The climate talks are due to commence ... continue reading

Remarkable neon-glowing sea turtle discovered Watch

Image of Hawksbill sea turtles glow neon ( via David Gruber).

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While researching biofluorescence in small sharks and coral reefs, an unexpected glowing creature passed a team of scientists who identified the fluorescent creature as a sea turtle species. After testing others, they determined hawksbill sea turtles have attained the ... continue reading

Strange Stonehenge-styled rocks found on surface of Mars Watch

Image of


Alien experts and hunters usually look for -and find- the most bizarre images beamed back from the surface of Mars, which includes coffins, pyramids, crabs and even floating spoons. New images of Mars have excited alien enthusiasts with what appears to be an alien ... continue reading

Very rare simultaneous supermoon and eclipse expected to hit the sky this weekend Watch

Image of Lunar eclipse and blood moon from 2011 ( David Paleino).


A supermoon lunar eclipse is expected this weekend, exciting some people but bothering those who believe it signifies the nearing end of times as cited by some religions. Regardless of the contrasting responses, NASA and a professional photographer have some reminders ... continue reading

Massive 100,000-year-long meteor shower could be responsible for Earth's shape Watch

Image of Meteor shower lasing 100,000 years could have helped form the Earth's crust (CORBIS).


Earth has higher levels of magnesium and lower levels of silicon today than it does in deposits of its formative materials, leading French scientists to question "why?" MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, a recent theory was made after ... continue reading

Love Birds: Research finds birds really do fall in love Watch

Image of


There are more characteristics birds have that are similar with humans. In a recent study created by a team of researchers in Germany, it was discovered that "lovebirds" isn't just a name of a specific kind of bird, but that birds really do fall in love. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading

All Green News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Malachi 3:13-20
13 'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:5-13
5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 8th, 2015 Image

St. Pelagia
October 8: Pelagia, more often called Margaret, on account of the ... Read More