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EcoLinks 09.22.15

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America Exclusive: Vice President Biden on Pope Francis, Faith and Public Life
America

He made it clear, it is not the papacy’s role to be the scientist-­in­-chief and/or the political arbiter. But what he talked about are basic fundamental assertions. Look, the way I read it, and I read it, is it was an invitation, almost a demand, that a dialogue begin internationally, to deal with what is the single most consequential problem and issue facing humanity right now. And so the fact that he talked about — I mean even our department of defense has written long papers several years ago talking about what a danger to national security failing to deal with this is. Sea levels rise another foot, you’ve got tens of millions of people being displaced. You think there is a migration problem in Syria, watch what happens when hundreds of millions of people in South Asia are displaced trying to find new territory to live. Look what’s happened with Darfur. Darfur is all about climate change. It’s about arable land being evaporated, figuratively and literally, and warring over land. So I think it’s a total misrepresentation of the pope’s encyclical tosay it’s a political document. It’s a human document.


The left has its pope
Thomas Sowell, WND

In 1900, only 3 percent of American homes had electric lights but more than 99 percent had them before the end of the century. Infant mortality rates were 165 per thousand in 1900 and 7 per thousand by 1997. By 2001, most Americans living below the official poverty line had central air conditioning, a motor vehicle, cable television with multiple TV sets and other amenities.A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left. Pope Francis’ own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.

On visit to U.S., pope will find a church in transition
Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times

The Roman Catholic Church that Pope Francis will encounter on his first visit to the United States is being buffeted by immense change, and it is struggling — with integrating a new generation of immigrants, with conflicts over buildings and resources, with recruiting priests and with retaining congregants. The denomination is still the largest in the United States, but its power base is shifting.

Reconstructionists Set Yom Kippur Climate Change Service for Pope’s Visit
Forward

The services Tuesday night and Wednesday “will follow the traditional rituals with a focus on atonement for damage to the environment,” Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s director of social justice organizing program and one of the leaders of the Yom Kippur services, said in a statement.


10 things you didn’t know about Pope Francis
Vera Bergengruen, SunHerald

He criticized those who deny the human connection to climate change in a strongly worded 184-page encyclical, “Laudato Si,” issued in June. He wrote that the modern “use and throwaway” culture and the “disordered desire to consume more than what is really necessary” is to blame for global warming.

Papal Smackdown: Pope Francis v. Fossil Fuel Execs
Sarah Anderson, AlterNet

Sound like anybody you know, Rex Tillerson? The ExxonMobil CEO is notoriously obstinate in his opposition to Pope Francis’ call for a shift from intensive fossil fuel use to alternatives like solar and wind. In fact, when a Catholic priest and shareholder activist urged investment in renewables at the company’s annual meeting this year, Tillerson openly mocked him.

Pope Francis And Coal Country Catholics
Dan Boyce, Inside Energy

Some conservative Catholics say Pope Francis is meddling in American politics with his recent encyclical on the environment, the biggest papal statement ever on the subject and one which included a call for action on climate change. Meanwhile, for the faithful in western coal country, he is raising moral questions.

Pope Francis is bringing his holiness to the fight against climate change
Michael McCarthy, The Independent

For we already know what the principal concerns of this Argentinian Jesuit with a social conscience, formerly Father Jorge Bergoglio, are: the way capitalism is leaving the poor behind, and the way the global environment is being trashed. This was made crystal clear in the remarkable papal encyclical published in June, Laudato Si, in which His Holiness’s ferocious critique of consumerist values, in particular, raised eyebrows; it almost amounted to an attack on capitalism itself.

The Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change — What is Missing?
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, The Huffington Post

However, as I read through the encyclical, one thing stood out for me. In this comprehensive, scholarly, sophisticated, scientifically accurate, intellectual effort, there is a fundamental flaw. It is not surprising, but it is profoundly troubling. Nowhere in this document does your encyclical demonstrate any awareness that the status of women — politically, economically, socially — is a factor in both climate change and the terrible poverty you seek to overturn.

In clash with pope’s climate call, U.S. Church leases drilling rights
Richard Valdmanis, Reuters

Yet in the heart of U.S. oil country several dioceses and other Catholic institutions are leasing out drilling rights to oil and gas companies to bolster their finances, Reuters has found. And in one archdiocese — Oklahoma City — Church officials have signed three new oil and gas leases since Francis’s missive on the environment, leasing documents show.

Pope Francis Can’t Save the Planet
Rebecca Leber, New Republic

With Francis now on their side, climate-change activists and scientists have higher hopes that they can save the world. Scientists Michael Mann and Veerabhadran Ramanathan both described the Pope’s environmental encyclical, Laudato Si, as a “game-changer” when it was published published in June. ThinkProgress’ Joe Romm went further, likening Pope Francis to Winston Churchill on the eve of World War II.

Protecting Pope Francis Means Being Able to Stop on a Dime
Michael S. Schmidt and Jim Yardley, The New York Times

Francis, who has become known as the People’s Pope, moves about much more freely than his predecessors did. When John Paul II, who survived an assassination attempt early in his papacy, and Pope Benedict XVI appeared before crowds, they often remained in one of the many specially outfitted vehicles known as popemobiles.

How Much Is Pope Francis’s Visit Costing The U.S.?
Antonia Blumberg, The Huffington Post

Some predict the total cost for the pope’s Philadelphia visit will exceed $48 million. The World Meeting of Families, a major Catholic event drawing Pope Francis to the City of Brothery Love, has announced a $45 million comprehensive fundraising budget, according to Ken Gavin, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit Snarls Delivery Businesses
Laura Stevens and Paul Page, The Wall Street Journal

United Parcel Service Inc. told its customers that it will suspend pickups and deliveries in parts of the three cities—impacting a total of 28 ZIP Codes—during the pontiff’s visit because of the cities’ stringent security measures. FedEx Corp. said it won’t cancel service, but warned customers of service delays and disruptions in a wider area totaling 1,210 ZIP Codes.

The Pope Francis Antidote To Our Poisonous Abortion Wars
Charles C. Camosy, The Federalist

People on both Right and Left will have good reasons for doing so, especially given that Pope Francis has a consistent ethic of life that doesn’t fit either American political category. His skepticism of the “throw-away culture” raises concern about issues like animal welfare, human trafficking, euthanasia, climate change, and—yes—abortion. The pope insists prenatal children are “the most innocent and defenseless among us” and as the “least ones” in our culture they bear the face of Christ.

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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.

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