Archive for Reconciliation with Creation

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.

My visit to Villa Loyola, a coffee finca in Colombia

Consumers are gaining concern over the sources of our food.  Is it farmed sustainably?  Are dangerous chemicals used, or is it produced organically?  How are the producers (farmers) compensated for their labors? With these questions in mind, I was happy to discover a Jesuit-owned coffee farm called Villa Loyola or Finca Loyola that advocates sustainable agriculture in Chachagüí, in the the Nariño region of Colombia.  It is completely organic.  Villa Loyola is a large operation with all its staff and laborers, not to mention their specialization on bamboo-based carpentry.

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.

September 1 Marks World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Three years ago, Pope Francis declared Catholics would join their Orthodox brothers and sisters and other Christians to formally mark September 1 as the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Begun by the Orthodox Church in 1989, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation now marks the beginning of the monthlong Season of Creation ending on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4, a campaign facilitated by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM).

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.

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.