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Religion and climate change – Dr Katharine Hayhoe

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Climate Change But Were Afraid to Ask, Forbes, Devin Thorpe 9 Dec 19,   Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist who leads the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University and is the host and producer of the PBS series Global Weirding. I asked her everything you want to know about climate change but were afraid to ask…..

She explained why a difference as small as two degrees actually matters, why she calls it global weirding, how she explains climate science to skeptics who are religious, and the respective roles of big business, entrepreneurs and individuals in fighting climate science. ……
KH: Well, our most popular global weirding episode, the one that the most people have watched, is called “What Does the Bible Say About Climate Change?” And that’s sort of a trick question, because, of course, it says nothing about climate change. But it says a lot about our responsibility for this planet, God’s love and care for creation, and about how we are to care for our brothers and sisters, especially those who are less fortunate than us today. So I’ve looked into this and thankfully, as you just said, the correlation is not causal. So believing the Bible doesn’t make us reject the idea that climate is changing due to human activities. In fact, as I recently said in New York Times op ed just the other week, if we truly take the Bible seriously, we would be out at the front of the line demanding action on climate change, because that’s what we as Christians would do because of who we are……..

DT: What would you tell someone who wants to do their part to solve climate change?

KH: Well, I would say, first of all, we’re not saving the planet we’re saving us. The planet will still be orbiting the sun long after we are gone. We care about ourselves, our families, our kids, our communities, our city or state, our country. We care about ourselves. And that’s what’s at stake here. So one of the most important things we can do and actually talk about this is my TED talk is talk about it because it turns out we never have conversations about this because we’re worried, well, I’m not a scientist or I don’t want to pick a fight with Uncle Joe. But talking about it is the most effective thing that we can do……

https://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2019/12/09/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-climate-change-but-were-afraid-to-ask/#722e91ca3a60

December 10, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Ethics, Nuclear Power, and Global Heating – theme for December 2019

“Ethics” seems to be a dirty word in this strange era in which “Economics”, (i.e money) is apparently the only credible argument for taking any action.

Yet, now, under those truly awful shadows of a heating planet, and nuclear conflict, ethics might be our only sane guide.

What are ethics in relation to climate and nuclear issues?

Surely – ethical behaviour,  -behaving decently and honestly. In the face of these dire threats – this is the way to go.

Not that it’s easy. No-one wants to pay the price, – changed employment, lifestyle changes, increased taxes….

BUT – we have borrowed this world from our children, and great grandchildren.  We need to return it in good condition.

This means facing up to the reality of all the effects of climate change, the horrors of nuclear weapons, the environmental poison of ionising radiation.

And then – taking action on all levels, from the personal to global co-operation. A tall order?  It means plain, honest, speaking, just treatment of under-privileged groups and countries, taking investment out of dirty industries.

An impossible order? Perhaps, but it would be a shame not to try. Even in this period of ethically and often environmentally ignorant , narcissistic national leaders Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro, Scott Morrison …….still there are thousands of individuals and groups working for a clean and nuclear-free planet.

We don’t need to be taken in by the big words and twisted arguments of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries and their bought politicians and journalists. The facts on climate change are clear. The facts on nuclear dangers are clear.

Even the economic facts point us to climate action and to scrapping nuclear power and weapons. But surely, human beings can do better than that, and be guided by ethics.

November 28, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, Religion and ethics | 8 Comments

Pope Francis, in Japan, Warns of ‘Selfish Decisions’ on Nuclear Energy

November 28, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Catholic doctrine; the use and even the possession of nuclear is immoral

Pope Francis: not using or possessing nuclear arms will be added to the Catechism, Catholic Outlook,27 November 2019 During the in-flight press conference aboard the plane bringing him back to Rome from Japan, Pope Francis answers journalists’ questions on a variety of issues: from the immoral use and possession of atomic weapons, to the financial investigation inside the Vatican.

“The use of nuclear weapons is immoral, which is why it must be added to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Not only their use, but also possessing them: because an accident or the madness of some government leader, one person’s madness can destroy humanity.”

In addition to repeating this strong message pronounced at Hiroshima, Pope Francis responded to many questions posed to him by the journalists during the flight bringing them back to Rome from Japan.

Now follows an unofficial translation of the in-flight press conference……….

