Archive for 2. Energy and Fossil Fuel Divestment

Urgency of the urgent

Seemingly forgotten public documents and scientific studies are revealing the extent of the fossil fuel industry’s research on climate change as early as the late 1950s along with the warnings from the industry’s scientists, but these were taken over by the cover-ups and misinformation that followed during the 1970s and 1980s.  These were surprising revelations presented during the National Inquiry on Climate Change (NICC) by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, conveying more urgently the urgency in addressing the increasing vulnerability of millions of people to the impacts of climate change.

Catholic institutions united for fossil fuel divestment

Catholic institutions from around the world are making new commitments to divest from fossil fuels. A group of 19 institutions, led by Caritas India and the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, announces its divestment today. The full list of divesting institutions is available here.

Teaching rural communities to understand and fight climate change

Rural communities in and around Dili are showing a positive change in their perception of the value of trees since Jesuit Social Service Timor-Leste began its reforestation programme.  Through its clean water project, Jesuit Social Service (JSS) is making the communities see the intricate connection between forest and water resources, motivating them to cut fewer trees and plant more seedlings.  For every tree that is cut down, the community must plant 10 seedlings or more to help with forest regeneration.

USF to Host Global Climate Summit

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit is coming to USF Sept. 11–14.

The summit will bring scientists and leaders from around the world to the campus and San Francisco to discuss how nations, states, businesses, and other groups can combat climate change. Co-organized by Brown, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others, the summit aims to inspire worldwide resolve to take action.

Climate Risks for Mining

The climate risks that extractive industries face include the rise of extreme and unpredictable weather impacting upon mode of mining activities, mining sites and their surrounding communities and environments. This will not only affect profitability and labour conditions. For example floods can disrupt the tailing of mines sending excess polluted water into the storm drains, placing surrounding communities at significant risk of polluted water. In turn there’s a predicted scarcity of water and consequential negative impacts upon hydrological systems as they adapt to changing climatic conditions. The impact of potential infrastructure damage and energy stress due to climate change upon mining activities is another risk that has not been appropriately assessed by many companies and governments.

The Saint and the Dynamo in the 21st Century

Twenty-first century human beings are needy creatures. Extending beyond the bare necessities of food, water, clean air, and shelter, our needs and wants require vast amounts of mineral resources and energy. A critical concern is the relationship between the spiritual life and energy consumption. This reflection has been prompted in part by the Affordable Energy Proposal released by the EPA last week to replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Act. Ostensibly, both documents aim to address climate change by mandating electrical utilities to reduce the emissions of  climate change-inducing carbon and fine particulates, which have been connected to respiratory problems like asthma.