In the wake of Cop26 in November 2021 – which disappointed the most climate-threatened societies on Earth – the task of carbon reduction for Cop27 is even more urgent, according to one of Pope Francis’s own advisers for the papal encyclical Laudato Si’– Fr Sean McDonagh.
Fr Sean is to address ACI members by Zoom in January 2022 – on a date to be arranged.
Ireland’s record on climate change is also in dire need of improvement, according to Fr Sean. The island seems bent on maintaining methane-intensive animal farming at the expense of the plant-based emphasis that ecologists and human health experts now advise. Incredibly, Ireland also unnecessarily imports vast quantities of vegetables and fruit that could be home-grown.
In addition, according to the Columban expert, the Dublin government is promoting rather than limiting the tendency of hi-tech multinational firms such as Microsoft to expand the building of data centres in Ireland. The latter – for the housing of computer servers for digital data storage – provide few jobs but consume so much energy that Ireland’s power grid could be in danger of collapse, according to some reports.
Parish Climate Committees are needed, according to Fr Sean. Their remit could include the retrofitting of churches to make them less dependent upon fossil fuels for heating – e.g. by installing solar panels linked to the electricity grid on church roofs. Church lighting could also be funded in the same way, in theory.
What else could Fr Sean have in mind for parish climate committees? Might they also have a role in changing attitudes – to ‘consumerism’, for example, and the traditional rural Irish attachment to animal-intensive agriculture? What role should Laudato Si’ play in adult faith formation?
Tune in next January 2022 to ACI’s Zoom evening with Fr Sean to find out.
For Sean’s pdf article on Cop26, click here.
Make sure to watch this space for details of Fr Sean’s Zoom presentation – set for January 2022.