News Archives » climate change
Help Protect the Environment! April 12th, 2021
Reducing consumption, reusing items and recycling whenever possible reduces air and water pollution, keeps landfills from filling up so quickly and saves energy and money for both consumers and governments that have to deal with trash. This is a great way to deal with climate change. Our new brochure offers tips on ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle as individuals and in your communities.
Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI Weighs in on Climate Crisis & Wall Street March 19th, 2021
Reading the writing on the wall’: why Wall Street is acting on the climate crisis
“They are getting pushed by the customer, by the science, by the general public.” — Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI
Wildfires burned nearly 10.4m acres across the US last year. The most costly thunderstorm in US history caused $7.5bn in damage across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. As the climate crisis swept the globe on a biblical scale it left in its wake a record number of billion-dollar disasters.
And yet out of these ashes has emerged an unlikely savior: Wall Street. After decades of backing polluters and opposing legislation to rein them in, finance says it’s going green.
Our Global Biodiversity Crisis – What You Can Do October 16th, 2020
Submitted by Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, director, La Vista Ecological Learning Center
The loss of biodiversity on our planet is even more urgent than the climate crisis but less well-known, putting people, wildlife, and future generations at risk. Scientists report that one million species are in danger of extinction in the coming decades. Urgent action needs to be taken now to reverse the massive loss of plants, insects, and other creatures we depend on for a stable climate, sustainable food supplies and essential pollination services.
All of us can help by participating in Citizen Science Projects right in our local areas. Projects include observing wildlife, measuring night sky brightness, monitoring water quality, counting birds, monitoring bird nests, and many more. Visit the National Geographic website to get ideas. You will be working with thousands of other volunteers and scientists to gather and share important data to a global database.
Visit the National Geographic website to participate.
Photos courtesy, Unsplash.
Laudato Si’@ 5: Reflect, Pray & Take Action, May 16-24, 2020 May 15th, 2020
Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home was released at the end of May 2015. Missionary Oblates JPIC joined Catholics in welcoming Laudato Si’ and have since worked to integrate the themes into our justice and peace work. As we observe the encyclical’s five-year anniversary, we invite you to join us as we reflect on a few of the encyclical’s themes.
The ecological crisis, Pope Francis wrote, is a summons to profound interior conversion—to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created world – The lessons of the global financial crisis have not been assimilated, and we are learning all too slowly the lessons of environmental deterioration. (#109)
Laudato Si’: Poor and Vulnerable
“The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs. We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities” (#52)
- How does preferential option for the poor and vulnerable call us to respond to Laudato Si’?
Laudato Si’: Global Solidarity
“Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan…A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water.” (#164)
- How do you express solidarity with people in your community and around the world?
Laudato Si’: Common Good
“The notion of the common good also extends to future generations. The global economic crises have made painfully obvious the detrimental effects of disregarding our common destiny, which cannot exclude those who come after us. We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity” (#159)
- With Whom are you called to dialogue about future of the common home? Pope Francis calls for dialogue that include everyone. Who should be included?
Find more ways here on how you can Reflect, Pray and Take Action to Celebrate the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’.
- Vatican Laudato Si Week page: https://laudatosiweek.org/
- Activities, prayers and resources from Catholic Climate Covenant and partners:
- Archdiocese of Chicago will each day host a virtual presentation on Zoom that focuses on different facets of caring for our common home:
- Watch the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ roundtable conversation as part of #LaudatoSiWeek2020! On May 20th head to http://ow.ly/NLSv50zGqeC at 2pm ET to watch live!
- USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has several new and updated bilingual resources.
- Join Franciscan Action Network on Tuesday, May 19th Laudato Si’ for a webinar in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the encyclical’s release. Register to join the Zoom webinar, however it will be streamed live on their Facebook page
2019 Year in Review: A Year of Engagement, Outreach and Action January 3rd, 2020
Happy New Year. Here are some 2019 highlights from the OMI JPIC office:
o January 2019, JPIC started the year on a somber note and in solidarity with OMI Province of the Philippines on the Jolo Cathedral Bombing in January 2019.
o February 2019 Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI and Fr Rufus Whitley, OMI presented at the Vatican Conference in Rome on Impact Investing: Scaling Investment in Service of Integral Human Development which focused on concrete ways that capital can help the poor around the world.
