Copenhagen Accord

The concept “Anthropocene” was originally proposed as a geological epoch in which humans have become a dominant driver of Earth System change (Crutzen, 2002). In recent years, the use of the term has broadened to signify (1) the novelty of the time period in which humans find themselves as a result of this; (2) the […]

The concept “Anthropocene” was originally proposed as a geological epoch in which humans have become a dominant driver of Earth System change (Crutzen, 2002). In recent years, the use of the term has broadened to signify (1) the novelty of the time period in which humans find themselves as a result of this; (2) the novel challenges, opportunities and uncertainties that awareness of global potency brings; and (3) the new perspectives required to deal with them. In the Anthropocene, change has reached the planetary level, not only through accumulation but also through the accelerating emergence of systemic symptoms of high magnitude and notable simultaneity and synchronicity (Steffen et al., 2015a). All aspects of these changes imply risk and security issues for nearer or more distant futures, from the unexpected magnitude of some processes to unperceived connections between them, to the crossing of planetary boundaries (Rockström et al., 2009 and Steffen et al., 2015b).

Human influence on the Earth System has been ongoing for centuries (Turner et al., 1990), yet only recently has it had significant implications for the structure and functioning of the Earth System at the planetary level (Steffen et al., 2015b). In the Anthropocene, humans are doing more than simply changing local land cover, extracting resources, and degrading the air, water, and soil. They have also become key drivers and amplifiers of planetary change, influencing large-scale processes and systems, including the climate, the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems, and ultimately the functioning of the Earth System as a whole. These intertwined and more complex socio-ecological systems are likely to exhibit more unexpected, emergent behaviors, with new risks and uncertainties.

Copenhagen Accord

1. We underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We
emphasise our strong political will to urgently combat climate change in accordance with the principle ofcommon but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. To achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, we shall, recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius, on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development, enhance our long-term cooperative action to combat climate change. We recognize the critical impacts of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures on countries particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects and stress the need to
establish a comprehensive adaptation programme including international support.

Why did Copenhagen fail to deliver a climate deal?

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of […]

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.

Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the “Marrakesh Accords.” Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.

Bring the Global Climate March home

Wow! — Avaazers are planning over 1,500 Global Climate March events across the world, but there isn’t one near you yet! Bring the Global Climate March home — start an event now and join this massive day of action. ——- … Continue reading

Wow! — Avaazers are planning over 1,500 Global Climate March events across the world, but there isn’t one near you yet! Bring the Global Climate March home — start an event now and join this massive day of action.

——-

Dear friends,

Something magical is happening… All across the world we’re coming together to hit the streets on November 29th — hours before the most important climate summit this decade!

This is a day of action not to be missed — click on the map to start an event in your area:

This is going to be mega! Last year almost 700,000 people took to their streets and created the largest mobilisation on climate change in history. This year we are going even bigger!

If hundreds of thousands of us join events in cities and towns everywhere, we’ll show our leaders meeting in Paris that our movement cannot be ignored and we will accept nothing less than an ambitious climate deal, with a global commitment to 100% clean energy!

Click the link to join in:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/new_toolkit_create/?cl=8829500839&v=66659

Let’s seize this moment, for our future, our kids’ futures, and everything we love.

With hope,

Oli, Alice, Morgan, Iain and the rest of the Avaaz team

More Information:

No plan B if Paris climate summit ends in failure, says EU climate chief (The Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/06/no-plan-b-if-paris-climate-summit-ends-in-failure-says-eu-climate-chief

‘Climate deception dossiers’ expose oil industry lobbying (RTCC)
http://www.rtcc.org/2015/07/08/climate-deception-dossiers-expose-oil-industry-lobbying

Taking a call for climate change to the streets (NYTimes)
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/nyregion/new-york-city-climate-change-march.html

People’s Climate March: the revolution starts here (article on The Guardian by Avaaz founder Ricken Patel)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/29/peoples-climate-march-the-revolution-starts-here

Bring the Global Climate March home

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 will be held in Paris,[1] from November 30 to December 11.[2] It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United … Continue reading

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 will be held in Paris,[1] from November 30 to December 11.[2] It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.[3] The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. Leadership of the negotiations is yet to be determined.

Wow! — Avaazers are planning over 1,500 Global Climate March events across the world, but there isn’t one near you yet! Bring the Global Climate March home — start an event now and join this massive day of action.

——-

Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. (“Reasonable,” in this case, means four chances in five, or somewhat worse odds than playing Russian roulette with a six-shooter.) The fossil fuel we’re currently planning to burn – 2,795 – is higher than 565. Five times higher.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719#ixzz3rua4W7kG
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Dear friends,

Something magical is happening… All across the world we’re coming together to hit the streets on November 29th — hours before the most important climate summit this decade!

This is a day of action not to be missed — click on the map to start an event in your area:

This is going to be mega! Last year almost 700,000 people took to their streets and created the largest mobilisation on climate change in history. This year we are going even bigger!

If hundreds of thousands of us join events in cities and towns everywhere, we’ll show our leaders meeting in Paris that our movement cannot be ignored and we will accept nothing less than an ambitious climate deal, with a global commitment to 100% clean energy!

Click the link to join in:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/new_toolkit_create/?cl=8829500839&v=66659

Let’s seize this moment, for our future, our kids’ futures, and everything we love.

With hope,

Oli, Alice, Morgan, Iain and the rest of the Avaaz team

More Information:

No plan B if Paris climate summit ends in failure, says EU climate chief (The Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/06/no-plan-b-if-paris-climate-summit-ends-in-failure-says-eu-climate-chief

‘Climate deception dossiers’ expose oil industry lobbying (RTCC)
http://www.rtcc.org/2015/07/08/climate-deception-dossiers-expose-oil-industry-lobbying

Taking a call for climate change to the streets (NYTimes)
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/nyregion/new-york-city-climate-change-march.html

People’s Climate March: the revolution starts here (article on The Guardian by Avaaz founder Ricken Patel)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/29/peoples-climate-march-the-revolution-starts-here

Christians Acting On Climate Change

The Next Step How Laudato Si’ Extends Catholic Social Teaching Anthony Annett July 7, 2015 – 3:39pm In the postwar era, the church also started to pay more attention to the stark imbalances between richer and poorer countries, not just between … Continue reading

The Next Step

How Laudato Si’ Extends Catholic Social Teaching

In the postwar era, the church also started to pay more attention to the stark imbalances between richer and poorer countries, not just between the rich and the poor in a single country. Noting that excess and overconsumption often had its counterpart in exclusion and underdevelopment, it called for greater global solidarity between north and south and for citizens of richer countries to move away from lifestyles characterized by waste and surfeit.

It is fair to say that, until now, most of Catholic social teaching has been variations on a basic theme—the need for economic relations between people and nations to be guided by justice and mutual responsibility. This theme remains very pertinent in our world of enormous inequality. A mere 1 percent of the world’s population controls half of the world’s wealth. Over 2 billion people are mired in extreme poverty, and almost a billion people suffer from hunger. Elsewhere, and not always far away, we see astounding opulence and wastefulness. Catholic social teaching signals a clear moral imperative to correct these imbalances.

