EcoLinks 07.01.15
Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 07.01.15

Debate: Has the world improved in the last 60 years?
Max Roser

At the Oxford Martin School I debated with Anders Sandberg from Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and Robert Walker from the University’s Social Policy department whether we achieved to build a better world.

Programme of the Pope’s trip to Cuba and the U.S.A. and his visit to the United Nations
Vatican Information Service

The Pope will depart from Rome’s Fiumicino airport at 10 a.m. on Saturday 19 September and is expected to arrive at 4.05 p.m. in Havana, Cuba, where the welcome ceremony will take place. On Sunday 20 September he will celebrate Holy Mass in Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana and will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers of the Republic in the Palace of the Revolution. Later he will celebrate Vespers in the Cathedral with priests, men and women religious, and seminarians, and will subsequently greet the young in the Fr. Felix Varela Cultural Centre.

The Theological Mind of Laudato Si’
Eduardo Echeverra, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

In this article, I consciously refrain from considering the parts of Pope Francis’s new Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’ (hereafter LS) that have been the most contentiously received, namely: his views of a free market system, the nature and extent of the ecological crisis, the science of climate change, Francis’s alleged anti-modernism, and apocalyptic view of history, and so forth. I am concerned that the reception of this encyclical threatens to miss the forest for the trees, as it were. Hence, my approach to the encyclical is to consider the theological mind that informs its framework.

Vatican hosts conference on ‘the imperative to change course’ on the environment
Catholic World News

“The COP21 conference for climate change (Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015) will be crucial in identifying strong solutions for climate change,” stated Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, whose remarks were read out at the conference. “The political dimension needs to re-establish democratic control over the economy and finance, that is, over the basic choices made by human societies.”

Cardinal Turkson addresses UN meeting on climate change
Vatican Radio

The President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson, conveyed the greetings and encouragement of Pope Francis, and drew attention to the new Papal encyclical on ecology, Laudato si’. Listen to the full address by Cardinal Turkson:

For Buddhist environmentalist, ‘Laudato si’’ gives hope for our common home
Melani Manel Peters, Asia News

“Pope Francis’ encyclical goes far beyond my expectations. It supports social and environmental justice, which civil society groups have fought for over half a century. It is a revolutionary document: it is a new hope for our common home,” said Hemantha Withanage (pictured), executive director of the Centre for Environmental Justice/Friends of the Earth in Sri Lanka.

Bill McKibben: Pope’s encyclical gives everyone ‘marching orders’ on climate
Sarah Mac Donald, National Catholic Reporter

For McKibben, the urgency of the climate issue is calling people not to individual action, but to common action – with the church having a big role to play. He described Laudato Si’ as “an amazing piece of work, incredibly rich and deep. It is neither liberal nor conservative, it is radical in interesting ways.”

Irish conference hears message: Climate action requires ‘new era of solidarity’
Sarah Mac Donald, National Catholic Reporter

A day after the conference’s conclusion, a landmark ruling from the district court of The Hague in the Netherlands found the Dutch government had violated human rights in failing to take adequate action to prevent the harmful impact of climate change on its citizens. The ruling, in response to a suit brought by the Urgenda Foundation on behalf of nearly 900 Dutch citizens, ordered the government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent within five years.

Nobel Laureate to Join Other Climate Change Experts at Duquesne Conference
PR Newswire

Notables such as Dr. Richard Alley, a member of the Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning intergovernmental panel on climate change, will speak at the conference built around concern for the environment, a key facet of Duquesne’s mission. President Charles J. Dougherty established a University endowment to support the annual conference series, which aligns with Duquesne’s strategic plan to have respect for the environment shape academic and business decisions.

The Dalai Lama calls for swift climate action and pals around with Patti Smith
Ana Sofia Knauf, Grist

The Dalai Lama, renowned Tibetan spiritual leader, joined a panel to discuss climate change before crowds of sweaty music enthusiasts in England. During the talk, he discussed nuclear disarmament, Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical, and the responsibility of world powers (including the United States and Russia) to stop burning fossil fuels.

