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Peace work is Climate work

Monica Lambton, JPIC Coordinator

As the U.N. Conference on Climate in Paris wraps up, we see the positive effects of our advocacy (the fruit of our Congregation of Notre Dame Corporate Stance) as it joined in with that of almost a million others. Over the past year we have been blessed with a Visitation Province calendar that has invited us to engage with the theme of Peace and to reflect on ways that we can be better peacemakers. These two paths of peace work and climate action are now converging in Paris and beyond with the continued work on global cooperation around climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been universally acknowledged as a credible source of climate related news. The latest report of the IPCC suggests that "global warming would have devastating impacts of a social and political nature as well, including economic decline, state collapse, civil strife, mass migrations, and sooner or later resource wars..." They suggest that we should consider the events in Syria and Mali as previews of what is likely to come later in this century on a far larger scale. They follow these dire predictions, however, with an assertion that "The best way to avoid future climate-related strife is, of course, to reduce the pace of global warming. Every fraction of a degree less warming achieved in Paris and thereafter will mean that much less blood spilled in future climate-driven resource wars. This is why the Paris climate summit should be viewed as a kind of pre-emptive peace conference..."

As we move into 2016, we will continue to play our part as Peace Builders, along with a continued commitment to the Corporate Stance. As Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si', "Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.” (91)

The last few months of the 2015 Visitation Province has highlighted the connections between peace and injustice and vulnerable populations, hunger, human dignity, and autocracy. It has helped us reflect on how everything is connected.


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