Friday, May 10, 2019

5/19 CCC: Care of the Earth; Student Climate Activists, etc.

                                              Creation Corner Column, May 2019

                                     Care of the Earth; Student Climate Activists, etc.

Care of the Earth

One series of informative lessons for people of faith is the

15 Steps to Create Effective Climate Communications.
Let's Talk faith and climate: Communication Guidance for Faith Leaders.

Both can be accessed from

A 5-page study guide "For the Sake of the Earth" can be found at by clicking on the "Spiritual Practices and Resources" tab for the April issue of Living Lutheran article by the same name.

Student Climate Activists: "Your house is on fire!"

"Adults keep saying, 'We owe it to the young people to give them hope.'  But I don't want your hope.  I don't want you to be hopeful.  I want you to panic.  I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.  And then I want you to act. I  want you to act as you would in a crisis.  I want you to act as if our house is on fire.  Because it is."  Greta Thunberg, 16, who inspired 1.6 million people worldwide to participate in "Fridays For the Future" climate strikes on 3/15/2019.  She was inspired by the USA student March for Our Lives movement after the Parkland FL school shootings of 2/14/2018.

"Why study for a future we might not have?"  Holly Gillibrand, UK child protester.

"If I don't have a future, why go to school? Why go to school if we're going to be too focused on running from disasters?"  Alexandria Villasenor, 13-year-old climate strike protester outside the United Nations.

Quotations Worth Noting:

"I believe that climate change denial is not just ignorant, it is malign.  It is evil, and it amounts to an attempt to deny human rights to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet." Mary Robinson of the international group, "The Elders."

"We can't save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed." Greta Thunberg,16.

"Are We the Last Generation?" Banner slogan by persons born after 1990 at an Extinction Rebellion protest 4/19/2019 at Heathrow Airport, UK.

"No more coal, no more oil, keep the carbon in the soil."  Chant against the burning of fossil fuels that release CO2 into the atmosphere.

"On February 6, 2019 U.S. scientists revealed that global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, adding to a stretch of five years that are collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began."  "Days of Doom" article,  The Guardian Weekly, 2/15/2019, p. 14.

"Climate change is the deadliest legacy we will leave the young."  John Lancaster

Upcoming Event

June 5 World Environment Day focus is on Air Pollution.  Held annually worldwide to raise awareness and action for the protection of the environment, this year's celebrations will be in China.  In 2018 the theme was "Beat Plastic Pollution."

June 4 is the expected hearing in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (Portland OR) where Juliana v. United States will he held.  Kelsey Juliana, 22, is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit to force the United States government to act on climate issues.  She initiated the suit in 2015 when she was 18.

Ongoing Event

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages hosted by the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and pursues a the goal of preserving, revitalizing and promoting indigenous languages as well as promoting a theme of "Traditional Knowledge: Generation, Transmission and Protection."  The cultural survival of many peoples is threatened, just as the survival of non-human species is threatened.

Recent Headlines from the Williamsport PA Sun-Gazette

"UN Report: Humans accelerating extinction of other species.  AP Science story, 5/7/2019.

"'Total disaster' if warming not stopped."  AP story 5/9/2019

Recent Magazine Feature Stories of Interest

"Science's Newest Miracle Drug is Free", a Special Report on The Nature Cure, is the cover story in the May issue of Outside magazine.  Inside article by Aaron Reuben is "Ask Your Doctor if Nature is Right for You."  Sidebar columns on how insurers are encouraging us to spend more time outdoors; the rise of the Nature Rx movement; the Healthy Parks Healthy People program; and one on opening up your mind and saying "awe" (having awesome moments in nature).

Not to be outdone, "Everybody Needs Beauty: Time in Nature Should be a Human Right" is the feature story in the May/June issue of Sierra, the magazine of The Sierra Club. The inside article "Outdoors for All" is by famed Children and Nature Network advocate Richard Louv.  His tenth book will soon appear.  Sidebar columns are devoted to the Natural Leaders Network, and participation in nature rates along various dimensions.  (Note: Richard Louv once spoke at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport PA, where I was privileged to meet him).

Adding to this "message thread" is the cover story in the  Spring magazine from The Nature Conservancy,
"Unplug: Rediscovering Nature in a Digital Age" with the inside story titled "Nature Every Day: How to hook kids on the great outdoors" by Jaime Gonzalez.

