Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2014 (1 year 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 (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 May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

Scientists make odd discovery: Earliest snakes had feet and ankles Watch

Image of The earliest ancestors of snakes may have retained feet and ankles as late as 20 million years ago.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study published in the science journal BMC Evolutionary Biology has revealed a startling fact about the ancestors of modern snakes, suggesting that the reptiles may have evolved from creatures that had feet and ankles around 128 million years ago on the ... continue reading


Unexpected find in Washington may be last of its kind Watch

Image of This is the group of dinosaurs the Tyrannosaurus Rex is associated with.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When an inter-tidal rock was found in the Sucia Island State Park in Washington State back in 2012, its discoverers had no idea that it would create or cause such excitement and hype. Embedded in the rock is a 17-inch bone fragment, that could not be immediately ... continue reading


DEVASTATING photos show humanity's destruction of Planet Earth Watch

Image of This bird ate too much plastic trash and died, revealing its unnatural diet upon decomposition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Humanity's rapid expansion as the global population increases is taking its toll on the environment. Climate change, overpopulation, pollution, hunting of endangered species and strip mining are running rampant worldwide. A series of shocking photographs now ... continue reading


TOO SOON? Canonization of Mother Teresa next year only hypothetical, Vatican says Watch

Image of There had been reports in the Italian press that Mother Teresa, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who worked among the poorest of the poor, would be canonized before the end of the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of various published reports that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata will be canonized on September 4, 2016, the Vatican says that this remains hypothetical. "It is a working hypothesis, therefore there is no official confirmation to be given," Vatican representative ... continue reading


2020: Antarctic ice shelf could collapse Watch

Image of Land-based glaciers that have also started to slide faster toward the sea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and those polar ice caps keep right on melting. Things have deteriorated so badly - especially the Larsen B ice shelf, that scientist now fear the entire Antarctica ice shelf will collapse by the end of this decade, in ... continue reading


Raining spiders? Large areas of Australia covered in spider webs Watch

Image of Baby spiders

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The worst news for spider haters in Australia and around the globe: a natural migration phenomenon where baby spiders are flying is possible and has recently happened in the southern part of Australia. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Referred to as "Angel ... continue reading


HONEY HOLOCAUST: Forty percent of all beehives died in the past year Watch

Image of Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin all saw more than 60 percent of their hives die since April of last year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is an alarming figure that may speak of a silent, ecological disaster. According to a federal study, more than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The survey reports that the worst die-off ... continue reading


Recreating Dinosaurs: Using chicken embryos, scientists learn how dinosaurs got 'snouts' Watch

Image of The team's aim was to understand how the bird beak evolved, because the beak is such a vital part of bird anatomy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An asteroid, crashing into the Earth 65 million years ago, is thought to have caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. A group of dinosaurs managed to survive, and is thought to have evolved into modern-day birds. That theory has been around since the 19th Century. ... continue reading


Catfish surprisingly climbs wall and stuns scientists Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Inside a cave near Tena in Ecuador, a group of scientists filmed a catfish climbing up the wall to lick food from the roof. Climbing seems impossible for fishes, but evidence of an actual video showing an armored catfish making its way up the cave wall presents a new ... continue reading


Climate change to cause animal extinction in next century Watch

Image of New Zealand's tuataras will be one of the species affected by climate change.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the next century or so, one in six species of plants and animals are likely to be extinct in South America, New Zealand, and Australia. Species in North America are at a lower risk of being extinct. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to a study ... 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, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... 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