Hiroshima was a real human catechesis on cruelty. I could not visit the Hiroshima museum because time did not permit, because it was a difficult day. But they say it’s terrible. There are letters from Heads of State, Generals explaining how a greater disaster could be produced. The experience was much more touching for me. And there I reiterated that the use of nuclear weapons is immoral, that is why it must be added to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Not only their use, but also possessing them: because an accident or the madness of some government leader, one person’s madness can destroy humanity. The words of Einstein come to mind: ‘The Fourth World War will be fought with sticks and stones.’ ” …….

The ugly hypocrisy of the ‘arms trade’. Christian countries, European countries that talk about peace and live off weapons. This is hypocrisy, a word from the Gospels: Jesus said it in Matthew, Chapter 23. We have to stop this hypocrisy. It takes courage to say: “I can’t talk about peace, because my economy earns so much through arms sales’”. These are all things we need to say, without insulting and vilifying any country, but speaking as brothers and sisters, for the sake of human fraternity: we must stop because this is a terrible thing. “………… https://catholicoutlook.org/pope-francis-not-using-or-possessing-nuclear-arms-will-be-added-to-the-catechism/ 

November 28, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US Bishops stand with the Pope calling for a world without nuclear arms

A statement issued by the Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops calls for action on the path to nuclear disarmament. Vatican News, By Linda Bordoni , 27 Nov 19, In the wake of Pope Francis’s powerful appeal for a world that is free from atomic warfare, and his affirmation that not only the deployment, but also the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral, the Catholic Bishops of the United States issued a statement calling on their nation “to exercise global leadership for mutual, verifiable nuclear disarmament”……. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-11/us-bishops-statement-nuclear-weapons.html

November 28, 2019 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Pope Francis i Nagasaki – calls for a ‘world without nuclear weapons’

Pope Francis calls for a ‘world without nuclear weapons’ during Nagasaki visit, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/24/pope-francis-calls-for-a-world-without-nuclear-weapons-during-nagasaki-visit  

Pontiff urges disarmament as he tours Japan’s atomic bomb sites and meets survivors of the 1945 attacks, Justin McCurry in Tokyo and agencies
 Mon 25 Nov 2019  Pope Francis has condemned the “unspeakable horror” of nuclear weapons during a visit to Nagasaki, one of two Japanese cities destroyed by American atomic bombs towards the end of the second world war.

Speaking on the second day of the first papal visit to Japan for 38 years, Francis urged world leaders to end the stockpiling of nuclear weapons, saying it offered their nations a false sense of security.

“Convinced as I am that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security,” he told hundreds of people at the city’s rain-drenched atomic bomb hypocenter park on Sunday.
Earlier, Francis had placed a wreath and prayed at the foot of a memorial to the 74,000 people who died instantly and in the months after the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, three days after it had carried out a nuclear attack on Hiroshima, in which 140,000 people died by the end of the year.

“This place makes us deeply aware of the pain and horror that we human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another,” Francis said, standing next to a large photograph of a young boy carrying his dead baby brother on his back at a crematorium in the aftermath of the attack on Nagasaki.

Francis was given the photograph several years ago and has since distributed tens of thousands of copies. He was due to meet the widow and son of Joe O’Donnell, the American military photographer who took it.
The 82-year-old pontiff, who will visit Hiroshima later Sunday, has long been a vocal opponent of nuclear weapons. The Holy See was among the first countries to sign and ratify a 2017 nuclear prohibition treaty. But nuclear powers, and countries such as Japan that fall under the US nuclear umbrella, have refused to sign it.

“In a world where millions of children and families live in inhumane conditions, the money that is squandered and the fortunes made through the manufacture, upgrading, maintenance and sale of ever more destructive weapons, are an affront crying out to heaven,” Francis said.

He urged world leaders to recommit to arms control efforts and the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. “We need to ponder the catastrophic impact of their deployment, especially from a humanitarian and environmental standpoint, and reject heightening a climate of fear, mistrust and hostility fomented by nuclear doctrines.”

A survivor of the Nagasaki bombing said he hoped the pope’s words would make nuclear powers think seriously about disarmament. Describing his experience 74 years ago as “a living hell,” Minoru Moriuchi, an 82-year-old Catholic, said: “My father’s sister ran away to our house with her two children and I never forgot the sight – their bodies were reddish-black and completely burnt.

“Four other relatives were brought in … but they didn’t look like humans,” he told Agence France-Presse.

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Pope Francis wants a total ban on nuclear weapons, visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Pope Francis to take anti-nuclear mission to Japan’s ground zeros

Philip Pullella, VATICAN CITY (Reuters) 17 Nov 19, – Pope Francis takes his mission to ban nuclear weapons this week to the only places where they were used in war, visiting the World War Two ground zeros of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as part of a tour of Japan and Thailand.

