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CLIMATE CHANGE AND RELIGION

Posted on: October 21, 2020

The Creation of Adam - Wikipedia
Creation, Adam, and Cain - A Beka Flash-A-Cards | Adam and eve, Bible  pictures, Bible art
What if Adam and Eve didn't sin? - Quora
UnitingChurch-TurkishMosque

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE CLOSE LINK BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE AND RELIGION SEEN IN CLIMATE ACTIVISM BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS WITH THE LAUDATO SI ENCYCLICAL OF THE POPE SERVING AS THE BASIS.

BELOW ARE THREE SUCH PRESENTATIONS WITH SOME DIFFERENCES AMONG THEM ALTHOUGH ALL THREE ARE LINKED WITH THE LAUDATO SI ENCYCLICAL OF POPE FRANCIS.

AT THE END OF THESE PRESENTATIONS, WE PROVIDE A CRITICAL REVIEW

(#1) REVERAND FLETCHER HARPER, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

AND A WEBSITE CALLED CENTRE FOR CLIMATE SAFETY: LINK: https://climatesafety.info/what-we-all-can-do/what-religious-leaders-and-communities-can-do/

Church of England commits to net-zero emissions by 2030

The website provides guidelines to religious leaders on what they can do forclimate safety“. It says “The world’s best climate experts have released the most comprehensive report on climate change ever made. The conclusions are sobering. Our climate is changing at a disastrous rate. Our leaders need to hear a message of hope, to step outside politics as usual and realise that people around the world are praying for them to be bold and do what is right.”

The website is operated by Reverand Fletcher Harper of the Church of England. His personal website is called GREENFAITH.ORG where we find this; “Fletcher is an Episcopal priest and, since 2002, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. Under his leadership, GreenFaith has developed innovative programs linking religious belief and practice to the environment.

An award-winning spiritual writer and nationally-recognized preacher on the environment, he has led multi-faith organizing for the 2014 and 2017 Peoples Climate Marches, played a lead role in the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement, and coordinated the development of GreenFaith’s international work. He is author of GreenFaith – Mobilizing God’s People to Save the Earth.”

(#2) The LAUDATO SI ENCYCLICAL OF POPE FRANCIS

Download "Laudato Si" | Pope Francis' Encyclical on Environment and Climate  Change
Earth Day - 10 Points from Laudato Si - Congregation of the Mission
11 Things to Know Before Visiting the Vatican - 2020 Vatican City Guide
The Flag of the Vatican City

Laudato Si‘ represented a seminal integration of the environment and humanity (the title is from the first words of the encyclical, “Praise be to you my Lord”). … The encyclical broadly accepts the scientific consensus that climate change is principally a man-made phenomenon and that it can and must be undone by man by taking the climate action of moving from fossil fuels to renewables. Pope Francis criticized world governments for their “very weak” response to the climate crisis. In June, he issued guidance for carrying out his climate encyclical that included calling on Catholics to divest themselves of investments in fossil fuel companies. With this new sense of urgency, the Vatican launched a year-long program of Laudato Si’ activities and put in place a new, seven-year call to action. The encyclical broadly accepts the scientific consensus that climate change is principally a man-made phenomenon. Without prompt global action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and slow the planet’s warming, it says, there will be profound environmental, social, political and economic consequences. The pope clearly identifies the use of fossil fuels as a cause of climate change.

Yale University scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. It describes the pope’s commitment on climate as “unprecedented,” and says it represents a “structural change” in how the world is confronting climate change and other environmental issues, such as pollution. Science and policy have led the response to environmental concerns for decades, she said, but the pope has interjected a moral force linking people with their environment. It’s not just social justice issues, and not just environmental issues, Tucker said. “It’s the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, all coming together in various movements. The encyclical names this ‘integral ecology’.” The global coronavirus pandemic, she added, “is making the linkages even more clear. You cannot have healthy people on a sick planet.

A Message for the Planet
To the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics—including about 70 million in the United States—a papal encyclical is a pastoral letter that carries a special gravitas. But with Laudato Si’, the pope intended it to reach everyone on the planet. The encyclical stands on millennia of Catholic teachings, starting with the Genesis story,” said Anna Wagner, an engagement director with the five-year-old Global Catholic Climate Movement, which works with the Vatican on climate matters. It takes ancient lessons of our faith and expresses them in a new way. Upon the encyclical’s release in June, 2015, the pope took to Twitter to declare, bluntly: “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. At the time, scientists were warning that global warming, rising seas, and supercharged weather were no longer a distant threat. Five years later, scientists have documented how climate change is intensifying droughts, wildfires and hurricanes, and have said that carbon emissions need to drop 45 percent by 2030 if the world is to have a chance at fending off the worst effects of climate change.

