God knows that anyone concerned about the climate crisis could use an occasional infusion of good news. One of my favorite paths to an encouraging word begins with a scroll down the EarthBeat homepage to our Interfaith Climate Tracker.
The Tracker updates 24 hours a day with the latest news from 45 groups around the world that are working on climate issues from the perspective of faith, many faiths, in fact.
It's not that these groups are drawing a happy face on the sobering prospects that lie ahead for us without significant action to slow global warming. But they do document the good and difficult work that's getting done on multiple fronts.
Here are a few examples from the last day or so:
One reason we decided to highlight what these groups are doing is that, as political and scientific leaders have pointed out, politics and science are insufficient by themselves to move people to the level of disruptive movement it will take to head off a climate disaster.
Gina McCarthy, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama, helped make that case for EarthBeat readers here. Philip Duffy, a physicist who heads the Woods Hole Research Center, helped organize a coalition of scientists and faith leaders around climate issues two years ago. Earlier this year on EarthBeat, he congratulated Pope Francis for getting the science and urged him to step it up on the action front.
Check out actions underway by people of various faiths on the Tracker, which you can also access directly on Twitter.
Here's what's new on EarthBeat this week:
- Camellia Moses Okpodu, a dean at Xavier University of Louisana, the nation's only Catholic HBCU, makes the case that the work of Laudato Si' will require stewardship for all and by all. Among other things, that means more training in the environmental sciences for African American students.
- As part of our association with Covering Climate Now, we're able to publish this story by Rachel Ramirez of Grist: For indigenous protestors, defending the environment can be fatal.
- As our Digging into Laudato Si' series nears its end (it concludes next week), Samantha Panchèvre offers a respite: The power of love and the need to rest.
- In our latest Small Earth Story, Lindy Brasher tells the story of a wren whose early morning songs she hopes won't become a lament for a damaged planet.
Here's some of what's new in other climate news this week:
- The Associated Press reports that three space agencies, using 17 satellites, have created a website that functions as a dashboard showing the temporary changes in pollution resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns around the world.
- Yale Climate Connections rounds up recent discussions of the linkage between racism and climate change.
- Writing in the New York Times Climate Forward Newsletter, John Schwartz and Geneva Abdul explain how the Supreme Court's recent ruling on gay and transgender rights in the workplace may benefit the climate.
- And speaking of global warming, EcoWatch reports on the Siberian town that has experienced its first temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever recording north of the Arctic Circle.
On July 7, Christian Climate Action will convene a virtual event focused on "the racial lens through which we view climate change and plan action."
One advantage of so many events moving online is their accessibility to a wider audience. If you'd like to expand the audience of your next virtual climate event, please post it here.
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At some point next month, I'll be moving to a new role at NCR. That means we need a new EarthBeat editor. If you're interested – or know of someone who might be – please read the job description and follow up! The deadline for applications is June 30.
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Thanks for reading.
NCR Climate Editor