A TOTAL BAN ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS

After four days in Thailand, Francis moves on to Japan, where international and domestic politics will loom large, particularly on Nov. 24, when he visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

About 400,000 people were killed, either instantly or from radiation illness or injuries resulting from the atomic bombs that the United States dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 and on Nagasaki three days later as it sought to end World War Two.

Francis wants a total ban on nuclear weapons, going further than his predecessors when he said in 2017 that countries should not stockpile them even for the purpose of deterrence……..

Francis will meet blast survivors, pray, and read a major “message on nuclear weapons” at the bomb epicenter in Nagasaki. He later visits Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

Nuclear energy will also feature in the trip when the pope meets victims of Japan’s “triple disaster,” the 2011 earthquake that triggered a tsunami that in turn caused a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant. Radiation forced 160,000 people to flee and thousands will never return.

Following the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s Catholic Bishops Conference issued a document calling for the abolition of nuclear power generation.

They also oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s moves to revise Japan’s post-war pacifist constitution……..https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-asia/pope-francis-to-take-anti-nuclear-mission-to-japans-ground-zeros-idUSKBN1XR0BV

November 17, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Spanish group gives summer holidays to kids from Chernobyl’s polluted region

Chernobyl nuclear disaster: Meet the NGO giving children a summer from the still present pollution,   Euro News 1 Sept 19, TV hit series Chernobyl may have revived interest in the 1986 nuclear disaster, but for one Spanish NGO, it’s never gone away.

Vallès Obert has helped organise summer holidays in Spain for around 2,000 children from the Chernobyl region since 1995.

It does this by finding families willing to host them.

The time away from the area helps their bodies recover from exposure to the toxic radioactive materials still present in the atmosphere around the diaster site…….

There are many people who have health problems”, explains Natasha, 14, who was born two decades after the incident.

She is being hosted by a family in La Roca del Vallès, near Barcelona, but will soon return to her hometown, Stanyshivka, about 60km from Chernobyl.

“After radiation, some people born cannot speak,” she told Euronews…….

Vallès Obert estimates two months a year outside the polluted environment helps their defences regenerate significantly.

Manuel, president of the association, explains that “there is an age range between 40 and 50 years old in which cancer problems begin to appear: larynx or stomach cancer, leukaemia… everything related to cancer”…….. https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/31/chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-meet-the-ngo-giving-children-a-summer-from-the-still-present-po

September 1, 2019 Posted by | children, Religion and ethics, Spain, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The awful dilemma for the world’s climate scientists

August 26, 2019 As fires rage across the Amazon – dubbed the “lungs of the planet” given it produces 20 per cent of the oxygen in the atmosphere – and while forests are ablaze in Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, southern Europe and parts of Australia, climate scientists might be justified in saying: “We told you so.”

They tend not to gloat, however, about the tragedy that confronts us all.

Brazil alone has had 72,843 fires this year. The pace of global warming is exceeding projections, astounding climate scientists. Within the past 70 years or so major shifts in climate zones and an accelerating spate of extreme weather events—cyclones, floods, droughts, heat waves and fires— is ravaging large tracts of Earth.

Scientists Jos Barlow and Alexander C. Lees write in The Conversation that “climate change itself is making dry seasons longer and forests more flammable. Increased temperatures are also resulting in more frequent tropical forest fires in non-drought years. And climate change may also be driving the increasing frequency and intensity of climate anomalies, such as El Niño events that affect fire season intensity across Amazonia.”

And yet the human causes of climate change remain subject to extensively propagated denial and untruths, despite their foundation in the basic laws of physics and the empirical observations of global research bodies such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Meteorological Organisation, and our own CSIRO.

Climate scientists find themselves in a quandary similar to medical doctors who need to break the news of a grave diagnosis. How do they tell people that the current spate of cyclones, devastating islands from the Caribbean to the Philippines, or the flooding of coastal regions and river valleys from Mozambique to Kerala, Pakistan and Townsville, can only intensify in a rapidly warming world?

How do scientists tell the people that their children are growing into a world where survival under a mean temperatures 2C above pre-industrial levels may be painful, and in some parts of the world impossible, let alone under 4C rise projected by the IPCC?

The Cassandra syndrome is alive and well. (Apollo gave Cassandra the gift of prophecy but, humiliated by her unrequited love, he also placed a curse on her, ensuring no one would believe her warnings.)

Throughout history, messengers of bad news have been rebuked or worse. Nowadays, many scientists are reticent to publish their climate change projections. Given the daunting scenarios they confront, many find it difficult to talk about it, even among friends and family.

