Climate Change Tug-of-War Involves World’s Government, Church Leaders, Activists
Posted by infinitygoods on September 5, 2007
If you’ve been reading the news this week you probably noticed all the commotion about global warming, which more and more politicians have been more accurately renaming climate change. This week the world leaders were playing tug-of-war with each other’s views.
China has refused to accept mandatory limits on its carbon emissions. Instead it has portrayed its Communist policy of only allowing one child per couple as helpful in the struggle against climate change by eliminating 300 million births — which, according to Su Wei, Foreign Ministry official heading the delegation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Viena, “means we averted 1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005.”
The United States’ Harlan Watson, chief U.S. negotiator, was blaming its inability to curb emissions on population growth — not due to births, but rather due to immigrant influx.
Chris Rapley, head of the Science Museum in London, promotes family planning to avoid unwanted births and slow population growth. “Population has not been taken seriously enough in the climate debate,” he says.
News reports claim birth control, including abortion, is not likely to be favored at UN discussions because of opposition by the Catholic Church.
Even Pope Benedict XVI spoke on green issues this weekend to youths in Loreto, Italy, advising “before it’s too late, we need to make courageous choices that will re-create a strong alliance between man and earth. We need a decisive ‘yes’ to care for Creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible.”
The Pope’s ecological message was put into action by distributing biodegradable plates, recycling bags, and even a hand-cranked cell phone recharger to the festival’s youths on “Save Creation Day,” and trees were planted to make up for the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the festival especially after forest fires in Italy and Greece.
At a Greenpeace festival in England this weekend, a Benedictine monk, Anthony Sutch, went so far as to hear the confessions of “eco-sinners” in green vestments made from recycled curtains and a confessional with recycled doors. He told the Times, “the Church is aware of green issues and of how aware we have to be of how we treat the environment.”
Besides the Catholic Church, “climate change, biotechnology, trade justice and pollution are all now being debated at a far higher level by the world’s major religions,” according to Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, Martin Palmer.
The environment and religion “is a no-brainer” according to Claire Foster, environmental policy adviser to the Church of England, “but we are all only now realising it.”
Meanwhile, a weeklong protest at England’s Heathrow Airport blamed climate change on the carbon emissions of airplanes. About 500 protesters brandished signs reading, “You Fly. They die,” while riot police brandished their batons.
Better not tell them that the Vatican is starting its own charter airline with Mistral Air to promote worldwide pilgrimages.