"Twenty Minutes in Nature May Help Lower Your Stress Hormone Levels" is a news brief headline from an article summarizing a recent study published in Frontiers of Psychology, as reported in the June 2019 issue of the "Mind, Mood & Memory" newsletter from the Massachusetts General Hospital.


He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College (1965), and a Master's from Lock Haven University (1989), where he studied the international Green Party movement.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

4/19 CCC: Climate Week, anniversaries, etc.

                                                 April 2019 Creation Corner Column

Earth Month/Climate Week

ecoAmerica (Building Climate Leadership for Climate Solutions) has a faith component, "Blessed Tomorrow: Caring for Creation Today" that works with religious and denominational leaders to help clergy become climate literate, and strives to engage congregations and congregants, all for the purpose of accelerating collective action on this moral, religious and justice issue. 

Faith Climate Action materials from Interfaith Power and Light (A Religious Response to Global Warming) are suitable anytime in the year (thus "evergreen") although Faith Climate Action Week is set for April 5-14.  The theme for 2019 is "Our Love for Earth."  The free downloadable kit includes:

a. organizer's information
b. prayers and blessings for Earth Day
c. global warming facts
d. legislative advocacy networking opportunities
e. "how-to" suggestions for making a video
f.  nature walks ("forest bathing") advice
g. outdoor service project examples
h. a movie offer
i.  a welcome letter for participants from Interfaith Power and Light


50th anniversary of the Union of Concerned Scientists.  UCS puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems.  Joining with people across the county, it combines technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.

100th anniversary of the National Parks Conservation Association.  NPCA advocates to strengthen the National Parks System, protect its air and water, keep wildlife habitats intact, and connect millions of people to the parks.

For over 125 years, since 1893, The Parliament of the World's Religions (POWR) has encouraged  interfaith harmony, and in addition to its promoting a global ethic; advocating justice; countering war, hate, and violence; advancing the next generation and women's dignity; having an indigenous people's program; POWR now has an ecology emphasis, climate action.

Beginning its 30th year is the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, a 12-county effort to conserve working forests, working farms, and regional waterways.  It networks with the PA Land Trust Association and the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies.


For eight weeks starting April 5, on Netflix,  "Our Planet" by Richard Attenborough will follow-up his widely acclaimed prior nature DVD documentaries of Planet Earth (2006), Life on Earth (1979), and others (Blue Planet, Blue Planet II, and Frozen Planet).  It highlights the beauty and fragility of world habitats, and our role in endangering such.  It may also empower us to defend the world.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, is Bill McKibben's 18th book, his first in 1989 being The End of Nature.  Reviewed initially in the April 2019 issue of Men's Journal (Notebook profile column: "Final Warning" article by Adam Bluestein).

The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail is reviewed by Ralph Nader in the April 15, 2019 issue of "The Progressive Populist" (In the Public Interest column: "Who Will Displace the Omniciders?" article.)

Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival by Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, reviewed by Andrew Glikson in the March 2019 issue of Monthly Review as "The Criminal Dimension of Climate Change."

"Terracide and the Terrarists: Destroying the Planet for Record Profits" article by Tom Engelhardt.


genocide: conscious slaughter of a racial or ethic group
ecocide: conscious destruction of aspects of the natural environment
terracide: conscious act of destroying the planet
omnicide: total extinction of the human species as a result of human action


"Even if we do everything right from this point on, it's going to take luck to get out of this."  Bill McKibben

"Everything is connected to everything else."  Barry Commoner's first law of ecology

"Disrespect for nature is leading to our own destruction...This is the direct result of our inability to understand our part in the natural world." Dahr Jamail

"There are 600 cable channels in the U.S. transmitting largely junk programs" (and fewer than) 1% of them (six) (are) being dedicated to the global stories and urgencies of climate catastrophes."  Ralph Nader

"The willful, methodical blocking of vital survival information" (meaning the mainstream media collusion with climate change denial and its cover-up) is "an unprecedented crime against life on the planet." Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth.

"The question is, Are we going to be in time, and are we going to do enough?  And the answer to both of those is no.  We won't be able to mend everything.  But we can make it a darn sight better than it would be if we didn't do anything at all."  David Attenborough, quoted in TIME magazine, April 8, 2019.


He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College (1965), and a Master's from Lock Haven University (1989), where he studied the international Green Party movement.

Friday, March 8, 2019

3/19 CCC: April Earth Month & other dates

April  Earth Month and other dates

4/28-5/5 64th annual Soil and Water Stewardship Week and Sunday 2019 theme is "Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper", sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts.  Secular and religious education materials available (grades K-8 booklets and activity guides, church leader guide and liturgy, etc.).  Also see the spring issue of YES magazine cover story "Beautiful Dirt" (nine articles) and the book Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, by David R. Montgomery.

