A network of Roman Catholics around the globe from the US to the Philippines will be ready to support the teaching document due to be released in the next few weeks including prayer vigils, pilgrimages, policy briefings, seminars and a multitude of sermons supporting the Pope’s directive.
Catholic environmental specialists and advocates have been preparing for months to inactive and support the Pope’s directive. For Catholics and those influenced by the church the document is expected to be transformative in the fight against global warming, according to a report in USA Today.
Pope to visit the United States and speak on climate change
The Pope will be visiting the US in September, and he will be speaking before the UN General Assembly on Sept. 25 about climate change before going to Philadelphia to attend The World Meeting of Families.
Environmental advocates want a binding, comprehensive agreement among nations to slow global warming, which is confirmed by the majority of climate scientists who say climate change is driven by carbon emissions.
"People are really putting a lot of weight on this," said Nancy Tuchman, director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago. "I think the real hope is that he says it like it is and tells us there has to be a call to action and it has to be immediate,” reported in USA Today.
Catholic advocates have been working to unite 28 US Jesuit colleges and universities as a common voice on climate change, plans to collect papers from students, faculty and staff with their reflections on the document and how they can be "one of its champions," Tuchman said. A school colloquium on the papers is planned for Sept. 9, they said.
Interfaith Summit on Climate Change coordinates with Pope’s visit
The Union Theological Seminary in New York City will be the location for an inter-faith summit on climate change Sept. 21-27, 2015. Since Pope Francis will be speaking on the 25th to the UN General Assembly, there are no reports he will make an appearance at this summit.
This free event is part of the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change, hosted by both the World Council of Churches and Religions for Peace. For more information and for a program of events, visit interfaithclimate.org.
A round-table discussion with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place. Afterwards, the leaders of the world's religions will sign a historic document on climate change that they will later present to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban ki Moon.
Buddhist Declaration on climate change
The Buddha has made it abundantly clear that nature should be not be interfered with so that humanity may enjoy its presence and value for their benefit. He also taught that all life, including plant life should not be destroyed. Nature is a life giver for humanity, and few elements compromise this philosophy more that man-made climate change.
In the spirit of Buddhist tradition on May 15, 2015 the streets of Washington DC were lined with blossoms and greenery for the first “White House—US Buddhist Leadership Conference. One hundred thirty Buddhist teachers, monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen, academics, and organizers met to voice concern on climate change. The subject at hand was called“Voices in the Square—Action in the World.”
On May 14, 2015 in coordination with a Buddhist trip to Washington D.C., an official declaration was issued acknowledging climate change using YaleUniversity.edu.
The scientific consensus is overwhelming: human activity is triggering environmental breakdown on a planetary scale. Global warming, in particular, is happening much faster than previously predicted, most obviously at the North Pole. For hundreds of thousands of years, the Arctic Ocean has been covered by an area of sea-ice as large as Australia—but now this is melting rapidly. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast that the Arctic might be free of summer sea ice by 2100.
The Buddhist statement cited Dr. James Hansen of NASA in agreement with other climatologists who have defined precise targets as safe levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as no more than 350 parts per million (ppm), a target endorsed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama together with other Nobel laureates and scientists.
The level now is 387 ppm and has been rising 2 ppm per year.
The signatories to the declaration join the Dalai Lama to call for a reduction in ppm but also a removal of large quantities of carbon gas.
Buddhist teachings accept individual and collective responsibility to meet the 350ppm target, which includes personal and social responses. The window of opportunity is closing and the “tipping point” is near; therefore, we must take action to preserve humanity from imminent disaster and survival of our species.
As Buddhists we share the biosphere with many diverse life forms, and the survival and health of the planet for all sentient beings relies on the leadership and guidance of all faiths through compassion and wisdom to confront climate change as real and a result of human behavior.
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking
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