Harking back to Genesis, Pope Francis teaches that “human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor, and with the earth itself.”

The global economy is now over two hundred times larger than it was at the outset of the industrial revolution. But its rapid expansion has come at the expense of the planet and its climate. Already, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has jumped to a level not seen in 3 million years—and this over a mere century and a half, a blink of an eye in planetary history. The overwhelming weight of science tells us that if we continue burning fossils fuels at this rate, we can expect global temperatures to rise by 4 to 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century. This would have catastrophic implications for life as we know it. We would expect to witness more severe droughts, flooding, and extreme weather events. Crop yields would decline dramatically. Some small island nations would simply cease to exist. And those least responsible for climate change will be hit hardest by it. Pope Francis asks what kind of world we wish to leave our children. Surely not this one.

Climate change is not even the whole story. There is also the acidification of the oceans, depletion of freshwater resources, rapid deforestation, large-scale pollution caused by chemicals and fossil fuels, and a dramatic degradation of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. It is remarkable thatLaudato si’ touches directly on many of these issues, displaying a keen awareness of the scale and complexity of the environmental crisis.

In conformity with prior teaching,Laudato si’ is deeply suspicious of the classical liberal emphasis on individual autonomy and promotion of self-interest as the prime motivating force of economic interaction. Francis understands that an ideology based on “collective selfishness” and a “deified market” cannot bring about social inclusion or environmental sustainability. It leads instead to an exaggerated focus on short-term profit, and it contributes to a throwaway culture that disdains both the earth and the excluded. One clear example of this short-sightedness can be found in the avaricious behavior of the financial sector, the force behind the global economic crisis of 2008.

Pope Blames Markets for Environment’s Ills

Pontiff condemns global warming as outgrowth of global consumerism


On Planet in Distress, a Papal Call to Action

Pope Francis has written the first papal encyclical focused solely on the environment, attempting to reframe care of the earth as a moral and spiritual concern, and not just a matter of politics, science and economics. In the document, “Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home,” he argues that the environment is in crisis – cities to oceans, forests to farmland. He emphasizes that the poor are most affected by damage from what he describes as economic systems that favor the wealthy, and political systems that lack the courage to look beyond short-term rewards. But the encyclical is addressed to everyone on the planet. Its 184 pages are an urgent, accessible call to action, making a case that all is interconnected, including the solutions to the grave environmental crisis.


ENCYCLICAL LETTER
LAUDATO SI’
OF THE HOLY FATHER
FRANCIS
ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

 


@GeorgeMonbiot

I see the encyclical by Pope Francis, which will be published on Thursday, as a potential turning point. He will argue that not only the physical survival of the poor, but also our spiritual welfare depends on the protection of the natural world; and in both respects he is right.

I don’t mean that a belief in God is the answer to our environmental crisis. Among Pope Francis’s opponents is the evangelical US-based Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has written to him arguing that we have a holy duty to keep burning fossil fuel, as “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork”. It also insists that exercising the dominion granted to humankind in Genesis means tilling “the whole Earth”, transforming it “from wilderness to garden and ultimately to garden city”.

There are similar tendencies within the Vatican. Cardinal George Pell, its head of finance, currently immersed in a scandal involving paedophile priests in Australia, is a prominent climate change denier. His lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation was the usual catalogue of zombie myths (discredited claims that keep resurfacing), nonsequiturs and outright garbage championing, for example, the groundless claim that undersea volcanoes could be responsible for global warming. There are plenty of senior Catholics seeking to undermine the pope’s defence of the living world, which could explain why a draft of his encyclical was leaked. What I mean is that Pope Francis, a man with whom I disagree profoundly on matters such as equal marriage and contraception, reminds us that the living world provides not only material goods and tangible services, but is also essential to other aspects of our wellbeing. And you  don’t have to believe in God to endorse that view.


Jeb Bush joins Republican backlash against pope on climate change

Wednesday 17 June 2015  

  • ‘I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope’
  • Coal industry lobbyist says pope should promote fossil fuels to help poor

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush joined forces with the coal industry and climate deniers in a gathering conservative backlash against the pope, lashing out against a leaked draft of the spiritual leader’s letter on climate change.

In his first official day on the presidential campaign trail, Bush, who is Catholic, told a town hall event in New Hampshire that Pope Francis should steer clear of global affairs.

The energy industry also turned on the pope, with the lobbyist for one of America’s biggest coalmining companies sending out an email blast on Tuesday, rebuking the church leader for failing to promote fossil fuels as a solution to global poverty.

In a campaign event last week, Republican presidential frontrunner Jeb Bush exhibited Stage 2 climate denial, saying (video available here),

Look, first of all, the climate is changing. I don’t think the science is clear what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you. It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t even have a conversation about it.

The Politics

Unfortunately, denial of human-caused global warming may be a prerequisite for any viable Republican presidential candidate. Conservative and Tea Party Republicans are the one group of American voters among whom Stage 2 climate denial is the majority position, but they’re also the group that most reliably votes in GOP primary elections.

In American politics, a candidate first has to win a primary election before reaching the national ballot. For Republicans, that means appealing to conservatives. It’s not clear that a Republican presidential candidate can accept climate science and run a viable primary campaign.


 

.- Pope Francis used Sunday’s feast of Pentecost – the descent of the Holy Spirit – as an occasion to remind Christians of their duty to care for and respect the earth.

“The Holy Spirit whom Christ sent from the Father, and the Creator Spirit who gives life to all things, are one and the same,” the Pope said.

“Respect for creation, then, is a requirement of our faith: the ‘garden’ in which we live is not entrusted to us to be exploited, but rather to be cultivated and tended with respect.”

With Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change Done, Now a Vatican Sales Push – and Pushback

Converting the Fossil-Fuel Fundamentalists

Pope Francis is redefining the ongoing transition to greener energy as a moral and spiritual obligation.

Two years into what he says will be a brief tenure, the pope’s putting climate skeptics on the defensive.

Fretting about the fate of the Earth is part of his broader condemnation of the global status quo, which Francis considers to be a “throwaway culture.” And it explains why he and some of his top aides came to call for a transition to greener energy.


Does the pope’s support for action on climate change contradict Catholic principles? Climate science deniers want you to think so — and conservative media are running with their myths. Here are the facts:

Fossil Fuel-Funded Groups Attempt To Undermine Pope’s Action On Climate Change

Vatican Held Climate Change Summit In Advance Of Papal Encyclical. On April 28, the Vatican held a climate summit between religious authorities and climate and policy experts that aimed to produce a “joint statement on the moral and religious imperative of dealing with climate change in the context of sustainable development, highlighting the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people – especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations.” The summit is a precursor to Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical — an authoritative papal teaching — on climate change, which is expected to make similar connections between climate action and helping the poor. [Climate summit program, accessed 4/28/15; The Guardian, 4/28/15]

Climate ChangeDenying Groups Attempted To Counter The Climate Summit.  In response to the Vatican’s climate summit, the Heartland Institute sent their own delegation to Rome to “inform Pope Francis of the truth about climate science: There is no global warming crisis!” The Heartland Institute, joined by members of Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and the Cornwall Alliance, attempted to dissuade the Pope from lending his moral authority to the climate change crisis.

These were the many English-language media outlets that covered this preliminary meeting favourably https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1koy-wIVpgBnZ90ydz_Z03VOBdmMiZy2T5gBRH0vYLDc/edit?pli=1#gid=0.

Wait until June when many of the major religions are expected to start campaigning seriously about climate change. Even the (conservative) Economist is calling for the Pope to be ‘tough-minded’ when he releases his Encyclical dealing with climate change. http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/04/pope-and-climate-change

It will be interesting to see how the Catholics of the Republican party respond.  On the extremist blogs – ‘a liberal, a Marxist, a communist, an extremist, a socialist, a tree hugger and an anti-capitalist’ (nothing like a bit of name-calling, eh Ted?), but will the 30% of Republican congressmen who are Catholic follow suit?


COMPASSIONATE EATING as CARE of CREATION
[Faith Out reach]
BY
MATTHEW C. HALTEMAN


COMMON DECLARATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

COMMON DECLARATION OF JOHN PAUL II
AND THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
HIS HOLINESS BARTHOLOMEW I

Monday, 10 June 2002

We are gathered here today in the spirit of peace for the good of all human beings and for the care of creation. At this moment in history, at the beginning of the third millennium, we are saddened to see the daily suffering of a great number of people from violence, starvation, poverty and disease. We are also concerned about the negative consequences for humanity and for all creation resulting from the degradation of some basic natural resources such as water, air and land, brought about by an economic and technological progress which does not recognize and take into account its limits.

Almighty God envisioned a world of beauty and harmony, and He created it, making every part an expression of His freedom, wisdom and love (cf. Gen 1:1-25).

At the centre of the whole of creation, He placed us, human beings, with our inalienable human dignity. Although we share many features with the rest of the living beings, Almighty God went further with us and gave us an immortal soul, the source of self-awareness and freedom, endowments that make us in His image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-31;2:7). Marked with that resemblance, we have been placed by God in the world in order to cooperate with Him in realizing more and more fully the divine purpose for creation.

At the beginning of history, man and woman sinned by disobeying God and rejecting His design for creation. Among the results of this first sin was the destruction of the original harmony of creation. If we examine carefully the social and environmental crisis which the world community is facing, we must conclude that we are still betraying the mandate God has given us: to be stewards called to collaborate with God in watching over creation in holiness and wisdom.

God has not abandoned the world. It is His will that His design and our hope for it will be realized through our co-operation in restoring its original harmony. In our own time we are witnessing a growth of an ecological awareness which needs to be encouraged, so that it will lead to practical programmes and initiatives. An awareness of the relationship between God and humankind brings a fuller sense of the importance of the relationship between human beings and the natural environment, which is God’s creation and which God entrusted to us to guard with wisdom and love (cf. Gen 1:28).

Respect for creation stems from respect for human life and dignity. It is on the basis of our recognition that the world is created by God that we can discern an objective moral order within which to articulate a code of environmental ethics. In this perspective, Christians and all other believers have a specific role to play in proclaiming moral values and in educating people in ecological awareness, which is none other than responsibility towards self, towards others, towards creation.

What is required is an act of repentance on our part and a renewed attempt to view ourselves, one another, and the world around us within the perspective of the divine design for creation. The problem is not simply economic and technological; it is moral and spiritual. A solution at the economic and technological level can be found only if we undergo, in the most radical way, an inner change of heart, which can lead to a change in lifestyle and of unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. A genuine conversion in Christ will enable us to change the way we think and act.

First, we must regain humility and recognize the limits of our powers, and most importantly, the limits of our knowledge and judgement. We have been making decisions, taking actions and assigning values that are leading us away from the world as it should be, away from the design of God for creation, away from all that is essential for a healthy planet and a healthy commonwealth of people. A new approach and a new culture are needed, based on the centrality of the human person within creation and inspired by environmentally ethical behavior stemming from our triple relationship to God, to self and to creation. Such an ethics fosters interdependence and stresses the principles of universal solidarity, social justice and responsibility, in order to promote a true culture of life.

Secondly, we must frankly admit that humankind is entitled to something better than what we see around us. We and, much more, our children and future generations are entitled to a better world, a world free from degradation, violence and bloodshed, a world of generosity and love.

Thirdly, aware of the value of prayer, we must implore God the Creator to enlighten people everywhere regarding the duty to respect and carefully guard creation.

We therefore invite all men and women of good will to ponder the importance of the following ethical goals:

1. To think of the world’s children when we reflect on and evaluate our options for action.

2. To be open to study the true values based on the natural law that sustain every human culture.

3. To use science and technology in a full and constructive way, while recognizing that the findings of science have always to be evaluated in the light of the centrality of the human person, of the common good and of the inner purpose of creation. Science may help us to correct the mistakes of the past, in order to enhance the spiritual and material well-being of the present and future generations. It is love for our children that will show us the path that we must follow into the future.

4. To be humble regarding the idea of ownership and to be open to the demands of solidarity. Our mortality and our weakness of judgement together warn us not to take irreversible actions with what we choose to regard as our property during our brief stay on this earth. We have not been entrusted with unlimited power over creation, we are only stewards of the common heritage.

5. To acknowledge the diversity of situations and responsibilities in the work for a better world environment. We do not expect every person and every institution to assume the same burden. Everyone has a part to play, but for the demands of justice and charity to be respected the most affluent societies must carry the greater burden, and from them is demanded a sacrifice greater than can be offered by the poor. Religions, governments and institutions are faced by many different situations; but on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity all of them can take on some tasks, some part of the shared effort.

6. To promote a peaceful approach to disagreement about how to live on this earth, about how to share it and use it, about what to change and what to leave unchanged. It is not our desire to evade controversy about the environment, for we trust in the capacity of human reason and the path of dialogue to reach agreement. We commit ourselves to respect the views of all who disagree with us, seeking solutions through open exchange, without resorting to oppression and domination.

It is not too late. God’s world has incredible healing powers. Within a single generation, we could steer the earth toward our children’s future. Let that generation start now, with God’s help and blessing.

Rome – Venice, 10 June 2002


Evangelical Climate Initiative

ECI

CLAIM 1

Human-Induced Climate Change is Real and increasing international instability, which could

lead to more security threats to our nation. Poor nations and poor individuals have fewer

resources available to cope with major challenges and threats. The consequences of global warming will therefore hit the poor the hardest, in part because those areas likely to be signi?cantly affected ?rst are in the poorest regions of the world. Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.

CLAIM 2

The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Signi?cant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest

THE EARTH’S NATURAL SYSTEMS

are resilient but not in?nitely so, and human civilizations are remarkably dependent on ecological stability and well-being. It is easy to forget this until that stability and well-being are threatened. Even small rises in global temperatures will have such likely impacts as: sea level rise; more frequent heat waves, droughts, and extreme weather events such as torrential rains and ?oods; increased tropical diseases in now-temperate regions; and more intense hurricanes. It could lead to signi?cant reduction in agricultural output, especially in poor countries.