4/26 National Arbor Day celebrated annually on the last Friday of April.  And, for your mental environment, google "think like a tree": grow roots, branch out, soak up the sun, weather storms, be graceful in the wind, etc. 

4/22 Earth Day national day of service. The theme lifted up by Creation Justice Ministries (Justice for God's Planet and God's People, a project of the Division of Homeland Ministries of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ), for 2019 is "Next Generation Rising" with an emphasis for children and youth to help protect, restore, and more rightly share God's creation.  Included resources are a Bible study, sermon starter, liturgical and action materials. Also see reflections on the youth generation's Juliana vs. U.S. lawsuit at #eachgeneration.
Related sites: Global Climate Strike; Fridays for the Future; Youth for Climate; Greta Thunberg. 

Note that the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, founded in 1970, will occur next year, 2020.

4/20 BP oil rig explodes in Gulf of Mexico, 2010

4/3 Student Conservation Association founder Liz Putnam's birthday

3/31 Cesar Chavez Day (farm workers and health issues)

3/30 Turn Off Your Lights for Earth Hour, Saturday 8:30 p.m., sponsored by World Wildlife Foundation.

3/28 40th anniversary of partial meltdown of PA Three Mile Island nuclear plant, 1979

3/24 30th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska

3/22 World Water Day

3/15 International Day for a Climate Strike (organized by youth)

3/7 World Health Day

3/3 World Wildlife Day

2/27 International Polar Bear Day

2/26 World Spay Day

2/4 World Cancer Day

Note: This blog by Michael Ochs began here eight years ago, March 2011, and is adopted from his Creation Corner Column, appearing since 1997 in the print and on-line monthly ecumenical newsletter of the United Churches of Lycoming County, Williamsport PA.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

2/19 CCC: Winter Reading Suggestions

Creation Corner Column, February 2019:  Winter Reading Suggestions

"With hearts and minds uplifted, We plead, O Lord to see
The day of earth's redemption, That sets your people free!"

(last verse, Hymn 25, "Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers" Lutheran Book of Worship)

The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution.  Henry Gee.

All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings.  Gayle Boss.

American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic.

Ancient Christian Ecopoetics: Cosmologies, Saints, Things.  Virginia Burrus.

Atlas of the World, 25th edition.  Oxford University Press.

A Barrel of Monkeys: A Compendium of Collective Nouns for Animals.  Samuel Fanous, compiler.

Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children's Literature.  Liam Heneghan.

Beautiful Beasts: A Collection of Creatures Past and Present.  Camilla de la Bedoyere (for readers 6 to 10).

Behold the Earth: A Film by David Conover.

Bizarre Botany: An A-Z Adventure Through the Plant Kingdom.  Christina Harrison and Lauren Gardiner.

The Book of Seeds: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from around the World.  Paul Smith, ed.

Bringing The Outside In.  Mary McKenna Siddals (for readers up to 7).

The Butterflies of North America: Titian Peale's Lost Manuscript.  Am. Museum of Natural History.

Butterflies of the World.  Adrian Hoskins, F.R.E.S. 

Cao Jun: Hymns to Nature.  John Sallis, ed.  (Chinese Art).

Carbon Ideologies, Volume 1: No Immediate Danger.  William T. Vollmann.

Carbon Ideologies, Volume 2: No Good Alternative.  William T. Vollmann.

Caring for Creation: The Evangelical's Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment.  Paul Douglas and Mitch Hescox. 

Championing Science: Communicating Your Ideas to Decision Makers.  Roger D. Aines & Amy L. Aines.

Climate: A New Story.  Charles Eisenstein.

A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for a Faith-Based Decision.  Katharine Hayhoe and Andrew Farley.

Climate Change in a Nutshell: The Gathering Storm.  James Hansen.  Known as the Nutshell document, it helps form the basis of the "Our Children's Trust" climate case, Juliana v. the United States.

Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change.  Jim Antal.  Foreword by Bill McKibben.

Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet.  Julie Dunlap and Susan A. Cohen, editors. 

A Conspiracy of Ravens: A Compendium of Collective Nouns for Birds.  Samuel Fanous, compiler.

Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink.  Irus Braverman.

Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene. Linda Russo & Marthe Reed, editors.

