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 upcoming 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.”

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To learn more about global climate change, check out our annotated bibliographies: