The Environment’s Pope

Time Magazine

Francis is making the environment a top concern and speaking out against the ‘sin’ of ‘exploiting the Earth’
pope
This month marks the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ election. This article is taken from THE FRANCIS MIRACLE: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church by John L. Allen Jr.

It was probably inevitable that the first pope named Francis—inspired by a saint who preached to birds and gave pet names to the sun and the moon—has turned out to be a strong environmentalist. In fact, Francis has said that concern for the environment is a defining Christian virtue. (The young Jorge Bergoglio trained as a chemist, so he has a foundation to appreciate the scientific issues involved.) This element of the social gospel bubbled to the surface as early as his inaugural mass, when Francis issued a plea to “let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” Continue reading The Environment’s Pope

Florida State Workers Banned From Using Term ‘Climate Change’

Common Dreams

Since 2011, environmental agency workers have been instructed not to refer to ‘climate change’ and other words like ‘sustainability,’ investigative report shows.

Nadia Prupis

Florida residents contend with a flood in Miami in June 2009. (Photo: [ https://www.flickr.com/photos/13748835@N00/3599479128 ]maxstrz/flickr/cc)
Florida residents contend with a flood in Miami in June 2009. (Photo: maxstrz/flickr/cc)

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employees have for years been banned from using terms like “climate change,” “sustainability,” and “global warming,” according to a new report published Monday by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

Those “unwritten” directives came in 2011 from the agency in charge of planning and enforcing environmental policies in a state that faces some of the biggest effects of climate change in the country, including rising sea levels which threaten 30 percent of its coastal land over the next 85 years. Continue reading Florida State Workers Banned From Using Term ‘Climate Change’

Brazil Called upon to Block Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Trees

By Valentina Leri

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 5 2015 (IPS) – Forest protection, increased biodiversity and wildlife conservation are just a few of the promises made by proponents of genetically engineered (GE) plants. But campaigners are not buying these promises.

On Tuesday, environmental activists gathered in Brazilian consulates and embassies demanding that the government reject the proposal of FuturaGene, a biotechnological company, to legalize GE eucalyptus trees.
The action was taken as part of the Emergency Global Day of Action on Four Continents to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees, organized by an international group of NGOs which have formed the The Campaign to STOP GE Trees. The campaign aims to protect forests, biodiversity, and support communities which may be threatened by the effects of GE plants in the environment. Continue reading Brazil Called upon to Block Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Trees

Congolese Citizens Forced to Pay for Police, Protection Services

Josh Butler

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 6 2015 (IPS) – Parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo are as dangerous and lawless as ever, with police and the state offering citizens little or no protection from armed groups.

‘Secure Insecurity,’ a report released Friday by Oxfam, claims citizens in some parts of the DRC are “forced to pay for protection that the state should be providing to its citizens as their right.”

The report says some police charge citizens for their services – US$5 to report a crime, US$10 or up to the equivalent of US$40 to investigate – but even when state protection is freely available, it is often ineffective.

“As a woman in her early thirties told Oxfam: ‘When I went to see the chief about a case of rape in our district, the chief told me that justice doesn’t concern women’,” the report stated. Continue reading Congolese Citizens Forced to Pay for Police, Protection Services

Rousseff’s Brazil – No Country for the Landless

By Fabiola Ortiz

Farmers with the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) protest the concentration of land ownership in Brazil, during a Feb. 21 demonstration in support of the occupation of part of the Agropecuaria Santa Mônica estate, 150 km from Brasilia. Credit: Courtesy of the MS
Farmers with the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) protest the concentration of land ownership in Brazil, during a Feb. 21 demonstration in support of the occupation of part of the Agropecuaria Santa Mônica estate, 150 km from Brasilia. Credit: Courtesy of the MS

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 27 2015 (IPS) – In Brazil, one of the countries with the highest concentration of land ownership in the world, some 200,000 peasant farmers still have no plot of their own to farm – a problem that the first administration of President Dilma Rousseff did little to resolve. Continue reading Rousseff’s Brazil – No Country for the Landless