Fossil Fuel Divestment and Faith-Based Institutions

The following is from the Catholic Climate Covenant's July 23rd Newsletter:    

On June 23, 2014, the University of Dayton became the first Catholic college or university to divest its endowment ($670 million) from fossil fuels in order to address climate change in fidelity to its Catholic mission. Following this historic announcement, several stories and resources have been subsequently published:

•    University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran, Ph.D., wrote an op/ed titled Catholic University's Divestment Decision A Call to Action on Climate and Human Rights. There, President Curran explains how Dayton’s fossil fuel divestment reflects the University's longstanding and unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability, human rights and our Catholic mission. 
As of now, the University of Dayton is the only Catholic institution in the United States that has voted to divest from fossil fuels holdings.
•    Amanda Hanley, Co-founder and co-director of the Hanley Family Foundation, wrote an op/ed titledDivestment at Catholic Universities a Climate Gamechanger? There, she reflects on the Univeresity of Dayton's divestment decision and concludes that the bottom line Catholic universities must wrestle with is this: are their investments observing or undermining the Catholic mission? 

•    GreenFaith held a free webinar titled Fossil Free Investing featuring Gordon Morrison from FTSE and Clare Murray from BlackRock. This webinar follows GreenFaith’s April webinar Catholic Perspectives on Divestment & Reinvestment.  As part of its Divest & Reinvest Now! Campaign, Greenfaith published Divestment Central: A Listing of Known Religious Divestment Efforts. 

Blog from Rome on the "Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility" Conference

Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant has been writing a blog about the conference on Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility  at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome, from May 2-6, 2014.

A quote from Dan's May 7th entry:

" . . . . perhaps most essential will be the participation of people of faith who are perfectly capable of grasping the science of climate change and environmental degradation but must contribute new ways of seeing (not just looking) at a world under pressure.  We must quickly find new symbols and generate new ways of applying lessons from our traditional stories to help make sense of this moment in time.  We must look beyond ourselves and integrate deeply within our bones the fact that our behaviors today condemn–and even eliminate–future generations.

This challenge to people of faith must include hope so that we can rise each day full of purpose to do what must be done, to appreciate ever more deeply the goodness of creation, to feel the pain of our brothers and sisters and do all we can, with joy, to alleviate their suffering."

See Dan's Blog From Rome, which includes a variety of links to related items.

. . . and yet hope prevails

There is reason for HOPE and LOVE prevailing in the global challenge of Caring for Creation!

The joint Workshop of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences has just ended in Rome.  The conference topic was Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility.

 Link to DotEarth blog
Scientists who participated in the joint workshop met with Pope Francis.

Andrew Revkin's DotEarth blog provides a summary of his impressions of the meeting.   Revkin's closing thoughts say MUCH to those of us who are taking on the challenge of addressing these issues within the context of our FAITH:

It says much that even some of the most accomplished scientists at this meeting articulated that progress on climate, energy, equity, education and conservation of living resources will be driven by values and faith more than data and predictive models.

 In a discussion over dinner, Walter Munk, at 96 one of great oceanographers of modern times, spoke not of gigatons of carbon or megawatts of electricity:
“This requires a miracle of love and unselfishness,” he said.