Global Climate Change

We, as members of the planetary community, recognize and respect the sacredness and interdependence of all creation. We are aware that when we lose reverence for and awe of creation, as well as an understanding of our place as partners within the Earth community, our sense of God and of ourselves is diminished.”
- 1994 IHM Enactment on Eco-Justice

Climate change is a global challenge that our generation must creatively address together.

Throughout its 4.5 billion year history, Earth’s climate has varied, sometimes changing abruptly. Species and ecosystems have either adapted to these variations or perished. While global temperature has been relatively stable over the last 10,000 years, climate scientists now know that human activities in recent time have had a profound influence on Earth’s climate.

An international panel of several hundred scientists, whose findings were reported in an August 2013 draft summary of the United Nations climate report, state, “It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.” The draft comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and says the odds are at least 95 percent that humans are the primary cause of the warming.

A working group consisting of glaciologists, climate scientists, meteorologists, hydrologists, physicists, chemists, mountaineers and lawyers commissioned by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican declared in April 2011, “We appeal to all nations to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change on communities and ecosystems, including mountain glaciers and their watersheds, aware that we all live in the same home. By acting now, in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibility we accept our duty to one another and to the stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life.”

Pope Francis issued his encyclical Laudato Si’ in June 2015. Its release was a historic event, as Pope Francis issued a powerful message on our moral responsibility to care for creation, including the urgency of addressing the global climate crisis.

Learn More

Online Resources
This is Your Home” – A three-part PowerPoint presentation and study guide on global climate change created by the IHM Justice, Peace and Sustainability Office

Articles/Papers/Study Guides
Think it’s hot now? Michigan’s 90° days could quadruple in 20 years
By Magdalena Mihaylova, Bridge Magazine, July 16, 2019
Climate change could bring sweltering, dangerous summers to the Midwest, a new report warns, with 34 days per year above 90° if nothing is done. Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor and Monroe would be the hottest.

“The Cost of Inaction: Failure to Address Financial Costs of Climate Change Will Hurt Taxpayers”
The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, April 22, 2019
This report focuses on the financial impacts of climate change on national security, infrastructure, economy and public health. It concludes that swift action is needed to protect the environment and relieve taxpayers of the financial burden posed by the growing effects of climate change.

Gretchen Whitmer Vows Action on Climate. Here’s how Warming hurts Michigan
By Jim Malewitz, Bridge Magazine, Jan. 9, 2019
In October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — comprised of the world’s top scientists — warned the planet will warm 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040 or sooner unless global leaders pursue “unprecedented” changes. But what does this mean for Michigan, whose 83 counties have all grown hotter on average over the past three decades?

New Midwest Governors Spur Hope for Regional Fight Against Climate Change
By Jim Malewitz, Bridge Magazine, Jan. 9, 2019
A new crop of governors in the Midwest is reviving hopes of regional collaborations to fight climate change.

Fourth National Climate Assessment
The U.S. Global Change Research Program, November 2018
The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), completed in November 2018, is a comprehensive and authoritative report on climate change and its impacts in the United States.

Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested at Pelosi’s Office Demanding Democrats Embrace ‘Green New Deal’
By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, Nov. 13, 2018
Youth climate activists were arrested on Capitol Hill for staging a sit-in at the Washington, D.C., office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—who is expected to serve as the next speaker of the House—to demand that congressional Democrats back a “Green New Deal.”

Climate change is here now. We must do something. 
By Joel Mathis, The Week, Nov. 13, 2018
The consequences of a warming planet won’t be felt in some far-off future. Climate change is here now, and it’s a full-fledged emergency.

Changing climate forces desperate Guatemalans to migrate
By Gina Steffens, National Geographic, Oct. 23, 2018
Drought and shifting weather are making it difficult for many small-scale farmers to feed their families, fueling a human crisis.

Domino-effect of Climate Events Could Move Earth into a ‘Hothouse’ State
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, Aug. 7, 2018
Leading scientists warn that passing such a point would make efforts to reduce emissions increasingly futile

America in Peril
By Ryan Cooper, The Week, Aug. 6, 2018
This is just a tiny taste of our coming future if climate change is not halted. Murderous heat waves, droughts, vast wildfires, super-powerful storms, floods and sea level rise will lay waste to great swathes of the American landscape and infrastructure. It is unquestionably the greatest threat to the nation.

