NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY


  June 18, 2015

Pope Calls Out Climate Deniers, But Will the Vatican Divest From Fossil Fuels?


Interfaith Power & Light Founder Rev. Sally Bingham and GreenFaith Coordinator Jeff Korgen discuss specific policies that the Vatican can adopt to support renewable energy
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter


No sports, no celebrities, no paid stories, no agendas. Pure integrity. - Steve Dustcircle
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


biography

Jeff Korgen is Campaign Coordinator for GreenFaith and coordinating OurVoices Catholic outreach, in collaboration with leaders of the Franciscan Action Network and several Catholic religious orders. Jeff has staffed the Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors and served as a social justice educator for the Archdiocese of New York, and worked as lead organizer for the Brockton Interfaith Community.

Reverend Sally Bingham is the President and Founder of Interfaith Power & Light.


transcript

Pope Calls Out Climate Deniers, But Will the Vatican Divest From Fossil Fuels?JESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

Thursday marks the big day that Pope Francis is expected to unveil a controversial encyclical about the environment. You might be wondering, what is an encyclical? It is the most authoritative statement released by the Catholic church. And after a draft of it leaked, we now know that the pope will be making the case about how man-made climate change negatively affects developing countries, immigrants, and refugees.

But beyond his speech, would this encyclical lead to more concrete actions by the Catholic church to move towards renewables? And with an $8 billion portfolio, why hasn't the Vatican divested from fossil fuels? We want to explore these questions with our guests today. Now joining us from San Francisco is Reverend Sally Bingham. Rev. Bingham is the president and founder of Interfaith Power and Light. And also joining us is Jeff Korgen. Jeff is a coordinator for Our Voices Catholic Outreach.

Thank you both for joining us.

JEFF KORGEN, OUR VOICES CATHOLIC OUTREACH: Thank you for having us.

REV. SALLY BINGHAM, PRESIDENT, INTERFAITH POWER AND LIGHT: Thank you for having us.

DESVARIEUX: So Jeff, I'll start off with you. You're a practicing Catholic and I know you've worked a lot with the Catholic church, and you are pro-divestment from fossil fuels. What has been the Vatican's response thus far?

KORGEN: Well, I'm not privy to the conversations that are happening there. But I know that it's being taken seriously. The Philippine bishops through their Caritas organization, or Catholic charities, called on the Vatican to divest. So that conversation's being taken seriously. But we have not heard either way what the decision is yet. My guess is these decisions are taken so seriously it may be a while.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. And many might not know this, but the Catholic church is actually the largest private employer in countries like Australia, with some 180,000 employees. And it's also one of the biggest energy consumers when you count schools, churches, hospitals. So Rev. Bingham, I want to turn to you and ask you what concrete proposals could Pope Francis put in place that would really make a difference? You're a part of a faith community that has taken such action. What would you recommend?

BINGHAM: Well, from what I understand the encyclical is going to talk about personal responsibility and individual obligation to care for the earth, and that means that we don't waste energy. I understand that he even talks about getting off fossil fuels because they are greenhouse gas, warming gases. And undoubtedly that translates into facilities and individual people cutting their own carbon emissions by using less energy. And what we propose are that facilities of all religious denominations practice energy efficiency with the new technology, and not to waste, and make sure that they have up-to-date refrigerators, and use as little energy as possible, and that therefore serve as an example to the community. And it's also saving money, creating jobs, and saving creation at the same time.

DESVARIEUX: Jeff, I'm going to turn to you. What has been the role of grassroots movements in getting Pope Francis to even tackle climate change?

KORGEN: Well I think first thing we need to do is go back to St. Francis of Assisi back in medieval times. Pope Francis took his name. So that movement of friars that St. Francis started has had a big impact on Pope Francis.

But I think the key influencers on Pope Francis are the movements in Latin America that he saw as an Argentine bishop. We'll see this in the encyclical when he talks about the Amazon and other threatened areas of Latin America. He's not somebody who's reading about this in a magazine. He's someone who's lived down in Latin America and seen what corporations that are just looking for a buck will do to the earth if they're allowed to.

DESVARIEUX: All right, Rev. Bingham, for you what would you say that we need to be putting our money into? We know divestment means divesting out of fossil fuels, but what do we invest in, specifically?

BINGHAM: Well, why not invest in socially responsible companies and things like--there are investments that people can make that will actually help the environment. Driving an electric car. Investing in companies like Tesla. Google's gone almost 50 percent renewable. Google, Apple, and a couple other large corporations are already using 100 percent renewable energy. And they're not doing it just because the Pope wants them to do it. They're doing it because it's profitable.

But I think what the Pope is able to do is put this message in moral terms. Make people understand that we have a moral obligation to take care of each other and to take care of creation. And what Jeff said about the poor countries in the developing world, I believe the encyclical will be making a strong connection between the climate change and poverty.

DESVARIEUX: All right. Rev. Bingham as well as Jeff Korgen, thank you so much for joining us.

KORGEN: Thanks for having us.

DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

Steve Bannon Allies with Catholic Theo-Fascism Against Pope Francis (2/2)
Would Keith Ellison Pursue Reconciliation or Lead Insurgency Within DNC?
Trumponomics: Empowering Proto-Fascists
Pope Francis Calls for Broad Front Against Tyranny and Savage Capitalism (1/2)
The Real Baltimore: Maryland Democrats Consider Blocking Cities From Raising Their Minimum Wage
The Bizarre Far-Right Billionaire Behind Bannon and Trump's Presidency
TRNN Replay: Confronting Financialization on Steroids - Costas Lapavitsas on Reality Asserts Itself (8/8)
Court Rules Newly Confirmed EPA Head Must Release Thousands of Emails
A Day Without Immigrants: Thousands Hold Boycotts and Demonstrations Against Trump
Trump and Netanyahu Acknowledge the Death of the Two-State Solution
The Real Baltimore: Should Baltimore Raise its Minimum Wage to $15/HR by 2022?
IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
Trump's Tax Returns Key to Clarifying Russian Connections
TRNN Replay: Financialization and the Collapse of European Social Democracy - Costas Lapavitsas on Reality Asserts Itself (7/8)
Did the Deep State Facilitate Flynn's Resignation?
Upward Distribution of Wage Income Behind Social Security's Shortfall
Lockout of Honeywell Workers Signals Broader Corporate Offensive Against Collective Bargaining
In the Trump Era, Is Canada's Trade Relationship with the U.S. a Blessing or a Curse?
As Opposition Mounts to Cash Bail in MD, Industry Wines and Dines
EU-Canada Trade Deal Will Undermine Domestic Regulations
Can Somalia's New President Help Rebuild the Country?
Trump Detains First DREAMER, Sparking Fears of Deportations Among DACA-Protected Immigrants
Millionaire Fast-Food CEO Puzder Withdraws Name From Labor Secretary Nomination
Flynn's Resignation Won't Stop Trump Admin. From Targeting Iran
The Whole Bushel: Working Artists
New Whistleblower Teachers Say Baltimore Schools Designed to Fail to Speed Privatization
Trump's Immigration Order Sets Barriers on Fighting Deportation at the Local Level
Vaughn Correctional Center Inmates Rose Up Against Decades of Oppression
On Valentine's Day, Baltimore Restores Free Bus Passes For Students
Rattling the Bars: The Unconstitutional Practice of Life Without Parole

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Managed Wordpress Hosting