o March 2019, JPIC office welcomed and hosted Fr. Ray Cook OMI and Rice University Students
o April 2019, the OMI JPIC Committee met in New Orleans, Louisiana at the historic St Augustine Catholic Church.
o May 2019, JPIC welcomed Br. Joey Methé, OMI for 2019 Summer Intern. And expressed gratitude for the vocation of Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI on 43 Years of Priesthood
o Effective July 1, 2019, Mrs. Mary O’ Herron and Fr Emmanuel Mulenga OMI appointed to a three-year term on the JPIC committee.
o August 2019, launch of the new 360° design for JPIC newsletter:http://omiusajpic.org/2019/08/16/presenting-our-2019-summer-jpic-report-with-a-fresh-new-look/
o US Provincial Fr Louis Studer, OMI joined national leaders in sign-on letter urging the administration to pass bipartisan budget agreement that lifted spending caps for non-defense programs and raises debt ceiling.
o In September 2019, to mark World Day of Migrants and Refugees JPIC launched the podcast featuring Fr. Jesse Esqueda OMI speaking on the migrant crisis in Tijuana.
o October 2019, JPIC social media provided a platform for Oblates updates and happenings at Pan-Amazon Region in Rome and experiences of Oblates at the Amazon Synod such as Fr Roberto Carrasco, OMI
o November 2019, Fr Séamus Finn, OMI, was the keynote speaker at Marquette’s first symposium on Socially Responsible Investing where he explored the history of socially responsible investing, drawing on personal stories and work as board chair of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
o In December 2019, Missionary Oblates joined 80 national religious bodies in sending letter the US Senate urging passage of the ILLICIT CASH Act (S.2563) and the Corporate Transparency Act (S.1978)
o December 2019, another big highlight was a Congressional Hearing on the state of migrant children where JPIC Committee member Patti Radle was among panelists giving powerful testimonies: https://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/growing-up-in-fear-how-the-trump-administrations-immigration-policies-are-harming-children-
Climate Change: ICCR Members Review Past Work and Plan for 2018-19 Corporate Engagement Season July 18th, 2018
By Frank Sherman
The ICCR Climate Change Workgroup met in mid-June, hosted by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, an ICCR member in NYC, to evaluate the progress over the past year and chart out a path forward for the 2018-19 corporate engagement season. We took time to reflect on the social and faith trends; review the political and economic landscape; and map the growing investor actions on climate. We then evaluated our progress over the past couple years before developing a SWOT analysis, mission and vision. In the afternoon, we discussed the path forward by re-directing the existing programs and discussing some new areas to pursue.
Jake Barnett (Morgan Stanley Graystone), together with Mary Beth Gallagher (Tri-State CRI), presented the climate justice perspective by describing the disproportionate adverse impacts climate change has on vulnerable communities. These include decreased agricultural production due to drought resulting in increased migration, disproportionate impacts on women, increased disease burdens due to intensified heat and insect-borne diseases, and displacement from intensified storms due to lack of resilience (e.g. Hurricane Harvey and Maria). In addition, roughly 1.1 billion people lack access to electricity, making the provision of clean, affordable energy essential for communities trying to escape poverty. Unlike secular asset managers, the faith community can elevate climate change from a partisan political discourse to a moral issue that we are all called to address. We need to be bold and exhibit urgency by leveraging partner organizations (Human Rights Watch, Earth Justice, Sierra Club, etc.), and put a human face on the climate change impacts.
Aaron Ziulkowski (Walden Asset) provided the political and economic overview noting that, despite growing awareness, global GHG emissions continue to rise, although they have leveled off in OECD (developed) countries. The national commitments made in Paris fall short of the 2 degree scenario and get the world nowhere near the 1.5 degree ambition. Transportation has replaced electricity production as the top emitter in the U.S. due to the displacement of coal by natural gas. Despite the White House announced withdraw from Paris, several states have set targets for GHG reduction, renewable energy and CAFÉ standards (which reduce auto emissions) that exceed federal standards. Japan, the EU, China and India continue to increase CAFÉ standards while Trump’s EPA rolls back U.S. targets. The EPA is being sued for rolling back methane emissions standards in oil & gas production. Economists are confident that economics wins over politics with the cost of unsubsidized wind and solar electrical power now competitive with fossil fuels. We agreed to step up public advocacy and pressure corporations to do the same if the U.S. wants to remain competitive in a low carbon world.