Tag Archives: environment

Lenten Call for Ecological Conversion

Monday 14 March 2011

 

Brisbane in Flood 2011 Tony Robertson

Brisbane in Flood 2011 Tony Robertson

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to be open to the possibility of ecological conversion during Lent.

Pope John Paul II called for an “ecological conversion” in 1990 when he reflected on the significant environmental challenges facing the world today

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that Pope Benedict has continued to call for Christians to respond to the environmental challenges threatening the world, especially climate change.

 

Lent is a time of repentance and it is a good time for us Christians to reflect on how we and our lifestyles have contributed to the ecological damage and threats the world faces today,” Mr Arndt said.p>

 

“As we make more time to pray and reflect on scripture, we can take the opportunity to consider to what extent we are wedded to the consumerist culture which dominates our society and contributes significantly to the ecological damage our earth has suffered,” he said.

 

“Our fasting, too, can take many forms,” he said.

 

“Not only can we give up some food during Lent, but we could also consider giving up some of the practices which release carbon into the atmosphere,” he said.

 

“Consciously reducing some of the activities and practices which use electricity or petrol can help us to find a path to spiritual renewal which embraces care for the earth,” he said.

 

“Lent can be an important opportunity for us to draw closer to God who created the world and to our sisters and brothers who are already facing the consequences of dangerous climate change,” he said.

 

“God is constantly inviting us to draw closer to our neighbours including Pacific Islanders whose homes are being threatened by rising sea levels and to support them in their time of need,” he said.

 

“Embracing the challenge to care for the earth certainly means changing the way we live,” he said.

 

“It also requires us to be prophets who challenge the dominant consumerist culture in our society and the political, business and community leaders who maintain it,” he said.

 

“If we care for the earth and our brothers and sisters in every part of it, we must not only change our own behaviour, but also challenge our leaders to change their behaviour too,” he said.

 

“In the face of the serious threat posed by dangerous climate change, we cannot stay silent while our political and business leaders engage in political games which do not have the best interests of the earth and its people in mind,” he said.

 

“Let’s turn away from our own destructive behaviours and have the courage to also call on our society to turn away from approaches which threaten our world with even greater damage,” he said.

 

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476. 

 NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Mandate which enables it to speak in its own right.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane. 

Catholics Encouraged to Take Action on Climate Change

Monday 1 June 2009

World Environment Day 2009

World Environment Day 2009

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has encouraged Catholics to take action on climate change as part of their faith commitment.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that caring for the Earth and its resources is an important part of our Christian responsibility.

The call was made with the approach of World Environment Day on 5 June.

“We must take the threat of dangerous climate change seriously,” Mr Arndt said.

“It is very easy to create doubt in people’s minds and, unfortunately, that is exactly what a number of very vocal climate change skeptics have been doing,” he said.

“It is simply not sensible to embrace the views of a handful of scientists challenging the reality of accelerated climate change  and to dismiss the collective views of several thousand climate scientists from around the world who have assessed all the data and say that climate change is happening and is a serious threat,” he said.

“Too often, we hear the skeptics pointing to limited evidence to support their case and we do not hear the substantial counter arguments from eminent climate scientists,” he said.

“With so many eminent climate scientists supporting the case for accelerated and dangerous climate change on the basis of a wealth of scientific evidence, it is prudent for us to take action now as individuals, as a country and as a global community,” he said.

“If the  scientific evidence is right, there is no time to waste,” he said.

“We have a moral responsibility to take action now to protect the interests of future generations and the whole planet,” he said.

“To ignore these predictions, based on so much scientific evidence and supported by so many climate scientists, risks leaving our grandchildren and great- grandchildren with a truly awful legacy,” he said.

“one of the greatest obstacles to action on climate change is that it requires significant changes in the way we do things as individuals and as a society,” he said.

“But we know that we can deal with change if it is needed,” he said.

“Look at the magnificent way in which people in South-East Queensland accepted the need for change when we faced a serious water crisis in the last few years,” he said.

“We cannot afford to wait for ten or twenty years to see if the climate change models of scientists start to come true because we will have gone too far down the track by then,” he said.

“We encourage Catholics to make an effort to look at all the scientific evidence and not just the limited information put forward by a handful of scientists or by others who deny the reality of  climate change,” he said.

“When people see the overwhelming evidence presented by so many respected scientists, we believe that they will seek out information on what can be done by individuals to address the threat of dangerous climate change,” he said.

“And more and more people will add their voices to those calling for governments to act quickly and effectively on climate change,” he said.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Earth Hour Should Be Followed Up

Earth Hour

Earth Hour

Monday 30 March 2009

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to continue taking action to promote effective Government climate change policies.

The call was made following Earth Hour on Saturday 28 March when households and businesses were encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour to send a message about the need for strong and urgent action on climate change to Governments around the world.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that many Catholics would have joined community members around Australia by turning off their lights during Earth Hour.

“Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II and Australia’s Bishops have encouraged Catholics to understand that caring for the earth is an important part of our faith,” Mr Arndt said.

“So, it is natural that many Catholics would have participated in Earth Hour as a way of acting to promote responsible management of our environment and earth’s resources,” he said.

“We hope that Catholics will try to continue to impress on our political leaders the need for strong action on the environment,” he said.

“Many Catholic parishes, schools and households are taking steps to reduce their contribution to the greenhouse gas pollution which has caused greatly accelerated climate change,” he said.

“Reducing use of electricity and other forms of energy, more responsible use of water and better waste management are some of the ways in which this is being done,” he said.

“We applaud these actions and encourage Catholics to continue their efforts to live more sustainably,” he said.

“However, we need Governments at all levels in Australia to develop policies which commit our nation to deeper cuts in greenhouse emissions so that our children and grandchildren will not have to deal with very serious environmental problems,” he said.

“We hope that the many Catholics who took part in Earth Hour will find the time in the coming months to keep sending messages to local MPs and the Federal and State Governments urging that strong and urgent action on climate change be taken,” he said.

“Serious long term problems like accelerated climate change will not go away but get much worse if we put them to one side to focus attention on serious short term problems like the current financial crisis,” he said.


“Governments must keep doing what is needed to effectively respond to the critical global warming problem while they are also helping people who have been caught up in the problems associated with the global financial crisis,” he said.

Mr Arndt said the Commission’s sustainability task group was working on initiatives to help parishes in their efforts to respond to the climate change crisis.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.