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EcoLinks 09.29.15

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Professors dialogue about the Pope’s encyclical
Courtney Becker, The Observer

“At the intersection of science and religion, you can’t just jump into any modern document and think that it can be taken entirely at face value,” [David Lodge, professor of biology and director of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative]said. “You want to think about how the scientific community … might react to such a document. The history of the interaction between Christianity and science has been, to say the least, a little fraught on occasion.”

Red-Blue America: What should Americans have learned from Pope Francis?
Ben Boychuk, Duluth News Tribune

Pope Francis isn’t a politician, an economist or a climatologist. He is first and foremost a priest and a pastor of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. Americans, Catholic and Protestant alike, forget that too easily.
True, Pope Francis discusses politics, economics and the climate in confounding ways. He really doesn’t understand the way free markets work. He’s listening to some highly misguided people about global warming. And as his visit with Fidel Castro showed, Francis isn’t as outspoken in the face of tyranny as was his predecessor, Saint Pope John Paul II. But Francis is neither anti-American nor a Marxist. Some conservatives sound like fools when they accuse the pontiff of being something he’s not.

College professor will speak about Pope Francis at Wallingford Public Library
Mary Ellen Godin, Record-Journal

Francis has been criticized by those who deny the established science of human-caused climate change. Other critics have denounced the letter as akin to communism and anti-technology. Some conservative Roman Catholics view the encyclical as an interference with secular politics. “He’s not anti-science,” Bourgeois said. “Nobody is proposing we go back to the Stone Age; we can’t treat capital markets and technology as though they are going to solve all of our problems.”


The pope, politics and pipeline
Alex Mills, Tyler Morning Telegraph

The encyclical attempted to convince people there is strong scientific evidence that humans are the key piece of the global warming puzzle. It states that global warming is primarily caused by greenhouse gases emitted by humans burning fossil fuels, and that there is an urgent need to reduce the use of fossil fuels by developing renewable energy. The document said that capitalism, property rights and a free economic system create over-consumption, and that capitalism “seems incapable of guaranteeing respect for the environment.” However, the Pope’s address to Congress said, “business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world,” which is very different from his previous statement.

World leaders, including Xi Jinping, Obama and the Pope, signal change is in the air on attitudes to global warming
Andrew Hammond, South China Morning Post

The increased international resolve on climate change will be welcomed by many across the world, and comes during a period when it may seem hard not to be pessimistic about the global battle to tackle global warming. These developments show we may be reaching a point when the international tide decisively turns on tackling climate change.

Pope Francis Offers the World a Prophetic Voice
Jesse Jackson, Sr., The Seattle Medium

Republicans are outraged that at Laudato Si, the Pope’s stunning encyclial addression our relationship to God’s creation of nature and calling on us to change our ways to meet the challengenge of climate change. While the Republican presidential campaign has been fixated on building walls, the pope represents the voice of Jesus that calls for caring for the stranger on Jericho Road. While conservatives worship Adam Smith and the marketplace, the pope scorns the false idol of materialism, rejects the “magical conception of the market.”

Islam, faith and climate change
Noor al-Hussein, Qantara

The Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, like Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Laudato Si’, is a call to humanity, regardless of faith, to work together to protect the planet upon which we depend. I hope that they will indeed provide an impetus for shifts in policies, allowing for deeper and broader reductions in CO2 emissions.

Republicans help MSNBC create “global citizens”
Cliff Kincaid, Renew America

Officially, the Global Citizen Festival was supposed to promote 17 Global Goals, also known as Sustainable Development Goals, including that of taking “climate action” to address “climate change.” This was not defined in specific terms, but in December the U.N. holds a climate conference intended to produce a new treaty, which Obama supporters say the president plans to implement through executive action, bypassing Congress. When Pope Francis spoke to the United Nations on Friday, member countries officially “adopted” these Global Goals, which are supposed to be implemented by 2030.

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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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