Scientists acknowledge that climate change includes the melting of both polar caps, which have re-directed ocean channels that used to circulate warm and cold waters globally; this has caused stagnation and ocean warming which in turn has generated violent storms and “natural” disasters. This cycle of weather has been and continues to be generated and exacerbated by human activity. The only way to decelerate this progressive cycle is to set up binding regulations that will stop fueling the engines of climate change; in other words everyone must do all that is humanly possible to avert a global catastrophe and turn things around.
Climate change always will be connected with Kyoto, Japan, where the nations of the world gathered in 1997 to sign a convention that sets guidelines for humankind to stop global warming, the process that has disastrously affected so many people in so many areas of our world. At this United Nations’ Conference, the Island States of the Pacific made an urgent appeal to the world: Set up a strong course of action; make guidelines that are binding or our people will soon have to flee the rising waters of the Ocean; act now or whole cultures will be lost forever. Instead of responding to the global common good, six nations successfully made the whole process a scheme to protect state, private and global oil/auto interests.
The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on February 16, 2005 -- the 90th day after at least 55 Parties to the Convention had ratified the document.
Fortunately at the Montreal Conference on Climate Change, held Nov. 28-Dec. 9, 2005, nations and NGOs worked together to make this document an instrument of real change. Even there it was reported: national self-interest appeared to trump determination to cut emissions of greenhouse gases that are warming the atmosphere, even as fresh scientific evidence poured in of the likely calamitous consequences .
What generated this turn around was: …a big jolt came when a major research journal published the first direct measurements indicating a slowdown in the vital currents that whisk vast amounts of heat around the Atlantic Ocean. Scientists have long predicted climate change would disrupt this "conveyor belt.”
Someone hopefully suggested that this is " a set of agreements that may well save the planet . ” On the other hand, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said, "There doesn't seem to be any understanding that time is running out.” This leaves the world suspended between the common good and national self-interest, only the outcome will be global and will decide the future of the planet and all living beings.
- Crossroads and the climate change conference at the start of Cancun, by Fr. John Brinkman, MM, December 2010
- 10/10/10 Global Day of Action
- Sign the petition to cap carbon, August 2010
- Excerpts from Maryknoll's statement on global climate change, September 2009
- Global climate change: The most critical challenge in the 21st century -- Reflections from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (pdf)
- From the Nairobi Climate Change Conference to the Bali UN FCCC: An African preface to an Asian mandate
- People of faith speak out on global climate change: A Pax Christi USA sign-on statement August 2007
- Climate change to hurt poor people most (IRIN article)
- Demand global warming leadership now
- The Montreal Climate Change Conference and the new significance of the Kyoto Protocol by Fr. John Brinkman, MM
- An Inconvenient Truth This film traces the work of former Vice President Al Gore to promote understanding and awareness of climate change.
Greg Nichols, mayor of Seattle, authored the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, signed and released it the day the Kyoto Protocol went into effect, and invited other mayors to join him. The Seattle mayor's website provides updates on the number of mayors who have signed the agreement and a wealth of web resources for municipalities interested in emissions reduction and sustainable development.
ICLEI International (local governments for sustainability)
The Global Roundtable on Climate Change brings together representatives from international corporations, NGOs, and other organizations to discuss climate change issues.
Grist - a great source of environmental news