August 18, 2017

Letters to the Editor

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Bipartisan effort addresses impacts, causes and challenges of climate change

Our universal shepherd Pope Francis is recognized as a global leader on climate change.

In his encyclical letter, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” he writes that “… every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings.” He reaffirms that “… all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.”

I think this is the essential change of heart that must take place if we are to slow climate change. This is what my Catholic faith and my life as a Sister of Providence calls me to do. I am called to value both the diversity and interconnectedness of the whole web of life.

A bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives provides an opportunity. This group is exploring policy options that address the impacts, causes and challenges of our changing climate. Currently, 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats are members, an even number by design.

Coal and coal ash disposal seriously impact climate change, and are also critical economic and health issues in Indiana.

I believe one of the solutions is to provide financial support to coal miners desiring to obtain new job skills. They have risked their health and their lives to provide this country’s energy needs.

This would be similar to the recent Carrier layoffs in Indianapolis. A task force has joined with Indianapolis Mayor Joseph Hogsett in announcing those who lost their jobs would be eligible for $1,000 while they look for new employment. They also announced the city would provide additional monies for those employees while also offering incentives to local employers who wish to hire them.

Therefore, I call upon you, the reader, to urge your U.S. House of Representative member to join this caucus to make Indiana part of the solution.

- Providence Sister Donna Butler | Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

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