Climate Justice Discernment Meeting

Seattle's St. Joseph Catholic Church | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Welcome to the resource page for the Climate Justice Meeting at St. Joseph Parish on March 25, 2021.  All materials from our discussion can be found in this folder including the presentation, videos, and downloadable documents.

If you have any questions about the content on programs referenced on this page or would like to discuss further follow-up facilitation and training sessions with your community, please e-mail Scott Henson at

What Can I Do?

Here are some ideas for things you can do right now:

  1. Help Start the Climate Justice Group at St. Joseph Parish. Are you interested in being a part of and/or helping start a St. Joseph Parish Seattle Climate Justice Group? If so please let us know by filling out the form or e-mailing Deacon Steve, Scott Henson, or Anna Johnson.
  2. Read the Letter to Archbishop Etienne and Indicate Your Support  To mark Earth Day this year (April, 22 2021), the Creation Care Network of Catholic parishes and institutions in western Washington welcomes you to join us in asking the Most Reverend Archbishop Paul Etienne and the Archdiocese of Seattle to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis. We know that Archbishop Etienne shares in our embrace of the appeal that Pope Francis makes in his seminal encyclical, Laudato Si’, to care for all of God’s creation, and to work for integral ecology. Please read the Creation Care Network’s letter to Archbishop Etienne and indicate your support for our proposals for personal and community-based actions to care for our common home. 
  3. Support the Climate Commitment Act. The Climate Commitment Act is designed to deliver emissions reduction with certainty while achieving critical co-benefits that foster a more prosperous and resilient Washington.  After you learn more, follow the simple steps on this Washington State Legislature feedback form to communicate your support directly to members in your legislative district.
  4. Become an Earth Hero. Download the app now and here is what you can do: Fill out a short survey to get a profile of where your carbon emissions come from.  Set targets to reduce emissions, relative to global averages and IPCC recommendations. Browse ideas for actions to figure out your first steps. Track your progress with helpful reminders and tools to measure your impact. Discover social actions that have a multiplier effect. Refine your profile as you go to get a personalized view of possible actions. Go out and reduce carbon pollution, work with others to address climate change, and care for our shared planet
  5. Make the Switch to Ecosia.  Replace Google search with Ecosia and plant trees while you search the web.  Ecosia uses the profit we make from your searches to plant trees where they are needed most. Get the free browser extension and plant trees with every search.

Bonus: Your Personal Action Guide for the Environment.  Dr. Jonathan Foley’s article on utilizing personal actions as a catalyst for change. Solving our biggest environmental problems will require huge changes in policy and business practice. But it turns out that our personal actions can help too, if we focus on the right things. Here are some places to start.

The Ben and Jerry’s Team at the 2014 Climate Justice March in NYC. Learn more here.

Climate Justice Resources

A Laudato Si’ Lens on Environmental Justice (Part I). From Catholic Climate Covenant, in this first part of the series, Dr. Catherine Wright unpacks the meaning of environmental justice and how Catholic Social Teaching (in particular Laudato Si’) gives us a helpful lens to view and act on this critical issue. Veronica Coptis presents on her organization’s respectful collaboration with area residents living with the daily impacts of fossil fuel extraction, to improve oversight of and accountability for fossil fuel extraction and use and protect public and environmental health.

A Laudato Si’ Lens on Environmental Justice (Part II). In this second part in the series, we hear we hear from three leaders working with their communities to attain environmental and economic justice. They stand with their communities, fighting for a healthy environment for all, and against the ecological abuse they and their communities are experiencing.  

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis For the Celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (2016). This is the full letter which was this quote from our presentation: “As an integral ecology emphasizes, human beings are deeply connected with all of creation. When we mistreat nature, we also mistreat human beings. At the same time, each creature has its own intrinsic value that must be respected. Let us hear ‘both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,’ and do our best to ensure an appropriate and timely response.” Read other “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” messages from 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Oxfam Media Briefing: Confronting Carbon Inequality. Putting climate justice at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery. Despite sharp falls in carbon emissions in 2020 linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis – which is driven by the accumulation of emissions in the atmosphere over time – continued to grow. This briefing describes new research that shows how extreme carbon inequality in recent decades has brought the world to the climate brink. It sets out how governments must use this historic juncture to build fairer economies within the limits our planet can bear.

