BAD 09: Climate Change tck tck tck

On December 7th, 2009, world leaders will meet to discuss Climate Change. Bloggers around the world have been asked to join in a one-day blog for a single, united issue.

As promised, here's a less than advertised Catholic approach to Climate Change. First, there is the webpage: Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. This website provides background on the Church's teaching on the subject, resources for further education, and suggestions for ways to improve our own lifestyles.
We've all heard quite a bit about this in the past.

What impresses me most here is that the Church sees three reasons for which Climate Change demands a Catholic answer: 1) if we are truly God's stewards of creation, we must act like it; 2) the environment affects humanity, and humans are the highest creation, thus, we must pay attention to what affects humanity; 3) this present plight corresponds to those in the past--many of the responses to Climate Change include actions based on the long-standing Catholic Social Teaching.

Second, we've always been a Church that embraces quality science (surprise!). In the American Catholic Bishops' statement on the subject, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good they write,
As Catholic bishops, we make no independent judgment on the plausibility of "global warming." Rather, we accept the consensus findings of so many scientists and the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a basis for continued research and prudent action. . . .In facing climate change, what we already know requires a response; it cannot be easily dismissed. Significant levels of scientific consensus—even in a situation with less than full certainty, where the consequences of not acting are serious—justifies, indeed can obligate, our taking action intended to avert potential dangers. In other words, if enough evidence indicates that the present course of action could jeopardize humankind's well-being, prudence dictates taking mitigating or preventative action.

The Bishops go on to highlight what is often called "the Church's best-kept-secret," or, Catholic Social Teaching, and how it relates to the issue of Climate Change. The headings of this section include: The Universal Common Good; Stewardship of God's Creation and the Right to Economic Initiative and Private Property; Protecting the Environment for Future Generations; Population & Authentic Development; Caring for the Poor and Issues of Equity.

The Bishops conclude with a "Sidebar" in which they write,
To deal with the difficulty of making precise measurements and arriving at definite conclusions, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to seek a clear explanation of the causes and possible impacts of this global climate change. . . .Because of the large number of scientists involved in the IPCC and its process of consultation, its reports are considered widely as offering the most authoritative scientific perspectives on the issue. IPCC's findings have met with general—but because of remaining uncertainties, not complete—agreement within the wider scientific community. . . .The IPCC offers convincing evidence that there exists if not a clear and present danger then a clear and future one...

What impresses me most is that this has been on the Church's radar (actively) since at least 1996. No jumping on the bandwagon here.

Well, I think that is a more than sufficient glimpse for us to see this Blog Action Day 09. I trust it has been worth the read, and I hope you check out the Bishops' Site and their sub-site, Catholic Coalition on Climate Change.


1 comment:

  1. very interesting perspective. not what i expected.


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