October 17, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Bishops need to re-examine their support of Catholic Climate Covenant, reader says

It was distressing to recently read in the church bulletin of an event to celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi by the Catholic Climate Covenant, an organization to which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services became signatories in 2001.

The focus of the event was the impact of climate change on the poor. Their suggestions? Reduce our carbon footprint and thereby our use of fossil fuels in the usual ways: biking, clotheslines, composting.

But these suggestions among many others will only make a miniscule difference in climate change, and none at all for the poor.

In fact, the poor are desperate for the fossil fuels that have benefited us in order to have a reliable energy source rather than the intermittent and toxic ones used now, ones that cause 4.3 million deaths annually.

Without coal, China could not have moved from starvation to its current wealth in only a few decades.

It’s time for the USCCB to re-examine its earlier and well-meaning endorsement of the Catholic Climate Covenant in light of the flood of scientific information over the last 13 years challenging climate change fear-mongering.

By all means, heed our bishops in their mission to be caretakers of creation, but not in the methods they advocate, for it is beyond their realm of competence.

- Colleen Butler | Indianapolis

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