Atmospheric levels of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide have reached a combined level of almost 500 parts per million, intersecting the melting threshold of the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheets and heralding a fundamental shift in the state of the terrestrial climate.

As fires consume large parts of the land, it would appear parliaments – including Australia’s – are preoccupied with economics and international conflicts while they hardly regard the future of  civilisation as a priority.

Dr Andrew Glikson is an earth and climate scientist at the Australian National University.

August 26, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Catholic peace activists may face 25 years’prison, for breaking into a nuclear submarine base

These Catholics broke into a nuclear base. Now they’re asking a judge to drop the charges. Religion News Service, by Yonat Shimron, August 7, 2019  — Seven Catholic peace activists who broke into a nuclear submarine base in Kings Bay, Ga., last year stood before a federal judge Wednesday (Aug. 7) to argue that the charges against them should be dismissed.

The activists, known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, are charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor and face up to 25 years in prison each for trespassing on the U.S. Navy base that houses six Trident submarines carrying hundreds of nuclear weapons.

A crowd of about 100 people that included the actor Martin Sheen packed the three-hour hearing in Brunswick, Ga., as the seven and their lawyers made their case before U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood.

The defendants, mostly middle-aged or elderly, are residents of Catholic Worker houses, a collection of 200 independent houses across the country that feed and house the poor. As the hearing began, several were in the middle of a four-day liquid-only fast to mark the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Kings Bay 7 are part of a 39-year-old anti-nuclear movement called Plowshares, inspired by the pacific prediction of the biblical prophet Isaiah that the nations of the world shall “beat their swords into plowshares.” Its activists have made a signature of breaking into nuclear weapons bases to hammer on buildings and military hardware and pour human blood on them. …….

The group individually and through its lawyers are using a novel defense: the Religion Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 federal law that says the government may not burden the faith practices of a person with sincerely held religious beliefs……

Three of the defendants, the Rev. Steve Kelly, Elizabeth McAlister and Mark Colville, have been in jail since the break-in last year. They declined to accept the conditions of the bail — an ankle monitor and $50,000 bail — and have remained in the Glynn County Detention Center.

Ira Lupu, professor emeritus of law at the George Washington University Law School, said he had great respect and admiration for the Plowshares’ actions but suspected they would not win a dismissal of their charges……

The judge is expected to issue an opinion in a few weeks on whether the case should proceed to a trial. https://religionnews.com/2019/08/07/these-catholics-broke-into-a-nuclear-base-now-theyre-asking-a-judge-to-drop-the-charges/

August 8, 2019 Posted by | Legal, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Churches aim for joint church action to end nuclear energy

International forum calls for joint church action to end nuclear energy development https://www.anglicannews.org/news/2019/07/international-forum-calls-for-joint-church-action-to-end-nuclear-energy-development.aspx: July 26, 2019 [ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] An international forum set up by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK) – the Anglican Communion in Japan – has issued a statement this week calling for denuclearisation and for churches to join in the campaign for natural energy.

The statement, following a gathering in May, says: “the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station disaster and subsequent damage which occurred as a result of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake completely shattered the myth of safety and made us aware of the extreme danger of nuclear power generation.”

It states that as long as nuclear power generation is operative, it continues to create dangerous radioactive waste and there is a risk that the technology can at any time be diverted to nuclear weapons and threaten the right to live in peace.

It continues: “no longer should we continue as a society with the economic priority of reliance upon nuclear power generation; we should take a new path, of course practicing power saving and energy conservation, and we should make policy changes to renewable energy . . . Also, we have recognised that, when a nuclear power plant accident occurs, it is irreparable, and is more hazardous than with any other energy source. While on the one hand, grave effects remain now, after eight years have passed, with the passage of time we have become forgetful of the pain and suffering of those afflicted by the disaster.” Continue reading

July 27, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

The Russian Orthodox Church just might cease its blessing of nuclear weapons

 

THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH MAY STOP BLESSING NUCLEAR WEAPONS    https://futurism.com/the-byte/russian-orthodox-blessing-nuclear-weapons   JULY 10TH 19__DAN ROBITZSKI 

A faction of clergy within the Russian Orthodox Church wants to end the eyebrow-raising practice of blessing the country’s nuclear missiles.

First of all, yes: Russian priests currently sprinkle holy water on nuclear missiles as part of an old tradition in which Orthodox priests bless soldiers and their weapons, reports Religion News Service. But that may change, as some priests feel that intercontinental ballistic missiles belong in a different category from individual firearms.

