‘Facts about Climate Change’ by Joe McVeigh


The carbon emissions of the western and industrialised world have caused a breakdown in the Earth’s temperature regulation system but it is people living in Africa and developing countries who are suffering most from climate disruption. The polar icecaps are melting much faster. Scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of Carbon monoxide in the atmosphere from its present 400 parts per million to below 350 parts per million. China and America and Europe are the world’s greatest producers of greenhouse gases. These are in the medium to low risk categories. Africa is high risk. Life threatening effects of climate change are already a reality.  A report from the Pontifical Academy of Science estimates that climate change caused by human activity has already resulted in 2 million premature deaths every year. It threatens water and food security especially among the bottom 3 Billion people who are too poor to protect themselves.


Carbon emissions cause climate change. In Africa the average person produces about 0.1tons of carbon per year. In Ireland each person produces about 10 tons of carbon emissions per annum.


Since 1990 yearly emissions of carbon monoxide gas have gone up by 20%. That is why Pope Francis is calling on all of us to do our bit to reduce carbon emissions and stop climate change. We have to change. The earth is not an inexhaustible resource for us to plunder. Our excess is having a negative effect on climate change and affects the lives of people living on the other side of the globe. We do not have a right to more than our fair share. Ten tons is way more than a fair share.


The three last Popes –John Paul II, Benedict and Francis, have called for a new awareness and for conversion. Christianity implies loving God, neighbour and creation. Each must be loved. As people of faith we need to be informed and to change our attitudes and our lifestyles. Political leaders in Ireland must be challenged to act – before it is too late.


3 Responses to ‘Facts about Climate Change’ by Joe McVeigh

  1. Jud October 1, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Carbon based energy is cheap and abundant and is the only effective way for the poor of the world to escape the evils of poverty.

    Reducing carbon emissions is done by raising the cost of electricity and heat. It is as simple as that.

    The reality is that this dogma has sentenced another generation of the world’s poor to a degrading and brutal existence, and is starting to cause the poor and vulnerable of the first world to shiver in the dark of Winter.

    You are placing great faith in the proclamations that many people will suffer and die in the future if we don’t somehow reduce the atmospheric content of CO2 from 0.04% to 0.035%, while doing so will cost trillions of dollars, make extremely rich people even richer, and cause very real poverty and suffering in the here and now.

    Let’s use the money for windmills and solar panels on eliminating third world’s poverty, and preventing people from having to choose between heat and food.
    Eliminating poverty remains the most effective way of ensuring future generations will be well placed to deal with whatever comes their way, be it heating, cooling more extreme weather or whatever.

  2. moser October 1, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    I’m with you on this one father Joe. We could do with more action in our little corner of the world !

  3. Antaine de Brún October 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    I agree with your comments about the, “…Life threatening effects of climate change…” Ms Mary Robinson ‘flew’ to the One Young World Summit in Ottawa recently and recommend that everyone should partly go vegan or vegetarian. Ms Robinson urged people to cut back on consumerism and to “think about our carbon footprint”.

    There has been little publicity about one other life threatening reality. Led by all-female crews, The Zaytouna and the Amal – meaning “olive” and “hope” – set sail from Barcelona, en route to the besieged Gaza Strip. The women will spend three weeks making their way across the Mediterranean Sea before reaching Gaza, where the boats will attempt to negotiate a passage through a naval blockade that has been strictly enforced by Israeli Defence Forces for a decade.