The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

September 25, 2013

Sisters of St. Francis: Learn how to respond to climate change

The Clinton Herald

---- — The Sisters of St. Francis Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking is showing the film Chasing Ice, Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in The Canticle, 841 13th Ave. North, Clinton.

This event, which celebrates the Feast of St. Francis, is free and open to the public. CANV will join hundreds of other Catholic parishes, schools and colleges around the country by participating in the nationwide awareness campaign, “Melting Ice, Mending Creation: A Catholic Approach to Climate Change.” The film will be followed by a facilitated discussion with information on steps citizens can take in response to climate change and the environment.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, James Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

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There is an urgency as predictions of a warming planet are now becoming reality, as people around the world are experiencing increased drought, wildfire, flooding, food and water stresses, disease and population displacement. A new survey, conducted by the University of California at Berkeley, analyzed 60 studies on wars, violent crime and their correlation to climate change. Researchers found that violence and civil unrest increased with rising temperatures and extreme weather. They found that climate change could increase war and unrest by as much as 56 percent between now and 2050.

“This is a relationship we observe across time and across all major continents around the world,” said Marshall Burke, one of the study’s researchers. “The relationship we find between these climate variables and conflict outcomes are often very large.”

The survey was published in the journal “Science.”

Burke said the results “shed new light on how the future climate will shape human societies.” He also said the study suggests that “a global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius could increase the rate of intergroup conflicts, such as civil wars, by over 50 percent in many parts of the world.” In the U.S., it would mean that for every increase of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the likelihood of violent crime goes up 2 percent to 4 percent.

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The Sisters of St. Francis believe viewing this movie will help people to better understand the real consequences of global climate change. We hope it will inspire people to make decisions more consciously by reflecting on the consequences of lifestyles choices on human beings and all of creation, especially in light of the recent survey cited above.

For more information about this event, contact Laura Anderson at 242-7611.

Sister Anne Martin Phelan,


Sister Anne Martin Phelan is the president of the Sisters of St. Francis.