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CLIMATE CHANGE and Our Responsibility To Sustain God s Earth – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: and

  • and
  • Our Responsibility
  • To Sustain Gods Earth

  • How this presentation came about
  • In November 2005 I was given the opportunity to
    attend a conference in Canberra Climate Change
    our responsibility to protect Gods Earth.
  • The conference was organised by Catholic
    Earthcare Australia, the national ecological
    agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops
    mandated to promote the ecological conversion
    called for by Pope John Paul II.
  • It is not possible to recall/record everything
    that one hears at a conference! The following
    presentation is my attempt to share with others
    what I found compelling. It includes updates as I
    continue to read in this area of Climate Change.
  • Annette Shears pbvm

REFLECTION on Gods Earth
  • PSALM 104
  • adapted

  • Praise the Lord, my soul
  • My God, how great you are
  • You are clothed with majesty and light

  • You have spread out
  • the heavens
  • like a tent

  • You use the clouds
  • as your chariot
  • and ride on the wings
  • of the wind

  • You placed the ocean
  • over the earth
  • like a robe

  • You make springs flow
  • in the valleys

  • And rivers run
  • between the hills

They provide water for the wild animals
  • In the trees nearby
  • the birds
  • make their nests
  • and sing

  • From the sky you send rain on the hills
  • and the earth is filled with your blessings

You make grass grow for the cattle and plants
for us to use
  • So that we can grow our crops and produce wine to
    make us happy
  • and olive oil to make us cheerful
  • and bread to give us strength

  • You created the moon to mark the months
  • You made the night and the darkness
  • The sun knows the time to set

There is the ocean, large and wide, where
countless creatures live, large and small alike
All of them depend on you to give them food when
they need it.
Lord, may your glory last forever I will sing to
the Lord all my life.
As long as I live I will sing praises to my
God May God be pleased with my song.
  • Global Warming

  • What are
  • some of the changes/effects
  • that we can see
  • as a result
  • of
  • Global Warming?

  • A report
  • commissioned by the Australian Government points
    out that some regions are highly vulnerable to
    climate change
  • Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
  • The Murray Darling Basin
  • SW Western Australia
  • Climate Change 2001 The Scientific Basis

  • Some effects
  • Land ice sheets are melting e.g. Greenland,
    Polar Ice Caps
  • Glaciers are shrinking

Greenland ice sheets are breaking off faster than
previously believed in the last 10
years, twice as fast.
  • As the ice sheets in the Arctic recede, polar
    bears have difficulty finding food.
  • Krill, whale food, is not as plentiful

Krill, whale food, is in short supply.
  • Because of the melting of the polar ice caps, the
    Inuit people, whose whole livelihood depends on
    the environment and the cycle of change in the
    Arctic region, are losing their habitat, food
    source, way of life, culture.

  • Sea levels are rising
  • Loss of land, crops, freshwater supplies in
    Pacific Island States e.g. Tuvalu, Kiribati,
    Marshall Islands, the Carterets in PNG,
  • People have had to relocate, leaving whole
    islands empty and, in the process of relocating,
    losing their culture.

(Bangladesh marked above) A 1 metre rise in sea
level would flood rice fields
in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, India and
China, and force many
millions from their homes.
  • NZ has agreed to accept climate change refugees
    from Tuvalu.
  • Canada is funding relocation of parts of Vanuatu.
  • Australia has so far refused to accept any
    residents from Tuvalu who appealed for

  • Other effects of global warming
  • Increase in water temperature
  • in areas where hurricanes form
  • is already resulting
  • in more intense
  • and more devastating hurricanes
  • e.g. Hurricane Katerina that devastated New
    Orleans in 2005.

  • Areas affected by the Tsunami experienced greater
    damage and loss in places where mangroves had
    been removed.

Monsoons failing some areas in Thailand can
no longer grow rice.
The Australian Scene
  • We could be facing
  • 20 to 50 of species
  • becoming extinct over this century.

  • Shearwaters on Heron Island have to fly too far
    to find food for their young.
  • When the temperature rises, the amount of food
    the birds bring back goes down.
  • As the heat affects the plankton, the schools of
    small fish thin out.
  • The tipping point of water temperature is 29o and
    the margins of survival are only 1 or 2 degrees.

Mountain Nursery Frog Mt Lewis, North Queensland
  • At 1200m, the forest is shrouded in mist. It is
    moist enough for the frogs to lay eggs on leaves.
    As the forest warms, the mist goes further up the
    mountain, so the frogs habitat gets higher up.
    Eventually, there will be no part high enough for
    the frogs to go as the mist will be above the
    mountain, not over it.

(Picture is from clipart it is not the actual
Mountain Nursery Frog)
Mountain Pygmy Possum Snowy Mountains
  • When the snow falls
  • on the boulders,
  • it creates a blanket
  • like a doona
  • that keeps the hibernating possums
  • warm underneath.

(Picture is from clipart, it is not the actual
  • If the snow melts too frequently during the
    winter, or melts early in the spring, the
    possums lose their insulating environment.
  • They wake up and use up their own body fat and
    then there is no food to find.
  • With 1o rise in annual average temperature, the
    snowline will creep almost to the top of the
  • If the Mountain Pygmy Possum loses its
    environment, it will become extinct.

