Climate Changes

Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good, US Catholic Bishops, 2001

At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both ‘the human environment’ and the natural environment.

Introduction

There is increasing discussion of global climate change, also called “global warming,” which refers to long-term increases in average global temperatures that result from natural variation and human activities. Although some uncertainty still exists as to the exact nature and effects of global climate change, a broad scientific consensus has developed that some significant warming has occurred, brought about in part by human activities. As the U.S. bishops expressed in their 2001 pastoral statement on climate change, this issue “…is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family.” To help us address contemporary questions, such as climate change, Catholics bring a long tradition of applying our Church’s social teachings to complex issues.

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Chairman of USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development welcomes Climate Legislation

Bishop Frank Dewane, Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development recently released a statement that calls the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 an “important step in addressing climate change.”

The act takes this step by having fossil fuel companies pay an initial fee of $15 on each metric ton of carbon dioxide that will be emitted when their fuel is burned. It also establishes a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund to distribute the money raised to US households.

This bipartisan legislation was cosponsored by Representatives Ted Deutch (Fl), Francis Rooney (Fl), Charlie Christ (FL), Judy Chu (CA) Anna Eshoo (CA), Scott Peters (CA), and Daniel Lipinski (Il) .

Bishop Dewane said that “additional in-depth independent analysis is still needed to fully understand the potential impacts on the poor and vulnerable persons, families and their communities.”

In addition, the Virginia Catholic Bishops signed the US Catholic Climate Declaration reinforcing their commitment to efforts that recognize and help reduce climate change. They have joined nearly 800 other Catholic dioceses, organizations and institutions who agree to support climate goals to reduce emissions worldwide and avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

Several groups exist for education and advocacy in the area of climate action. One is the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which has chapters in Eau Claire, Wausau, La Crosse, Stevens Point, Richland Center and many other cities in Wisconsin and around the U.S.

There is also the Catholic Climate Covenant, which can be joined online.  You can also contact your elected representatives in Congress to urge them to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.