Environment

CURRENT CONCERN

As the Worlds Burns…

“That forest lung is vital for our planet.” ~ Pope Francis

Our first South American pope is keenly aware of what we are losing in Brazil as large swaths of the Amazon Rainforest go up in smoke. Fires are a regular feature of summers there as more and more land is cleared for farming – cattle-raising and soy crops for the most part – and for logging. The country’s president, Gen. Jair Bolsonaro was elected with support from the farming and timber industries and he has vowed to open the forest to “development,” a word that becomes ominous and sinister in this context.

This is a calamity with planetary implications. The rainforests drive the climate systems across the planet, and we are already well into the new era of climate change. It is occurring more rapidly than predicted and most climate scientists agree that we’re past tipping points for maintaining a stable climate. We are moving into a new reality on this planet and what we do or don’t do now will make a huge difference in how bad it gets.

Harsh news, but we need to come to terms with it. We face decisions right now about how we are going to live with and through this era of ecological peril. A question I pose in my 2008 book continues to haunt me – what kind of human beings will we be as we go through the crisis?

Read Margaret Swedish's full article here.

INFORMATION

We Are Still In

On June 23 Mayor Barrett and other city leaders signed and adopted a Common Council resolution solidifying the City's support for the Paris Climate Accord.

Mayor Barrett has already affirmed his commitment with more than 300 Mayors and thousands of businesses at WeAreStillIn.com

Archdiocesan Creation Care Collaboration

On November 21,2016 representatives from parishes, the Archdiocese, Marquette University, Marquette HS/Laudato Si' Project, City of Milwaukee, and Catholics for Peace and Justice/Waukesha County Green Team met to begin discussing how we can bring the content of Laudato Si’ more fully alive and prominent in our parishes and our community. Lots of good information was shared and connections made. The next meeting is Jan 13 at 12 noon. Contact Rob Shelledy at the Archdiocese to get on the information/invitation list. If you are interested in building a Creation Care ministry in your parish, connect with this group.

What is COP21?

More than two decades ago, members of the United Nations met in Rio de Janeiro for the “Earth Summit.” At this extraordinary gathering, attendees agreed on some basics about climate change and how to tackle its human causes.

This agreement is called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or “UNFCCC.” In it, 196 nations agreed to meet every year to fashion a treaty on how to keep the planet from warming to dangerous levels, and how in the meantime to help affected people. These nations are “parties” to the UNFCCC agreement.

Together we call this gathering of 196 nations the Conference of Parties, or COP for short.

The COP has been meeting every year since 1994. This November 30, they will convene for the 21st time. And that’s where we get the term COP21

Ten Things to Know About COP21