The St. Thomas Aquinas Green Committee came together when our diocese joined the national Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and started the Catholic Green Initiative of Santa Clara County. The diocesan agenda becomes our agenda.
We're concerned about global warming, about water pollution and water conservation and one-use plastic bags and the mess we've let our earth, air and water become. What God once found to be good has become not- so-good. We want to make it better. We can do this in our homes and in our parish activities. Beyond that, in the bigger world (but just a little blue ball, seen from space), the big guys: businesses, industries, trade groups, nations and their opinion-makers and policy-makers - will make or break this effort. Keep an eye on what the House and Senate are doing now on climate change bills.
We're all in this together. We're not environmental scientists or climatologists and we have no silver bullets, but we hope that all of us will do what all of us can do: Leave a smaller carbon footprint, thin our exhausts and recycle more while consuming less and smarter. It's not a fun thing. We'll have to grit our teeth, be more careful [full of care] about what we use, how much we use and how we get rid of it. These practices have to become habitual, almost automatic, ingrained.
Our parish Green Team will keep this subject before you. From time to time we'll suggest some neat little things to do and will ask you to share your neat little things with others. We can all be apprentice angels trying to be journeymen. With God's help let the flight of the fledglings begin!
Membership: Ann Akey, Paul Chestnut, Laisz Lam, Katia Reeves, Walt Lundin.
The Green Committee meets every fourth Monday at the Pastoral Center, First Floor Conference Room
Here is a way to remove old cars from the road and get $1,000 for each. The Vehicle Buyback Program will pay Bay Area residents $1,000 to turn in their operable, registered, 1994 or older vehicle for scrapping. A list of dismantlers is shown in the website below.
Car buyback program:
The car must have been registered and running for the previous couple of years and must be currently smog tested and on the road. If the smog test is due within 60 days, the car needs to be tested again before turning it in.
Have you ever thought, “What can I do about Climate Change?”
David Coale is a member of Carbon Free Palo Alto, a long-time environmental group leader and a Barron Park resident. He wrote an article for the Barron Park neighborhood newsletter entitled, “What Can Palo Alto Residents Do About Climate Change?” It offers some new and important ideas — going far beyond the usual “change your light bulbs and recycle.” Give it a look here.
For those who live outside of Palo Alto (and therefore are in PG&E territory), he wrote a companion article: “What Can You Do About Climate Change?” Read it here.
Do you have too much stuff? In your garage, storage unit, closets? You should read Walt Lundin’s article entitled Declutter, De-Consume, Decelerate = Delightful which appeared in the Valley Catholic on January 17, 2017.
Excerpt from "An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching; A Pastoral Statement of the United States Catholic Conference," November 14, 1991.
"At its core, the environmental crisis is a moral challenge. It calls us to examine how we use and share the goods of the earth, what we pass on to future generations, and how we live in harmony with God's creation.
"The effects of environmental degradation surround us: the smog in our cities; chemicals in our water and on our food; eroded topsoil blowing in the wind; the loss of valuable wetlands; radioactive and toxic waste lacking adequate disposal sites; threats to the health of industrial and farm workers. The problems, however, reach far beyond our own neighborhoods and work-places. Our problems are the world's problems and burdens for generations to come. Poisoned water crosses borders freely. Acid rain pours on countries that do not create it. Greenhouse gases and chlorofluorocarbons affect the earth's atmosphere for many decades, regardless of where they are produced or used.
"Opinions vary about the causes and the seriousness of environmental problems. Still, we can experience their effects in polluted air and water; in oil and wastes on our beaches; in the loss of farmland, wetlands, and forests; and in the decline of rivers and lakes. Scientists identify several other less visible but particularly urgent problems currently being debated by the scientific community, including depletion of the ozone layer, deforestation, the extinction of species, the generation and disposal of toxic and nuclear waste, and global warming. These important issues are being explored by scientists, and they require urgent attention and action. We are not scientists, but as pastors we call on experts, citizens, and policymakers to continue to explore the serious environmental, ethical, and human dimensions of these ecological challenges.
"Environmental issues are also linked to other basic problems. As eminent scientist Dr. Thomas F. Malone reported, humanity faces problems in five interrelated fields: environment, energy, economics, equity, and ethics. To ensure the survival of a healthy planet, then, we must not only establish a sustainable economy but must also labor for justice both within and among nations. We must seek a society where economic life and environmental commitment work together to protect and to enhance life on this planet."