Climate Change Vulnerability Index. The Climate Change Vulnerability Index evaluates the vulnerability of human populations to extreme climate events and changes in climate over the next 30 years. It combines exposure to climate extremes and change with the current human sensitivity to those climate stressors and the capacity of the country to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The link to the Vulnerability Index map from our presentation is here.

TED Talk – Angela Mahecha Adrar: The people who caused the climate crisis aren’t the ones who will fix it. Explaining why racial and economic justice must be at the center of climate action, Angela takes us to the frontline communities that are leading the world to clean, innovative and just climate solutions — like Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad, a local farm co-op in Washington that’s disrupting the multibillion-dollar berry business. More links for Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad here: Instagram, articles from Yes Magazine, Crosscut, U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, & Local Futures. More on the work from Angela Mahecha Adrar at Climate Justice Reliance and the Environmental Justice Movement Fellowship.

Climate Justice Playbook for Business. As the source of the vast majority of the planet’s greenhouse gases, the business sector is uniquely culpable for the climate emergency. The business sector is therefore responsible for demonstrating leadership in eliminating emissions, drawing down carbon as rapidly as possible, and directly address-ing the injustices brought about or exacer-bated by climate change. This playbook for Business written by the UK B-Lab team focuses on how to weave Climate Justice into the culture of business so corporations can stop being part of the problem and instead be a key part of the solution of Climate Justice.

“Our conscience tells us that we cannot remain indifferent to the suffering of those in need, to the growing economic inequalities and social injustices,” says His Holiness Pope Francis. He speaks at the Countdown Global Launch on October 10, 2020. (Photo courtesy of TED)

Catholic Care for Creation Resources

Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. In this encyclical, Pope Francis draws all Christians into a dialogue with every person on the planet about our common home. We as human beings are united by the concern for our planet, and every living thing that dwells on it, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Pope Francis letter joins the body of the Church’s social and moral teaching, draws on the best scientific research, providing the foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows.  Links to Kindle and paperback books on Amazon here and free PDF download from the Vatican website here.

Ecumenical and Interreligious Guidebook: CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME. As reported on EarthBeat, this guidebook is jointly published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, and Catholic Climate Covenant.  It offers diocesan ecumenical and interreligious officers, pastors, parish groups, and the faithful at large a number of theological and practical resources to put the counsels of Pope Francis and Catholic magisterial voices, along with selected interfaith voices, into practical action.

Laudato Si’ In Action. In this column, written by Paul Litwin and also appearing in the St. John the Evangelist weekly bulletin & email, the goal is very simple: to share with you key excerpts from this critically important document and to suggest how we can put Laudato Si into concrete achievable actions.

Laudato Si’: A Map. This text from St. Joseph Parish in Seattle is a useful guide for an initial reading of the Encyclical. It will help you to grasp the overall development and identify the basic themes. The first two pages are an overview of Laudato si’ (literally “Be praised” or better, “Praise be to you”). Then for each of the six chapters, there is a one-page summary that gives the argument or main points and some key passages.

A Reading of Laudato Si’ – Fr. John Whitney. A beautiful writing from Father John in 2015 which aims to help in the reading of Laudato Si’ by offering some reflections and explication. As Father John says: “This will not be a definitive or scholarly interpretation of the document, but a chance to read it well and, I hope, to spark the conversations we will be having in the coming months as members of the Church. I hope all will be able to read this important gift of Pope Francis, and so prepare for what is to come, through God’s grace and the power of the Spirit, alive in the People of God.”

Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship. In this encyclical, Pope Francis reflects on a topic of great importance: human solidarity and friendship. Pope Francis first greeted the world with the words fratelli e sorelle — “brothers and sisters” — following his election to the papacy. In this encyclical, he continues to address all men and women as his brothers and sisters, calling us to consider what our common brotherhood requires of us. Links to Kindle and paperback books on Amazon here and free PDF download from the Vatican website here.

