April is Earth Month

April 22 is Earth day. One day out of 365 that we designate to gather in prayer and action for the health of our planet. Earth Day started in 1970 as a way to give voice to the emerging environmental movement. The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth.

As we emerge from a global pandemic, it is even clearer how critical it is to address the factors causing climate change and the destruction of our planet. We can no longer hide from the reality that we are all connected and as a species, we will rise or fall together. Our changing climate is creating climate migrants, people who are forced to abandon their ancestral land due to flood, draught, wild fires, etc. We see people in urban environments who are stuck in places where the water coming from their pipes is not only not fit to drink, but even unfit to be used to clean. The same goes for people who live near natural gas fracking sites. They have the added bonus of being able to light their water on fire right out of the tap. Our food supply will be affected as weather patterns become ever more extreme. It is hard to plant and harvest when there is too much rain in one season and not enough in the next. Our oceans are filling with the plastic we use for convenience and then casually throw away. The ocean is where the most delicate parts of the food web begin. If we destroy the web at that level, it affects the whole system.

The people with whom our sisters have and do work are those most affected. People who live in poverty and have very little power over any of the conditions that are creating these problems are the first who are being affected and it is they who will suffer the most. What are we called to do? We must stop giving lip service to caring for creation. WE must commit, as individuals and as a society, to looking at the reality of the situation, regardless of what is causing it, and create solutions that will have effect on both a micro and a macro scale. There are so many resources in a simple Goggle search. But also, remember the power of your vote. Advocate with elected officials. Maybe even run for office. Working for the common good is a Gospel call.

Stay active! Stay Engaged!

Teresa Phillips
Director of Office of Justice Peace and Care for Creation

Join the Catholic Climate Covenant for Earth Day 2021

Sign Up for 21-Day Catholic Environmental Justice Challenge, April 23 - May 16

Sign a petition asking your congresional members to co-sponsor the REPLANT Act. This bill will help U.S. forests capture 75 million metric tons of carbon, essentially erasing the use of 8.53 billion gallons of gasoline.

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