The Earths Rainforests
  • The loss of the rainforests
  • has a great effect
  • on Global Warming
  • AND
  • encapsulates
  • many other ecological issues.

Effects of Loss of Rainforests
  • Land degradation
  • Increase in CO² and methane (greenhouse gases)
  • Contributes to the breakdown of the ozone shield
  • Changes rainfall patterns
  • Aids the extinction of species
  • Aids the destruction of human beings

  • Loss of biodiversity
  • will mean
  • a radical impoverishment
  • of biological life
  • and a drastic loss
  • of the Earths capacity
  • for biological adaptivity.

  • Effects on Health
  • Increased incidence of infectious diseases
  • and their movement into new regions
  • e.g. malaria in some parts of world,
  • tick-born encephalitis in Sweden.
  • Older persons are susceptible to thermal stress.
  • One effect is increase in deaths due to heat
  • e.g. in Paris in recent years.
  • Prof Tony McMichael

What causes global warming?
What causes Global Warming?
Effects of Solar Radiation
Composition of Earths Atmosphere
  • The earths atmosphere is made up of
  • 78 Nitrogen
  • 21 Oxygen
  • 1 other gases

Dividing the 1 on the left into 100 parts
gives 76 Carbon Dioxide 13 Methane 6
Nitrous Oxide 5 Fluorocarbons and small
amounts of rare gases
Which gases contribute most to Global Warming?
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Methane
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Fluorocarbons

Major contributors to high levels of Carbon
Dioxide in the atmosphere
  • Power plants
  • Cars and trucks
  • Major Transportation
  • Factories
  • Home Heating Systems
  • Deforestation

Methane Emissions
  • during production and transport of coal, natural
    gas and oil
  • decomposition of organic waste
  • rice cultivation
  • raising livestock (in 1 day, a cow can emit 250gm
    methane 1.3 billion cattle burp several

Nitrous Oxide
  • Emitted during
  • Industrial activities e.g. nitrogen fertilizers
  • Automobile exhaust
  • Disposing of human and animal waste in sewage
    treatment plants

Greenhouse gases are not naturally occurring and
contribute to Global Warming
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) (used in air
    conditioners and refrigerators - dont harm ozone
    layer BUT trap heat)
  • Perfluorcarbons (PFCs)
  • Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) (generated in a variety
    of industrial processes)

  • Australians are the highest emitters of
    greenhouse gases in the world.
  • We are one of the big causes of the problem yet
    we have been unwilling to accept the consequences
    of our lifestyle.
  • Climate Change refugees who are suffering as a
    result of our lifestyle have been refused entry
    to Australia by our Government.

  • One way our lifestyle worsens the situation
  • FOOD
  • The average food item travels over 2,000 km to
    arrive at our table.
  • If we eat 10 or so items a day, in a years
    time our food will have conquered 8 million km by
    land, sea and air.
  • Adapted from Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver

  • Picture a truck loaded with apples and oranges
    and iceberg lettuce rumbling to the moon and back
    ten times a year, all just for you.
  • Multiply that by the number of Australians who
    like to eat picture that flotilla of 21 million
    trucks on their way to the moon and ask yourself
    the question
  • Isnt it time we revised that scenario?
  • The amount of fuel used to transport our food to
    where we buy it
  • The effect of the emissions from this fuel as it
    burns to propel the vehicle
  • This is just ONE contributer to global warming!

Names of Presenters whose ideas I drew on for
this presentation
  • Fr Bill Stoeger SJ cosmologist and
    astrophysicist from the Vatican Observatory and
    University of Arizona
  • Dr Janette Lindsay senior lecturer in
    climatology, climate variability and change at
    Australian National University. She also holds
    the position of Education Manager for the
    Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse

  • Professor Tony McMichael MBBS (Univ Adelaide),
    PhD (Monash Univ), FAFPHM, FTSE biomedical
    scientist and Director of the National Centre for
    Epidemiology and Population Health ANU. Tony has
    recently coordinated the Assessment of Health
    Impacts project for the United Nations
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Fr Sean McDonagh SSC Christian Ecologist,
    lecturer, author of many books in the area of
    religion and the environment, missionary priest
    with the Columban Fathers

  • Brendan Mackey has a PhD in plant ecology from
    the Australian National University. He has worked
    as a research scientist with the CSIRO and the
    Canadian Forest Service.
  • Fr Denis Edwards MA Fordham, STD, CUA senior
    lecturer in systematic theology in the School of
    Theology of Flinders University. He teaches for
    Catholic Theological College within the
    ecumenical consortium of the Adelaide College of
  • Fr Michael Mackenzie a Catholic priest from the
    Pacific Island nation of Kirabati
  • http//

  • Pictures used are from clipart, with the
    exception of the following
  • slides
  • 1,3,6,18 C OKeeffe pbvm
  • 32-36 c/f ABC TV Catalyst, 25 May 2006, Tipping
  • 50, 51 adapted from Small Wonder, Barbara
    Kingsolver, SMALL WONDER New York HarperCollins
    Publishers, April 2002, http//