Archive for Energy

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.

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.

Let this sink in: We’ve already used up a year’s worth of Earth’s resources

Earth Overshoot Day marks yearly point when human consumption outpaces the planet’s ability to replenish resources

You may have missed it but Wednesday, the first day of August, marked Earth Overshoot Day for 2018. What exactly is Earth Overshoot Day? It is the day in any given year that the human community has used more from nature than Earth can renew in the entire year, as calculated by the Global Footprint Network.

Jesuit Conference office of Justice and Ecology issues Statement on EPA affordable Clean Energy Rule

The Clean Power Plan was enacted in 2015. On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order mandating EPA review of the rule. In October of 2017, the EPA announced plans to end the CPP. Catholic leaders and laity across the U.S., responding to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for creation and those most affected by climate change, have spoken out in support of fully implementing and maintaining the CPP to significantly reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas pollution.

Urgent action needed to steer a Hothouse Earth towards a Stabilized Earth

The Earth may be well on its way to an irreversible “hothouse” if people do not take urgent collective action to steer its path to a habitable state, scientists warned. According to a recent study Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS),even if the target 1.5 degrees C to 2.0 degrees C rise in temperature under the Paris Accord is met, “a domino-like cascade” of biogeophysical feedbacks including the melting of polar ice, forest diebacks, and increased bacterial respiration in the ocean, coupled by annual greenhouse gas emissions “could take the Earth System to even higher temperatures.” “Hothouse” is a term used to describe a “likely uncontrollable and dangerous” condition where global average temperatures could spike by 4 to 5 degrees C and sea levels could rise up to 60 meters higher than today, once the cascade of feedbacks causes the Earth to pass a tipping point.

Catholic Climate Covenant issues Statement on new EPA rule for Electricity

Today, the Trump Administration issued the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule, replacing the national standard for the electricity sector under the Obama Administration with a weakened version. The new rule focuses on reducing emissions from the electricity sector by allowing states to decide if or by how much to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.