Author: Tim Cross

CEE Hosts “A Consultation on Air” – Tuesday, April 26

A Consultation on Air: St. James Parish
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
8 a.m. San Francisco | 11 a.m. New York | 5 p.m. Paris

REGISTER TODAY!

The global community is learning quickly about the perils of plastic pollution. It is not just the plastic waste that litter the world’s oceans, streams and landscapes. Microplastics contamination ranges from the high atmosphere to the delicate ocean floor. Microplastics are found deep in our lungs, in our blood and even in placentae.

For the residents of St. James Parish, Louisiana, the devastating impacts of plastic and plastic production have been a daily, lived reality. Known as Cancer Alley because of astronomical cancer rates among residents, St. James Parish is an 85-mile stretch of land along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, which is home to more than 150 petrochemical plants and refineries that supply chemicals and raw materials used in plastics.

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, the Center for Earth Ethics for “A Consultation on Air: St James Parrish.” You’ll hear from four incredible people working in and around St. James Parish who utilize their traditions, culture and values to stop plastic pollution at its source, push restoration work, and create legal frameworks to deal with plastic pollution through its entire lifecycle.

Our speakers for the consultation are:

  • Casey Camp-Horinek – Activist, Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society
  • Jane Patton – Campaign Manager, Plastics & Petrochemicals, Center for International Environmental Law
  • Judith Enck – President, Beyond Plastics; Senior Fellow and Visiting Faculty Member, Bennington College
  • Sharon Lavigne – President, Rise St. James, 2021 Goldman Prize Recipient

This dialogue is the first in the Values, Culture, and Spirituality Series, convened by the Center for Earth Ethics as part of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Andrew Schwartz, director of sustainability and global affairs, organized the consultation and will moderate.

REGISTER TODAY!

Earth Day 2022: Life Force

Earth Day 2022: Life Force
Livestreamed from James Chapel, Union Theological Seminary
Friday, April 22, 2022 | 4 – 7 p.m.

Spend an afternoon tending to the best of the human spirit, which is part and parcel of the life force that animates our planet.

Earth Day 2022 is an opportunity for tapping into the creative energy that flows through each of us, a counterpoint to the overload of information and analysis that can leave us depleted and exhausted—and a boost to get us to the other side. Join us as we gather with artists, poets, thought leaders and climate scientists who are reimagining and recasting how we experience the greatest challenge of our time.

Scheduled speakers and performers at Earth Day 2022, which will be live-streamed from James Chapel at Union Theological Seminary in New York, include Bill McKibben, Gavin Schmidt,  Jacqui Patterson,  Jody Sperling, Karenna Gore, Kate Marvel, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Lyla June, Mike Massimino, Miranda Massie, Mitchell Joachim, Pádraig Ó Tuama, Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, and the New York City Labor Chorus

Convened by the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, in collaboration with Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky and The Climate Museum, Earth Day 2022 will bridge the gaps to foster ecological thought and action.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 

NB. This post has been updated to include a current list of speakers and performers.

Values, Culture and Spirituality in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Fireside Chat: Values, Culture and Spirituality in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
Virtual Event — Monday, April 11, 2022
8 a.m. Los Angeles | 11 a.m. New York | 5 p.m. Paris | 6 p.m. Nairobi

What does it take to heal the planet? Some might look to finance, knowledge or political power. But what about the values, ethics and spiritual elements as guides for climate action? The Center for Earth Ethics and the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration invite you to a fireside chat on Monday, April 11, on the role of values, culture, and spirituality in the work of ecosystem restoration.

Speakers at the fireside chat, which will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, will be:

  • Lucy Mulenkei – Executive Director, Indigenous Information Network
  • Tim Christophersen – Head, Nature for Climate Branch Ecosystems Division, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Andrew Schwartz – Director, Sustainability and Global Affairs, Center for Earth Ethics

This chat kick off a series of consultations, organized by Schwartz, with faith-based and other spiritual groups during 2022 about the UN Decade.

Find out more here and join us live on Zoom.

For Faith Leaders: Navigating Energy and the Climate Crisis

On Energy and Faith: Ministry in the Time of Climate Crisis
Tuesday – Thursday, May 17 – 19, 2022
Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

The world is changing. Today’s calamities, notably the disruptions to oil and gas supplies that are compounding the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prove once again that we all must move away from our reliance on fossil fuels. Nations, communities and individuals are beginning to transition to renewable energy sources—like solar and wind—but the vast majority of the world’s energy still comes from burning fossil fuels, the main driver of climate change. How can we hasten the transition toward renewable energy sources? And, as we make than transition, how can we ensure that it is just and equitable? Shifting to renewable energy holds tremendous promise as part of a solution to the climate crisis, but we must ensure that communities are properly supported, with access to those new energy sources and to good jobs that can enhance people’s quality of life.