Low-lying regions, indeed entire islands, could ?nd themselves under water. (This is not to mention the various negative impacts climate change could have on God’s other creatures.) Each of these impacts increases the likelihood of refugees from ?ooding or famine, violent con?icts, Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most

of them our poorest global neighbors. Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” —MK. 12:31

WHILE WE cannot here review the full range of relevant biblical convictions related to care of the creation, we emphasize the following points:

? Christians must care about climate change because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God’s world, and any damage that we do to God’s world is an offense against God Himself (Gen. 1; Ps. 24; Col. 1:16).

? Christians must care about climate change because we are called to love our neighbors, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and to protect and care for the least of these as though each was Jesus Christ himself (Mt. 22:34–40; Mt. 7:12; Mt. 25:31–46).

? Christians, noting the fact that most of the climate change problem is human induced, are reminded that when God made humanity he commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures. Climate change is the latest evidence of our failure to exercise proper stewardship, and constitutes a critical opportunity for us to do better (Gen. 1:26–28).

Love of God, love of neighbor, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action. Christians must care about climate change because we are called to love our neighbors.

CLAIM 3

Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem

THE BASIC TASK for all of the world’s inhabitants is to ?nd ways now to begin to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels that are the primary cause of human-induced climate change.

There are several reasons for urgency. First, deadly impacts are being experienced now. Second, the oceans only warm slowly, creating a lag in experiencing the consequences. Much of the climate change to which we are already committed will not be realized for several decades. The consequences of the pollution we create now will be visited upon our children and grandchildren. Third, as individuals and as a society we are making long-term decisions

today that will determine how much carbon dioxide we will emit in the future, such as whether to purchase energy ef?cient vehicles and appliances that will last for 10-20 years, or whether to build more coal-burning power plants that last for 50 years rather than investing more in energy ef?ciency and renewable energy.

In the United States, the most important immediate step that can be taken at the federal level is to pass and implement national legislation requiring suf?cient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program.

On June 22, 2005 the Senate passed the Domenici Bingaman resolution af?rming this approach,

and a number of major energy companies now acknowledge that this method is best both for the environment and for business.

Numerous positive actions to prevent and mitigate climate change are being implemented across our society by state and local governments, churches, smaller businesses, and individuals.

CLAIM 4

The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change—starting now.

We commend the Senators who have taken this stand and encourage them to ful?ll their pledge. We also applaud the steps taken by such companies as

BP, Shell, General Electric, Cinergy, Duke Energy, and DuPont, all of which have moved ahead of

the pace of government action through innovative measures implemented within their companies in the U.S. and around the world. In so doing they have offered timely leadership.

Numerous positive actions to prevent and mitigate climate change are being implemented across our society by state and local governments, churches, smaller businesses, and individuals. These commendable efforts focus on such matters as energy ef?ciency, the use of renewable energy, low CO 2 emitting technologies, and the purchase of hybrid vehicles. These efforts can easily be shown to save money, save energy, reduce global warming pollution as well as air pollution that harm human health, and eventually pay for themselves. There

is much more to be done, but these pioneers are already helping to show the way forward.

Finally, while we must reduce our global warming pollution to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, as a society and as individuals we must also help the poor adapt to the signi?cant harm that global warming will cause.

Christians Acting On Climate Change

The Next Step How Laudato Si’ Extends Catholic Social Teaching Anthony Annett July 7, 2015 – 3:39pm In the postwar era, the church also started to pay more attention to the stark imbalances between richer and poorer countries, not just between … Continue reading

The Next Step

How Laudato Si’ Extends Catholic Social Teaching

In the postwar era, the church also started to pay more attention to the stark imbalances between richer and poorer countries, not just between the rich and the poor in a single country. Noting that excess and overconsumption often had its counterpart in exclusion and underdevelopment, it called for greater global solidarity between north and south and for citizens of richer countries to move away from lifestyles characterized by waste and surfeit.

It is fair to say that, until now, most of Catholic social teaching has been variations on a basic theme—the need for economic relations between people and nations to be guided by justice and mutual responsibility. This theme remains very pertinent in our world of enormous inequality. A mere 1 percent of the world’s population controls half of the world’s wealth. Over 2 billion people are mired in extreme poverty, and almost a billion people suffer from hunger. Elsewhere, and not always far away, we see astounding opulence and wastefulness. Catholic social teaching signals a clear moral imperative to correct these imbalances.

Harking back to Genesis, Pope Francis teaches that “human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor, and with the earth itself.”

The global economy is now over two hundred times larger than it was at the outset of the industrial revolution. But its rapid expansion has come at the expense of the planet and its climate. Already, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has jumped to a level not seen in 3 million years—and this over a mere century and a half, a blink of an eye in planetary history. The overwhelming weight of science tells us that if we continue burning fossils fuels at this rate, we can expect global temperatures to rise by 4 to 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century. This would have catastrophic implications for life as we know it. We would expect to witness more severe droughts, flooding, and extreme weather events. Crop yields would decline dramatically. Some small island nations would simply cease to exist. And those least responsible for climate change will be hit hardest by it. Pope Francis asks what kind of world we wish to leave our children. Surely not this one.

Climate change is not even the whole story. There is also the acidification of the oceans, depletion of freshwater resources, rapid deforestation, large-scale pollution caused by chemicals and fossil fuels, and a dramatic degradation of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. It is remarkable thatLaudato si’ touches directly on many of these issues, displaying a keen awareness of the scale and complexity of the environmental crisis.

In conformity with prior teaching,Laudato si’ is deeply suspicious of the classical liberal emphasis on individual autonomy and promotion of self-interest as the prime motivating force of economic interaction. Francis understands that an ideology based on “collective selfishness” and a “deified market” cannot bring about social inclusion or environmental sustainability. It leads instead to an exaggerated focus on short-term profit, and it contributes to a throwaway culture that disdains both the earth and the excluded. One clear example of this short-sightedness can be found in the avaricious behavior of the financial sector, the force behind the global economic crisis of 2008.

Pope Blames Markets for Environment’s Ills

Pontiff condemns global warming as outgrowth of global consumerism


On Planet in Distress, a Papal Call to Action

Pope Francis has written the first papal encyclical focused solely on the environment, attempting to reframe care of the earth as a moral and spiritual concern, and not just a matter of politics, science and economics. In the document, “Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home,” he argues that the environment is in crisis – cities to oceans, forests to farmland. He emphasizes that the poor are most affected by damage from what he describes as economic systems that favor the wealthy, and political systems that lack the courage to look beyond short-term rewards. But the encyclical is addressed to everyone on the planet. Its 184 pages are an urgent, accessible call to action, making a case that all is interconnected, including the solutions to the grave environmental crisis.


ENCYCLICAL LETTER
LAUDATO SI’
OF THE HOLY FATHER
FRANCIS
ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

 


@GeorgeMonbiot

I see the encyclical by Pope Francis, which will be published on Thursday, as a potential turning point. He will argue that not only the physical survival of the poor, but also our spiritual welfare depends on the protection of the natural world; and in both respects he is right.