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis blended the latest science on climate and the loss of biological diversity with a heavy dose of economics, Catholic teaching and a call to treat all humans with dignity and respect. “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications,” he wrote, especially for the poor in developing nations. Rich countries are hurting poor countries, Francis wrote, calling for an economic system with “more balanced levels of production, a better distribution of wealth, concern for the environment and the rights of future generations.”

The encyclical was seen in some camps as an attack on capitalism, and it made some Catholic Republican leaders squirm, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who in 2015 observed that the pope “is not a scientist.” The climate denier Heartland Institute accused Francis of being misled by false prophets or the “agenda-driven bureaucrats at the United Nations.” Five years later, Bill McKibben, a Methodist open about his own Christian faith, described the encyclical as among the most important documents of our time. McKibben says that the encyclical understands the climate crisis in a much larger sense in that the environmental movement needs to be the environmental justice movement. It’s important, as well, McKibben said, because of the Pope’s reach as a global faith leader and arguably the most recognizable figure in the world.

The World’s Response to Laudato Si has been that it convinced many that climate change is a Source of Grave Concern. Laudato Si’ created a global buzz before and after it was published. The National Catholic Reporter, a Kansas City-based independent Catholic news outlet with dedicated climate coverage, found examples around the world in which individual Catholics, parishes and institutions had responded to Laudato Si’. As a response to the Laudato Si, Bishops in the Philippines are fighting coal-fired power plants. American Catholic nuns and their partners in Ghana launched a plastic recycling program to reduce waste and increase employment. The U.S. Conference of Bishops has opposed the Trump administration and its rollback or repeals of key environmental regulations.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement has grown to encompass 900 Catholic organizations in dozens of countries. The organization has spearheaded some of Catholicism’s most visible climate actions, from faith-based youth climate strikes to persuading a growing number of Catholic institutions to pull their investments in fossil fuel companies. The urgency of this ecological conversion seems not to have been grasped by international politics, where the response to the problems raised by global climate change remains very weak. This weakness is a source of grave concern. The Pope met with 180 diplomats at the Vatican to address this issue. At the same time he praised the rising voices of young people demanding urgent action on climate change.

After that meeting, the Vatican announced the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.” It asks Catholics and Catholic institutions to achieve sustainability within seven years. The Vatican itself continues to gather advice from high-level scientists and other experts. The Vatican is pulling expertise from all over the world. This is a huge commitment.

The Catholic Divestment Program. The Vatican’s full support for divestment of fossil fuel companies is a big deal, since the Church is a serious financial force. Catholic institutions are divesting from fossil fuel companies since Laudato Si’. This includes the University of Dayton and Georgetown University. Divestment activist McKibben and his group 350.org, plays an important role in the divestment campaign. More than 1,200 institutions pledged to divest $14 trillion from fossil fuels, including the Episcopal church, the Church of England, and the World Council of Churches. This is the first-ever endorsement of a fossil fuel divestment campaign to come from the Vatican. It is the largest-ever divestment by faith institutions wherein 42 institutions in 14 countries announced their commitment to drop fossil fuels from their investment portfolio.

Engaging Conservative Catholics: The pope’s renewed climate push this year comes as an American presidential election with widely divergent views on climate change. President Donald Trump has taken the country in the opposite direction from the Vatican, working to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a global action to fight climate change. Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic, has embraced the encyclical, as well as a $2 trillion clean jobs program to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. For some Catholics, Trump’s fossil-fuel agenda has provided motivation to act on their own, said Dan Misleh, executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant, that works to incorporate the encyclical’s message in education and worship.

A statement from Dan Misleh: The encyclical has inspired climate action across the country. The CATHOLIC CLIMATE COVENANT has Creation Care Teams to lead community action. It has started Catholic Energies, focused on solar power and energy efficiency and it is encouraging advocacy in state capitals and Washington, D.C.