Catholic Climate Covenant. From “Our Story”: In 2006, to address growing ecological awareness and the need to implement Catholic social teaching on ecology within the US Church, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) helped form Catholic Climate Covenant. Inspired by the USCCB’s 2001 statement on climate change, and supported by 19 national partners (which include the USCCB, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Health Association, congregations of religious men and women, and other national organizations), Catholic Climate Covenant helps US Catholics respond to the Church’s call to care for creation and care for the poor.

EarthBeat: stories of climate crisis, faith, and action. We at EarthBeat are here to tell the story of how Catholics and other faith groups are speaking out and taking action to address the climate emergency. Where ecological concern and moral conviction meet, well, that’s our beat.

Global Catholic Climate Movement. The Global Catholic Climate Movement is a first-of-its-kind international coalition of Catholics from many nations, continents, and walks of life. We are laity, religious, and clergy, theologians, scientists, and activists from Argentina, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Kenya, Australia, the United States, and many other nations. We are united by our Catholic faith and our work in various roles and organizations on climate change issues.

Pope Francis’ TED Countdown Talk.  His Holiness Pope Francis invites us on a journey of transformation and action in a visionary TED Talk delivered from Vatican City. Referencing ideas from his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, the spiritual leader calls our attention to a global socio-environmental crisis — one marked by growing economic inequalities, social injustices and planetary harm. “We are faced with the moral imperative, and the practical urgency, to rethink many things,” he says. He proposes three courses of action to transform in the face of our precarious future: an education based on scientific data and an ethical approach; a focus on making sure everyone has safe drinking water and nutrition; and a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, particularly by refraining from investing in companies that do not advance sustainability, social justice and the common good. Watch the full talk on

Cultivating Good News and Progress

One of the great challenges of our time is getting the full picture of what is happening in the world.  With mainstream media and social networks focused on keeping our attention with salacious headlines and fear, it’s not always easy to see the progress we are making at the same time we face so many challenges in the important areas of health and social, racial, gender and environmental justice.  And some times everyday heroes are the the ones we need to hear from the most. The following are great resources for progress in all of these areas.

Future Crunch
Their tagline: “If we want to change the story of the human race in the 21st century, we have to change the stories we tell ourselves.”  About the team: We are a group of scientists, artists, researchers and designers who believe that science and technology are the most powerful drivers of human progress. We’re determined to share that story. Our expertise ranges from political economy, genetics, urban planning and zoology, to music, painting and philosophy. We use our diverse skills and knowledge to provide unexpected perspectives on the state of the world in 2020.

Reasons to Be Cheerful  
Started by Talking Heads front man David Byrne, who believes in the power of approaching the world with curiosity—in art, in music, in collaboration and in life. Under the banner of Byrne’s non-profit organization, Arbutus, Reasons to be Cheerful embodies this sensibility, applying it now to the future of our world. Through stories of hope, rooted in evidence, Reasons to be Cheerful aims to inspire us all to be curious about how the world can be better, and to ask ourselves how we can be part of that change.

Greater Good Magazine 
This is the site I sent you in the chat link when we were talking about how tough the pandemic is on kids (and everyone).  The team at Berkley is focused on promoting science-based insights on how increase human potential and well-being.  A lot of their focus recently has been on building resilience to address the huge challenges of of our time (pandemic, racial justice, environmental crisis, etc.).

Good News Network 
This is an aggregator site that pulls together the feel good stories from all over the globe.  They have been around since 1997 so likely you have come across them in the last 23 years!  One of my favorite feature stories in the app is the “this day in history” where you can always learn something completely awesome that happened in human history on a given day.

This YouTube channel is just pure fun and joy with John Krasinski.  You may have seen when the Hamilton cast surprised a young girl by performing on Zoom earlier this year (click here and fast forward to 8:30 and be amazed!).

Project Drawdown Resources:

Climate Solutions 101. Climate Solutions 101 is the world’s first major educational effort focused solely on solutions. Rather than rehashing well-known climate challenges, Project Drawdown centers game-changing climate action based on its own rigorous scientific research and analysis. This course, presented in video units and in-depth conversations, combines Project Drawdown’s trusted resources with the expertise of several inspiring voices from around the world. Climate solutions become attainable with increased access to free, science-based educational resources, elevated public discourse, and tangible examples of real-world action. Continue your climate solutions journey, today.