I don’t mean that a belief in God is the answer to our environmental crisis. Among Pope Francis’s opponents is the evangelical US-based Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has written to him arguing that we have a holy duty to keep burning fossil fuel, as “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork”. It also insists that exercising the dominion granted to humankind in Genesis means tilling “the whole Earth”, transforming it “from wilderness to garden and ultimately to garden city”.

There are similar tendencies within the Vatican. Cardinal George Pell, its head of finance, currently immersed in a scandal involving paedophile priests in Australia, is a prominent climate change denier. His lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation was the usual catalogue of zombie myths (discredited claims that keep resurfacing), nonsequiturs and outright garbage championing, for example, the groundless claim that undersea volcanoes could be responsible for global warming. There are plenty of senior Catholics seeking to undermine the pope’s defence of the living world, which could explain why a draft of his encyclical was leaked. What I mean is that Pope Francis, a man with whom I disagree profoundly on matters such as equal marriage and contraception, reminds us that the living world provides not only material goods and tangible services, but is also essential to other aspects of our wellbeing. And you  don’t have to believe in God to endorse that view.


Jeb Bush joins Republican backlash against pope on climate change

Wednesday 17 June 2015  

  • ‘I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope’
  • Coal industry lobbyist says pope should promote fossil fuels to help poor

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush joined forces with the coal industry and climate deniers in a gathering conservative backlash against the pope, lashing out against a leaked draft of the spiritual leader’s letter on climate change.

In his first official day on the presidential campaign trail, Bush, who is Catholic, told a town hall event in New Hampshire that Pope Francis should steer clear of global affairs.

The energy industry also turned on the pope, with the lobbyist for one of America’s biggest coalmining companies sending out an email blast on Tuesday, rebuking the church leader for failing to promote fossil fuels as a solution to global poverty.

In a campaign event last week, Republican presidential frontrunner Jeb Bush exhibited Stage 2 climate denial, saying (video available here),

Look, first of all, the climate is changing. I don’t think the science is clear what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you. It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t even have a conversation about it.

The Politics

Unfortunately, denial of human-caused global warming may be a prerequisite for any viable Republican presidential candidate. Conservative and Tea Party Republicans are the one group of American voters among whom Stage 2 climate denial is the majority position, but they’re also the group that most reliably votes in GOP primary elections.

In American politics, a candidate first has to win a primary election before reaching the national ballot. For Republicans, that means appealing to conservatives. It’s not clear that a Republican presidential candidate can accept climate science and run a viable primary campaign.


 

.- Pope Francis used Sunday’s feast of Pentecost – the descent of the Holy Spirit – as an occasion to remind Christians of their duty to care for and respect the earth.

“The Holy Spirit whom Christ sent from the Father, and the Creator Spirit who gives life to all things, are one and the same,” the Pope said.

“Respect for creation, then, is a requirement of our faith: the ‘garden’ in which we live is not entrusted to us to be exploited, but rather to be cultivated and tended with respect.”

With Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change Done, Now a Vatican Sales Push – and Pushback

Converting the Fossil-Fuel Fundamentalists

Pope Francis is redefining the ongoing transition to greener energy as a moral and spiritual obligation.

Two years into what he says will be a brief tenure, the pope’s putting climate skeptics on the defensive.

Fretting about the fate of the Earth is part of his broader condemnation of the global status quo, which Francis considers to be a “throwaway culture.” And it explains why he and some of his top aides came to call for a transition to greener energy.


Does the pope’s support for action on climate change contradict Catholic principles? Climate science deniers want you to think so — and conservative media are running with their myths. Here are the facts:

Fossil Fuel-Funded Groups Attempt To Undermine Pope’s Action On Climate Change

Vatican Held Climate Change Summit In Advance Of Papal Encyclical. On April 28, the Vatican held a climate summit between religious authorities and climate and policy experts that aimed to produce a “joint statement on the moral and religious imperative of dealing with climate change in the context of sustainable development, highlighting the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people – especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations.” The summit is a precursor to Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical — an authoritative papal teaching — on climate change, which is expected to make similar connections between climate action and helping the poor. [Climate summit program, accessed 4/28/15; The Guardian, 4/28/15]

Climate ChangeDenying Groups Attempted To Counter The Climate Summit.  In response to the Vatican’s climate summit, the Heartland Institute sent their own delegation to Rome to “inform Pope Francis of the truth about climate science: There is no global warming crisis!” The Heartland Institute, joined by members of Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and the Cornwall Alliance, attempted to dissuade the Pope from lending his moral authority to the climate change crisis.

These were the many English-language media outlets that covered this preliminary meeting favourably https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1koy-wIVpgBnZ90ydz_Z03VOBdmMiZy2T5gBRH0vYLDc/edit?pli=1#gid=0.

Wait until June when many of the major religions are expected to start campaigning seriously about climate change. Even the (conservative) Economist is calling for the Pope to be ‘tough-minded’ when he releases his Encyclical dealing with climate change. http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/04/pope-and-climate-change

It will be interesting to see how the Catholics of the Republican party respond.  On the extremist blogs – ‘a liberal, a Marxist, a communist, an extremist, a socialist, a tree hugger and an anti-capitalist’ (nothing like a bit of name-calling, eh Ted?), but will the 30% of Republican congressmen who are Catholic follow suit?


COMPASSIONATE EATING as CARE of CREATION
[Faith Out reach]
BY
MATTHEW C. HALTEMAN


COMMON DECLARATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

COMMON DECLARATION OF JOHN PAUL II
AND THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
HIS HOLINESS BARTHOLOMEW I

Monday, 10 June 2002

We are gathered here today in the spirit of peace for the good of all human beings and for the care of creation. At this moment in history, at the beginning of the third millennium, we are saddened to see the daily suffering of a great number of people from violence, starvation, poverty and disease. We are also concerned about the negative consequences for humanity and for all creation resulting from the degradation of some basic natural resources such as water, air and land, brought about by an economic and technological progress which does not recognize and take into account its limits.

Almighty God envisioned a world of beauty and harmony, and He created it, making every part an expression of His freedom, wisdom and love (cf. Gen 1:1-25).

At the centre of the whole of creation, He placed us, human beings, with our inalienable human dignity. Although we share many features with the rest of the living beings, Almighty God went further with us and gave us an immortal soul, the source of self-awareness and freedom, endowments that make us in His image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-31;2:7). Marked with that resemblance, we have been placed by God in the world in order to cooperate with Him in realizing more and more fully the divine purpose for creation.

At the beginning of history, man and woman sinned by disobeying God and rejecting His design for creation. Among the results of this first sin was the destruction of the original harmony of creation. If we examine carefully the social and environmental crisis which the world community is facing, we must conclude that we are still betraying the mandate God has given us: to be stewards called to collaborate with God in watching over creation in holiness and wisdom.