UN chief: Climate talks moving at ‘a snail’s pace’
Devin Henry, The Hill

International negotiations on curbing climate change are moving too slowly, but the “stars are aligned” for a deal at a year-end summit, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

Peter Turkson: the public face of Pope Francis’s war on global warming
Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian

Francis is known to have asked Turkson to write the first draft of the encyclical, but when asked to describe the African cardinal’s influence on the document, his deputy Michael Czerny, told the Guardian: “It is the Holy Father who is responsible for its content, structure and tone.” Quoting Turkson himself, Czerny added that “many” had participated in various phases of the encyclical and “remain unnamed”.

Anglican Alliance welcomes faith leadership on climate change action
Anglican Communion News Service

The Archbishop of Canterbury, along with the Ecumenical Patriarch, has underlined our moral responsibility to act now both to reduce human suffering and to preserve the diversity and beauty of God’s creation for future generations.

Climate change battles – could Pope Francis’ encyclical be a decisive new ally?
Bishop Geoff Davies, Daily Maverick

The course of European history was changed when allied forces defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. Exactly 200 years later, on 18 June 2015, Pope Francis released his encyclical ‘Praise be to you – On care for our common home’. Will this change the course of history and bring victory for a sustainable future at the climate change talks in Paris in November this year?

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Message To People Who Think Pope Francis Shouldn’t Talk About Climate Change
Emily Atkin, ClimateProgress

“Pope Francis doesn’t have to be a scientist to arrive at these conclusions,” [Tyson]told ThinkProgress at the time. “All he would have to do is consult the extensive reports on climate change that have been written by the world’s climate scientists in a process organized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These reports have been written to inform policymakers and stakeholders about the state of the science and they are a reliable source of information.”

How Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical Translates to Memphis
Paul Haught, The Memphis Daily News

Like many ethicists who have taken on environmental issues, Francis gains the most traction in terms of personal ethics. That message begins with love, a love that needs to be cultivated into virtue and directed toward the needs of the poorest in our communities. What many readers will struggle with is the strong connection Francis makes between economic justice and ecological integrity. For Francis, we have a bad habit of separating economics from ecology. In response, he encourages the clergy especially to be models of the simplicity necessary for undoing the damage of modern technology on the dignity of work, on relationships (including to God), and on the intrinsic value of all of God’s creation.

Thousands march in Rome to show support for Pope Francis’ eco-encyclical
Rosie Scammell, National Catholic Reporter

Organizers estimated a crowd of 5,000 people reached St. Peter’s Square to celebrate the pontiff’s tough stance on climate change, after parading through Rome under a canopy of painted banners. The march was endorsed by the United Nations and a number of Catholic organizations, including Catholic Action and the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

Pope’s encyclical: Pro-climate-change, but anti-population control, pro-life, and anti-gender ideology
John Henry Westin, Life Site

The new encyclical also continues the tradition launched by popes Benedict and John Paul II of tying respecting nature to respecting life in the womb and God-given gender. The pope also clearly decries the idea of reducing population to address environmental concerns.

Bruce Edward Walker

has more than 30 years’ writing and editing experience in a variety of publishing areas, including reference books, newspapers, magazines, media relations and corporate speeches. Much of this material involved research on water rights, land use, alternative-technology vehicles and other environmental issues, but Walker has also written extensively on nonscientific subjects, having produced six titles in Wiley Publishing’s CliffsNotes series, including study guides for "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest." He has also authored more than 100 critical biographies of authors and musicians for Gale Research's Contemporary Literary Criticism and Contemporary Musicians reference-book series. He was managing editor of The Heartland Institute's InfoTech & Telecom News from 2010-2012. Prior to that, he was manager of communications for the Mackinac Center's Property Rights Network. He also served from 2006-2011 as editor of Michigan Science, a quarterly Mackinac Center publication. Walker has served as an adjunct professor of literature and academic writing at University of Detroit Mercy. For the past five years, he has authored a weekly column for the mid-Michigan Morning Sun newspaper. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University. He is the father of two daughters and currently lives in Flint, Mich., with his wife Katherine.