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Mon, October 25, 2021

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COP26: GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS AND GLOBAL WARMING

As we know one of the key objectives of COP is to commit the participants to reduce greenhouse emissions so that global warming will not go beyond 2C compared with pre-industrial times, and ideally no higher than 1.5C.
Although there is a general acknowledgement that this reduction is necessary there is great diversity among participants in respect to what policies are required to ensure that these targets are met.
 
Carbon dioxide is probably the best known of the greenhouse gases. It is produced by various modes of transport, including cars, lorries, planes and ships. They are produced also by burning fossil fuels, that is gas, oil, and coal. We, as humans also produced carbon dioxide when we breathe. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Therefore, the problem isn’t producing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions, it is the amount that we produce that is the problem because of the way in which they contribute to global warming.
It is not only greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming but also deforestation and the exploitation of peat bogs, because forest and peat bogs would be a natural way of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere.
 
How do greenhouse emissions contribute to global warming?
Greenhouse gases are any gases in the atmosphere which are able to absorb infrared radiation, which has the effect of trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere. Therefore, the more greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere the greater the amount of heat trapped and so the greater the increase in the world’s temperature.
 
Where do we see the effect of global warming?
The effects of global warming are becoming clear to all to see. It is very visible in the extent to which the polar ice caps, both in the Artic and the Antarctic have been melting.
The effects have been witnessed recently in the increase in bush and forest fires in different parts of the world and in extraordinary flooding, which for example was witnessed in Northern Europe this year.
Global warming effects the lives of all people inhabiting our world but also the lives of animals and plants.
 
SCRIPTURE
 
Thessalonians 4:1-2
We urge and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants, as you have learnt from us, and as you are already living it. You have not forgotten the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.
 
Reflection:
How seriously do you take global warming? How much does your knowledge of the causes of global warming effect the choices you make in your day to day living?
Can we make a difference?
 
LAUDATO SÍ
Pope Francis concludes his teaching in Laudato Sí with a prayer for the earth:
 
A prayer for our earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.

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