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Warning! 'Code red for humanity'

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group’s recently released report is a “code red for humanity,” warned U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“The alarm bells are deafening,” he further warned. “And the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk. Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.”

The IPCC report predicts that “Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level.”

But there is still a reasonable chance humanity can greatly lessen the severity of other ecological disasters, but only if we as individuals, nations and corporations act quickly and seriously. In the absence of a unified global comprehensive commitment to keep coal, gas and oil in the ground and totally switch to clean renewable energy – solar, wind, geothermal and wave energy – and to reverse deforestation, we will pass the catastrophic scientific “tipping points” of no return.

The IPCC report warns that unless there are immediate, large-scale reductions in human–induced greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures will continue to rise, and with increased heat will come more intense droughts, wildfires, marine heat waves, ocean acidification, glacier melts and sea level rises.

And yet, many people deny the clearly observable existence of climate change, global warming and the scientific fact that human activity is overwhelmingly causing it.

In this most recent IPCC report, the international working group of scientists boldly declare: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.” Climatologist and co-author of the report, Friederike Otto added, “There is no uncertainty language in this sentence, because there is no uncertainty that global warming is caused by human activity,” like the burning of fossil fuels.  

On an anecdotal note, as a result of the massive wildfires in Canada, I recently experienced here in central Minnesota, thick afternoon smoke darkening the sky and making it harder to breathe. It was rather eerie.

In his famous environmental encyclical letter “Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home,” Pope Francis uses a quote from his patron saint, Francis of Assisi’s (who is also the patron saint of ecology) Canticle of the Creatures:  “‘Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.’” 

“St. Francis of Assisi reminds us,” writes the pope, “that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. ... This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will.”

Honestly, shouldn’t we stop plundering our sister, our mother earth?

Among many things we can do to make a difference, we need to contact our government leaders urging them to go big on green – totally switching to clean renewable energy and massive reforestation as soon as possible!

Pope Francis lamented, "We are losing our attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation and thus we no longer manage to interpret in it what Benedict XVI calls 'the rhythm of the love-story between God and man.’”

We still yet, have a little time left, to fall in love with God and all of his creation.

Tony Magliano
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Comments from readers

Neida D Perez - 08/26/2021 06:00 PM
PAUL Schlachter - 08/26/2021 11:12 AM
Every time we celebrate a new first communion class we should consider prayerfully what world will we be leaving for them and for their grandchildren after them. We have seen many severe climate events this year, and these children are the ones who will suffer the most if we don't act right now. For Tony it is the smoke from forest fires. For us it will be the rise in sea level and strong hurricanes. Let us follow the vision of Pope Francis and preserve our common home.
Edward - 08/25/2021 08:12 PM
Before everyone overreacts, we need to remember that US carbon dioxide emission peaked in 2007 and has _decreased_ by about 15% since then. Over the same period, China's carbon dioxide emission has _increased_ by about 45%, and China's emissions are _twice_ as large as the US's emissions. So, the US is already doing a good job at reducing carbon emissions, and we will continue to do so. There is no need to make radical, immediate changes in this country that will have negative unintended consequences. Please stop sounding false alarms about what is needed in the US. Rather, we need to focus on putting pressure on other nations to do their part, especially on nations like China which has a horrendous record of not only abusing the environment but also, and more importantly, abusing human beings.
Olivia Baca - 08/23/2021 03:54 PM
Thank you Carlos for your accurate comment, nothing to add, it is very clear and true.
Valli Leone - 08/23/2021 02:48 PM
Thank you, dear Tony, for your well written and highly informative article. When will Catholics and other Christians realize that we are called to be good stewards on this earth. All creation sings of God’s glory; but as of late, it now often sounds more like a lament than a praise song.. I totally agree with our Popes’ and Saint Francis’ wisdom. Brothers and sisters, let’s get on board with doing the right things; science is a gift from our Lord. Let’s take the gift and start doing the right things – – for God’s glory and for our future enjoyment and for all of our posterity to come. Jesus never fails! 🔆❤️🔆
Yelva Berry - 08/23/2021 10:58 AM
I think you and Pope Francis should read this article.
Carlos - 08/23/2021 10:05 AM
I agree that we should do our part to care for our environment. However, I do not trust these organizations who tend to be climate alarmists. The writer should also include articles that disagree with this position. We have to be careful because we may end up doing the left betting on this. And before we know it, the left will use this to control people even more. The fires in California are due in part because of the mismanagement of the forests and other factors. China and Russia are not reducing their emissions. As Catholics we should be careful and not become fanatical about the environment. For the left, this is like a cult. Some people may end up voting for politicians who claim to support the environment and we may end up losing many human rights. Just Remember Vice President Algore predictions and recently AOC. Relax. God is in control. What is destroying everything is this global new order. Let’s remain vigilant and not fall for these alarming tricks. Do your part. Recycle. Plant trees. Don’t create waste. And be very careful in trusting what the ONU, other international organization or governmental organizations say. These organizations have an agenda, are influenced by the likes of Soro and Bill Gates. They want to impose a new order, and climate change is the perfect excuse.


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