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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:40 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

At Vatican meeting, UN chief and Pope Francis discuss climate change, Mediterranean migration

28 April 2015 – During a meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he very much looked forward to the Pontiff's encyclical on climate change, which he said he believed would act as a moral voice on the issue.

“I am grateful for his invitation, and applaud his humanitarian vision,” said Mr. Ban. “During our conversation, Pope Francis spoke of his commitment to making the world a better place for all.”

Mr. Ban and Pope Francis met on the margins of a workshop organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences called 'Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity,' which explores the moral dimensions of climate change and sustainable humanity.

As well as discussing climate change, a readout of the meeting issued by a UN spokesperson in new York said Mr. Ban briefed Pope Francis on his visit yesterday to the Italian Navy vessel San Giusto where he was briefed on the on-going operations to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean.

“These migrants, many of whom are refugees, are desperate for a better future,” said Mr. Ban. “We need to address the root causes of migration and find ways to share responsibility for resettling those who make the perilous journey. That includes increasing safe and regular channels for migration.”

They also discussed several other issues including social exclusion and the situation in South Sudan, as well as human trafficking and contemporary slavery, and the role of sport as a tool for EDUCATION and human development.

The Secretary-General provided an update on his Global EDUCATION First initiative in the forthcoming global education forum to be held next month in Korea and on the ongoing review conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York. They reaffirmed their commitment to continue to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Lastly, the Secretary-General said he very much looked forward to the Pope's visit to the United Nations in September, when leaders from around the world will converge in New York for the United Nations SPECIAL summit for the adoption of a universal and transformative post-2015 development agenda.

The special summit was one of three international gatherings to build a sustainable development agenda for generations to come and in later remarks at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Mr. Ban said the international efforts would rely on the full engagement and leadership of the Organisation's MEMBERSHIP.

“The OECD is a vital forum for helping to build such momentum,” he said. “You can rally your members around this vital agenda. You can inspire and inform the policy changes we need. The OECD has a long history of ADDRESSING challenges such as policy coherence – which will be crucial to address the sustainable development challenge.”
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UN invites world’s seven billion people to become agents of change on World Environment Day

5 June 2015 – With many of the earth’s ecosystems nearing “critical tipping points,” the United Nations invited each of the seven billion people on the planet to mark this year’s World Environment Day by making one change towards a more responsible consumption of resources – “be it refusing to buy single-use plastic bags or riding a bike to work.”

“Humanity continues to consume far more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in this year’s message for the Day, observed annually on 5 June. “It is time for us to change.”

“The goal of sustainable development is to increase the quality of life for all people without increasing environmental degradation and without compromising the resource needs of future generations,” he noted. “We can do this by shifting our consumption patterns towards goods that use less energy, water and other resources and by wasting less food.”World Environment Day is the opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change.

The theme of this year’s Day – “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care,” – emphasizes the personal responsibility each person bears for enabling inclusive and sustainable economic development while stabilizing and reducing the rate of resource use.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), invited “everyone to imagine what the world would be like if each of the seven billion people made one change towards a more responsible consumption of resources.”

“I would like you to hold on to that vision and strive to make it reality – be it refusing to buy single-use plastic bags or riding a bike to work,” Mr. Steiner said in his message.

Noting “it is easy to underestimate the power of individual action,” Mr. Steiner said “our daily decisions as consumers, multiplied by billions, have a colossal impact on the environment – some of them contribute to the further depletion of natural resources, others help to protect fragile ecosystems.”

“We must ask ourselves what the consequences of this pace of consumption and trajectory of population growth – forecasted to reach nine billion by 2050 – will be,” he said.

“Under current trends, global extraction of resources is set to reach 140 billion tonnes by 2050, compared to around 7 billion tonnes in 1900,” said Mr. Steiner. “This will probably exceed the availability and accessibility of resources, as well as the carrying capacity of the planet to absorb the impacts of their extraction and use.”

World Environment Day “is the opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change,” Mr. Steiner said.

