Maryknoll offer a series of reflection on Climate Change

Here are three of them.  A two pager reflection-study-prayer guide.  You may want to use them for your prayer and reflection in the lead up to the UN Climate Summit in Paris beginning on November 30th.

Reflection 1 reflects on the effect of rising sea levels on the people on Bangladesh. Reflection Guide 1

Reflection 2  extremes weather conditions with a focus on the Philippines.  Reflection Guide 2

Reflection 3  ‘Wherever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor…’  Pope Francis Laudato Si   Reflection Guide 3

See more information at Maryknoll Website    Thanks to Maryknoll for their sharing!

Path to Paris logo for salsa

COP 21 website English and French   There are 4 sections Learn, Act, Follow, Come.


More Reflections on ‘Laudato Si’

This is a follow up to the posting on October 15th where I posted the first 4 reflections on Lauddato Si.  They are prepared in both English and French.  The second set of 4 have been prepared.  These are done by African Europe Faith Justice Network  See French and English  The website is a great resource with a spirituality and action emanating from faith and justice.
laudato_si 2

For ease of access here are the reflection for Sessions 5,6,7 and 8.  E for English E 5E 6E 7, and E 8; and F for French F 5F 6F7, and F 8

These refection are very helpful if you are following the Climate Conference that will be held in Paris at the end of the month.  E 5 invites us to look at nature with different eyes and recognise the unique beauty and dignity of each creature which, by its very existence, praises God and gives joy to humanity.

E 6 reflects on  Pope Francis’ development of a new and profound theology of creation which looks at human beings as part of nature and as God’s responsible co-workers in creation. There can be no well-grounded ecology without a sound anthropology.  E 7 notes that nobody has definite answers to the many open questions how to control climate change or how to shape a truly sustainable development for all.  Pope Francis in his Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ does not offer final solutions to these huge problems. He rather invites all stake holders to enter into a transparent interdisciplinary dialogue and to search for ways out of the crisis leaving aside all particular group interests but focussing on the global common good.

E 8 reflection has reference to the Parish Climate Summit.   The numerous climate summits in the last 20 years have not succeeded to reach a binding agreement for all countries which defines ‘common and differentiated responsibilities’. Pope Francis sees the reason for this in a lack of ethics in international relations, the fight for national interests to the detriment of the global common good, the lack of effective international institutions and the dominance of the financial markets over politics. Will the Paris Climate Summit pick up the challenge and live up to its responsibility to future generations?

NCP Primer ebook front cover


A background to previous conferences can be followed in this Primer prepared by IBON.  Here is the direct link IBON Primer on a New Climate Protocol  There are 87 pages with 5 Chapters.  The topics are interesting and some of the jargon we hear and read in the media is explained.  The first Chapter reviews Climate Change the Long-term View.  Chapter 2 looks at the Rio Mandate and the Koyoto Protocol.  Chapter 3 is interesting creating awareness of False Climate Solutions.  Chapter 4 has a draft of the Paris Climate Treaty and the last chapter presents some Real Climate Solution.

 To conclude here is an article linking climate and peace authored by Michael T. Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College.   ‘Why the Paris Climate Summit is also a Peace Conference’ Read more

September 21, 2015 International Day of Peace: PEACE BE WITH YOU!


The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

“I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace.”     UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Read the full message of the Secretary General

United Nations Peace Bell Ceremony will take place on Monday from 9.00 – 9.30 in the Japanese Garden.  I will be present remembering you all -Sister and Mission Partners and all with whom we colaborte

Goal 16 and it 10 targets of the to be adopted at the UN Summit September 25-27 is as follows

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

The goal and 16 targets are outline.  We are currently awaiting the indicators and with regard of means of implementation it begins with the call of the Secretary General as quoted above and cost nothing – lay down weapons – observe a global ceasefire.

Read from this link about target 16.4    “…in seven of the last ten years the global volume of IFFs was greater than the combined value of all Official Development Assistance and Foreign Direct Investment flowing into poor nations. In response, the UN has included target 16.4 in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which commits Member States to “significantly reduce” IFFs by 2030.”

Paragraph 82 of Pope Francis’s Encyclical  “Yet it would also be mistaken to view other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination. When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society. This vision of “might is right” has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all. Completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus. As he said of the powers of his own age: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mt 20:25-26).”