Faith leaders have a unique role to play in navigating these thorny practical and ethical questions. More than 80 percent of the global population belongs to a faith community. Faith leaders can educate about the climate crisis, advocate for changing how we produce energy, and help ensure that the shift to renewable energy is just and equitable.

From Tuesday, May 17 to Thursday, May 19, the Center for Earth Ethics and The Climate Reality Project will host “On Energy and Faith: Ministry in the Time of Climate Crisis,” a special interfaith climate training for faith leaders. The theme of this year’s training is energy. During this two-and-a-half-day learning experience, we’ll take a deep dive—not just into energy as a practical necessity but also our own personal energy, addressing the burnout felt by faith leaders, activists and others in local communities.

Catholic University of America

The training, which will be held at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., will include seminars, rituals, workshops and skill-building sessions. We’re limiting attendance to 35 people to create an intimate environment that allows for candid, meaningful discussion.

So, if you’re a faith leader interested in growing your understanding of energy and the climate crisis, and you can make it to Washington, D.C., in May, we hope that you’ll apply. Applications are open to leaders of any faith who are serving their congregations or communities at least half-time.

The hosts will cover most meals for participants, as well as ground transportation between training venues within Washington, D.C. Participants will be responsible for covering their own travel costs to and from Washington, though a limited number of need-based scholarships (including travel grants and registration-fee waivers) are available. In addition, a handful of low-cost accommodations at Catholic University will be available for participants who live outside of commuting distance. Housing and scholarships will be allocated on a case-by-case basis.

LEARN MORE AND APPLY

Karenna Gore to Discuss “Widening the Circle” at Yale, February 23

“Widening the Circle”
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
12 p.m. New Haven & New York
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On Wednesday, February 23, 2022, at noon Eastern Time, Executive Director Karenna Gore will address Yale students and guests as a session in the School of the Environment BIOMES speaker series. The title of Ms. Gore’s address, “Widening the Circle,” will examine the root causes of today’s compound ecological crisis.

Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-founder and co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, will introduce Ms. Gore. The talk will be broadcast live to members of the Yale community in Burke Auditorium and online to guests.

Faith for Earth Aims to Shape Global Environmental Policy

Faith for Earth Dialogue
Online
Monday, February 21 – Friday, March 4

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The next few weeks could prove decisive for global environmental policymaking. The fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly will be held online and in Nairobi, Kenya, from February 28 through March 2. Hosted by the UN Environment Programme, UNEA-5 will bring together representatives of the UN’s 193 Member States, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders “to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

How can faith-based organizations ensure that their voices are heard when global policymakers meet in Nairobi? 

To amplify the voices of faith-based organizations at UNEA-5, UNEP’s Faith for Earth Initiative has organized the Faith for Earth Dialogue, a set of more than 25 online panels and conversations from February 21 to March 4. The goal is to demonstrate “the power and potential of faith-based organizations and faith leaders in shaping the discussions at UNEA as well as engaging in policy dialogue with other stakeholders.”

“Equity needs to be at the front of every conversation during UNEA-5 if policymakers want to create meaningful action on  the climate crisis,” says Andrew Schwartz, director of sustainability and global affairs. “In this unprecedented moment, the Faith for Earth Dialogue is an important opportunity for the Center for Earth Ethics and other organizations to help shape global climate policy.”

CEE’s participation in the Faith for Earth Dialogue includes the following sessions (all times New York): 

  • On Monday, February 21, 9:30 a.m., at “Faith for Earth: A Call for Action.” CEE Advisory Board member Kusumita Pedersen, chair of the Interfaith Center of New York and a trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, is a panelist.
  • On Wednesday, February 23, 8 a.m., at “Working Group on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration.” Andrew Schwartz and Gopal Patel, a senior advisor, are panelists.
  • On Friday, February 25, 9:30 a.m., at “Faith, Values & Ethics in Environmental Governance.” Kusumita Pedersen and Mona Polacca, a senior fellow at CEE, are panelists.
  • On Wednesday, March 2, 8 a.m., at “Faith and Food: Nature Positive Solutions for a Flourishing World.” Andrew Schwartz organized and will lead the session. (Special registration link for this session only: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hDhq_ATDQLycXh5TDAwFpg?fbclid=IwAR3-_lPAtegBXBZNdzIEE77soY97ZPa8WNJUBfgZimHxzfxhHSpYhG0ZUpU.)
  • On Friday, March 4, 8 a.m., at “Faiths Respond to Stockholm+50 & [email protected]Gopal Patel is a panelist. Karenna Gore, CEE’s founder and executive director, will moderate the session.