Deep Thinkers: Inside the Minds of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises.  Janet Mann, ed.

Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime.  Bruno Latour.

The Earth: From Myths to Knowledge.  Hubert Krivine.

EcoDharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis.  David R. Loy.

Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence: The Dalai Lama in Conversation with Leading Thinkers on Climate Change.  Edited by John Dunne and Daniel Goleman.

An Ecology of Happiness.  Eric Lambin (re: nature prescription for psychological well-being).

The Empire of the Eagle: An Illustrated Natural History.  Mike Unwin and David Tipling.

The End of the End of the Earth: Essays.  Jonathan Franzen. 

The Environment: A History of the Idea.  Paul Warde, Libby Robin, & Sverker Sorlin.

The Essential Plant-Based Pantry.  Maggie Green (re: vegan recipes).

Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life.  George Monbiot.

A Field Guide To Your Own Backyard. John Hanson Mitchell.

Fixing Your City: Creative Thriving Neighborhoods and Adapting to a Changing World.  George Crandall.

Flowering Plants: A Pictorial Guide to the World's Flora.  V.H. Heywood and others, editors.

Forces of Nature.  Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen.

Freedom Farmers:  Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement.  Monica M. White.

The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water.  Gary E. Machlis and Jonathan B. Jarvis.

Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech.  Jamie Susskind.

The Genius of Birds.  Jennifer Ackerman.

The Global Economy, As You've Never Seen It (99 Infographics). Thomas Ramge, Jan Schwochow, et al.

Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology.  Adrienne Mayor.

Honeybee Hotel.  The Waldorf Astoria's Rooftop Garden and the Heart of NYC.  Leslie Day.

Hope on Earth: A Conversation. Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias.

Human Universe.  Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen.

Introducing Evolution: A Graphic Guide.  Dylan Evans.

Know That What You Eat You Are.  Ellen Rosenbush & Giulia Melucci, editors.

Loren Eisely:  Collected Essays on Evolution, Nature, and the Cosmos.  William Cronon, editor.

The Lost Species: Great Expeditions in the Collections of Natural History Museums.  Christopher Kemp.

The Lost Words: a Spell Book.  Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris (re: nature words deleted from the 2007 edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary).

Nature Is The Worst: 500 Reasons You'll Never Want To Go Outside Again.  E. Reid Ross ("black humor").

Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age. Mary Christina Wood. (Note: She argues for an "atmospheric trust", that government must protect the resources necessary for human survival. She addresses that and the Juliana v. United States lawsuit in an interview with her in the February 2019 issue of The Sun, "Before It's Too Late: Mary Christina Wood on Avoiding Climate Disaster", by Mary DeMocker).

Ocean Creatures Pocket Pops: A Three-Dimensional Expanding Pocket Guide.  Sarah Young (for children).

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity.  Martin Rees.

One of Ten Billion Earths: How We Learn About Our Planet's Past and Future from Distant Exoplanets.  Karel Schrijver. 

Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century.  Paddy Woodworth.

The Paper Zoo: 500 Years of Animals in Art.  Charlotte Sleigh.

Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat.  Barbara J. King.

Planet of Microbes: The Perils and Potential of Earth's Essential Life Forms.  Ted Anton.
The Postwar Origins of the Global Environment: How the United Nations Built Spaceship Earth.  Perrin Selcer.

Preaching As Resistance: Voices of Hope, Justice, and Solidarity.  Phil Snider, editor (ecology concerns included).

Pug: And Other Animal Poems.  Valerie Worth (for readers up to 7).

This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent.  Daegan Miller.

Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How To Speak Up.  Kathy Khang.

The Ravenmaster: My Life With the Ravens at the Tower of London.  Christopher Skaife.

The Sea Around Us.  Rachel Carson.  New edition of the 1952 National Book Award. 

Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering: What Philosophy Can Tell Us about the Hardest Mystery of All.  Scott Samuelson (re: "the groaning of creation").

Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields.  Julia Spicher Kasdorf and Steve Rubin.

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief.  Lewis Wolpert.

Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth.  Richard Conniff.

Star Struck: Seeing the Creator in The Wonders of Our Cosmos.  D. Bradstreet & S/ Rabeu/

Ten Species That Changed Our World.  Alice Roberts.

Things That Are: Essays.  Amy Leach (nature writing).

Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World.  Marcia Bjornerud.

Unlikely Alliances: Native Nations and White Communities Join to Defend Rural Lands.  Zoltan Grossman.  Foreword by Winona LaDuke. 

Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans.  Helen M. Rozwadowski.

We're Doomed. Now What?  Essays on War and Climate Change.  Roy Scranton.

Wild Hope: On the Front Lines of Conservation Success.  Andrew Balmford.

The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse: How to Design and Build a Net-Zero Energy Greenhouse.  Lindsey Schiller with Marc Plinke.

Compact Disc

Hymnody of Earth. A Ceremony of Songs composed and arranged by Malcolm Dalglish with inspiration and lyrics from Wendell Berry, with American Boy Choir, hammer dulcimer and percussion.


Unfractured: A Documentary on Activism, Family and the Fight Against Fracking.  Re: Sandra Steingraber in New York State; film director/producer is Chanda Chevannes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

1/19 CCC: Greening our Churches

Creation Corner Column, January 2019: Greening Our Parishes
 With calls to all energy-consuming sectors to reduce their consumption so as to reduce their carbon-footprint, our churches are attempting to respond as faithful environmental stewards to that call.  Such creation care concerns can be followed with considering the following.

 ·         Examine key biblical passages and denominational social statements.

·         Review the ecological thought from those who historically witnessed as saints and seers.

·         Read the treatises on the eco-theology subject by contemporary authors from your faith tradition.

·         Look at your parish property practices, as with an energy and purchasing audit.

·         Consider the environmental perspectives outside of the church, as from secular groups.

·         Propose the start of a parish environmental "creation care" ministry.

·         Promote a dialogue within parish ministries for education, worship, music, outreach, etc.

·         Determine a priority "application" list for changes, as such may involve so-called "low-hanging fruit" quickly and easily accomplished in the areas of recycling, avoidance of toxic chemicals and plastic containers, water consumption reduction, car-pooling, paper types, insulation, thermostat settings, garbage/refuse reduction, re-lamping with more energy-efficient lights (CFLs, LEDs), among other ideas.

·         Use the church calendar year and secular observances to raise up creation care concerns such as the January anniversary of the birth of Albert Schweitzer, the spring Soil and Water Stewardship Sunday Week materials, Arbor Day, Earth Day Sunday, the Environmental Sabbath, St. Francis Day, Harvest Home, CROP Walk, Thanksgiving, seasonal changes with each solstice and equinox, etc.

·         Provide "take-home" messages to parishoners about lifestyle changes possible within their households.

·         Urge the understanding of how financial stewardship (saving money on parish utility bills) intersects with environmental stewardship.

·         Use outdoor camp experiences to teach learning from nature.

·         Help people who acknowledge their concern for God's creation to be more seriously concerned by providing them with "next steps" they could take.

·         Raise up topics for study group consideration:  technology, ocean pollution, consumerism and resource depletion, Christian responsibility and endangered species, fertile soil, forests, abundant and clean water, human health and air pollution, energy conservation and efficiency, toxic chemicals, global climate disruption, etc.

·         Provide a list of web resources; bibliographies of relevant books, periodicals and articles; social media sites; liturgical resources; ecumenical and inter-faith resolutions; appropriate films, television documentaries, music compact discs; dvd's; podcasts; novels; poetry; biographies; travel and nature writings, etc.

·         Ask important questions about product purchase boycotts, fossil fuel divestment, legal actions, signing petition protest, endorsing and/or participating in environmental demonstrations, the questions having to do with "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven";  "For where your treasure is there your heart will also be", "talking the talk and walking the walk", etc.

Much within the above list of 'pointers" are derived from Greening The Orthodox Parish: A Handbook for Christian Ecological Practice by Frederick W. Krueger, intended for the lay reader and those in ministry. 

 Also noted above are some suggestions of mine (this columnist) not included in Krueger's near-500 page text published in 2012 by The Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration, with an introduction by Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarchate and Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome.


He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College (1965), and a Master's from Lock Haven University (1989), where he studied the international Green Party movement.

Friday, December 7, 2018

12/18 CCC: Climate Chaos Indicator Studies

                                      Creation Corner Column for December 2018

                                   Climate Chaos Indicator Studies

"Education is the seed that provides spiritual and individual growth" Catching The Dream organization

1.  The U.S. Global Change Research Program issued its National Climate Assessment in November.  Three-hundred author scientists from thirteen agencies produced a 1000+ page report without censorship.  Climate changes across the United States will result in many consequences of impacts, (damaged community infrastructure and ecosystems, the spread of disease, reduced agricultural crop yield outputs and thus less economic growth) and risks (extreme weather events, coral die-off, arctic region effects, coastal and river flooding, heat-related morbidity and mortality, and tourism impacts).