Conference Secretary General for Financing for Development Wu Hongbo attempting the final push for milestone event

“I urge you to keep in mind that Addis presents a historic opportunity – on that we cannot afford to miss … there are a number of proposals and ideas on the table that are truly transformative.  They should meet the high hopes and expectations that we all have …  We need to ensure an ambitious and meaningful Conference outcome for the future of the peoples and planet” Secretary General Wu Hongbo stressed.  Read more here

The real issues is not lack of resources.  The knowledge and the money to finance sustainable development do exist.  The challenge is to channel these resources to areas and sectors of greatest need.  Naoimi Klein in her book

this Changes Everything‘This Changes Everything’ shows very adeptly that indiscrimate economic growth is the reason why agreements cannot be reached.   The problem is structural. Poverty in the midst of plenty is unconscionable. The effects of climate change are largely ignored.  Greed and the limitless pursuit of profit for the few underlie the current situation with little or no interest in global wealth redistribution or the preservation of the planet.  The conflict exists due to prioritizing values and goals such as achievement, money, power, status and image, and implementation of austerity measures to the neglect of the dignity of each person, human rights, solidarity and the promotion of the ‘local’ and the ‘grassroots’.

Can the new opportunity provided by the Financing for Development Conference be truly transformative  ushering in a new era of equality, ‘leaving no one behind’?  Will this conference challenge the growth of the corporate sector, and the privatization of public sphere by heralding a new era of human rights based sustainable development for people and the planet?

Naomi Klein – social activists and critic of 21st century capitalism invited to Vatican to shift the debate on global warming.

A conference at the Vatican on ‘People and Planet First: The Imperative to Change Course’ will take place July 2nd and 3rd. Click here for more information  Naomi Klein has be invited to address the conference.  Read about the invitation from the Guardian 

Naomi Klein’s new book  ‘This Changes Everything’ Capitalism vs Climate is now available.  Another interesting article in the Guardian ‘The Pope v the UN’ Who will save the world first?  The article suggests that both Pope Francis and the UN are addressing the same issues.   It is worth comparing Laudato Si with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  The article outlines  three ways in which Pope Francis has raised the bar: 1.Thoroughness v holism.   2. Growth and Consumption and 3. Cause and Effect. Full article available here!

The Encyclical it is argued is far more than a document about climate change.  It is a profound critique of the deep logic of our political economy.  I agree but argue that the SDG’s is what we get when the 193 member states try to agree on what shape a transformative global agenda should take and seek to bring it home to the national level?  How envision a paradigm shift?  How ensure that no one is left behind?  The SDG’s are the outcome of the best and the worst of the UN.  The aspiration is clearly present but how implement the aspiration? How give it shape and form?  How bring the vision to regional, national and local level?  In negotiations power inequality, political wranglings and patriarchal mindsets pervades much of the discussions.  Yes the power inequality is seen in the ‘consumption-driven economic growth’.  Who of the 193 member states do you think holds most sway when it comes to negotiating SDG’s?  Who resists paying the already agreed 0.7% ODA?  Who continues to hold that climate change is not a reality? The NGO community and civil society are continually challenging the role of the corporate sector and multinationals in development.  The principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ while agreed to has been slowly reneged on over the years.  Civil Society space is shrinking at the UN?  Why?  As a member of civil society I agree that that the ‘SDG’s send a clear signal that they are in favor of business as usual.

And where is gender equality and the human rights of girls and women in either documents?  There has been a long and challenging journey to have SDG 5 name gender equality and to have this streamlined throughout all SDG’s.  Why is it so difficult to have gender equality acknowledged and legally upheld?  I suggest that patriarchy is  a neglected root cause and effect of poverty and the ecological crisis.  I suggest that patriarchy and not the SDG’s is the status quo approach to all of the issues that pervade society – not just global economics but gender inequality, gender based violence, human trafficking, migration, refugees, growing inequality and global warming. Only when gender equality and the human rights of girls and women are upheld everywhere on the planet will there be a paradigm shift.  I fear that the term ‘people’ can easily be read and understood as a continuance of patriarchy, whereas ‘gender equality and planet’  sends a clear message of intent re: systemic change heralding in a paradigm shift and substantive transformations change.