Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 07.23.15

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Ewart: Unholy alliances bolster the Pope’s climate change campaign
Stephen Ewart, Calgary Herald

You could, cynically, call it a marriage of convenience, but given the schism in their views of same-sex marriage — or issues such as birth control — it would add an awkwardness to the Pope’s two-day conference at the Vatican City with the select group of municipal politicians that concludes Wednesday. Cities including San Francisco and Vancouver — Mayor Gregor Robertson is the lone Canadian attending — have joined Francis even though they’re renowned for tolerance of lifestyle choices opposed by the Vatican.

Vatican Conference of Worldwide Mayors Overwhelmingly Backs Climate Change Science
Diane Montagna, Aleteia: Seekers of Truth

Equally troubling to some is the firm line the common declaration takes on climate change. It emphatically states: “Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality.” This appears to contradict statements in Laudato si’ , that the Church is not fully backing the science. The encyclical, which has a chapter dedicated to the “human roots of the ecological crisis,” clearly accepts the science of anthropogenic climate change — the first such papal document to so overtly endorse the science. But at the same time, it says the Church has “no reason to offer a definitive opinion,” knowing that “honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views” (n. 61).

Filipino Bishops Back Laudato Si’ With Statement
Zenit News Agency

The bishops of the Philippines on Monday released a statement on climate change, called “Stewards, Not Owners.” In the statement, the bishops commit to educating the faithful on the issues of climate change, and recall that “Laudato Si teaches us that the core of the matter of climate change is justice.” Here is the full text of their statement:

Pope: Encyclical Is More Than ‘Green’
Zenit News Agency

The culture of care of the environment is not only a “green” attitude, it’s “much more,” said the Pope. Therefore, he specified that to look after the environment is to have an attitude of human ecology. Ecology “is total, it is human,” he said. The Holy Father went on to explain that in the encyclical Laudato Si’, he pointed out “that man cannot be separated from the rest.”


White House honors religious climate activists

Catholic World News

The White House has honored 12 religious believers for “their grassroots efforts to green their communities and educate others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change,” according to a blog post by Angela Barranco, the associate director for public engagement at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Among those honored as “champions of change” on July 20 were Sister Joan Brown, executive director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, and Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network.

World’s mayors head to Vatican, vow to tackle climate change, poverty
Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

After decades of world leaders trying to set global goals to address climate change and extreme poverty, city mayors gathered at the Vatican to pledge they will take real action and lead the fight on their streets. Pope Francis told the mayors that they were important because they were at the “grass roots” and could make concrete changes and put pressure on leaders above them.

Nurses Invite Pope Francis to Meet on U.S. Visit to Discuss Health Effects of Climate, Environment Crisis
PRNewswire

Leaders of unions representing leading nurses and other healthcare workers in 18 countries from every major continent are requesting a meeting with Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to the U.S. to discuss ways to work together to combat the alarming health effects of the climate crisis and other environmental degradation.

Naive and out of touch? Leading evangelical bishop slates Pope’s climate change encyclical
Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today

The Bishop of Chester Dr Peter Forster and Labour peer Bernard Donoghue, a lay Catholic, say Pope Francis’ landmark document Laudato Si betrays an idealism that longs for a world where cats no longer chase mice and species do not kill and eat each other or become extinct.

Pope Francis’s popularity in America takes a hit ahead of his first US trip
The Guardian

Fifty-nine percent of Americans said this month they had a favorable view of the pope, compared to 76% in February 2014, Gallup reported on Wednesday. The share of Americans who disapproved of the pope increased from 9% to 16% in the same period. The changes were most dramatic among political conservatives, whose opinion of Francis nosedived by 27 percentage points to 45%. Among Catholics, Francis’s approval dropped by 18 percentage points to 71%.


Laudato Si and a Pope in Tune with the Spirit of the Times

Louis Beckett, Richochet

Consider, for example, Francis’s use the term “consumerism.” Francis mentions “consumerist” or “consumerism” fifteen times. A review of all fifteen references would suggest that there is now a special place in Hell for “consumerists”—eternity in a frozen lake (Dante’s Ninth Circle) seems appropriate given their alleged responsibility for global warming. Francis laments that young generations “have grown up in a milieu of extreme consumerism and affluence which makes it difficult to develop other habits.” He slams “a consumerist lifestyle” that is incapable of being “maintained.” He assails “compulsive” and “extreme consumerism” as manifested “in an effort to sell” products and a “whirlwind of needless buying and spending.”

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.