Italy is the host of this year's celebrations of the Day which are taking place at Expo Milano 2015, which runs from 1 May to 31 October and is expected to include over 140 countries plus a significant number of international organizations.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Explosive intervention by Pope Francis set to transform climate change debate

Explosive intervention by Pope Francis set to transform climate change debate
The most anticipated papal letter for decades will be published in five languages on Thursday. It will call for an end to the ‘tyrannical’ exploitation of nature by mankind. Could it lead to a step-change in the battle against global warming?


Pope Francis will call for an ethical and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality in a letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Thursday.

In an unprecedented encyclical on the subject of the environment, the pontiff is expected to argue that humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources has crossed the Earth’s natural boundaries, and that the world faces ruin without a revolution in hearts and minds. The much-anticipated message, which will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops, will be published online in five languages on Thursday and is expected to be the most radical statement yet from the outspoken pontiff.

However, it is certain to anger sections of Republican opinion in America by endorsing the warnings of climate scientists and admonishing rich elites, say cardinals and scientists who have advised the Vatican.

The Ghanaian cardinal, Peter Turkson, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and a close ally of the pope, will launch the encyclical. He has said it will address the root causes of poverty and the threats facing nature, or “creation”.

In a recent speech widely regarded as a curtain-raiser to the encyclical, Turkson said: “Much of the world remains in poverty, despite abundant resources, while a privileged global elite controls the bulk of the world’s wealth and consumes the bulk of its resources.”

The Argentinian pontiff is expected to repeat calls for a change in attitudes to poverty and nature. “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it,” he told a meeting of social movements last year. “I think a question that we are not asking ourselves is: isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature? Safeguard creation because, if we destroy it, it will destroy us. Never forget this.”

The encyclical will go much further than strictly environmental concerns, say Vatican insiders. “Pope Francis has repeatedly stated that the environment is not only an economic or political issue, but is an anthropological and ethical matter,” said another of the pope’s advisers, Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Peru.

“It will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people’s life and health,” Barreto Jimeno told the Catholic News Service.

He was echoed by Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, who coordinates the Vatican’s inner council of cardinals and is thought to reflect the pope’s political thinking . “The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits,” Rodríguez Maradiaga said.

The rare encyclical, called “Laudato Sii”, or “Praised Be”, has been timed to have maximum public impact ahead of the pope’s meeting with Barack Obama and his address to the US Congress and the UN general assembly in September.

It is also intended to improve the prospect of a strong new UN global agreement to cut climate emissions. By adding a moral dimension to the well-rehearsed scientific arguments, Francis hopes to raise the ambition of countries above their own self-interest to secure a strong deal in a crucial climate summit in Paris in November.

“Pope Francis is personally committed to this [climate] issue like no other pope before him. The encyclical will have a major impact. It will speak to the moral imperative of addressing climate change in a timely fashion in order to protect the most vulnerable,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate chief, in Bonn this week for negotiations.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, is increasingly seen as the voice of the global south and a catalyst for change in global bodies. In September, he will seek to add impetus and moral authority to UN negotiations in New York to adopt new development goals and lay out a 15-year global plan to tackle hunger, extreme poverty and health. He will address the UN general assembly on 23 September as countries finalise their commitments.

However, Francis’s radicalism is attracting resistance from Vatican conservatives and in rightwing church circles, particularly in the US – where Catholic climate sceptics also include John Boehner, Republican leader of the House of Representatives, and Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate.

Earlier this year Stephen Moore, a Catholic economist, called the pope a “complete disaster”, saying he was part of “a radical green movement that is at its core anti-Christian, anti-people and anti-progress”.

Moore was backed this month by scientists and engineers from the powerful evangelical Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, who have written an open letter to Francis. “Today many prominent voices call humanity a scourge on our planet, saying that man is the problem, not the solution. Such attitudes too often contaminate their assessment of man’s effects on nature,” it says.

But the encyclical will be well received in developing countries, where most Catholics live. “Francis has always put the poor at the centre of everything he has said. The developing countries will hear their voice in the encyclical,” said Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at the Catholic development agency, Cafod. “I expect it to challenge the way we think. The message that we cannot just treat the Earth as a tool for exploitation will be a message that many will not want to hear.”