God has not abandoned the world. It is His will that His design and our hope for it will be realized through our co-operation in restoring its original harmony. In our own time we are witnessing a growth of an ecological awareness which needs to be encouraged, so that it will lead to practical programmes and initiatives. An awareness of the relationship between God and humankind brings a fuller sense of the importance of the relationship between human beings and the natural environment, which is God’s creation and which God entrusted to us to guard with wisdom and love (cf. Gen 1:28).

Respect for creation stems from respect for human life and dignity. It is on the basis of our recognition that the world is created by God that we can discern an objective moral order within which to articulate a code of environmental ethics. In this perspective, Christians and all other believers have a specific role to play in proclaiming moral values and in educating people in ecological awareness, which is none other than responsibility towards self, towards others, towards creation.

What is required is an act of repentance on our part and a renewed attempt to view ourselves, one another, and the world around us within the perspective of the divine design for creation. The problem is not simply economic and technological; it is moral and spiritual. A solution at the economic and technological level can be found only if we undergo, in the most radical way, an inner change of heart, which can lead to a change in lifestyle and of unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. A genuine conversion in Christ will enable us to change the way we think and act.

First, we must regain humility and recognize the limits of our powers, and most importantly, the limits of our knowledge and judgement. We have been making decisions, taking actions and assigning values that are leading us away from the world as it should be, away from the design of God for creation, away from all that is essential for a healthy planet and a healthy commonwealth of people. A new approach and a new culture are needed, based on the centrality of the human person within creation and inspired by environmentally ethical behavior stemming from our triple relationship to God, to self and to creation. Such an ethics fosters interdependence and stresses the principles of universal solidarity, social justice and responsibility, in order to promote a true culture of life.

Secondly, we must frankly admit that humankind is entitled to something better than what we see around us. We and, much more, our children and future generations are entitled to a better world, a world free from degradation, violence and bloodshed, a world of generosity and love.

Thirdly, aware of the value of prayer, we must implore God the Creator to enlighten people everywhere regarding the duty to respect and carefully guard creation.

We therefore invite all men and women of good will to ponder the importance of the following ethical goals:

1. To think of the world’s children when we reflect on and evaluate our options for action.

2. To be open to study the true values based on the natural law that sustain every human culture.

3. To use science and technology in a full and constructive way, while recognizing that the findings of science have always to be evaluated in the light of the centrality of the human person, of the common good and of the inner purpose of creation. Science may help us to correct the mistakes of the past, in order to enhance the spiritual and material well-being of the present and future generations. It is love for our children that will show us the path that we must follow into the future.

4. To be humble regarding the idea of ownership and to be open to the demands of solidarity. Our mortality and our weakness of judgement together warn us not to take irreversible actions with what we choose to regard as our property during our brief stay on this earth. We have not been entrusted with unlimited power over creation, we are only stewards of the common heritage.

5. To acknowledge the diversity of situations and responsibilities in the work for a better world environment. We do not expect every person and every institution to assume the same burden. Everyone has a part to play, but for the demands of justice and charity to be respected the most affluent societies must carry the greater burden, and from them is demanded a sacrifice greater than can be offered by the poor. Religions, governments and institutions are faced by many different situations; but on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity all of them can take on some tasks, some part of the shared effort.

6. To promote a peaceful approach to disagreement about how to live on this earth, about how to share it and use it, about what to change and what to leave unchanged. It is not our desire to evade controversy about the environment, for we trust in the capacity of human reason and the path of dialogue to reach agreement. We commit ourselves to respect the views of all who disagree with us, seeking solutions through open exchange, without resorting to oppression and domination.

It is not too late. God’s world has incredible healing powers. Within a single generation, we could steer the earth toward our children’s future. Let that generation start now, with God’s help and blessing.

Rome – Venice, 10 June 2002


Evangelical Climate Initiative

ECI

CLAIM 1

Human-Induced Climate Change is Real and increasing international instability, which could

lead to more security threats to our nation. Poor nations and poor individuals have fewer

resources available to cope with major challenges and threats. The consequences of global warming will therefore hit the poor the hardest, in part because those areas likely to be signi?cantly affected ?rst are in the poorest regions of the world. Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.

CLAIM 2

The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Signi?cant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest

THE EARTH’S NATURAL SYSTEMS

are resilient but not in?nitely so, and human civilizations are remarkably dependent on ecological stability and well-being. It is easy to forget this until that stability and well-being are threatened. Even small rises in global temperatures will have such likely impacts as: sea level rise; more frequent heat waves, droughts, and extreme weather events such as torrential rains and ?oods; increased tropical diseases in now-temperate regions; and more intense hurricanes. It could lead to signi?cant reduction in agricultural output, especially in poor countries.

Low-lying regions, indeed entire islands, could ?nd themselves under water. (This is not to mention the various negative impacts climate change could have on God’s other creatures.) Each of these impacts increases the likelihood of refugees from ?ooding or famine, violent con?icts, Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most

of them our poorest global neighbors. Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” —MK. 12:31

WHILE WE cannot here review the full range of relevant biblical convictions related to care of the creation, we emphasize the following points:

? Christians must care about climate change because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God’s world, and any damage that we do to God’s world is an offense against God Himself (Gen. 1; Ps. 24; Col. 1:16).

? Christians must care about climate change because we are called to love our neighbors, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and to protect and care for the least of these as though each was Jesus Christ himself (Mt. 22:34–40; Mt. 7:12; Mt. 25:31–46).

? Christians, noting the fact that most of the climate change problem is human induced, are reminded that when God made humanity he commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures. Climate change is the latest evidence of our failure to exercise proper stewardship, and constitutes a critical opportunity for us to do better (Gen. 1:26–28).

Love of God, love of neighbor, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action. Christians must care about climate change because we are called to love our neighbors.

CLAIM 3

Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem

THE BASIC TASK for all of the world’s inhabitants is to ?nd ways now to begin to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels that are the primary cause of human-induced climate change.

There are several reasons for urgency. First, deadly impacts are being experienced now. Second, the oceans only warm slowly, creating a lag in experiencing the consequences. Much of the climate change to which we are already committed will not be realized for several decades. The consequences of the pollution we create now will be visited upon our children and grandchildren. Third, as individuals and as a society we are making long-term decisions

today that will determine how much carbon dioxide we will emit in the future, such as whether to purchase energy ef?cient vehicles and appliances that will last for 10-20 years, or whether to build more coal-burning power plants that last for 50 years rather than investing more in energy ef?ciency and renewable energy.

In the United States, the most important immediate step that can be taken at the federal level is to pass and implement national legislation requiring suf?cient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program.

On June 22, 2005 the Senate passed the Domenici Bingaman resolution af?rming this approach,

and a number of major energy companies now acknowledge that this method is best both for the environment and for business.

Numerous positive actions to prevent and mitigate climate change are being implemented across our society by state and local governments, churches, smaller businesses, and individuals.

CLAIM 4

The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change—starting now.

We commend the Senators who have taken this stand and encourage them to ful?ll their pledge. We also applaud the steps taken by such companies as

BP, Shell, General Electric, Cinergy, Duke Energy, and DuPont, all of which have moved ahead of

the pace of government action through innovative measures implemented within their companies in the U.S. and around the world. In so doing they have offered timely leadership.

