EcoLinks 07.24.15
Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 07.24.15

With Pope Francis at the Helm, World’s Mayors Pledge to Fight Climate Change
Nadia Prupis, EcoWatch

At the Vatican on Tuesday, mayors from around the globe pledged to fight climate change and help the world’s poor deal with the effects of a warming planet, an oath that came during a two-day conference with Pope Francis—himself a dedicated climate activist.

Vatican newspaper: ‘Red-hot Earth’

The front page of the July 24 edition of L’Osservatore Romano featured an article on “still more alarming data on the overheating of the Earth.” The article, entitled “Red-hot Earth,” cited a new report from the National Centers for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report found that “the first six months of 2015 comprised the warmest such period on record across the world’s land and ocean surfaces.”

Catholics from the Phillippines could raise 10 million signatures for Pope’s climate petition
Cat DiStasio, inhabitat

The Philippines is the world’s third largest Catholic country and the largest in Asia, and it’s also been the site of numerous natural disasters in recent years. Church leaders there are on board with the conclusions Pope Francis laid out in his historic climate change encyclical last month, which pointed to human action as the root cause of global warming. Catholic leaders in the Philippines have promised to raise 10 million signatures—half of the goal—on a petition to be presented to global political leaders at their climate summit in Paris this fall.

Pope pushing hard on climate change
Timothy Spangler, The Orange County Register

Pope Francis made headlines this week at a Vatican conference for the world’s mayors and governors. He linked the challenges caused by climate change to the increase in human trafficking that has been plaguing Europe in recent years. The pontiff is showing little sign of allowing his campaign against environmental disaster to fizzle out. He explicitly placed his hopes on the United Nations to provide leadership on these important humanitarian issues.

Church group acts on pope’s climate message
Al Edenloff, Echo Press

In the letter, which Pope Francis described as a “dialogue with all people about our common home,” he states that climate change is not only real, but getting worse and it’s up to everyone to make profound changes in their lives to address the problem.

Pope Francis’ approval ratings plummet in U.S., poll finds
The Associated Press

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

Poll: Voters in 3 Swing States Back Pope Francis on Climate Change
David Knowles, BloombergPolitics

The pontiff has often spoken out on the need for the world to try to combat climate change, and in June issued a papal encyclical aligning the church with the conclusions of the vast majority of scientists that global warming is being caused by human activity.

Mount Airy facilities foster interfaith connections
Arlene Edmonds, Montgomery News

“Pope Francis’ much anticipated encyclical, addressed to all the people on earth, came out on Thursday, June 18,” Pyrch said. “That’s why we [planned] to discuss select passages from the encyclical. We provided study sheets. All were welcome to attend.” The recent session shared of ideas on how each would individually consume less energy, recycle and nurture the planet. Some mentioned the need to amplify the climate change issue even amid congregations where members were skeptical or too immersed in their day-to-day problems to consider it. One member suggested that one could ask them to share a simple way they could save energy rather than extend an open invitation to join a time-consuming organization or movement.

Costa Rica’s Catholic Church to take more activist role on environment following Pope’s call to action
Zach Dyer, The Tico Times News

The Episcopal Conference, the governing body of the Catholic Church in Costa Rica, hosted an event Thursday morning to discuss the pope’s guiding document — called an encyclical — for the faithful on climate change and ecological health. The event’s timing came just days before large protests are expected in Nicoya, Guanacaste, over the government’s management of drought there as well as intense flooding in the Caribbean in late June.

David Brooks Fails on Climate Change
Scott Novak, Huffington Post

For many people who are not fortunate enough to hold Brooks’ privileged status in society, the problems of climate change and dependence on fossil fuels have existed for decades. Just ask the indigenous groups in Ecuador, where Texaco dumped around 19 billion gallons of toxic waste in community water supplies during its operations in the country between 1962 and 2001. Such sacrifice zones, where the health of people deemed expendable is severely damaged, have always been required for fossil fuel extraction efforts.

Other Voices: What the Pope, Bernie Sanders have in common

Rob Means, Milpitas Post

You probably heard about Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home). The encyclical is a remarkable document addressed to everyone of conscience. Pope Francis pulls wisdom from his church’s teachings, principals of modern physics, an understanding of the complexity of the global ecology, and above all our moral obligation to our young. With particular attention to global warming or anthropogenic climate disruption, the Pope wrote, “14. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”

Climate Change Forum Answers Pope’s Call for “New Dialogue” on Future of the Planet, Free and Open to Public, Sept. 21
University City Review

In response to Pope Francis’ call for a “new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet,” the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will hold a special public forum on Monday, Sept. 21, featuring a leading advisor to the Vatican on climate change and sustainable development. “Climate Change: A New Dialogue” brings together environmental advocates, scientists and community members for a critical conversation about climate change and the future. The panel of prominent thought leaders features keynote speaker Jeffrey D. Sachs, widely considered to be the world’s leading expert on economic development and the fight against poverty. Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Sachs is the 2015 co-recipient of the Blue Planet Prize, the highest international prize for environmental sustainability.

A year of action
Nature Climate Change

It is not just climate change that is being addressed on the international policy stage this year; sustainable development will also be in the spotlight, with the United Nations Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda being held in New York in September. The summit is expected to agree and set in motion the sustainable development goals (SDGs) first mooted at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. These new goals will run to 2030, and follow on from the eight Millennium Development Goals established in 2000, which have achieved varying levels of success ( The SDGs will need to account for future climate change, making 2015 a crucial year for international action in both the climate change and development spheres.

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.