Geoff O’Donoghue, CAFOD’s Director of Operations, visited Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles to speak to supporters and parishioners about CAFOD’s work and new ambition “No One Beyond Reach.”
Last year we were facing the worst end of the Beast of the East, this year we’re sunbathing in parks during a winter heatwave. The average maximum temperature for February is 7°C but this year we’ve seen highs of 20.3°C. Although nobody is complaining about the warmer weather, should we be worried that this could be the prolonged effects of climate change?
Warmer weather means that ice sheets and glaciers are melting, this adds water to the sea and then causes flooding during heavy showers – damaging our homes and our landscapes. While the Met Office has stated that the drastic changes in weather cannot be directly linked to climate change, human activity can be playing a major role.
Air pollution is a factor that contributes massively to climate change. When the air becomes polluted, it impacts the health of people, animals and vegetation. The main greenhouse gas emission that experts worry about is carbon dioxide which gets released when we burn fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. There are a number of industrial factories across Wales that all contribute to air pollution and studies show that living in heavily polluted areas often leave locals with health problems from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses to added stress to the heart and the lungs. Port Talbot Steelworks has impacted the community so much that the town has been named the most polluted in the UK.
But climate change isn’t something that happens overnight, it’s a long-term shift in our normal weather patterns – which is why everyone must take action now and achieve net zero in order to prevent some of the more catastrophic results. ‘Net zero’ means only putting the same amount of emissions into the atmosphere as we take out.
So should we be concerned? The weather on our shared planet is changing drastically. We’re seeing wildlife and plants appearing much earlier than they should and though we may all be enjoying the sunny afternoons, we may be paying the price in years to come. It threatens not only the homes and health of animals but also our homes, health, agriculture and infrastructure.
Pope Francis has encouraged everyone to take responsibility for our common home. He said:
“There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyles.”
We can treat our home with respect by leading the way, taking responsibility and forging new habits. Although we have come far in the fight against climate change, if we want to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C we need to be going much further, faster.
What is Earth Hour? And why should we be interested?
Earth Hour is an annual global celebration where people switch off their lights for one hour to show that they care about the future of our planet.
It’s the tenth anniversary of Earth Hour and it’s estimated that over 6 million people will take part in the UK.
CAFOD is speaking out about climate change because it is the single biggest threat to reducing poverty that exists today. Whether it’s floods destroying livelihoods or unpredictable rains leaving millions hungry.
The last three years have been the hottest on record.
It’s estimated that nearly 1 in 6 species are at risk of becoming extinct – all down to climate change.
We have just one world and it’s changing fast.
It’s never been more important to show that we care.
In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls on us all to make simple daily gestures to care for the world’s poorest people, for future generations and for the earth, our common home.
This is an opportunity to live wisely, think deeply and love generously.
Since the Paris agreement in 2015 and the UK’s own Climate Act – there have been strong calls for action – but the need is urgent and now is the time to act to protect our beautiful planet Earth.
Earth Hour is a global movement, which brings millions together across the world to call for greater action.
In 2016 a record number of countries took part – 178 countries – in fact and each year more countries come on board.
Famous landmarks around the globe take part – the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle and in Wales, the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, Cardiff Castle and the National Library of Wales, the Principality Stadium and the Liberty Stadium, as well as many other cities, towns and communities like our very own across the world will switch off their lights and come together for an hour, to join a global show of support for action on climate change.
Will you join us tonight (Saturday 25 March) at 8.30 p.m. Sign up, switch off your lights and show you want action on climate change.
Get to know more about climate change by reading about our latest campaign.
Let us pray for the earth, our common home.
We are so blessed in the Archdiocese. All of us have a special place that we love to visit. Maybe it’s our local park, the spectacular Brecon Beacons, the meandering Wye in Herefordshire or the beautiful coastline of Pembrokeshire. They are all places we treasure. Continue reading
Parishioners from the LiveSimply group from St Mary’s in Monmouth and St Frances of Rome, Ross-on-Wye have been getting together over the last six months to explore ways to live more simply in their respective communities.
The first meeting of the new year saw the group hone in on planning the actions that they wish to take going forward. Pope Francis has called on us all to make simple daily gestures to care for the world’s poorest people, for future generations and for the earth, our common home. Continue reading
Harvest Fast Day (7 October) was the date when Dr Jesse Norman, MP was holding his surgery in the Larruperz Centre in Ross-on-Wye.
Local constituent and CAFOD volunteer, Therese Warwick, was delighted to be able to meet with Dr Norman to talk about climate change and in particular, CAFOD’s Power to the People campaign, just before the national Week of Action (8-16 October).
When we met in early October, Jesse Norman said three things needed to be balanced:
“industrial strategy, energy strategy and the economy…”
Both parish communities have been working together, exploring exploring CAFOD’s liveSimply award, following a series of talks earlier in the year from CAFOD South Wales.
Cardiff and Menevia are amongst sixteen dioceses in England and Wales that are switching to renewable energy – including sources such as wind and solar power. Continue reading
On 12 July, CAFOD supporters and campaigners came together at St David’s Cathedral in Cardiff to hear Takura Gwatinyanya, a Water and Sanitation specialist from Zimbabwe who explained how the country is using sustainable solutions to solve their water issues. Watch our video above to find out more! Continue reading