The Atlanta climate action plan has been or is being used as a point of reference for climate plans at the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where Archbishop Gregory now serves, and at dioceses in Boston, Columbus, Minneapolis, San Diego and elsewhere. But some dioceses and parishes are Republican and these conservatives are climate deniers and not willing to embrace the climate fight. It turns out that Catholics are evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Catholic Laudato Si activists are deeply concerned about how to engage these Catholic conservatives.

Encyclical activists are trying to convince their conservative parishioners that all Pope Francis is asking for is a future in which ‘all people can prosper personally and economically in harmony with the gifts God has given us in nature.

IN THE END, ALL CATHOLICS, REGARDLESS OF POLITICS, MUST ANSWER THIS SIMPLE QUESTION ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE; WHAT DOES OUR FAITH CALL US TO DO?

Laudato si and the Ecological Debt
Earth Day - 10 Points from Laudato Si - Congregation of the Mission
Download "Laudato Si" | Pope Francis' Encyclical on Environment and Climate  Change

(#3)BISHOP MCELROY OF SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Bishop McElroy – The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego
Diocese of San Diego - Horowitz Law

Bishop McElroy on Laudato Si’: 2019: LINK: https://www.ncronline.org/news/earthbeat/bishop-mcelroy-laudato-si-urgent-summons-american-people

THIS IS BISHOP MCELROY’S KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE LAUDATO SI CONFERENCE AT CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY IN OMAHA NEBRASKA.

In his epic poem, “Paradise Lost,” John Milton captured the majestic drama of the fall and rise of humanity amidst the never failing love and power of God’s presence in the world. When Satan approaches the Garden of Eden, to bring down Adam and Eve who had become the focus of God’s love and tender care. Satan is stunned and overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of Paradise. It is the Paradise that the Lord has created for the humans.

The beauty of Paradise reminds Satan only of his alienation from the Creator and so he despises the majesty of Creation. Satan cries out in pain {O Thou, that with surpassing glory crowned, to thee I call, But with not with friendly voice, to tell the sun how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere till pride and ambition threw me down}. The lament of Satan is forged by his estrangement from the magnificence of God’s creation which Satan had deformed. {as we now deform God’s creation with fossil fuel emissions}. For us as men and women of the twenty-first century, this very same estrangement reverberates through our relationship with the earth that is our common home. Perceiving in the recesses of our soul the magnificence of the world that God has created for the entire human family, we yet allow selfishness, denial, the thirst for control, radical individualism and the rejection of God to forge a culture that progressively destroys the beauty and sustainability of the world which is our common home. And in that contradiction we are estranged from the created order which God bestowed upon the human family as the setting of our pilgrimage on this earth.

OUR ESTRANGEMENT FROM THE PLANET

Laudato Si’ both unmasks this estrangement and points to the pathway forward for us to move from alienation toward healing and the renewal of the earth. The encyclical is a call to arms for those who would rescue our bruised planet from the forces that deplete and destroy it. But Laudato Si’ is so much more than this in its delineation of an integral human ecology. In this context, Laudato Si emphasizes that the illnesses that plague our world are interrelated. Therefore, progress in any one dimension requires attending to the wholeness of the human person and the human family and the wholeness of our planet earth.

The USA is in a perilous moment in our history and it is this urgency where Laudato Si’ directly applies. We stand, deeply estranged from one another, seething in divisions and unwilling to reconcile. We are the most powerful nation in the history of the earth, yet have rejected the only realistic pathways that have emerged to heal our broken planet. When Europeans came to the New World, they were often drawn by a vision of a New Paradise in which the raw beauty of the original creation was untouched. Now the earth calls out to us in agony, and we remain blind to the harm that we are inflicting more deeply with every passing year. Laudato Si’ is a call to reforge the bonds of solidarity that have been at the core of every advance that we have made as a people. It is a call to recognize the profound economic inequality that cripples us as a society and powers the engines of consumerism and technological recklessness that separate us from our planet, our brothers and sisters in the human family, and most piercingly of all, from the well-being of the generations who will come after us.

For us to heal the estrangement which imperils us as a nation and as a world, we must unmask the various levels of alienation that underlie it, and understand that only an integrated prism of analysis is capable of pointing to the profound healing that we must begin in these days. We are the most powerful nation in the history of the earth, yet have rejected the only realistic pathways that have emerged to heal our broken planet.