The Faith for Earth Dialogue is open to all stakeholders. Register today at Faith for Earth Dialogue

 

NB. This post has been edited to correct the Faith for Food Dialogue start date, to include a new featured image, and to include a hyperlink to the 2 March “Faith and Food” session.

 

Call to Faith Communities: Host a Climate and Justice Teach-In!

Teach-Ins on Climate and Justice to be Held Worldwide on March 30, 2022
Information Session for Faith-Based Communities to be held on February 16, 2022

As the negative impacts of the climate crisis accumulate, faith communities have a vital role to play in addressing climate change and creating just climate solutions. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues must act now to make a difference. The Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice aims to mobilize half a million educators, students and community members to participate in a historic global event on March 30, 2022.

“The climate crisis is about more than data and science. It is about perceptions, beliefs and values,” says Karenna Gore, executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics. “We are excited to help engage faith communities and institutions in the worldwide climate teach-in on March 30 because they have a vital role to play in facing up to the root causes of the climate crisis and creating positive change.”

The Center for Earth Ethics partnered with Bard College’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability to create a teach-in model for faith communities to assist churches, mosques, temples and synagogues around the world to participate in the global event on Wednesday, March 30.

“We are all experiencing the rising sense of climate despair,” says Dr. Eban Goodstein, director of Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability and founder of the Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice. “By mobilizing half a million faith leaders, seminarians, educators, students and people of faith around the world, we aim to replace that despair with a powerful sense of agency about the work we can do together—this year, next year and over the next decades—to change the future.”

Gore and Goodstein noted that the teach-in model for faith communities is designed to be adapted by each community and its members according to their unique circumstances.

To help describe the roles that faith communities and people of faith can take in the Worldwide Teach-In, Bard is hosting an information session on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Interested individuals can register here to learn ways to engage people from their faith community in serious dialogue about climate solutions and justice in the transition. Samuel King, research associate at the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, will be the guest speaker.

On its Worldwide Teach-In website, anyone can access easy-to-organize models for teach-ins at colleges, universities, high schools and middle schools, and K-6 classes, as well as faith communities.

The Worldwide Teach-In is supported by the Open Society University Network.

Visit the Teach-In Model for Faith Communities
Visit the Worldwide Teach-In Website

Register for the Faith Communities Information Session

 

 

Karenna Gore to Speak at Keeping Faith in Science? Series

CEE Executive Director Karenna Gore will take part in the Keeping Faith in Science?, a series of webinars in February sponsored by the London-based United Society Partners in the Gospel. She will speak about faith and the climate crisis at 2:30 p.m. EST (7.30 p.m. U.K. time) on February 17 alongside Dr. George Zachariah from Trinity Methodist Theological College, New Zealand.

“We are privileged to be joined by Karenna Gore, an expert in the relationship between faith and climate activism, alongside many other experts in their respective fields across the world church,” said Revd Canon Richard Bartlett, USPG’s director of mission engagement. “It is going to be a thought-provoking and very topical series of webinars.”

Other speakers in the four-part series, which will be running at 7.30 p.m. every Thursday in February, include Professor Jolyon Mitchell, director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Edinburgh, and Dr. Mwai Makoka, programme executive at the World Council of Churches.

Founded in 1701, USPG is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and champion justice.

LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

Virtual Event | Ecocide: A Discussion of Law and Ethics, January 20, 2022

Ecocide: A Discussion of Law and Ethics
Thursday, January 20, 2022
VIRTUAL EVENT
9 a.m. Los Angeles | 12 p.m. New York & Quito | 6 p.m. The Hague

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Mass environmental devastation affects us all, even if the damage is inflicted within national borders. Yet as it stands today international law is inadequate to address extreme, willful damage to the environment.

Now, a global effort is underway to make international law a more powerful mechanism to protect our planet. In June 2021, the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide defined ecocide as the “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.”

This definition is an initial step to making ecocide an international crime. At present, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court lists four international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Recognizing ecocide as the fifth would create, in the Panel’s words, “a new and practical legal tool” to preserve and protect the Earth, our common home.

Left to right: Hugo Echeverria, Kate Mackintosh, Olivia Swaak-Goldman, Karenna Gore

On Thursday, January 20, 2022, at noon (New York time), “Ecocide: A Discussion of Law and Ethics” will assemble international lawyers and scholars to discuss the Panel’s efforts to define ecocide as well as to examine the significance of shifting to an eco-centric framework.

Scheduled speakers include attorney and consultant Hugo Echeverria, an expert in the environmental rule of law, wildlife crime, and the rights of Nature; Kate Mackintosh, inaugural executive director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law and a deputy chair of the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide; and Olivia Swaak-Goldman, executive director of the Wildlife Justice Commission, who  has published extensively on international criminal law and humanitarian law. Karenna Gore, CEE’s founder and executive director, organized the session and will serve as moderator.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law, and the Wildlife Justice Commission.

REGISTER TODAY

Panelist Biographies

Hugo Echeverria has worked in environmental law since 2001, with an emphasis on constitutional approaches to biodiversity conservation, the environmental rule of law, wildlife crime, and the rights of Nature, areas in which he practices as an attorney and a consultant. He also lectures on environmental law in Ecuador, at undergraduate and graduate levels. Between 2014 and 2017, he coordinated the minor on environmental law at the Faculty of Law of Universidad San Francisco de Quito, where he currently lectures in Environmental Law.

Karenna Gore is the founder and executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. Karenna formed CEE in 2015 to address the moral and spiritual dimensions of the climate crisis. Working at the intersection of faith, ethics, and ecology, she guides the Center’s public programs, educational initiatives, and movement-building. She also is an ex officio faculty member of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Her previous experience includes serving as director of Union Forum, a platform for theological scholarship to engage with civic discourse and social change.

Kate Mackintosh is the inaugural executive director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law. She has held multiple roles at the UN international criminal tribunals, worked in post-conflict human rights field operations in Bosnia and in Rwanda, and was for eight years legal adviser and then head of humanitarian affairs for the international NGO, Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders. Most recently she was a deputy co-chair of the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide.

Olivia Swaak-Goldman, the executive director of the Wildlife Justice Commission, has 25 years’ experience in international justice and diplomacy, has published extensively on issues of international criminal law and international humanitarian law, and served as a lecturer for both Harvard and Leiden Universities. Prior to joining the WJC, Olivia was head of the International Relations Task Force of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and Senior Legal Advisor at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among other roles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call to Faith Communities: Host a Climate and Justice Teach-In!

Teach-Ins on Climate and Justice to be Held Worldwide on March 30, 2022
Information Sessions Scheduled for January 13, 2022

As the negative impacts of the climate crisis accumulate, faith communities have a vital role to play in addressing climate change and creating just climate solutions. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues must act now to make a difference.  The Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice aims to mobilize half a million educators, students and community members to participate in a historic global event on March 30, 2022.

“The climate crisis is about more than data and science. It is about perceptions, beliefs and values,” says Karenna Gore, executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics. “We are excited to help engage faith communities and institutions in the worldwide climate teach-in on March 30 because they have a vital role to play in facing up to the root causes of the climate crisis and creating positive change.”

The Center for Earth Ethics partnered with Bard College’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability to create a teach-in model for faith communities to assist churches, mosques, temples and synagogues around the world to participate in the global event on Wednesday, March 30.

“We are all experiencing the rising sense of climate despair,” says Dr. Eban Goodstein, director of Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability and founder of the Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice. “By mobilizing half a million faith leaders, seminarians, educators, students and people of faith around the world, we aim to replace that despair with a powerful sense of agency about the work we can do together—this year, next year and over the next decades—to change the future.”

Gore and Goodstein noted that the teach-in model for faith communities is designed to be adapted by each community and its members according to their unique circumstances.

To help describe the roles that faith communities and people of faith can take in the Worldwide Teach-In, Bard and CEE are holding information sessions on January 13, 2022, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Interested individuals can register here to learn ways to engage people from their faith community in serious dialogue about climate solutions and justice in the transition. Gore will be a guest speaker at these sessions.

On its Worldwide Teach-In website, anyone can access easy-to-organize models for teach-ins at colleges, universities, high schools and middle schools, and K-6 classes, as well as faith communities.

The Worldwide Teach-In is supported by the Open Society University Network.

Visit the Teach-In Model for Faith Communities
Visit the Worldwide Teach-In Website

Register for a Faith Communities Information Session