News Archives » Integrity of Creation
The Inequality Debate Heats Up! February 14th, 2014
What started out as a slogan that surfaced at the height of the Occupy movement — the 1 percent vs the 99 percent — has morphed into the hotly debated issue of inequality, especially income inequality. Across a broad spectrum ranging from Pope Francis to billionaire Tom Perkins, a variety of reflections, analysis, explanation and apologies have been offered.
The executive director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms. Christine Lagarde, entered the conversation at the macroeconomic level when she stated recently at Davos, “The gap has been widening tremendously, particularly over the last ten years and it has widened in all corners. You look at the U.S. economy. You look at the Brazilian economy. You look at some of the developing countries although to a lesser degree, but it does… that inequality has expanded.”
Daily, all of us, members of the Earth community, are reminded that we live on a rare, precious, threatened planet. At the same time we realize that at its root, ecological devastation is a spiritual issue. Our weeklong “Exploring the Sacred Universe” program addresses our current situation in a spiritual context. Past participants consider the program to have been a transformative learning experience, as they were invited to broaden their vision and include our numinous Universe in all aspects of life.
Interested in learning more about a different perspective now? Watch “The Known Universe”, a marvelous video from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It will help you experience the awesome scale of the known universe, as mapped through astronomical observations. In the video, you start at the Himalayas, move through Earth’s atmosphere and the black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang.
Understanding Fracking: Catholic News Service series January 6th, 2014
Dennis Sadowski, staff writer for Catholic News Service, has completed a series of articles on hydraulic fracking from a faith-based perspective. “It was a complicated issue to examine,” he informed Catholic Rural Life. Nevertheless, Sadowski provides a clear overview of this controversial energy source while blending in environmental justice teachings of the Church.
The Oblate JPIC Office has been engaging oil and gas companies on social and environmental issues related to fracking.
Thanks to National Catholic Rural Life for this information.
VIVAT International Newsletter Available January 6th, 2014
- World Food Day
- 2014 Year of Family Farming
- Land Grabbing and Mining
- Executives at the Vatican
- Voices in Brazil
- Right to Water
- Typhoon Haiyan
- Rights of Dalits
- VIVAT Workshop West Africa
- Longing for Peace
Catholic Moral Concerns on Fracking December 20th, 2013
Catholic News Service has a good article on fracking that looks at the church’s contribution to the discussion about this rapidly expanding source of energy in the U.S. Catholic social teaching focuses on the importance of protecting creation and promoting the common good, and the emphasis in this debate has been on the moral concerns.
Some bishops have raised concerns. While not supporting a ban, Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyo., president of Catholic Rural Life, said he harbors deep concerns over fracking. ”I think the public needs more information than is presently being provided about the chemicals in this mix that is being injected into the earth to release the gas and oil,” he told Catholic News Service.
The bishop also expressed apprehension about the amount of water fracking requires, especially in parts of the country where water is a precious commodity.
Climate Change Impacts on Water December 18th, 2013
An increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius would likely result in chronic water scarcity—less than 1,000 cubic meters per person per year—for 21 percent of the global population, according to new climate models developed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Climate Progress reported. An increase of just 1 degree Celsius would create chronic water scarcity for 13 percent of the population and absolute water scarcity—less than 500 cubic meters per person per year—for 6 percent of the population.
A newly released study of the Lower Rio Grande River Basin predicts that climate change will reduce water supplies by more than 86,000 acre-feet each year by 2060, leaving a total annual supply shortfall in the basin of 678,522 acre-feet, Science Daily reported. The shortfall is expected to create problems for irrigators in the basin, and the study suggested looking at desalinated brackish groundwater as an alternative to surface water supplies.
- Each Wednesday in Lent… March 7th, 2014
- Latest NEWSBRIEF from the USG-USIG JPIC Commission March 6th, 2014
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leads High Profile Group to Geneva on Sri Lanka March 6th, 2014
Latest Video & Audio
- Sign up for the Oblate Earth Literacy program: “Exploring the Sacred Universe” January 24th, 2014
- Philippine Plea for Action on Climate November 19th, 2013