Reactions to the recent deluges in Donegal, Texas and South East Asia have highlighted how the human world is having an adverse effect on our climate. The quality of water in our rivers and lakes is also suffering because of certain human activities. Many scientists and others including the Christian churches have voiced their concerns about the destruction of our planet. Will we now have a policy change that will have a positive enduring impact? We feature just a selection of recent headlines and media extracts. Our Noticeboard contains many events and projects aimed at having a positive impact on our part of the planet.
RECENT EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
“all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced”
Tweet from the US National Weather Service regarding Hurricane Harvey
“Climate change is happening right here, right now – from Houston to Inishowen, we are feeling the effects of rising temperatures”
(Article by John Gibbons in the Irish Times on Friday, 1 September)
“Who’ll stop the rain if we don’t face up to gathering storm on climate change targets?”
(Article by Co Monaghan born journalist Richard Curran in Independent.ie on Thursday, 31 August)
The global focus on storm Harvey shows not all suffering is seen as equal. When water engulfed Texas and Louisiana, it made headlines worldwide. But what of the extreme flooding in south Asia – is there a hierarchy of suffering?
(Article by Simon Tisdall in the Guardian on Thursday, 31 August) In South East Asia over 1200 people died and 41 million people were affected by the floods. In the US about 50 people have died and 450,000 people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
WATER QUALITY REPORT
“The assessment [by the EPA] concludes that while there has been little overall change in water quality in the six years up to the end of 2015, there has been:
- a failure to meet the planned national target of 13 per cent improvement in water status for the six-year period;
- a failure to prevent deterioration of water status at hundreds of water bodies around the country, which cancels out the improvements in water status at a similar number of water bodies in other parts of the country”
(Extract from EPA Press Release on 30 August regarding its latest national assessment of water quality in Ireland)
CHRISTIAN ‘SEASON OF CREATION’
“Our dependence on fossil fuels, our excessive consumption, our increasing pollution of land, sea and sky, and the continued extinction of species of plants and animals, are all in some senses acts of disbelief. We must be unequivocal: actions which contribute to the destruction of this world that we share with our sisters and brothers are profoundly immoral, precisely because such actions destroy what is common to all of us: this beautiful world. To protect the environment is to love my neighbour, at home but also in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and in the US.”
(Extract from a statement by Bishop John McAreavey, Chair of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference welcoming the joint message from Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the third World Day of Prayer for Creation. The day was celebrated across the world on Friday, 1 September at the start of the ‘Season of Creation’)
Noticeboard for September can be found here