Statue at the entrance to Le Bourget Airport near Paris, honoring Charles Lindbergh, the first to solo the Atlantic, and Frenchmen Charles Nungesser and François Coli, who attempted the crossing two weeks earlier and disappeared without a trace. Each day during the Paris climate change conference, participants passed by the statue — a tribute to the Lindbergh Moment, which resonated with many COP21 attendees. [Cutline by Glenn Scherer]
Glenn Scherer, my exemplary editor at mongabay.com sums up my “faith community’s moment” story this way: The story link is here.
- Catholic Pope Francis, with his climate change encyclical, and Islamic leaders with their Declaration on Climate Change, both helped to rally their billions of followers to set the stage for a successful Paris climate agreement.
- Now, the world over, Faith leaders are discussing and debating the best strategies and tactics for avoiding climate chaos, adapting to global warming, and protecting the world’s poorest and must vulnerable from continuing environmental degradation.
- “This is the moment the spirit is trying to work. We need to be there, in all corners of the world, to carry out the message as best we can. We believe in it. We believe in it!” — Sister Sheila Kinsey
In writing for the News & Record on Jan. 3, 2016, I pulled together the threads from my reporting in Paris and Rome in December 2015 to note that, led by the example of Pope Francis, the global faith community’s is coming together for a common good — to fight climate change and work for environmental protection. My sources were strong, including Sister Sheila Kinsey (above) in Rome:
“People are saying this is the Catholic hour; the Christian hour,” Sister Sheila Kinsey told me in her office at the Christian Brothers House in Rome, where she runs the Justice Peace & Integrity of Creation Committee. “We are dealing with issues that are critical to human nature,” she added. “There has to be a way to come together and do it right, to protect the environment and human rights. We can go to the moon, for goodness sake! Why can’t we deal with this? It’s a matter of setting our priorities, establishing our values.”
The most powerful interview I had was with the man who could have been pope, and may still become pope after Francis, Cardinal Peter Turkson: “At the time Pope Francis took over, the church had a lot of bruises,” he explained. “Pedophilia was at its raging height, OK? So many accusations. He set up a commission to deal with it. It’s not that the bruises are gone. But his own sense of leadership, simplicity, authenticity and credibility have helped shove a whole lot of this bad stuff into the background.”