OUR ESTRANGEMENT FROM GOD

Pope Francis notes in Laudato Si’ the identity of the created order: “As Christians, we are also called to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our fellow humans. The divine and the human are connected because they meet in the seamless garment of God’s creation. The only possible stance of our humanity in the face of such divine love is that of awe and gratitude. And yet in the present moment of human history, our response to God’s gift of the created order is on so many levels to embrace a worldview that is forgetful of God. Laudato Si’ outlines the nature of this forgetfulness which leads ineluctably to regarding creation not as gift to all, but as the possession of specific men and women and societies who have a right to exploit it for their private purposes. Pope Francis says that the best way to put an end to absolute dominion over the earth by humans is to remember that only the Father creates and He alone owns the world. In the absence of this wisdom, humans will try to impose their own laws and interests on reality. This estrangement from God leads to the denial of a universal destination for material goods. All material goods flow ultimately from the act of God in creation. The estrangement from God the Creator leads to the refusal to recognize that the whole of the human family is one because we share one Father and one destiny. Estrangement from the Creator leads to the acquisitive and dominating spirit in humans.

OUR ESTRANGEMENT FROM NATURE

Advances in science, technology, and inventions have served humans well but they have weakened the connection among humans and the connection of humans with nature. The connections which we have as human beings with one another and with nature have been weakened by technological advances and led to a widespread denial of the spiritual identity of nature. Laudato Si’ makes this denial clear by pointing our that the technological advantage leads to increasing levels of control over nature by way of technological mastery. Humans have long intervened in nature, but in the past the intervention had been in tune with nature. The technological paradigm provides the opportunity for humans to be manipulative in their use of nature for unnatural gains. What the Laudato Si tell us is to seek a spiritual relationship with nature, one that is respectful and loving. In the Laudato Si’, we read that the creatures of nature are our sisters united with us by affection but there is a conflict between the technological paradigm and the affective bonds between humans and nature. We all experience moments of spiritual and moral bonds with nature and with the creation that blesses our world. But those moments are overwhelmed by our technological control that underlays our society and draws us to increasingly treat nature in solely manipulative and extractive ways. This is how we have become estranged from nature, unable to appreciate nature as God’s creation. We find it impossible to think of the sun and the moon as brother and sister because we don’t see the spiritual identity of nature. Sadly, we treat nature as an object to be manipulated and used.

OUR ESTRANGEMENT FROM TRUTH

The Laudato Si’ says that our earth is under attack by economic and extractive forces that are destroying the common home we share with nature with carbon dioxide pollution, destruction of ecosystems, the social and political effects of climate change, and the destruction of biodiversity. These scientifically-informed conclusions are stark and chilling. Some of these issues are complex but the reality is that economic interests and pseudo-science are being deployed on a systematic basis to hide the dangers to our common home and protect the very forces that are ravaging our air, our water, and human life itself. (A reference to climate deniers? Trump?). Laudato Si unmasks this reality. Particularly here in the United States, we are estranged from the truth about the environment because we are becoming estranged from the very notion of truth itself. At this moment in our history as a nation, our political culture is submerged in a morass of conscious and repeated lies that wear down our collective culture of truth-seeking and substitutes for it a counterfeit culture rooted in the conclusion truth itself is only a vague illusion that cannot be realized in a complex world. Laudato Si unmasks the reality that particularly here in the United States, we are estranged from the truth about the environment because we are becoming estranged from the very notion of truth itself. Laudato Si’ repudiates this moral and intellectual surrender and affirms unequivocally that the consensus of human inquiry into the environmental degradation of our planet reveals a powerful tide of man-made decline in our climate, our water, our soil and biodiversity. We must put aside our estrangement from the truth to redeem our natural environment, just as we must put aside our estrangement from political truth to redeem our political culture.

How Pope Francis' Laudato Si Relates to City Planning - Father Alejandro  Crostwaithe | International Making Cities Livable
Bp. McElroy: Make Climate Change Top Priority

(#4) CRITICAL COMMENTARY

The Creation of Adam - Wikipedia
THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
Creation, Adam, and Cain - A Beka Flash-A-Cards | Adam and eve, Bible  pictures, Bible art
ADAM AND EVE TAKING CARE OF NATURE
What if Adam and Eve didn't sin? - Quora
ADAM AND EVE AND THEIR DOMINION OVER NATURE

What we find in the text above is that the Laudato Si and its interpretation by Bishop McElroy and Reverend Harper, present a Biblical view of environmentalism and climate change activism derived from the Biblical principles as follows:

(1): Advances in science and technology by humans have weakened our connection with nature.

(2) This weakening led to denial of the spiritual identity of nature. Laudato Si’ makes this denial clear by pointing our that our technological advantage leads to increasing levels of control over nature by way of technological mastery.

(3) Technological advances provides the opportunity for humans to have a manipulative and extractive relationship with nature and derive unnatural gains from that relationship.

(4) Therefore we should seek an equal and spiritual relationship with nature that is respectful and loving. The creatures of nature are our brothers and sisters united with us by affection. These bonds have been corrupted and destroyed by the technological superiority of humans. We have all experienced moments of spiritual and moral bonds with nature and with the creation that blesses our world. That should be our only relationship with nature – not as the masters of nature but i terms of the common bond as God’s creations.

(5) This view provides the basis for environmentalism and for taking action against climate change as prescribed by climate science – for example, by ceasing the use of fossil fuels and moving to renewable energy sources that are kinder to and more respectful of nature. We are not the lords and masters of nature but just fellow creatures that are equal under the Creator who created us all.

(6) This view is 180 degrees at odds with the Biblical view in Genesis which says that humans have dominion over the beasts where the word beasts implies all of nature not including man. That God has a special relationship with man is deeply and profoundly expressed in all aspects of religion. For example, there is no heaven or hell for the beasts.

(7) That this view is now being denied by the clergy to pursue environmentalism in the form of climate activism is at odds with environmentalism itself because environmentalism is a human enterprise in which humans are the masters and caretakers of nature. The idea of human caused global warming and climate change and the management of climate by humans derives from this view in which humans are the managers of the planet and humans will determine the fate of the planet.

(8) The ultimate expression of environmentalism and the climate change movement is the Anthropocene. It is the expression that humans are now the primary geological force shaping the future of nature and the planet itself. This view of environmentalism firmly establishes the “Dominion” role of humans in environmentalism to the extent that humans have created their own geological epoch. Humans are now in charge of taking care of the planet and dialing in the right kind of climate for it and for the beasts. This aspect of environmentalism and climate change is described in related posts on this site linked below and explained by climate scientists and environmentalists in the videos below.

(9) LINKS TO RELATED POSTS ON THE ANTHROPOCENE:

LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/?s=ANTHROPOCENE

LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/07/13/the-anthropocene-fallacy/

LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2010/05/16/171/

LINK#4: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/22/things-eco-nuts-worry-about/

LINK#5: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/20/praise-the-climate-science-and-save-the-planet/

LINK#6: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/15/noaas-ark/

(10) THE PETER SINGER INTERPRETATION OF GENESIS, PETER SINGER, PROFESSOR OF BIOETHICS AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY HAS WRITTEN ON THIS ISSUE TO RE-INTERPRET DOMINION OVER THE BEASTS AS BEING KIND TO THE BEASTS. HE CONCLUDES THAT THEREFORE THE “DOMINION OVER THE BEASTS” OF GENESIS IS ACTUALLY GOD’S CALL TO ENVIRONMENTALISM AND THAT LAUDATO SI IS THE CLARIFICATION OF THIS BIBLICAL PUZZLE ON THE SIDE OF ENVIRONMENTALISM AND CLIMATE ACTION TO SAVE THE BEASTS FROM ARTIFICIAL CLIMATE CHANGE. LINK TO PETER SINGER: https://flaglerlive.com/81760/dominion-singer/#:~:text=Mainstream%20Christian%20thinking%20about%20animals,dominion%20over%20all%20the%20animals. Yet, the Dominion issue is not one of cruelty or kindness but one of power. To repeat, God’s special relationship with man is seen for example in things like heaven and hell and Adam and Eve as well as things like prophets and the rules of living in harmony in human societies as in “thou shalt not kill”. God’s entire attention is to humans and the Dominion clause of Genesis puts humans in charge of nature in the same way as that role is now envisioned by climate scientists as the Anthropocene.

The original and unbiased interpretation of Genesis is that humans are the managers of nature and this principle is the foundation of environmentalism to the point where the human managers of nature may intervene when nature is deemed too cruel by humans. This odd aspect of environmentalism, commonly known as the Bambi Principle, is explained by George Carlin in the video below.

What if Adam and Eve didn't sin? - Quora
The Creation of Adam - Wikipedia

1 Response to "CLIMATE CHANGE AND RELIGION"

Climate change and religion they are important topics.

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