Catholic Climate Covenant Weekly Update

Prayers Answered, Pay Attention

Next Tuesday our family will travel
to California for a reunion on my wife’s side of the family.  We’ll spend
a week of that time in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Donner Lake.  I can’t wait.  It was about 25 years ago on a drive back from Donner Lake where a deep religious experience led to my abiding concern for the environment
and a confidence in our Creator.

Having spent a long weekend in solitude at Donner Lake, God neglected to answer
my BIG QUESTIONS: Do you really exist?  Should I believe?  During my
walks in the wilderness and quiet times on the deck of the cabin, I got no
answer.  I’m not sure what I expected but I left my silence and sitting in
disappointment.  But as I drove back to Oakland where my wife and I were
living at the time, I looked to the left as the sun was setting and the
snow-capped mountains were ablaze with red and orange against a darkening
sky.  Gerard Manley Hopkins and John’s Gospel came to mind: The world
is charged with the grandeur of God
.  The world is charged with God Incarnate.
All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human
. (John 1:3-4).  I know I smiled at that moment  because it
felt like God was saying, “I heard you. How’s this answer?”

I hope you have or will take time to go on “retreat” this summer.  Observe
nature in your backyard or on the beach or in the faces of those you love and
appreciate the interconnectedness of life, of the cosmos, of God Incarnate on
Earth and in Heaven.  I hope you smile, too, when your moment of
revelation comes.

~Dan Misleh

Highlights of Obama’s plan to cut carbon

President Obama unveils a broad plan aimed at curbing climate change and its impacts in a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University.

Curbing carbon pollution

• Directs the EPA to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.

• Promises $8 billion in loan guarantees for fossil fuel projects.

• Directs the Interior Department to permit 10 gigawatts of wind and solar projects on public lands by 2020.

• Expands the president’s Better Building Challenge, helping buildings cut waste to become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.

• Sets a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 through efficiency standards set for appliances and federal buildings.

• Commits to developing fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

• Aims to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases.

• Directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy.

• Commits to forests and other landscape protection.

Preparing for climate change

• Directs agencies to support local investment to help vulnerable communities become more resilient to the effects of global warming.

• Establishment of flood-risk reduction standards in the Hurricane Sandy-affected region.

• Will work with the health-care industry to create sustainable, resilient hospitals.

• Distribution of science-based information for farmers, ranchers and landowners.

• Establishment of the National Drought Resilience Partnership to make rangelands less vulnerable to catastrophic fires.

• Climate Data Initiative will provide information for state, local and private-sector leaders.

Leading global efforts to address climate change

• Commits to expanding new and existing initiatives, including those with China, India and other major emitting countries.

• Calls for the end of U.S. government support for public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas.*

• Expands government capacity for planning and response.


Sustainability in Catholic Higher Education

‘Sustainability is the new watchword. Before arriving at Santa Clara three years ago, I ranked “sustainability” with the likes of “post-modernism” as concepts regularly used on college campuses but elusive to define. I did my best when
I tossed an empty water bottle into the recycle bin. But that was it, and I was quite satisfied. This issue of explore challenges my naive preconceptions and, I trust, yours. The message in the pages that follow is a simple one: as citizens of a globalizing world we need to call forth a culture of sustainability now for the sake of future generations.’




Going Green

- by Christianna McCausland

Loyola has long been known for its high academic standards. But the College is equally concerned with ensuring that its students continue to learn well outside the classroom. Loyola’s Jesuit educational philosophy insists that the College create an environment that shapes leaders and thinkers for the next generation, not only through its curricula, but through events, services and the example set by College leadership. An enduring commitment to social justice has led to enumerable programs that engage students and make them keenly aware of issues facing their local and global communities. Now, Loyola is turning its attention to what is rapidly becoming a primary frontier of social change: the environment.

Read the full article from the Spring 2008 edition of Loyola Magazine

Loyola University Maryland’s Paperless Initiative


The paperless initiative began with the creation of the Paperless University Project.  However since this project’s inception, the concept of paperless has expanded greatly throughout the university.  With increased awareness of environmental concerns and technlogical advances, employees have explored and implemented their own ideas to support the initative.  Technology services has been on the forefront of offering and supporting the latest tools.  Department projects to aid in paper reduction, and more importantly in improving efficiencies, are implemented with Technology Services as a partner.

God, Creation, and Climate Change

Theologians and ethicists reflect on the most serious crisis of our time.

The magnitude of the problem of environmental degradation and climate change requires a complete rethinking and reorienting of our way of being in the world. Responding to the environmental crisis requires not only a conversion of the will but even more fundamentally a transformation of the imagination that is, the capacity to think of other ways of being, thinking, and acting in the world. These essays, by a distinguished group of Catholic scholars, assess the gravity of the situation and offer resources from the biblical and theological traditions for the necessary mobilization of will and the conversion of our imaginations.

Ten Commandments for the Environment

Seasoned author and journalist Woodeene Koenig-Bricker skillfully weaves together Pope Benedict’s key statements on environmental justice into one volume. Additionally, she offers commentary that helps to unpack the Ten Commandments for the Environment, which were recently released by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Koenig-Bricker helps us understand an environmentally responsible lifestyle as a moral responsibility to protect the poor, who suffer most when climate change creates a shortage of resources. With practical, everyday ideas for reducing one’s ecological footprint, this book is a must-read for those seeking the inspiration that the Holy Father radiates to a new generation of Catholics.