Journalism professors from Columbia University in New York told their students, “The US corporate media is popcorn.” During ten years in Hong Kong I relied upon short wave radio, the BBC, South China Morning Post and other sources for global information. “Crisis” in Chinese is “danger plus opportunity.”
Now back in the energy state of Louisiana, I depend upon Amy Goodman and Democracy Now for something more substantial than “popcorn.”
Categorically ignored by major networks was the global climate conference COP 20 held in Lima, Peru the first week of December. Conference of the Parties has been held for twenty years in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and prevent Earth’s climate from excessive warming. 190 nations sent delegates to Lima in order to prepare for the 2015 global COP 21 conference in Paris.
Formation of Catholic Climate Covenant.org indicates an encouraging contribution of church leaders. The spirits of Jesuit Fr. Pierre Teilhard deChardin and Passionist Fr. Thomas Berry are looming over some Catholic leaders. Both priests were treated like rejected prophets during their time visiting Earth.
THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER (NCR, KCMO) informed us the University of Dayton (OH) was the first Catholic institution that encouraged divestment from fossil fuel corporations.
Catholic bishops from every continent except North America sent a message to the Lima conference urging all nations to withdraw from burning fossil fuels and make the vital transition to renewable energy.
The Pontifical Academy of Science issued a paper in March 2011 entitled “The Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene.” Over 400 glaciers globally have simply vanished due to climate change. Anthropocene indicates humans are now the dominant force in history.
400 is an ominous number as carbon dioxide emissions went beyond 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history, as recorded by the laboratory in Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The group of “contrarians” in our Congress can continue to deny global warming, but 400 ppm of carbon dioxide is solid science. James Hansen left his job with NASA to convince global leaders that global warming/climate change is a reality that must be reckoned with.
Svante August Arrhenius warned humankind in the 1890’s and again in 1905 of threats to the planet from fossil fuels. 2014 will be recorded in weather history as the warmest year so far. Will COP 21 in Paris get better coverage? Will all church leaders acknowledge that transition to renewable energy is a salvation issue?