Notes from the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice 2013 keynote by Dan Misleh, Ex. Director of Catholic Coalition on Climate Change
View Full Document: IFTJ13 Dan Misleh Keynote
Ignatian Solidarity Network staff has agreed to post this two-page piece on what was in my presentation. I hope it offers you both hope and some tools to help you integrate climate change activities into the work you are doing at the high school, college and parish levels. Here’s what you may want to know:
21 Catholic Colleges and Universities have taken the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, vowing to implement the five elements of the Pledge (prayer, learning, assessing, acting and advocating) into the life of the institution. They have used our Sustainability in Higher Education: A Toolkit For Mission Integration resource developed in collaboration with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and others. They join 10,000 individuals, families and other institutions that have taken the Pledge!
The key guiding principles for addressing climate change from the perspective of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops include:
o Prudence: intelligence applied to our actions; the need to act even when all the evidence is not in.
o Poverty: the real “inconvenient truth” is that those who have contributed the least to climate change will suffer (and are already suffering) its worst
consequences, namely, the poor and most vulnerable at home and abroad.
o The Common Good: nothing is more common than the atmosphere: the air we share and surrounds the globe making life possible. What we put into the
atmosphere today circulates around the globe.
Besides the “Sustainability Toolkit” mentioned above, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change has other resources that we hope you find helpful in teaching others about an authentically Catholic approach to the issue of climate change and environmental degradation. These include:
o Friending Planet Earth: Helping Youth Understand Solidarity and Sustainability in Light of Climate Change. This is a six-session program designed especially for youth groups and high-school aged students.
o At the beginning of each school year, the Coalition puts together a one and a half hour program for the Feast of St. Francis. Two years ago, we used the film Sun Come Up to help Catholics in parishes and schools understand how climate change is impacting Pacific Islanders. This past year, we promoted Melting Ice, Mending Creation: A Catholic Approach to Climate Change, which provided an evening of education on both the Pontifical Academy of Science’s study of the disappearance of mountain glaciers due to climate change and the striking visual evidence of that fact by James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey project. Both of these programs are available throughout the year on our website.
There are other excellent programs designed by many of our national Catholic partners that you may
also find helpful. These include:
o A website from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry that is targeted to youth and is modeled off of the St. Francis Pledge (and, by the way, is currently undergoing a major renovation).
o Catholics Confront Global Poverty from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services.
o Catholic Rural Life’s Global Climate Change Response Study Guide.
I also encourage you to follow the Coalition’s work in several ways:
o Sign up for our bi-weekly e-mail blasts which share all the good news on what the Church is doing on climate change and environmental justice at home and around the world.
o Follow us on Facebook.
o Follow us (and me) on Twitter catholicclimate or alianzaclima and dan_misleh
Kim Coleman is the Integrated Marketing Director for the Ignatian Solidarity Network.