World leaders meeting at the Vatican for a conference on climate change have issued a final statement today, declaring that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality” and “its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity.”
The statement says that humans have the technological and financial means, and the know-how, to combat human-induced climate change, while at the same time eliminating global poverty.
The conference, entitled ‘Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity’ was organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, SDSN and Religions for Peace.
Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners More…
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR By Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Obama said in a statement Wednesday that the rules will provide needed clarity for business and industry and ‘will ensure polluters who knowingly threaten our waters can be held accountable.’
Drinking water for 117 million Americans will be protected under new rules shielding small streams, tributaries and wetlands from pollution and development, the Obama administration said Wednesday.
The White House said the rules would provide much-needed clarity for landowners, but some Republicans and farm groups said they go much too far. House Speaker John Boehner declared they would send “landowners, small businesses, farmers, and manufacturers on the road to a regulatory and economic hell.”
The rules, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are designed to clarify which smaller waterways fall under federal protection after two Supreme Court rulings had left the reach of the Clean Water Act uncertain. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the waters affected would be those with a “direct and significant” connection to larger bodies of water downstream that are already protected. More…
SAO PAULO (AP) — The comfortable life Muna Hassan Derweech and her family enjoyed in the Syrian port city of Latakia collapsed in 2013 amid civil war.
Now, she, her husband and their four children have joined nearly 2,000 other Syrians trying to make a new life in Brazil, which has accepted more Syrians fleeing the violence at home than any other nation in the Americas with the exception of Canada. In comparison, the United States has taken in about 650 Syrian refugees, according to the International Rescue Committee.
Derweech recently reminisced about her life while selling homemade Syrian food outside the mosque of Sao Paulo’s Beneficent Muslim Society.
“We lived very well in Latakia,” she said. “We owned a four-bedroom house and my husband earned well working as a marine mechanical engineer and I worked as a schoolteacher. But the war, the killings and the horrible violence destroyed all that.” More…
From the opening moments, Amir Amirani’s is a powerful documentary, revisiting the demonstrations against the war on Iraq, that took place in 789 cities – one after another around the globe – across 72 countries, plus Antarctica, on 15 February 2003.
Besides the rousing crowd scenes, there is vintage footage of Blair and Bush together and apart, repeating the story of those weapons of mass destruction.
Then there’s testimony and reminiscing from Jerry Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Tony Benn, Jesse Jackson, Clare Short, Ken Loach and Tariq Ali, Sir Richard Branson, Susan Sarandon, UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and many more.
It was good to hear again what I think is of the finest moments in Parliamentary history – Robin Cook’s resignation speech.
Tony Blair, who can no longer walk down a British street without a bodyguard, turned down an invitation to take part in the film. An aide said he was too busy running his three charities and working for peace in the Middle East. David Blunkett and Lord Falconer wheel out the weary old ‘now we know so much more’ defence. More…
MoveOn.org sent out the following message and accompanying petition its members on May 21.
Dear MoveOn member,
I’m writing because President Obama and the U.S. Congress need to hear from you before they rush toward approving a massive new trade agreement that would benefit corporations and undercut serious efforts to fight climate change.
This deal—the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP—has been called “NAFTA on steroids.” It’s the latest and largest in a series of international agreements that have attacked working women and men, fueled mindless and carbon-intensive consumption, and prevented governments from enforcing their own laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
NAFTA-esque deals around the world have been a disaster for democracy, good jobs, and environmental justice, which is why I hope you’ll click here and sign the petition to stop the TPP from being rushed through Congress. More…
There is an old adage that “any press is good press.”
Watching some of the recent media coverage on Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change made me wonder if this is really true. In just two minutes during a recent segment on Fox News, analysts used phrases like “creating controversy” and “aligning himself with enemies” as well as accusing Pope Francis of jumping on the “climate change bandwagon.”
It’s one thing to be critical, but it’s another thing when news media seek to create controversy where it doesn’t exist or misrepresent the goodwill of an individual.
But remember, “any press is good press.” So let me offer my own perspective as a Catholic who is tremendously excited for the prophetic voice Pope Francis will offer the Church and the world on the issue of climate change. More…
When we asked Susan George what the banks have learned from the 2008 financial meltdown, her instant reaction was: ‘That they can get away with murder.’ So we asked for a little more – from an author who has been shining a brilliant light on the subject ever since the ‘Third World’ debt crisis began four decades ago.
Hope springing eternal, I didn’t believe that the banks could emerge from the 2007-08 crisis far stronger than before, especially in political terms. Yes, some have paid staggering fines to governments – a total of $178 billion for the US and European banks – but they now consider such outlays as mere ‘costs of doing business’. None of the industry hotshots has spent so much as a night in prison or been fined personally.
Although we have not yet fully escaped from the aftershocks of 2007-08, a scenario for the next crisis is already being written both by politicians and the bankers themselves. Mathematicians have demonstrated the dense, interconnected web of world financial actors in which the failure of one could trigger the collapse of all. They have put us on a knife-edge and we have good reasons to be pessimistic:
•Governments and international institutions have shown no serious intention of regulating the banks, thus placing us in considerable danger of a repeat performance. Banks and bankers are not just too big to fail and too big to jail, but also too big to nail – they have become a law unto themselves.
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