Faith Militant

The Russian military and the Russian Orthodox church have long worked hand in hand, according to RNS, framing many of the country’s military conflicts as holy wars. The nuclear arsenal even has its own patron saint — RNS reports that St. Seraphim’s remains were found in a Russian town that housed several nuclear facilities.

As such, the push to stop blessing nukes faces strong opposition among members of the clergy, such as the high-ranking priest Vsevolod Chaplin, who referred to the country’s nukes as “guardian angels.”

“Only nuclear weapons protect Russia from enslavement by the West,” Chaplin once said, per RNS.

Changing Hearts

One priest, Dmitry Tsorionov, parted from the more militant aspects of the Orthodox Church after seeing men willingly sign up to fight Russia’s wars “under the banner of Christ,” he told RNS. Now he wants to see less warmongering among the clergy.

“It was not uncommon to see how church functionaries openly flirted with these toxic ideas,” he told RNS. “It was only then that I finally realized what the blessing of military hardware leads to.”

July 13, 2019 Posted by | culture and arts, Religion and ethics, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Unrepentant, Catholic anti-nuclear activists face gaol for breaking into a nuclear base

July 13, 2019 Posted by | legal, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Fire on Russian nuclear submarine: heroic crew prevented nuclear catastrophe.

Russia’s nuclear submarine disaster will test President Vladimir Putin and his navy. ABC News, By Alexey Muraviev  4 July 19, Russia’s Ministry of Defence has officially acknowledged an incident this week with one of its deep-submergence vehicles (DSV) within Russian territorial waters.

The incident seems to point to one of Russia’s most closely guarded naval assets — the Project 10831 AS-31 (AS-12) Kalitka (Norsub-5), more commonly known as Losharik.

It is named after a popular Soviet cartoon character because of its design specifications — a series of titanium spheres under the hull designed to withstand extreme water pressure.

A secret assignment    According to the latest reports, all those killed onboard were assigned to a secret naval unit stationed in St Petersburg, which is responsible for operations of Project 18510 Nel’ma (X-Ray) “autonomous deep-sea stations” — Russia’s official description of the DSV-type platforms — the AS-21 and the AS-35.

However, the declared number of casualties and the seniority of the deceased personnel is unclear. It is assumed the tragedy occurred onboard the AS-12, which has an estimated crew of some 25 officers.

All these special-purpose submarines are assigned to the 29th “deep water” Submarine Division based at the Gadzhievo submarine base on the Kola peninsula.

Formally assigned to the Russian Northern Fleet, the “deep-water” submarine division is under the direct control of the Russian Ministry of Defence’s GUGI Directorate, which oversees covert marine and naval activities ranging from deep-sea oceanographic research to covert testing of advanced sea-based combat systems, to undersea special operations.

Covert trials of a nuclear-armed torpedo?   While official word suggests the submarine was undertaking scanning of the seabed in one sector of the Barents Sea, the actual mission being undertaken may be different.It is possible the submarine was taking part in the covert sea trials of the Poseidon sub-sea strategic combat system (a large calibre nuclear torpedo) .

The tragedy would be the first reported large-scale fatality sustained by GUGI’s secret force.

But it cannot be compared with previous disasters involving Russian nuclear-powered submarines such as the RFS Kursk Oscar II class catastrophe back in 2000 or the incident onboard RFS Nerpa Akula IIclass back in 2008.

This disaster has happened within a unit designed specifically to operate in extreme physical environments where the safety and professionalism of the crew is a key to survival and success.

The crew comprises only middle-to-senior rank officers…….

Was a nuclear disaster averted?

It is understood that the fire onboard led to the fatal intoxication of more than half of the crew — about 14 out of some 25 onboard — and serious injuries of another four or five onboard.

Any submariner would concur that a fire onboard a submarine on deployment poses a serious risk. Fire onboard a nuclear-powered submarine is even worse.

While it is unknown what triggered that fatal fire, a mechanical failure or a human error, the fact is clear: the crew, at the cost of their lives, prevented a potentially major environmental disaster if the DSV had sunk to the bottom of the ocean, or exploded…… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-03/russias-nuclear-submarine-disaster-test-vladimir-putin-navy/11274964

July 4, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Religion and ethics, Russia | Leave a comment

A grandmother explains the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Our Future || Caring for planet is a moral responsibility  https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6244511/caring-for-planet-is-a-moral-responsibility/?cs=14246 Thea Ormerod, 30 June 19   

July 1, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment