Archive for the ‘climate change’ Tag

Paul Rogers: We won’t defeat ISIS without a dramatic change in tactics   Leave a comment

On Sunday, September 18, 2016 the CBC’s Michael Enright broadcast an in-depth interview with Paul Rogers, who is the Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Enright began with the following introduction:

We are now fifteen years into the global “War on Terror.” It has led to the ousting of regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and to the detainment or deaths of thousands of Islamist militants — along with a lot of their leaders.

It has also cost trillions of dollars and led to the deaths of at least 250,000 people — mostly civilians — many times more than the number of people who died on 9/11. That number doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands who were injured, and the millions who were displaced.

The War on Terror also played a part in the creation of ISIS, and in alienating and radicalizing people in the West and in the Muslim world.

What the War on Terror has not done is defeat terrorism. That might be because it has been prosecuted like a normal war, deploying tremendous military force to vanquish a foe.

Paul Rogers says the kind of war we’re engaged in against ISIS is an irregular war — one which cannot be won with sheer military might, technological superiority or strategic cunning.

And, he argues, irregular wars are the the kinds of wars we will find ourselves mired in through the decades ahead if we don’t change our approach to fighting — and preventing — them.

Paul Rogers is a Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University in the UK and the International Security Editor for the website www.opendemocracy.net , as well as a regular guest on The Sunday Edition. His most recent book is called Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins.

 

The interview is available on CBC’s podcast website: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcasts/arts-culture/the-best-of-the-sunday-edition/

Posted September 19, 2016 by allanbaker in Canadian society, Peacemaking

Tagged with , , ,

Riding two horses simultaneously   Leave a comment

It is possible to ride two horses at the same time – provided that they are going in the same direction, and at the same pace.

However, it isn’t possible for us to simultaneously reduce our carbon footprint, as we agreed to at COP 21 in Paris (2015), AND enable additional “development” of Canada’s tar sands in northern Alberta. Even David Suzuki is confused about the actions of Canada’s new federal government. He wonders why we are still talking pipelines.

Read Suzuki’s blog on this at:  http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2016/01/paris-changed-everything/

Photo: Paris changed everything, so why are we still talking pipelines?

(Credit: Shannon Ramos via Flickr)

Climate Depression   Leave a comment

Naomi Klein counsels all of us NOT to succumb to “climate depression”, but to continue to act to reduce carbon emissions, AND to speak up. In her book, This Changes Everything, she says that little has happened to reduce carbon emissions because the actions that would do so, and benefit the vast majority of humankind, “are extremely threatening to an elite minority”.

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Winter 2014 on Lake Ontario

She also writes that, “during the same years that our governments failed to enact a tough and binding legal architecture requiring carbon emissions, supposedly because cooperation was too complex, they managed to create the World Trade Organization – an intricate global system that regulates the flow of goods and services around the planet, under which the rules are clear and violations are harshly penalized.”

Is it any wonder that the agreement reached in Paris in December 2015 did not have legally binding provisions?

Addressing climate change cannot be relegated to governments, and the political elite. It is what all of us can do, both as individuals and as a part of grassroots communities that demonstrate that the power to do the right thing will not be taken away from us.

 

Global Day of Prayer for the Care of the Creation   Leave a comment

Sojourners sent me this important message today:

Are you ready to join with Christians around the world in prayer for God’s creation? Along with the global Church, we at Sojourners have embraced Tuesday, September 1 as a Global Day of Prayer for the Care of the Creation.

Why tomorrow? Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Communion has long recognized the prayer day; last week, Pope Francis did so for the world’s Roman Catholics; and now, the Protestant World Evangelical Alliance – representing more than 600 million Christians worldwide – and the World Council of Churches have both endorsed the Day of Prayer.

We would like to invite you to participate in this first truly global response by Christians to our many environmental crises by joining in a Telephonic Prayer Meeting organized by Evangelical Christians engaged in various Creation Care ministries at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

  • What: Global Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – Telephonic Prayer Meeting.

  • When: Tuesday, September 1, 8:00-8:50 PM  ET.

  • Call in instructions: Dial 1-302-202-1106 – Conference code: 381142 (Kindly mute your line upon connecting.)

  • Who’s involved? Representatives of Sojourners and our partners at the World Evangelical Alliance, the Lausanne evangelistic movement’s Creation Care Network, Care of Creation, Climate Caretakers, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, the A Rocha Christian conservation ministry, the Christian Reformed Church, the Presbyterian Church, and Christians for the Mountains, among many others.

  • How can I participate? Download this PDF prayer guide and join us in Scripture readings, devotions, and prayer for our world – for repentance for those in power, and for the church. And forward this email to your friends, small group members, pastors, family members and the like. There’s room for everyone to join in prayer!

Don’t forget to click the link and download the PDF! See you on Tuesday for prayer.

In faith,

The Sojourners team

Council Urges Church to Sell Fossil Fuel Holdings   Leave a comment

Council Urges Church to Sell Fossil Fuel Holdings

Posted on: August 11, 2015 – 15:53 by Kevin Cox

Commissioners of the 42nd General Council are urging the United Church to sell its $8.7 million holdings in fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy co-operatives.

The Bakeapple (Yellow) Commission, one of three decision-making bodies of the Council, heard spirited arguments on both sides of the issue before passing a proposal to “encourage the United Church of Canada Foundation and direct the Executive of the General Council to take active steps to sell their holdings in the 200 largest fossil fuel companies.”

The motion also calls for the reinvestment of the funds into renewable energy.

The commission also called for the United Church pension board to review the extent and rationale for its fossil fuel investments and determine if its holdings “align with the Christian imperative of seeking justice, resisting evil, and living with respect in Creation.”

According to background material on the motion, the United Church of Canada Foundation holds $2.8 million in fossil fuel investments or 5 percent of the portfolio. The Treasury has $5.9 million in fossil fuel stocks or 4.7% of that portfolio.

Several other faith groups have made moves to divest from fossil fuel companies because of the industry’s contribution to climate change.

Jim Hannah of British Columbia Conference said the church needs to speak out about the role of the fossil fuel industry in climate change. “This is about the survival of this planet. This is about the survival of this species. For my grandchildren’s sake I want to do everything I can,” he said. “It’s going to cost us money, it’s going to cost us jobs. We’re going to have to change how we live in this world. We have to do this.”

Erik Mathiesen, the United Church’s Chief Financial Officer, said a lot of research and lobbying is being done by groups in the church on issues such as responsible investing and climate change. “The concern is that commissioners may not have all the information about everything underway,” he said.

Several commissioners said the church should hold onto its shares and use them to influence the policies of fossil fuel companies. David Pollard of Alberta and Northwest Conference said some of the large companies are doing valuable research and development work. He suggested that the church should be affirming companies that are environmentally responsible.

But Manitou Conference youth commissioner Aidan Legault said that the church’s voice hasn’t been heard at the corporate table. “Just being at the table, we aren’t making a difference. The way we can make a difference as a church and say we are not going to stand for any irresponsible environmental management by these companies is by divesting,” Legault said. “We can do it by taking our own money and saying we are going to put it elsewhere.”

Hanna Strong of Montreal and Ottawa Conference said the church would have more say if it held onto its stake. She also urged commissioners not to demonize the people who work in the petroleum industry.

“People work in this industry. In the church I have a very difficult time walking up to someone saying we have divested and you don’t have a job,” Strong said.

“It’s all great to be for the environment but there are humans on the other side of these 200 companies.”

In Church of Climate Change, Good Catholics Must Practise and Preach   Leave a comment

Ian Gill challenges Christians to “walk the talk” in this article published first in The Tyee on July 25, 2015:

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/07/25/Good-Catholics-Must-Practise-Preach/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=250715

Although Gill writes about the Roman Catholic Church, and the encyclical Laudato Si’, all Christian denominations in Canada seem to be complicit in their lack of advocacy for the health and welfare of the Earth that sustains us. We are not living with respect IN creation. Gill writes: “Here in Vancouver, birthplace not of Christ, but anyway Greenpeace, I have searched for signs that Rome’s encyclical on the environment hasn’t accidentally been tossed in the recyclical here in our self-styled Greenest City on Earth. The signs are not promising.”

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Is science policy a theological matter?   Leave a comment

Take Responsibility

Take Responsibility

With his latest statement on science, technology and the environment, Pope Francis has sought to change the debate on climate change. But his statement has broader significance for the way we think about the future.

More, from the Guardian, at: http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2015/jun/23/is-science-policy-a-theological-matter

 

Climate Publishers Network   Leave a comment

Reducing carbon in the atmosphere

Reducing carbon in the atmosphere

Looking for improved media coverage of climate change?

The Climate Publishers Network has been established, and Tyler Hamilton provides details in this article:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/05/31/media-failing-on-climate-change-coverage.html

This is indeed good news – a step forward.

The Earth is God’s Body – Paterson   Leave a comment

What do Earth Day (April 22) and the Moderator of the United Church of Canada have in common?

Gary Paterson wrote a blog with the above title after learning of what is euphemistically called, “an oil spill”.

“Sitting  here at my desk in Toronto, my heart is troubled by the news about an oil spill in English Bay… my home. I gather the clean-up is going well – it was, as these things go, a small spill. But, oh my, what a way to make frighteningly real and concrete all the worries about fossil fuels, environmental degradation, and climate change.”

The emotionally moving – especially when one reads to the end – blog can be accessed at:

http://www.garypaterson.ca/2015/04/14/the-earth-is-gods-body/

Zoo Poo in Toronto   Leave a comment

 

Ontarians invest $2.2M to turn Zoo Poo & Food Waste

into Renewable Power!

 

TORONTO – Nearly 300 local investors are celebrating after reaching their goal of raising $2.2 million to build North America’s 1st zoo-based biogas plant. The facility will be located across the street from the Toronto Zoo and will recycle 17,000 tonnes of Zoo poo and local grocery store waste into renewable power for the Ontario grid.  “We are extremely proud today – all of our members, investors, Board and staff have been focused on this goal for almost two years now,” said ZooShare’s Executive Director, Daniel Bida. “Having these funds in the bank brings us one step closer to putting shovels in the ground, which we plan on doing in the coming months. Our project proves that, given the opportunity, people will choose to invest for impact: our financial returns are good, but are our environmental returns are better – and our investors wanted their portfolios to reflect that.”

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Beginning in October 2013, ZooShare began raising funds for the project by offering Community Bonds to both local retail and institutional investors. Supporters are almost entirely individuals, ranging in age from 18 months to 83 years old, and most live in the Greater Toronto Area. “It was exactly the kind of investment I had been looking for,” says investor Jennifer Neirinckx, “Smart, green and helping out right in my own city! Go poo power!” A few companies have also invested: “Bullfrog Power participated early on as a founding investor and the project’s Educational Sponsor and, earlier this year, increased our financial commitment,” says Ron Seftel, Chief Operating Officer of Bullfrog Power.

 “As a not-for-profit organization, the Toronto Zoo is committed to energy efficient operations and environmental protection. We are excited to be associated with North America’s first zoo-biogas project, which will further strengthen the Zoo’s role as a global leader in conservation and sustainability,” said John Tracogna, CEO of the Toronto. “I want to congratulate everyone at ZooShare in reaching this significant milestone and thank the Community at large for their incredible enthusiasm and support for this project,” he added.

 The Ontario Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, is also a fan of the project: “ZooShare is a fine example of community power in action – raising local dollars to make a local impact through the development of a renewable energy project. I congratulate them on their success.”

 ZooShare supporters celebrated their success at The Community Bond Showcase, an event ZooShare co-hosted with other leaders in the sector, SolarShare and the Centre for Social Innovation.

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About ZooShare

The ZooShare biogas plant will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and food waste from Canada’s largest grocery chain into renewable power for the Ontario grid. This process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 2,100 cars from the road each year, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer. To learn more, visit Zooshare.ca.

For more information contact:

Daniel Bida

Executive Director

daniel@zooshare.ca

 

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