Tag Archives: ecology

Une “écologie humaine”

This article was posted in JEOletter Nr. 10 / July 2010.

Ecology - image: darkwood67

Ecology - image: darkwood67

Une “écologie humaine”
Henri Madelin

Les deux derniers papes ont renouvelé l’approche par l’Eglise des questions écologiques. Les medias du monde entier, accaparés par les scandales récents en matière de sexualité et de pédophilie, font l’impasse sur la nouveauté des prises de position romaines en ce domaine crucial.

Il est vrai que, comme beaucoup de grandes organisations, l’Eglise catholique a tardé à prendre la parole et à trouver sa juste place dans les courants écologiques de notre temps. On n’oubliera pas cependant que, bien avant la fin du précèdent siècle, au cours d’un grand rassemblement œcuménique à Bâle organisé par les Eglises protestantes, le Cardinal Martini avait plaidé pour une interprétation plus écologique du récit biblique des origines. Continue reading

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Regaining momentum after Copenhagen

This article was posted in JEOletter Nr. 09 / April 2010.

Bicycles - image: European Parliament

Bicycles - image: European Parliament

Regaining momentum after Copenhagen
José Ignacio García

Although a large majority of commentators consider the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference to have been a failure, certain influential voices have stressed the value of the Conference’s agreements. Lord Stern, professor at the London School of Economics and author of a key report on the economic and social assessment of climate change, has affirmed that “This process has itself been a key part of countries stating what their intentions on emissions reductions are – countries that had not stated them before, including China and the US”. Continue reading

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For whom the bell tolls

This article was posted in JEOletter Nr. 08 / January 2010.

Global day of Action  - image: Greenpeace International

Global day of Action - image: Greenpeace International

For whom the bell tolls
José Ignacio García

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu began the concluding prayer at the ecumenical service on Sunday December the 13th, Copenhagen Cathedral bells started to ring, 350 times. Simultaneously, hundreds of Churches in Denmark joined the Cathedral bells – also ringing 350 times. 350 is a symbolic number for environment campaigners: 350 parts per million is deemed the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so as to avoid runaway climate change. Continue reading

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Creation at the Heart of Mission

This article was posted in JEOletter Nr. 06 / July 2009.

Creation / Ecology

Creation / Ecology

Creation at the Heart of Mission
José Ignacio García Jiménez

Two hundred and forty persons from eighty-two religious institutes, fifty-seven countries and five continents gathered in Assisi from 12-16 May 2009. “Creation at the Heart of Mission” was jointly sponsored by SEDOS and the JPIC Commission of the USIG/USG where both religious and lay collaborators were led by theologians Séan McDonagh and Denis Edwards in considering ecology and our Christian life. Continue reading

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Le gaz et le pétrole

This article was posted in JEOletter Nr. 04 / January 2009.

Natural gas

Natural gas

EU et Russie : associés-rivaux pour le gaz et le pétrole
Henri Madelin

Nombre d’Européens pressentent que, pour refonder l’Europe aujourd’hui, il faudrait reprendre la grande intuition de Robert Schuman et Jean Monnet lorsqu’ils ont lancé la communauté du charbon et de l’acier. Ils rêvent de s’inspirer de cet esprit pour fusionner les intérêts communs des 27 en matière de gaz et de pétrole. Le projet est séduisant mais il n’est pas encore mûr dans la conjoncture actuelle. Continue reading

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A Jesuit on Ecology

This article was posted in Miscellaneous.
José Magadia

José Magadia

Listen to José Magadia SJ about his views on the issue of ecology, one of the “hot topics” of the General Congregation.

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Fr Magadia’s interest in ecology, at least at the moment while he is rector of the Loyola House Jesuit Residence in Davao City, Philippines, is of a personal rather than institutional nature. This sort of personal interest is shared by other Jesuits in his country: “In the Philippines, we have become accustomed to many catastrophes that are environment-based. We have had terrible floods, we have had landslides, many people die, and it’s always been an issue in the country. The interest is there for a whole lot of us, in a general sort of way.” He considers ecology “very, very important” and says: “I cannot understand why there are still some who find it difficult to see this as an important issue. That was one of my surprises [at the GC], to find out that there are some who do not. I think we [Jesuits] have always been interested, but now we feel that the time has come for a more explicit movement towards valuing the environment as something that we share and therefore have to protect together.”

Asked about different approaches to environmental concerns in the global north and south, Fr Magadia reflects: “Maybe there are differences but I think the spirit is the same and that spirit has to do with finding ways and means to preserve Mother Earth, to respect her, to find ways and means to respond, so that the future can be better safeguarded.” He points out that the challenges are different at different levels of the Society: “Certainly at the very base, among Jesuits, it will mean issues of lifestyle. Individuals will have to do some kind of examination of conscience where challenges are concerned.” But beyond that there are the levels of communities, institutions, provinces, assistancies and conferences. “And now”, he adds, “I think there is an urgency to see the Society as being able to move on the universal level, not merely as sub-units.”

He sees JRS as a possible model for this: “For the Society to make an impact on the global level, something like JRS has to happen, something that is more universal, where you have values, individuals, experts contributing to a clear issue, to identify priorities. Environment is such a big issue, you’d have to unpack it: climate change, deforestation, marine preservation, desertification, and I guess the task of prioritisation will have to go hand in hand with our asking ourselves what our capacities are, where our strengths lie, and what the need is out there.” The question for the Society of Jesus to keep in mind is: “What is not being done that needs to be done?”

In response to this question, the whole of the Society could become involved: “This is where science, faith, research and education should come together, it really requires a multi-sector response, it cannot be done by single institutions. We have to get our work done as a unified body.” One example of approaching environmental issues on a global level is to do advocacy. However, it takes the right skills to do this: “If you want to enter the international advocacy area, you have to train in lobbying, you are going to have to know the ins and outs of the various international organisations working in these areas and play the game. And part of playing the game is knowing the rules, both the formal rules and the informal rules. These are skills that go beyond the issue of environment – they have to do with lobbying, with management, with an ability to see where things are really going and to know what is important and what is not important. [For this, you need] a good manager, someone who can bring people together, a networker.”

In conclusion, Fr Magadia looks at the immediate future: “My hope is that we can already start now. There are people already who are aware, and who want to engage in specific, concrete actions. Others just have levels of sympathy, which is fine, these are all improvements from zero. But I think with the younger men, there are more possibilities.”

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L’Eglise et le développement durable

This article was posted in Miscellaneous.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development

Pour l’Eglise catholique, le développement durable doit aussi se soucier de son impact dans la succession des générations humaines et éviter de canoniser des préoccupations vitalistes et utilitaristes qui minimisent gravement la spécificité de l’homme. Continue reading

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Rivers Running Dry

This article was posted in Miscellaneous.

Water

Water

Statistics from the Earth Policy Institute give an alarming forecast about the prospects for the world’s water supply, and therefore, for its agriculture.

Read the article by Lester Brown. Continue reading

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