Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day reflection

Daniel J. Misleh, Executive Director of Catholic Climate Covenant, offers an Earth Day reflection through Catholic Charities USA’s Daily Reflections and Prayer Resources. Today he writes about Pope Francis, poverty and climate change. Here is a selection:
Shortly after his election, Pope Francis explained that he chose his papal name to honor St. Francis of Assisi because, “For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?” Since then, Pope Francis has repeatedly affirmed the insight from his predecessors that poverty and creation care are intimately related, especially in the face of climate change. 
This summer, Pope Francis will release the Church’s first papal encyclical devoted to ecology. Given Francis’ popularity and his unquestioned moral stature, this document is expected to have a profoundly positive impact on the efforts of both the Church and the world to address climate change. Pope Francis’ attention to ecology will be particularly good news for the world’s poorest people and communities: they are the most vulnerable to the adverse consequences of climate change—even though they have contributed very little to the problem.  The fact is that the world’s poorest people emit less carbon into the environment because they do not have as many vehicles, nor as many temperature control systems that heat and cool the air, nor as many electronics and machines powered by electricity, nor do they consume as much food (primarily meat) that requires more energy to produce, than those who are not poor.  However, when they live in coastal areas, with less money to construct safeguards against extreme weather brought about by climate change, those who are poor are more likely to feel the effects of such disasters.
You can read more here.