Earth’s Carbon Concentrations Have Soared to Levels Not Seen in 800,000 Years
By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, Aug. 3, 2018
One NOAA oceanographer warns that even if humanity “stopped the greenhouse gases at their current concentrations today, the atmosphere would still continue to warm for next couple decades to maybe a century.”

Heatwave Made More than Twice as Likely by Climate Change, Scientists Find
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, July 27, 2018
Fingerprints of global warming clear, they say, after comparing northern Europe’s scorching summer with records and computer models

Videos and Interactive Resouces
VIDEO: 10 Clear Signs or Climate Is Changing
Climate Reality Project, August 2016
See the 10 unmistakable ways our climate has changed in the last century.

“Into the Streets”
Meerkat Media, 2014
A  nine-minute video about the People’s Climate March and the diverse perspectives that converged.

Climate Change and Intergenerational Evil
Science-Rich Educational Videos on Climate Change from The Great Story website

How it All Ends
Oregon high school teacher Greg Craven answers every single objection or question to his argument about climate change that he’s come across to date.

Image sequences from a network of time-lapse cameras recording glaciers receding at an alarming rate, some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change

Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change
Bill Moyers and Company, 2012
The journalist and author of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” discusses the politics around climate change.

Photo Gallery: This Is Climate Change
Publicizes the real impacts of climate change

Websites
The Global Catholic Climate Movement
A movement of laity, religious, clergy, theologians, scientists and activists from all over the world, united by our Catholic faith and our work on environmental and social issues

Catholic Climate Covenant
The official campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to address global climate change

350.org
Grassroots climate initiative founded by Bill McKibben to build an effective U.S. campaign, organize globally, expand alliances outside of the traditional environmental movement and encourage activism

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
A Nobel Peace Prize-recipient, IPCC assesses scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understand climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
MiIPL is a coalition of more than 80 Michigan congregations that promote and implement sustainable practices.

RealClimate blog
A commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists to provide a quick response to developing stories along with the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary

Ross Gelbspan
A website of current news and commentary on climate change by a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter

E-Newsletters
E, The Environmental Magazine
Provides information about environmental issues and shares ideas and resources so that readers can live more sustainable lives and connect with ongoing efforts for change

Solutions
Free newsletter of the Rocky Mountain Institute, whose mission is to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources

Books
The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate By David Archer
One of the world’s leading climatologists compares the global warming projection for the next century to natural climate changes of the distant past and looks to the future for truths of climate in the long-term.

Green Greener Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-Smart Choices a Part of Your Life By Lori Bongiorno 
Bongiorno decodes the often misleading labels that come with many products and recommends environmentally sound choices in products adults and children use and consume.

The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from The Union of Concerned Scientists By Michael Brower and Warren Leon 
The authors present statistics, describe solutions and recommend steps for readers to take to live more ecologically-based lifestyles without worrying about insignificant things.

The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth By Tim Flannery 
Flannery discusses climate change from a historical perspective and ways it has shaped our planet’s evolution, offering suggestions for action for both lawmakers and individuals.

Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds By David Gershon
The book guides participants through a month-long process of behavioral change. The average U.S. household emits 55,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. The goal is to reduce that amount bit by bit.

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity By James Hansen
Climatologist James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an internationally renowned global-warming expert, explains the dynamics and politics of global warming.

A New Climate for Theology: God, the World and Global Warming By Sally McFague
A New Climate for Theology traces the distorted notion of unlimited desire that fuels our market system and paints an alternative idea of what a just and sustainable economy might mean.

DVDS
Chasing Ice
Diamond Docs 2013
James Balog combines art and science to document overwhelming evidence of what we’re doing to the environment by recording glacial history in time-lapse photography every hour during daylight.

Ending the Silence on Climate Change
Moyers & Company, 2013
Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, specialist in the psychology of risk perception and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, describes what it takes for people to change their behavior

The End of Suburbia
The Electric Wallpaper Company, 2004
This film examines the issue of world oil peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels in the context of the American dream of living in suburbia.

 Inconvenient Truth
Participant Productions, 2006
Oscar and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore presents a wide array of facts and information about global climate change.

Six Degrees Could Change the World
National Geographic, 2008
The National Geographic special combines stock footage with computer-generated imagery to explore the experiences and predictions regarding a climate tipping point beyond which there is no return