The report urges "immediate and substantial global greenhouse-gas emissions reductions" to help keep the rising temperature from exceeding a safe level of 1.5 degrees celsius.

As weather extremes become more common, the effects of such warming will "threaten the health and well-being of the American people" and "disrupt many areas of life, exacerbating existing challenges and revealing new risks" said one report author in a TIME magazine of December 10 article, "Trump deaf to dire U.S. climate warning."

An Associated Press story of November 24 notes that warming-charged extremes "have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration" and that the last few years have smashed U.S. records for damaging weather, costing nearly $400 billion since 2015.

It is thought that 90% of the current warming is caused by humans (for example, the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, all fossil fuels), and that only 10% is due to natural cycles.

One report co-author, evangelical Christian Katharine Hayhoe said "As a climate scientist, it is almost surreal...We are seeing the things we said would be happening, happen now in real life."
2.  The most recent 2018 findings and recommendations from the  U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( are in the Global Warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report.  A 30-page "Summary for Policymakers" covers the 500-page document.

One commentary on that IPCC report, by United Methodist layman Bill McKibben (founder of, may be seen as his "A Very Grim Forecast" in The New York Review of Books November 22, 2018 issue.

3.  On November 27, the World Meteorological Organization warned of a high possible chance that a natural ocean-warming El Nino phenomenon, worsened by climate change, may strike in 2019.

4. The December United Nations' annual climate change summit in Poland, known as COP24 is a follow-up to the Paris agreement of keeping the global warming well below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.  Nineteen major economies re-affirmed their commitment to that, the only holdout being the United States.  Signatories are expected to live up to their promised efforts to cut their greenhouse emissions and report them.

5. Responding to climate chaos are U.S. youth, claiming that our government is violating their constitutional rights (life, liberty, property) by supporting activities that hasten climate change.  Their lawsuit, Juliana v. the United States of America winds its way through the court system.  Filed in 2015 by 21 American youth, it reflects their concerns about where they live, for example, on a FL barrier island surrounded by rising water, a LA  small town devastated by a 1000 year flood, a Navajo Nation home no longer inhabitable due to the springs the family depends upon for agriculture having dried up.  USA public resources are also viewed as being threatened.  These young people hope to legally promote a zero-carbon economy.

Perhaps children will yet lead us.

He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College (1965), and a Master's from Lock Haven University (1989), where he studied the international Green Party movement.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

11/18 CCC: Faith Groups' Climate Change Statements

Faith Groups' Climate Change Statements
Creation Corner Column for 11/18

"We're talking about about the existential environmental challenge issue of our time" (climate change).  David Yarnold, Audubon CEO/President.

The National Religious Coalition on Creation Care ( has issued a handbook for faith leaders and climate activists, Religion and Global Climate Change, edited by Frederick W. Krueger.

It contains

1. recommendations for action by you and your congregation;
2. scientific perspectives explaining the urgent need for action to address climate change;
3. examples of expressions by faith leaders on the need to speak out;
4. photographic images of this growing global crisis; and
5. formal declaration statements from faith organizations on climate change.

The latter include these from the ecumenical community, including
  • American Baptist Churches, USA
  • Church of the Brethren
  • U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society
  • Evangelical Climate Initiative
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Working Group
  • The Episcopal Church
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • The Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America
  • Southern Baptist Convention
  • African American Clergy
  • United Church of Christ
  • The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • World Council of Churches

Interfaith perspectives include these:
  • Resolution of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
  • The Rabbinical Assembly
  • A Pan-Buddhist Declaration
  • A Hindu Declaration
  • The Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change
  • Muslim Guide to Climate Change from the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences 

You, the reader, are encouraged to acquaint yourself with the creation care concerns of your faith tradition, as well as the viewpoints of secular and governmental groups noted in this volume:
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Union of Concerned Scientists USA
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • Center for Naval Analysis
  • World Bank
  • United Nations
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • U.S. Department of Defense and National Intelligence Council, etc.
The most recent 2018 findings and recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( Global Warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report.  A 30-page "Summary for Policymakers" covers the 500-page document.

One commentary on that IPCC report, by United Methodist layman Bill McKibben (founder of, may be seen as his "A Very Grim Forecast" in The New York Review of Books November 22, 2018 issue.


He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College (1965), and a Master's from Lock Haven University (1989), where he studied the international Green Party movement.