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To all our supporters, many thanks
To all our readers, wherever you are, may this Christmas be a blessed season for you and your family, and put fresh heart in us all as we pursue our yearnings for a just and sustainable world.
What a Christmas present! The UN Climate Change conference in Paris concluded with a 31-page global agreement on dealing with climate change, committing to :
- Limit greenhouse emissions to avoid global temperatures rising 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels
- Aim at holding temperature rise to 1.5 degrees
- Reach zero emissions by the second half of the century
This is only the first step, however. The post-2020 targets set by nations are at present too minimal, and will not stem climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions must fall by at least 20 percent by 2030; at present they are set to rise by 10 per cent.
Who in their right mind would go into a conflict zone in the Central African Republic, which is verging on the edge of civil war, or as the United Nations had warned, even of genocide? Pope Francis, of course. Francis is very concerned that the violence of extremist religious fundamentalists does not spread in Africa, and took his message of peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, and solidarity to Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic.
Emil Jevaratnam, James Whitmore,
Michael Hopkin, Wes Mountain
On December 12 2015 in Paris, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change finally came to a landmark agreement.
Signed by 196 nations, the Paris Agreement is the first comprehensive global treaty to combat climate change, and will follow on from the Kyoto Protocol when it ends in 2020. It will enter into force once it is ratified by at least 55 countries, covering at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Technoscience, nature, & the good life
As never before, global warming threatens the future of civilisation and the integrity of the ecosystems that sustain all life. Prominent environmental writer, Geoff Lacey, examines what needs to change in our practice and thinking, so that technology truly becomes the servant of humanity, not a sorcerer leading to an unprecedented catastrophe. He concurs strongly with views of Pope Francis in his recent encyclical On Care for our Common Home.
Dr Augustine Doronila
Review of Pope Benedict XVI. The Garden of God: toward a Human Ecology (edited by Maria Morciano), Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2014.
It might surprise many that Pope Benedict was called by some the ‘Green Pope’, because of his concern about climate change and environmental issues. In writing an encyclical on the environment and social justice, Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ is very much in continuity with Benedict.
YouTubes of interest