Nonviolence . . . Human trafficking . . . Women . . . . The elderly . . . Immigrants' rights . . . Housing. . . Children . . . Prisoners' rights . . . Health care . . . World Hunger . . . Globalization, as it affects Latin America . . . Care of the earth . . . Seamless ethic of life

Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author's and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Speak out now to say NO to drilling on our coasts

In the first few days of 2018, Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a huge belated holiday gift to Big Oil: an unbelievably reckless plan to open up nearly all federal waters to oil and gas drilling. Then, just five days later, Zinke made another announcement (on Twitter, following in his boss's footsteps): Florida, and only Florida, would be spared. The fact that even Florida’s conservative climate-denier governor wanted no part of Trump’s offshore drilling plan highlights just how dangerous this proposal is.

We need to keep this oil in the ground and stop building new fossil fuel projects that lock us into a dangerous, fossil-fueled future. Click on the statement below.

The Dreamers Act and CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, await action by Congress.  It appears that Congress will kick the budget can down the road again, putting these programs in peril.  Continue the pressure on your congressional representative to act.
A thought to ponder from Daniel Berrigan: “And then there is the question of prayer, which consists for the most part insisting that God do for us what we are unwilling to do for one another. Resolve: Let's do for one another what we would have God do for all. This is known as God-like activity."

Monday, January 15, 2018

JusticeAlert - January 15, 2018

An update on the effort to repeal the Clean Power Plan:  The response EPA has received has led them to schedule three more listening sessions Feb. 21 in Kansas City, MO, Feb. 28 in San Francisco, and March 27 in Gillette, WY and to extend the deadline for online comments to April 26.  to allow comments after additional public "listening sessions" on eliminating the rule. 

The Catholic Climate Covenant has made it easy to send a comment to the EPA. Simply click here to begin.

Efforts to get a Dream Act passed appears to be at an impasse.  Keep calling your senators and representatives.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

From the Leadership Conference of Women Religious

We share with you a letter from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  You may want to adapt it to send your own letter to the president, your congressional representatives, your local newspaper.  

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious strongly denounces the cruel decision by the Trump administration to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 200,000 Salvadorans. El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have been stripped of their right to protection by President Trump’s administration. Rescinding TPS from human beings under continuing threat of violence of all types is inconsistent with the values and traditions of this nation and with our belief in the dignity of all persons.

The TPS program is designed to protect people from being returned to harm. That is precisely what Salvadorans will face if they are deported. El Salvador is the most violent country in the Western Hemisphere and continues to suffer from endemic poverty, lack of access to quality education, and healthcare.

TPS holders are our neighbors and friends. They have been contributing members of our communities for decades. Rescinding TPS protection for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan and threatening Hondurans with the same, places us all at risk. Ending their protection will tear families apart, fragment our communities, and disrupt local economies. 

Catholic sisters will continue to heed the scriptural command to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. We urge the Trump administration to reconsider its decisions and we call on Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to develop legislative solutions to protect vulnerable people. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Shrink Your Carbon Footprint


How are your New Year’s resolutions progressing?  If you don’t yet have one that benefits our common home, check the list below and see which one’s you can do.

10 Tips to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint (adapted from CREDO)

Americans emit 16.1 tons of carbon per person per year, according to the World Bank. This is less than in the 1970s when that number was around 22.5 tons, but it’s still far above the 2050 goal set by the Paris Climate Accords, which is 2.1 tons of carbon per person per year. 

Go car-free.  Live without a car; car pool; combine errands.  According to the EPA, the typical passenger vehicle emits around 4.7 metric tons of CO2 each year. 

Inflate your tires. If you do drive, make sure your tires are properly inflated. This can cut your carbon emissions by up to 700 pounds a year. 

Take a staycation. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or New York to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to an average years’ worth of driving. 

Eat less meat. People who eat more than 3.5 ounces of meat per day – a serving about the size of a deck of cards – generate 15.8 pounds of CO2 each day, vegetarians just 8.4 pounds and vegans only 6.4 pounds.

Try going vegetarian or vegan one or two days a week. And when you do eat meat, choose poultry, which is less greenhouse-gas intensive than beef or pork. 

Recycle. You likely recycle to some extent already, but you may not know what an impact it can have. If you recycle half your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of CO2 annually. 

Adjust your thermostat. Move your thermostat up 2 degrees in the summer and down 2 degrees in the winter. You’ll reduce your carbon emissions by 1 ton per year. 

Wash in cold water. Almost 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine goes to heat the water. Switching to cold water for your wash cycle will cut your carbon dioxide emissions by around 1,600 pounds a year. While old laundry soaps worked well only with hot water, new soaps are formulated for cold water and perform as well as or better than traditional detergents. 

Dry on a clothesline. Drying one load of laundry in a machine puts 0.1 metric tons of CO2 into the air, so line-drying your clothes makes a real difference over time. Another plus: Your clothes will last longer because they won’t get roughed up in the dryer. 

Buy an Energy Star fridge. Refrigerators 15 years or older use twice as much energy as a new Energy Star fridge. Replace your old fridge with an Energy Star model, and you can cut your carbon footprint by 8,200 pounds, and save as much as $260 in the first five years. 

Tune up your water heater. There are two ways you can make your water heater more efficient. One, wrap it in an insulating blanket. It costs only about $25 at your local home center, and it will cut your carbon emissions by up to 1,000 pounds annually. Two, turn down the thermostat from 140 degrees (the standard factory setting) to 120 degrees. Each 10-degree reduction reduces your carbon emissions by 600 pounds (electric) or 440 pounds (gas) a year.

Friday, January 5, 2018

JusticeAlert for January 2018


Updates that come from Catholic Charities USA:

White house and Congressional leaders are engaged in talks to agree to a new budget target as well as funding critical programs like CHIP and community health centers and a solution for DACA.  It is unlikely lawmakers will have enough time to pass a longer term spending bill before the January 19th deadline so an additional short term spending measure is likely.

Another critical priority for Congress is an additional disaster assistance bill.  Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida and other disaster impacted regions continue to recover from the devastating hurricanes and wildfire.

Continue to contact your congressional representatives with your input.

I will be including in each JusticeAlert an accomplishment, a positive thought, or a suggestion for how we might contribute to internal, interpersonal or organizational peace.  Today’s comes from NETWORK. 

“ Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.”