The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Faith Leaders Speak Out Against Fracking Amid Pope Francis' Visit to U.S.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis called for decisive climate action in his encyclical. Now, while the Pope is visiting the U.S. for the first time, faith leaders across the country are speaking out against fracking—a form of extreme fossil fuel extraction that hurts our health and communities, contributes to climate change, and will prolong our dependence on oil and gas at the expense of the development of truly renewable energy.
Today, Food & Water Watch is previewing a Faith Against Fracking video with messages from faith leaders of various denominations from across the country, as the Pope addresses Congress on the Hill, and as activists call for moral action for climate justice on the mall outside the Capitol.
We can’t miss this historic opportunity to highlight the moral issues around climate change—and fracking. And the faith leaders in the video are doing just that:
- “This is the time when all of us are being called to create a perfect world. We are all called in conscience to look to our higher self—our God image—and see the responsibility that we have.” —Lupe Anguiano, Former Nun & Founder, Stewards of the Earth
- “The Pope has given us a wonderful gift in this Encyclical. We can see within his words the values that all people of faith can share of caring for God’s creation.” —Dr. Leah Schade, Pastor, United in Christ Lutheran Church
- “Pope Francis says that care for creation is not a domain of a few people. ‘Those people in the environmental movement, let them take care of it.’ No, it’s our responsibility because it is our common home, and all of those in this country have the moral responsibility to get involved.” —Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, Franciscan Friar, Ordo Fratrum Minorum
- “This is what is unethical. We are doing things for money that we know are wrong.” —Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Senior Pastor, Church by the Side of the Road
- “A world that values economics above human health is a world that we don’t need because ultimately it’s a detriment to all of us. It’s like creating our own cancer. If we don’t have our health, what difference does economics make?” —Rev. Dr. Hubert Ivery, Pastor, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
- “We all hear the conversation about being energy independent. Energy independence doesn’t mean giving all our power to the oil industry to do whatever the heck they want with our communities. If they really want to be energy independent, they should be focusing on renewable energy, green energy. Energy that is not only going to benefit the pockets of the industry, but that is going to benefit the health of our communities.” —Juan Flores, Former Seminarian and Community Organizer, CRPE
The video also includes Rev. Joy Atkinson, Minister of Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church; Rabbi Michael Lerner, Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives; Anne Marie Sayers and Kanyon Sayers Roods, Indian Country, Coastal Ohlone; and Rev. Kelvin Sauls, Holman United Methodist Church.
Communities of faith are increasingly rallying around the call to abandon fossil fuels and work for renewable energy. Last weekend, Pennsylvania faith leaders sent an open letter to Governor Tom Wolf asking him to stop fracking the Keystone State. Yesterday, the Pope addressed the public on the White House lawn, where he invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s words to urge climate action: “To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it.”
A good first step is to show this video into your communities of faith, and help create momentum to stop fracking where you live and to work for a renewable energy future. It will take all of us getting involved to pressure our elected officials to enact policies that will bring about renewable energy solutions—and save our planet and its people in the process.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Climate change is having a grizzly effect on Mount Everest as melting snow and glaciers reveal some of the bodies of climbers who died trying to scale the world's highest peak.
The Navajo Nation have decided to stop pursuing the acquisition of a beleaguered coal-fired power plant in Arizona, locking in the plant to be taken offline and its associated coal mine to close later this year.
A Navajo Nation Council committee voted 11-9 last week to stop pursuing the purchase of the 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station, which with the Kayenta coal mine provides more than 800 jobs to primarily Navajo and Hopi workers as well as tribal royalties.
A coalition of utilities that own the plant said in 2017 it would cease operations due to increased economic pressure, and the plant's future has proved a flash point for national and regional energy policy and raised larger questions on how Native communities will handle ties to fossil fuel industries as the economy changes.
For a deeper dive:
By Jeff Turrentine
Is it just us?
Other countries don't seem to have a problem getting their high-speed rail systems on track. This superfast, fuel-efficient form of mass transit is wildly popular throughout Asia and the European Union. Japan's sleek Shinkansen line, the busiest high-speed rail system in the world, carries an estimated 420,000 riders every weekday. In China, the new Fuxing Hao bullet train now hurries more than 100 million passengers a year between Beijing and Shanghai at a top speed of 218 miles an hour, allowing its riders to make the trip of 775 miles — roughly the distance from New York City to Chicago — in about four and a half hours. Spain, Germany and France together have more than 4,500 miles of track dedicated to high-speed rail, over which more than 150 million passengers travel annually.
By Coda Christopherson (11) and Lea Eiders (15)
Growing up in a plastic-free home, I was sheltered from the plastic waste crisis. I (Coda) went to a very progressive school that had vegan lunch items, farm animals and ran on solar power. My mom produces zero-waste events and my dad is a sailor, so we're very passionate about the ocean. When I was nine years old, we moved back to Manhattan Beach, California and I started 3rd grade in a public school. This was the first time I really understood that plastic-free living is not the norm; single-use plastics were everywhere, especially in the cafeteria. Once I recognized this problem, I knew I had to make a difference.
Henry Avocado issued the recall Saturday after a routine government inspection at its California packing facility turned up positive test results for the bacteria on "environmental samples," the company said in a statement. No illnesses have been reported.
Oil executives gathered for a conference laughed about their "unprecedented" access to Trump administration officials, according to a recording obtained by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
In the recording, taken at a June 2017 meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) at a Ritz-Carlton in Southern California, members expressed excitement about one official in particular: David Bernhardt, who had been nominated that April to be deputy secretary at the Department of Interior (DOI). Bernhardt would be confirmed the following month.
"We know him very well, and we have direct access to him, have conversations with him about issues ranging from federal land access to endangered species, to a lot of issues," IPAA political director Dan Naatz said in the recording.