The pope is “aiming at a change of heart. What will save us is not technology or science. What will save us is the ethical transformation of our society,” said Carmelite Father Eduardo Agosta Scarel, a climate scientist who teaches at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Earlier popes, including Benedict XVI and John Paul II, addressed environmental issues and “creation”, but neither mentioned climate change or devoted an entire encyclical to the links between poverty, economics and ecological destruction. Francis’s only previous encyclical concerned the nature of religious faith.

The pontiff, who is playing an increasing role on the world stage, will visit Cuba ahead of travelling to the US. He was cited by Obama as having helped to thaw relations between the two countries, and last week met the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to discuss the crisis in Ukraine and the threat to minority Christians in the Middle East.

The pope chose Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, as his namesake at the start of his papacy in 2011, saying the saint’s values reflected his own.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

German Climate Nazi Teaming Up With Pope Francis For Roll Out Of Global Govt “Climate” Encyclical

A Papal propaganda piece promoting population control and world government might seem to many to be a bit out of the realm of authority and expertise of the head of the Catholic Church, and well beyond his appropriate bounds. The Catholic Church has well known positions against birth control and abortion so at first glance it is might seem curious that Pope Francis has chosen to involve himself with certain individuals in his make believe fight against the air, the water and the climate. Pope Francis is much more than a typical pope or religious leader, he’s an operative for the global elites whose plan is quite simply to rule the world.

On June 18th what will be benignly labeled as a teaching document by those who are promoting it, an encyclical, will be issued in an effort to convince us all that there is a higher calling that can only be answered by submitting to the domination of power-mad authoritarians.

The picture will be painted as one of a desperate need, in spite of evidence all around us that that is simply not the case. We’ll be told that the planet is dying, we are all Earth-murderers and that the Pope has the key to our absolution. We must simply surrender all of our possessions, our national identities and our lifestyles. We can do it over time, but not too much time and once we start there’s no turning back. As bad as we have things, our children will have it worse, and their children after them. We must all become enslaved to the planet and its merry band of oligarchs to know the true freedom and happiness that comes with a meaningless existence.

Nothing cures poverty like lowering the standard of living for the productive to the point where they are poor as well, eliminating “poverty” through the theoretical creation of equality. We’ll all be equally miserable, equally threatened, and our situations equally hopeless.

The non-climatologist Pope couldn’t be expected to write his own propaganda document for such an important event. They needed professional help and fortunately for them, Obama and the UN are never more than a phone call away. Obama’s fellow Columbia alumnus and green Nazi Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute was just one of the many operatives dispatched to provide the needed scary and urgent content. Regular sessions have been conducted to formalize what will essentially be a call for the dismantling of Western civilizations, including a gathering of forty leading alarmists at the Vatican in May.

One particularly unsavory individual, a pro-death German eugenicist by the name of Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, has been selected to be one of three presenters at the Vatican when the assault on free men is officially launched. He’s the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a personal climate advisor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The notorious Schellnhuber has publicly stated his beliefs that the planet can only sustain one billion people, which puts us miraculously now at what he has declared to be seven times capacity. Of course, those seven billion people are somehow surviving just fine in spite of his claims that we’re an infestation, in many ways better than we did when population levels were considerably less, but reason and common sense are not part of these “geniuses” and their proclamations. This is the kind of individual that Pope Francis has aligned himself with and who are crafting the Pope’s document. There are many more like him.

Why is Pope Francis associated with individuals who favor eliminating 85 percent of the world’s population? His involvement, both with Pope Francis and Angela Merkel is consistent with Hussein Obama’s selection of eugenicist John Holdren as his Science Czar. He’s a man who advocated for global sterilization and forced abortions, who pushes the same agenda. It’s a bizarre and unseemly alliance for the leader of the Catholic Church but at the same time quite revealing. We must understand who this Pope is to appreciate the true measure of his actions in their full context.

Schellnhuber views the solution to the fabricated problems of the climate as a three part surrender of all people to global authoritarianism, maintaining the UN Agenda 21 position of promoting “sustainability” as a core principle. He urged:

The adoption of an Earth Constitution which “would transcend the UN Charter and identify those first principles guiding humanity in its quest for freedom, dignity, security and sustainability.”

The establishment of a Global Council which “would be an assembly of individuals elected directly by all people on Earth, where eligibility should be not constrained by geographical, religious, or cultural quotas”

The establishment of a Planetary Court, which “would be a transnational legal body open to appeals from everybody, especially with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution.”

What we are about to witness is mind control on a large scale, the attempt to abuse the faith and trust of Catholics around the world in order to scare and manipulate them into supporting global government. It must be recognized for what it is and not be allowed to succeed. The second half of this year will see a major push of the UN upon us by those who see themselves as our rightful masters.

We simply can’t let them get away with it. The future of our planet and all of mankind depends upon us stopping them.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US Catholics ready to follow Pope's 'marching orders' on climate change

Leaders of the Catholic Church in America took their “marching orders” from the Pope’s encyclical on Thursday, fanning out to Congress and the White House to push for action on climate change.

The high-level meetings offered a first glimpse of a vast and highly organised effort by the leadership of America’s nearly 80 million Catholics to turn the Pope’s moral call for action into reality.

“It is our marching orders for advocacy,” Joseph Kurtz, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archbishop of Louisville, said. “It really brings about a new urgency for us.”

Representatives of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said they would hold two briefings for members of Congress on Thursday and visit the White House on Friday to promote and explain the Pope’s environmental message.

Those efforts will get a new injection of urgency, when the Pope delivers a much-anticipated address to Congress during his visit to the US in September, church leaders said.

Church leaders rejected the accusations from some conservatives – including the Republican presidential contender, Jeb Bush – that the Pope had now trespassed into the political realm.

Within the US, the Pope’s call for climate action brought an outpouring of support from religious leaders, environmental, social justice and public health groups, scientists, and Democrats.

Related: Pope's climate change encyclical tells rich nations: pay your debt to the poor

Religious leaders said the message from an extremely popular Pope Francis would add new urgency to the Church’s existing support for a number of environmental measures in Barack Obama’s climate plan – including the new rules limiting carbon pollution from power plants, due to be finalised this summer.

“I believe this is potentially the game changer we have all been waiting for,” said the Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, founder of Interfaith Power & Light, which campaigns for action on climate change. “I really think it will change enough minds to get the critical mass we need to get our house in order and cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

The advocacy group, Presente.org, said the Pope’s message hit close to home for Latinos in the US and elsewhere, who often live in poor and heavily polluted neighbourhoods.

The Pope’s message also resonated strongly among activist priests and nuns, who have lobbied oil companies and called on their own parishes to divest. The encyclical puts the Vatican’s stamp of approval on years of effort, often at the side lines, and that on its own had galvanised campaigners, said Sister Joan Brown, a Franciscan in New Mexico who has worked on climate change for more than 20 years.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in the faith community or otherwise,” she said.

The release of the much-awaited climate message puts a trigger on a series of events that were more than a year in the planning.

In Atlanta, the archbishop’s office used the encyclical to sign up scientists and engineers to help parishes, and parishioners, reduce their carbon footprint. The Bishop of Des Moines is planning to hold a press conference at a wind farm.

Meanwhile, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Climate Covenant were producing primers to help parish priests incorporate the Pope’s environmental message in their Sunday sermons, church officials said.

Religious leaders deflected criticism from Bush that the Pope had strayed too far from the pulpit.

“I don’t think he is presenting a blueprint for saying this is exactly a step by step recipe,” Kurtz said. “He is providing a framework and a moral call as a true moral leader to say take seriously the urgency of this matter.”

Richard Cizik, who was dismissed as lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals after calling for climate action, said the Pope was simply doing his duty as a religious leader. “It is our responsibility to do what is right, even if it is unpopular,” he said.

Francis included a handwritten note on the embargoed copies of his letter that were distributed to bishops around the world – putting a further weight on the sense of urgency. The text also began with scientific data.

“It saves the encyclical from being dismissed simply as an abstract impression,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington. “What our holy father is lifting up is a series of acts that beg for some coherent moral analysis, some direction for the good of all on the planet and for the planet itself.”

The push for the Pope’s climate message – as already defined by the US Conference on Catholic Bishops – includes support for three specific policy measures.

These include the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules for new power plants, which are vigorously opposed by the fossil fuel industry and Republicans, the Green Climate Fund for developing countries, also opposed by Republicans, and an energy efficiency bill before Congress, which has bipartisan support.

“That there ought to be a national carbon standard we think is a good thing because it would help protect the poor people who live near the power plants,” said Stephen Colecchi, director of the office of international justice and peace at the US Conference of Bishops.

Those efforts in the US could also boost prospects for the climate negotiations in Paris, he noted. “Adopting a national carbon standard and funding a Green Climate Fund are two things the US could put on the table which would help achieve a climate agreement,” he said.

Erniz Moniz, the energy secretary, said the Pope’s call to action would also spur other countries to act the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

“Pope Francis should inspire all countries to redouble the deployment of clean energy technologies and energy efficiencies and find the international will to significantly cut global emissions of heat-trapping pollution,” he said.

The World Coal Association – while refraining from the direct attacks on Francis made by coal-mining companies in the US – called on the Pope to endorse research on cleaner coal technologies.

Campaign groups said they hoped the Pope’s intervention would re-set the parameters of the discussion surrounding climate change, from narrow political agenda to broader morality.

“The Pope’s message applies to all of us,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “He is imploring people of good will everywhere to honour our moral obligation to protect future generations from the dangers of further climate chaos by embracing our ethical duty to act,” she said.

Andrew Steer, the chief executive of the World Resources Institute, said the message was a call to action for world leaders ahead of the Paris climate talks. “The pope’s message brings moral clarity that the world’s leaders must come together to address this urgent human challenge,” he said.

Ray Bradley, the climate scientist, said: “He has no political agenda. He speaks from the heart. Who else can address this issue without the taint of politics.”

The Evangelical Environmental Network also came out strongly behind the Pope.

More than 300 rabbis signed on to a letter calling on Jewish institutions and individuals to divest from “carbon Pharaohs” or coal-based electric power, and buy wind power instead.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deceived and blind they march into the flames of HELL
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After Paris attacks, increased resolve for UN climate talks

PARIS (AP) — Still gripped by shock and grief, Paris will play host to a long-awaited U.N. climate conference under tragic circumstances that none could have foreseen.

But delegates to the two-week talks starting Monday insist they won't let the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people in the French capital distract them from the task at hand: crafting a landmark deal to fight global warming.

If anything, some say, the bloodshed could make countries more determined to reach a deal to address a problem that's widely seen as a factor that contributes to conflict.

"There may be even more awareness of how important it is to address climate change, given the impact of climate change on the stability of countries," said Dutch climate envoy Michel Rentenaar.

The French organizers say more than 140 leaders including presidents Barack Obama of the U.S., Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China have confirmed they're attending the start of the conference.

The stepped-up security measures in Paris — a state of emergency throughout France has been extended for three months — mean that shuttling them around the city will be a major logistics challenge.

Citing security concerns, French authorities have stopped several events that were scheduled to take place outside the conference center, including a big march that environmentalists had planned for Sunday.

The negotiations themselves, however, are set to go ahead as planned amid tight security in the hermetically sealed conference center in Le Bourget, just north of Paris.

Seyni Nafo, the spokesman for the African Group of countries in the climate talks, said "the main variable" is whether French President Francois Hollande can find the time and energy to devote himself fully to the climate talks, given his focus on terrorism and security.

"Other than this I suspect the talks will remain mostly on course," Nafo said.

A top French official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the issue publicly, said Hollande "remains totally committed to this event and we are now conciliating it with an extraordinarily busy schedule."

Hollande notably maintained all his climate-related appointments last week, including a meeting with some African leaders on Tuesday and a speech to French farmers on Thursday.

This week, he was due to attend several climate-related events despite trips to Washington and Moscow: a France-Oceania summit on Thursday, a meeting with non-governmental groups following the climate negotiations on Saturday, and meetings with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Xi on Sunday.

"What powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children," Obama said on Tuesday, with Hollande at his side.

The goal of the Paris conference is for governments to adopt a deal that for the first time would require all countries to take action to fight climate change.

Countries on the front line, such as small island states that could vanish amid rising seas, were worried that the Paris attacks would become a distraction for Western countries in particular. However, they've been reassured by the number of leaders, including Obama, who quickly reaffirmed their plans to attend the U.N. conference, said Jeffrey Waheed, the Maldives' deputy permanent secretary to the United Nations.

"The fact that this is on the forefront of everyone's mind is a positive sign," Waheed said. "World leaders are used to handling multiple issues. And this is an issue of peace and security in the long term."

Researchers and military officials have long stressed the link between climate change and security. The Pentagon noted in a report last year that climate impacts could exacerbate challenges to stability such as infectious diseases and poverty.

Some researchers have even drawn a connection between climate change and the Syrian conflict, saying an extended drought led to social unrest that triggered an uprising against authoritarian President Bashar Assad. The ensuing civil war has forced millions of Syrians to flee the country and fueled the rise of extremist groups like the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the gun and bomb massacres in Paris.

With demonstrations in Paris banned, climate activists are planning over 2,000 events across 150 countries this weekend, demanding that negotiators pave the way for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power.

A limited number of activists accredited to the conference will be urging negotiators in the hallways to look beyond their short-term national interests and come together for a common plan for the planet's future.

"Since the climate summit will take place in an atmosphere of war," said Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, "we hope world leaders will use it to show the world what peaceful global cooperation looks like to protect our shared humanity."
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ban Ki-moon urges cooperation at COP21 in Paris: ‘The clock is ticking toward climate catastrophe’
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bernie Sanders and American business leaders address climate change hurdles as second week of U.N. conference begins


In Paris, time is of the essence.

World leaders in the French capital are working against the clock to broker a deal that would stave off the most devastating effects of climate change as the 2015 United Nations COP21 conference enters its second and final week.

On Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded the more than 150 diplomats that the decisions they make this week will “reverberate down through the ages.”

“Centuries of human endeavor and innovation have given the world great gifts. Yet we have also sown the potential seeds of our own destruction,” Ban said. “The clock is ticking toward climate catastrophe. The world is expecting more from you than half-measures and incremental approaches. It is calling for a transformative agreement. Paris must put the world on track for long-term peace, stability and prosperity.”

The representatives are trying to finalize an accord that would limit global warming to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-Industrial Revolution levels. They met a Saturday deadline to draft a blueprint but still need to hammer out vital issues, such as how the U.N. would monitor any given country’s progress in curbing carbon dioxide emissions.

For years, the scientific community has warned about the current and future effects of climate change. Many politicians have characterized tackling anthropogenic climate change as the most consequential issue of our time, while some leading U.S. Republican presidential candidates dismiss the problem altogether.

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert argues that part of the reason public consensus lags behind scientific consensus is that our brains evolved to respond to threats that are intentional, immoral, imminent and instantaneous, like terrorism. The most devastating consequences of climate change — expected to occur down the line if humankind stays on its current path — have none of these qualities.

“Global warming isn’t trying to kill us, and that’s a shame,” Gilbert wrote in a Los Angeles Times column. “If climate change had been visited on us by a brutal dictator or an evil empire, the war on warming would be this nation’s top priority.”

The National Wildlife Federation and other organizations, noting this obstacle, are emphasizing that global warming is already affecting our planet: Temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, sea ice is melting, oceans are acidifying and so on.

Similarly, at the conference on Monday, action movie star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he thinks green campaigners should shift their focus to how climate change and other problems like air pollution are wreaking havoc now.

“It drives me crazy when people talk about 30 years from now, rising sea levels and so on,” he told the Guardian. “What about right now? Thousands of people are dying from pollution. People are living with cancer [because of air pollution].”

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, recalled an advertising campaign in California that showed children whose respiratory systems had been damaged by breathing in air pollution. Poll numbers changed after people saw “what we are doing to our kids,” he said.

“If you do not have people behind you, you can’t do anything [on legislation],” Schwarzenegger continued. “Global warming is an extremely important issue, the most important issue. You have to communicate it properly. You have to communicate to people that this is right now.”

In Beijing on Monday, the local government issued its first red pollution alert for its extraordinary level of smog. The Chinese capital’s government is enforcing serious restrictions on traffic and factories in an attempt to protect its population from the deadly air.

With a red alert, the most severe in Beijing’s four-tier system, authorities are forecasting more than three successive days of heavy air pollution.

Back in the United States, two business groups sent letters to Congress on Monday urging climate skeptics not to undermine the anticipated multinational climate change agreement.

“The time for obstacles and obstruction is over,” Bob Keefe, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs, said in a statement. “As world leaders and business leaders alike have made crystal clear in Paris, we need action, and we need it now.”

Richard Eidlin, vice president of policy for the American Sustainable Business Council, said many business owners worry that the effects of climate change will hurt their operations.

“From increased insurance costs and supply chain disruptions to the loss of entire companies due to extreme weather events, business is already feeling the cost of inaction on climate change,” Eidlin said.

Also on Monday, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled his climate change plan to invest in clean technology, cut carbon emissions faster than President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, ban oil and natural gas lobbyists from working in the White House and end enormous subsidies for fossil fuel companies, among other strategies.

“CEOs are raking in record profits while climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into complacency in the face of climate change,” the senator from Vermont said in a statement. “Enough is enough. It’s time for a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.”
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In the first five days of climate change negotiations, interfaith activists came, fasted, talked to media, buttonholed leaders and prayed. On Saturday night in a downtown Paris chapel, hundreds of people, many of them prostrated on the ground, sang and prayed for the climate negotiators and mostly for the world.



“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:10-13 (KJV)



Physicist John Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said he has been coming to these international talks for 11 years and essentially seen negotiators throw up their hands and say “sorry guys we tried our best.” And no one protested. But this time, with the power of Pope Francis’ encyclical earlier this year calling global warming a moral issue and an even more energized interfaith community, Schellnhuber feels the world’s faithful are watching and will hold world leaders accountable.


“They know they will be measured against the encyclical,” Schellnhuber, a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said Saturday at a Catholic Church event. Ever the scientist, Schellnhuber said on Saturday he hadn’t seen any evidence yet during the first week of negotiations that this will happen, but he has faith it will.

In the first five days of climate change negotiations, interfaith activists came, fasted, talked to media, buttonholed leaders and prayed. On Saturday night in a downtown Paris chapel, hundreds of people, many of them prostrated on the ground, sang and prayed for the climate negotiators and mostly for the world.


And so are their numbers. Bader said interfaith leaders recently handed top United Nations negotiators a petition with 1.8 million signatures begging for meaningful climate action. Such action was also sought by Brother Alois Taize, a Catholic member of the ecumenical monastery, as he was preaching at the song-laden service about how the faithful and the world have to open their eyes to solutions to global warming.


Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a non-Catholic who advised Pope Francis on climate and is on the pontiff’s science academy, says he thinks this new alliance will play a major role in what he hopes will be a historic agreement.


He was presenting a paper on glacier melt to the scientists at the pontifical academy. It was academic and laid out the conclusions in cold hard facts. But then the chancellor to the academy, a bishop, added one sentence to the end: “If we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us.”

It was quickly agreed to and Ramanathan started to look at climate science not as an academic issue but an issue of justice, because those who are hurt the most by climate change are the world’s poorest 3 billion. He started volunteering, working with the poor and examining his own consumption habits, like how much he drives.

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si is less about ecology than morality and fairness.

“Climate change is a global problem with serious social, environmental, economic, distributional and political dimensions, and poses one of the greatest challenges for humanity,” the bishop said Saturday. “The poor populations are the most severely affected even though they are the least responsible.”

Pope Francis, called a rock star by young religious climate activists, was not in Paris. But as he spoke to faithful in St. Peter’s Square Sunday he appealed to those deciding on climate change measures to show courage by also fighting poverty, saying “the two choices go together.” source

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