Dalai Lama’s Message to World Leaders

Before COP-21, the Dalai Lama recorded a message for all people to see, addressing the world leaders who were going to meet in Paris. In his message, he urged people to take responsibility for what we have done to the planet and start to live more sustainably. He also noted that Tibet is effected much more drastically by climate change than other regions of the world. Tibet has long been considered the rooftop of the earth, and is much more susceptible to environmental degradation. For more information on this, click here.

To watch the Dalai Lama’s message for yourself, check out the video below.

Video Credit: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/20/dalai-lama-says-strong-action-on-climate-change-is-a-human-responsibility

YouTube Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYBMLsc64HM&feature=youtu.be

The People’s March

The People’s Pilgrimage was not the only religious based event to take place during COP-21. Another event, the People’s March, was organized and demonstrated in major cities around the world. For those who could not attend the convention in Paris, marches were held around the world to demonstrate solidarity with the cause of environmental stewardship and justice. Many people who participated in this march in Paris were also members of the People’s Pilgrimage. However, in Paris there was conflict due to lingering tensions from the November 13th terrorist attack. For more information and personal stories about The People’s March, click here.

Video Credit: http://peoplesclimate.org/

The People’s Pilgrimage

COP-21 was recently held in Paris, where leaders from countries all over the world met to discuss potential climate change plans. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people of various faiths made their way to the convention. They journeyed to Paris in a pilgrimage of solidarity. People of all faiths were in attendance to rally together and show how religious consciousness is now linked with environmental stewardship. To get a better look at the involvement of faith communities in COP-21, as well as specific stories about the People’s Pilgrimage, check this out.


Photo Credit: http://peoplespilgrimage.org/evoke/blog/introduction-and-itinerary/view?category=Yeb%27s+Journey

One group walked 1,500 km. from Rome to Paris. Among this group was Yeb Saño, the representative of the Philippines in COP-19. He has become a well-known activist, as his homeland was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan during COP-19. The pilgrimage brought copies of Laudato Si, the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, and the Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders 2015 to show how invested the faith communities are when it comes to climate change and environmental issues. To read more about the People’s Pilgrimage, click here.


Origins Publishes Full Text of Cardinal Turkson’s Ohio State Speech; Highlights Link to COP-21

The Catholic News Service publication “Origins,” which is delivered to Catholic bishops, clergy, and diocesan staff across the country, recently gave front page attention to the full text of Cardinal Peter Turkson’s November 2 address at The Ohio State University (OSU).  This prominent placement has provided a broad, national reading for the speech that Turkson delivered to a live audience of nearly 1,500 at Mershon Auditorium and several hundred other live-stream TurksonOriginsPicJPEGviewers across Ohio.  The remarks published in Origins also include some expanded text beyond what Cardinal Turkson was able to present in his evening program at OSU, which can inform further dialogue and response at OSU and beyond.

In these remarks, Turkson highlights the role of the encyclical, Laudato Si’, in calling attention to the great environmental challenges of our time, sparking individual and political commitment to address climate change and other challenges,  and inspiring an “ecological conversion” towards an “integral ecology” that joins natural, social, and spiritual dimensions to effect positive change.  Within this integral framework, Turkson highlights several issues that receive particular attention in Laudato Si’, including: the relation between the poor and the planet, the interconnection of everything, a critique of the new “technocratic paradigm,” the value of all creatures and the importance of humans to ecology, the need for “forthright and honest debates,” the serious responsibility of international and local policy, the “throwaway culture,” the need for new lifestyles, and an “invitation to search for other ways of understanding economy and progress.”

The full speech closes with a short overview of the six chapters of Laudato Si’ and looks forward to the hope that the encyclical will inspire real dialogue and meaningful political action at the COP-21 negotiations in Paris that began today.

Full text of the speech is found here: Origins Nov 12 2016 OSU Cardinal TurksonPP1-5

Scientific American Highlights Religion-Environment Potential for Climate Change

Today’s article in Scientific American by Evangelical Christian climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe highlights some of the potential of religions to help solve environmental problems.  Hayhoe notes recent surveyHayhoeSAtitlePicJPG research showing that Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical and visit to the United States helped shift American perceptions about climate change about 10% toward greater belief in the seriousness of climate change and the need to take action.  Hayhoe will attend the COP-21 meetings in Paris as both a scientist and a person of faith.


Dr. Hayhoe spoke about Climate Change: Facts, Fictions, and Our Faith at an Earthkeeping Summit at Ohio State in October of 2014.