Numerous positive actions to prevent and mitigate climate change are being implemented across our society by state and local governments, churches, smaller businesses, and individuals. These commendable efforts focus on such matters as energy ef?ciency, the use of renewable energy, low CO 2 emitting technologies, and the purchase of hybrid vehicles. These efforts can easily be shown to save money, save energy, reduce global warming pollution as well as air pollution that harm human health, and eventually pay for themselves. There

is much more to be done, but these pioneers are already helping to show the way forward.

Finally, while we must reduce our global warming pollution to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, as a society and as individuals we must also help the poor adapt to the signi?cant harm that global warming will cause.

Natural resources in Vietnam

Uploaded on Oct 19, 2011Forest-dependent people are largely missing out on new wealth generated through Vietnam’s increased economic development. The Centre for Sustainable Development of Mountain Areas (CSDM) is promoting allocation of mountain areas …

Uploaded on Oct 19, 2011
Forest-dependent people are largely missing out on new wealth generated through Vietnam’s increased economic development. The Centre for Sustainable Development of Mountain Areas (CSDM) is promoting allocation of mountain areas to local people, helping local authorities and people address the issue of conflict in forest management. RECOFTC — The Center for People and Forests partners with CSDM to translate findings of research on forests rights into practical recommendations for communities and policymakers. The two organizations are working together to help local people allocate forestland to households following their own recommendations. The communities in Lang Son seek to manage their forest resources in ways that will be beneficial to them now and their children in the future.

Produced and directed by:
RECOFTC — The Center for People and Forests

Uploaded on Oct 19, 2011
Tram Chim National Park is one of two wetland preservation areas in a richly biodiverse part of Vietnam called the Plain of Reeds. In an effort to balance the difficult work of conservation with the demands of poor communities in the surrounding areas that depend on the park’s resources for their livelihoods, Tram Chim is working on innovative ways to involve the local people in the conservation process. Community based sustainable use of natural resources is one approach the Park has begun to explore.

The park has been working with poor groups that demonstrate an interest in and commitment to resource conservation. The groups develop resource management plans that are reviewed and approved by park officials, granting the local people permission to enter the national park and gather sanctioned resources for their livelihoods. Since the inception of this system, park officials find their conservation and regulation work is much easier, and local people have greater incomes to provide more stability for their family. Villagers recognize the value of conserving resources today to ensure the abundance of resources will remain for future generations.

This project has been implemented by the park in cooperation with World Wildlife Fund funded by Coca-Cola and permitted by Dong Thap Provincial People Committee between 2008-2001. This film was produced by Institute of Tropical Biology in collaboration with Tram Chim National Park, RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, and The University of East Anglia, with financial support from the British Economic and Social Research Council.

Tram Chim National Park, Tam Nong district, Dong Thap province, Vietnam

Dr. Mads Gilbert

Published on Aug 7, 2014
Dr. Mads Gilbert from Tromsø, Norway (Twin City with Gaza City), was working at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza during the last Israeli onslaugt on Gaza. When he returned from Gaza to his home-town Tromsø on July 31 2014, he went straight from the airport to give this spontaneous speech at a large solidarity demonstration for Gaza held at the same time. The regional newspaper “Nordlys” (“Northern Light”) streamed the demonstration and featured Dr. Mads’ speech on their web-site. They have donated the video. It was transcribed and subtitled in English through a solidarity effort by Norwegian film and video professionals. The video can be shared and used for non-commercial purposes.

Published on Aug 7, 2014
Dr. Mads Gilbert from Tromsø, Norway (Twin City with Gaza City), was working at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza during the last Israeli onslaugt on Gaza. When he returned from Gaza to his home-town Tromsø on July 31 2014, he went straight from the airport to give this spontaneous speech at a large solidarity demonstration for Gaza held at the same time. The regional newspaper “Nordlys” (“Northern Light”) streamed the demonstration and featured Dr. Mads’ speech on their web-site. They have donated the video. It was transcribed and subtitled in English through a solidarity effort by Norwegian film and video professionals. The video can be shared and used for non-commercial purposes.

Israel is not the Jews

24 August 2014 Last updated at 05:39 ET More than 300 Holocaust survivors and their descendants have issued a statement condemning what they call Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza. The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network placed the statement as an advertisement in … Continue reading

24 August 2014 Last updated at 05:39 ET

More than 300 Holocaust survivors and their descendants have issued a statement condemning what they call Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza.

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network placed the statement as an advertisement in the New York Times.

It was in response to an advertisement by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel which compared the Palestinian militant movement Hamas to the Nazis.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in Gaza in the ongoing conflict.

Most of them were civilians. On the Israeli side, 68 people – mainly soldiers – have been killed.


Why is important to differentiate between the Jewish community at large and Israel?

Beyond the obvious but important and fundamental moral principle that a whole group of people should not be made responsible for the misdeeds of some of its members the identification of the Jewish people with the Israel regime is the main propagandistic weapon of the Zionists.

Some of the most effective, courageous, and persistent people resisting the terrorist policies of Israel are Jews. Noam Chomsky, the most cited scientist in history,   and Norman G. Finkelstein are prominent examples of the moral fiber of the Jewish people.

On Gaza, MIT Professor Noam Chomsky says the debate inside the Israeli government is whether to allow “bare survival” or to inflict “misery and starvation,” as a former Israeli national security adviser recently proposed. “Israeli experts have calculated in detail exactly how many calories, literally, Gazans need to survive, and if you look at the sanctions that they impose, they’re grotesque,” Chomsky says. “I mean, even John Kerry condemned them bitterly, they’re sadistic — just enough calories to survive.” Chomsky also addresses the widespread focus on the Hamas charter platform calling for the destruction of Israel. “The only people who pay attention to it are Israeli propagandists, who love it,” Chomsky says. “It was a charter put together by a small group of people under siege, under attack in 1988. And it’s essentially meaningless. There are charters that mean something, but they’re not talked about. So, for example, the electoral program of Israel’s governing party, Likud, states explicitly that there can never be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. … And they don’t only have it in their charter, their electoral program, but they implement it.”

Both Palestinians and Jews have lived for thousands of years in the region once known as Palestine and now known as Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians claim descent from the Kena’anu, or Canaanites, who founded Jerusalem, Jericho and other cities. Jews claim descent from the Khabiru, or Hebrews, who conquered parts of Canaan and established Hebrew kingdoms for some centuries before being dispersed by Persian, Babylonian and Roman armies. While both cultures have changed dramatically over time, and individual Palestinian or Jewish claims of ancient descent may be difficult or impossible to prove, there is no compelling reason to dispute the ancient and continuous presence of both peoples.

Palestinians have not traditionally been Bedouins or nomads, but agricultural, village and city people. Palestinians have sustained and improved the millennia-old dry-climate agriculture native to the land, have nurtured the orchards of ancient olive trees, some of them thousands of years old, and have retained ancient customs and place-names. By the nineteenth century, the people of Palestine had a well-established society and culture that was recognized by other Arabs as uniquely Palestinian. It consisted of respected intellectual and professional classes, political organizations, and the beginnings of modern industry.

For some two thousand years, Palestinian Jews were a small and accepted minority in Palestine. The current conflict is not ancient, but has its roots in the nineteenth century with the birth of the Zionist movement in Europe.

Zionism began in the late 1800s as a nationalist movement among European Jews who hoped to escape from centuries of persecution, apartheid, pogroms and expulsions from European countries. The Zionist movement advocated forming a Jewish national state in Palestine. By the nineteenth century, however, since Jews had long been only a small minority there, founding a Jewish majority state would by definition require the displacement of the non-Jewish majority population. While Zionism was a national liberation movement and a quest for sanctuary by a persecuted people, it was also founded on European colonial habits of thought. A popular slogan of the Zionist movement — “a land without a people for a people without a land” — was openly racist in denying the significance or rights of the indigenous people of Palestine. Neither Palestinian Arabs nor the majority of Palestinian Jews favored the Zionist plan. Zionists caused increased resentment by purchasing Palestinian land from absentee Turkish landlords and pursuing their plan by way of foreign colonial governments.

Furthermore, the Zionist movement encountered an indigenous Palestinian liberation movement already underway, attempting to liberate Palestine from the Ottoman Empire. The collision of these two nationalist movements and the colonial approach of the Zionist movement were primary sources of conflict in the region.

When the Ottoman Empire fell after World War I, the victorious European powers created artificial boundaries and Palestine became a mandate territory of Britain. At that time, there were about 600,000 Palestinians and 60,000 Jews in the territory, half of the latter figure being Jewish settlers from Europe. Tensions increased when the British foreign minister, Lord Arthur Balfour, announced his government’s support for the establishment of “a Jewish national home in Palestine.” British officials were simultaneously promising Palestinians a national state, but the number of Jewish settlers in Palestine grew by a factor of ten during the following three decades of British rule. Violence between Palestinians and Jews began during the early period of European Jewish settlement, with attacks on civilians by both sides.

“Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word…it would be this: ‘At Basel, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today [1897] I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in 5 years, then certainly in 50. Everyone will know it’ “. Theodor Herzl Diaries 1897.

Herzl missed his goal by only 1 year.

Zionism emerged as a national movement in Eastern Europe in the 1880’s. Its founder, Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), a Hungarian Jew, dreamt of establishing a Jewish State in the land of Palestine, a dream which was to be realised through colonisation and land acquisition. According to Zionist archives, the leadership of early Zionism believed that the native population of Palestine, as a result of this colonisation, would simply “fold their tents and slip away” or, if they resisted, they would be “spirited across the borders”.

It all started in a small way as the first Zionist settlement in Palestine was founded with the financial help of Edmond James de Rothschild (1845-1934), a French financier who assisted a small group of the Russian Bilu Jewish Society to immigrate to Palestine in 1882. This Philanthropist sponsored a few more tiny settlements at the time such as Gai Oni, Roch Pina, Zichron-Ya’acov (which he named after his grandfather) and Rishon Letzion with settlers from around Eastern Europe.

The single aim of all these settlements and their planners who envisioned them was to slowly and secretly transfer, drive out and ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous people.

Theodor Herzl wrote in June 1895: “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border…and both the process of expropriation and removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly…”

Israel Zangwill followed by saying that “if we wish to give a country to a people without a country, it is utter foolishness to allow it to be the country of two peoples…”.

This concept of transfer of the local population was held dear by almost every member of the Zionist leadership in Europe. At their first official Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, they called already for “the establishment of a publicly and legally secured home in Palestine for the Jewish people”.

20 years later, the Balfour Declaration threw them a lifeline.

After Herzl’s death, the Zionist movement came under the leadership of Chaim Weizmann, who sought to reconcile the “practical” wing of the movement, which sought to further Jewish settlement in Palestine, and its “political” wing, which stressed the establishment of a Jewish state. Weizmann obtained few concessions from the Turkish sultan, who ruled Palestine; however, in 1917, Great Britain, then at war with Turkey, issued the Balfour Declaration (see Balfour, Arthur James), which promised to help establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Great Britain was given a mandate of Palestine in 1920 by the League of Nations, in part to implement the Balfour Declaration.

Jewish colonization vastly increased in the early years of the mandate (see Palestine for the period up to 1948), but soon the British limited their interpretation of the declaration in the face of Arab pressure. There were disputes in the Zionist movement on how to counter the British position. The right-wing Revisionists, led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, favored large-scale immigration to Palestine to force the creation of a Jewish state. The most conciliatory faction was the General Zionists (representing the original national organizations), who generally remained friendly to Great Britain.

No country in the World has broken more UN resolutions than Israel. At the same time, no country in the World receives more non-string attached aid from the United States than Israel; billions upon billions of dollars in top grade military equipment and ammunition and the subsidizing of the Israeli economy.

Most people supporting Israel in the United States are not Jews but fundamental Christians that support Israel for grotesque macabre reasons. They like Israel precisely because it is a trouble maker and they hope its existence will trigger World War Three, Armageddon, and the second coming of Jesus. Also, for many people in the States, Israel conjures romantic images of the Wild West where the Palestinians play as extras on the role of Indians in a Western movie.

Israel is a paper tiger going in the path of self destruction. While it is true that the Israeli army is the strongest military just behind the super powers, Palestine is a small country that cannot possible support this expense. Every single bullet and phosphorus shell is paid by the United States taxpayer. This seemingly inexhaustible source of money will dry out, if for no other reason, because the US Economy will get to the point where it could not afford it anymore. The apartheid State can and should be resisted.

Read more: Zionism: The Balfour Declaration and Settlement in Palestine | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/history/zionism-the-balfour-declaration-settlement-palestine.html#ixzz39t5MiwTU


In self defense

How can a bunch of Europeans and Newyorkeres claim self defense while attacking Palestinians in Palestine? Actually they do not. The Israeli government states more or less bluntly, depending on the audience, that it is its sacred duty and right … Continue reading

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How can a bunch of Europeans and Newyorkeres claim self defense while attacking Palestinians in Palestine? Actually they do not. The Israeli government states more or less bluntly, depending on the audience, that it is its sacred duty and right to ethnic clean Palestine of Palestinians. It is apologetic outsiders that cry self defense.

The Times of Israel published and then removed from its site an essay by Yochanan Gordon that openly called for genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza. A cached version is still on the internet as of this writing.

Gordon’s logic, if one wants to dignify it with that term, is that Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel, and therefore the only way to deal with them is to obliterate them entirely. He used the words “obliterate entirely.”

Nor is he alone. Israel nationalists have been arguing for war crimes at an alarming rate.

Hamas is a party-militia of the religious right. It does say it wants to see the Israeli government overthrown. Its leaders don’t, however, speak of committing genocide against Israelis. They say they want to recover their country, which was stolen from them by the Israelis in 1948. Colonial regimes always produce resistance movements.

The fact is that Hamas was supported by Israeli intelligence in the 1980s as a foil to the PLO, so Shin Bet and Mossad don’t seem to have been worried by the party charter.

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