‘Changing our attitudes to Climate Change’ by Joe McVeigh


A joke to begin: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one – if the bulb is willing to be changed. Hee hee! Not funny? The question might be asked how many people will it take to change our attitude to climate change. It will take as many people as possible – if we are willing to be changed. Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si calls for radical change in our attitudes to caring for the earth. He calls us to change our habits, our culture and our attitudes. The Change that is required can be done in small ways like using less electricity, installing better insulation, using alternative sources of power,avoiding use of harmful chemicals, re-using and recycling.

I am full of admiration for the Pope’s letter Laudato Si – Caring for Our Common Home. From a basic human point of view this letter to the world is of the utmost importance because it is about the survival of the human, animal and plant life-life in all its many forms. That is urgent. Time is running out for our planet earth due to climate change, pollution, the misuse of the eco-systems. The call to action is repeated in almost every page of the Pope’s encyclical.

In clear writing Pope Francis shows a familiarity with the issue. It is not what we expect from a papal document –but then this Pope is different from the ones we have known in his ability to relate to the world and to the issues that matter most to people. This document is highly relevant for every person, every business corporation, and every government in the world. It is very relevant for every church and religious institution.

Many are aware of the crisis but refuse to act or fail through negligence to act. Farmers are aware and governments are aware of the effect of large scale animal farming in producing excessive amounts of methane gas. Yet because so many big farmers are involved in livestock farming the government is reluctant to introduce legislation to tackle the problem about methane gas emissions on farms.

But you and I also bear a responsibility and have a duty to do our bit however small to reduce our carbon footprints. I have been informed by Trocaire’s North-West representative, Rosin O’Hara, that Trocaire and a number of other concerned groups are holding a mass lobby event in the Long Gallery,  Stormont on Monday 14 November from 4.00pm to 7.30pm. It will be a chance to lobby the MLAs on climate justice. On that same day the world leaders will meet again to continue their negotiations about climate change (COP22).

In the meantime the Climate Change Campaign is live on the Trocaire website so you can follow the link below & contact your MLAs today to support the call for stronger climate action! For more info: https://www.trocaire.org/getinvolved/climate-justice/climate-action



6 Responses to ‘Changing our attitudes to Climate Change’ by Joe McVeigh

  1. Freddiemallins September 27, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    Basically climate change denial comes down to selfishness. Who cares about future generations. It necessitates making an effort on bahalf of others, selflessness. Now you’ll not get the DUP taking a selfless course of action. Remember Ian Og extolling the business virtues of his beloved tobacco factory in Ballymena. ‘There’s some men you just can’t reach.’Climate change denial fits neatly into a certain world view, along with being anti…well the list is endless really.

  2. moser September 27, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Climate change: an issue very dear to my heart, more important than flags, twaddell , Orange men marching where they are not wanted.

  3. Jim Neeson September 27, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    Sammy Wilson was in his element today on Talkback.
    The pure ignorance of this man is funny if it was not so serious!!!
    I thought the DUP were only bigots but listening to Sammy they are madmen/women
    of the highest order. Luddites of today but then the world was only created 6 or 8 thousand years ago.

  4. gendjinn September 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    It was 1989 to 1991 (go read Nature/Science from that period) any doubts of APG were removed. The only questions left were what was going to happen and what were we going to do in response.

    25 years later the answers are clear – nothing will be done to stop the flow of wealth to the 1%. The public is being served ridiculously rosy scenarios that all the bad stuff will happen post 2100. We are blowing through the 1.5 celsius global increase this decade, not this century. We are rapidly heading to a 4c+ total increase and that’s global extinction.

    GenXers will live to see all of the ice caps and glaciers gone and at least 10m to 20m sea level rise (as it will be dramatically unequal around the globe).

    We are seeing one solution to Fermi’s Paradox.

  5. Sherdy September 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

    Now I know why Sammy Wilson doesn’t believe in global warming – the Pope does believe in it!

  6. Jud September 27, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    What the poor of the world need is development,
    The sort of development that allows them to emerge from poverty and misery and to attain some of the dignity and comfort we take for granted.

    This will come by providing them with cheap and plentiful energy – which at this point in our existence can only realistically come from fossil fuels.

    Cheap energy allows poor people to suffer less in the cold of Winter and the heat of Summer, and to turn their talents to building a better life for themselves and their families.
    It also prevents them having to tear the ecosystem around them apart to burn in dangerous and filthy open fires.

    What the climate crusade is doing is enforcing very real suffering on people in the here and now to combat hypothetical suffering in the future.
    This attitude will only serve keep yet more generations in abject poverty. We will continue to recycle our plastic bottles and drive up electricity bills for the poor and elderly as our answer to a problem (and to make ourselves feel better), while what we should be doing is building power stations, roads, bridges hospitals and schools in areas which so desperately need them.

    If you want to honestly analyze who has benefited from COP22 you could do worse than start with David Cameron’s father in law, who makes millions of pounds a year from his wind farm.

    We need to stop shoveling cash to wealthy CEOs and landowners and put it where it will make a radical difference in people’s lives immediately.