The original 2017 book – Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have came together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change.  You can borrow the book at the library, buy the book at AmazonWalmartBarnes and Noble, and find out more on the Drawdown website.  You can find the original Frequently asked Questions (FAQ) document for this work here which provides a great overview for the original work. web siteThe world’s leading resource on climate solutions.  This is where you will find the latest up to date information on solutions which are in-hand and if scaled up over the next few decades can reverse global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. There are lots of ways to discover solutions now.  For example, you can look at all solutions or discover them based on sectors or sort based on the two drawdown scenarios.

The Drawdown Review 2020: Climate Solutions for a New DecadeThis is the digital (PDF file) update to the original book with updated information and modelling.  It is focused on solutions we have now where the book had a section called “Coming Attractions” which are promising solutions but not yet proven to be deployed at scale.  There is a new framework with solutions focused on Reducing Sources, Supporting Sinks, and Improving Society organized into the following sectors: Electricity, Food Agriculture & Land Use, Industry, Transportation, Buildings, Land Sinks, Ocean Sinks, Engineered Sinks, and Health & Education.  You can download this document on home page of the Drawdown web site or download directly from here.
Here are some other helpful documents which summarize solutions and key takeaways from the Drawdown Review:

Solutions with a brief description of each

Key insights from the 2020 update

Solutions by sector (taken from the complete review)

Project Drawdown Overview Video (12 minute original herefemale downloadable dubbed version here).  “Drawdown in a nutshell”.  This is the video we typically show in our introduction sessions and it is perfect for anyone who has not yet been introduced to Project Drawdown.  Another great video is Paul Hawken’s Reimagining Carbon Keynote: Paul Hawken – Carbon Productivity Keynote (transcript here)

Jonathan Foley’s 2020 Overview (about 1 hour). Dr. Foley is the Executive Director of Project Drawdown and in this one hour presentation he gives a great overview of the problem and proven solutions to address the climate crisis. In this presentation you will get the updated Drawdown Review framing, sectors, and solutions from March 2020.  If you would like a downloadable version of that video, you can find it here.

The Four Levels of Action (3 minutes version here7 minute downloadable here).  Will Grant’s amazing framing for how to think about and build your action portfolio from individual action all the way to the systems and structures that govern society.

Drawdown solutions spreadsheet

This is a spreadsheet to make it easy for you to sort based on name or rank as well as filter based on sectors.  It includes links to each of the solutions (with brief descriptions) and sectors on the Drawdown website and is available as a Microsoft Excel file or Google sheet.  Note:  These spreadsheets are read-only so if you want to edit them on your local machine, simply save a copy.

Drawdown Programs & Partnerships  Below are a list of great organizations that the Project Drawdown team has collaborated with in their solutions.

Drawdown Learn.  Drawdown Learn is a broad initiative to encourage education and learning about climate solutions based on Project Drawdown’s research, analysis, and insights.  Featured partners: Drawdown EcochallengeOmega InstituteNCSE Global (Drawdown USA) and Solutions Journalism Network

Partnerships.  Collaborations focused on specific initiatives that promote broad public education and engagement around the Drawdown framework.  Partners include Nurses DrawdownClimatebase (formerly Climate.Careers)Global Cooling Prize, and TED Countdown.

Polling and Quizzes

  • CNN and Project Drawdown’s Climate Quiz. The most effective ways to curb climate change might surprise you. To reduce our impact on the climate and avert disaster, it’s going to take more than switching to high-efficiency light bulbs. But the most effective ways that individuals, policymakers and businesses can reduce our carbon footprint might surprise you. Let’s see how much you know about what can be done to fight climate change.
  • Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2020. (Interactive) These maps show how Americans’ climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy support vary at the state, congressional district, metro area, and county levels.
  • Global Warming’s Six Americas. One of the first rules of effective communication is to “know thy audience.” Climate change public engagement efforts must start with the fundamental recognition that people are different and have different psychological, cultural, and political reasons for acting – or not acting – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  NOTE:  You can find the latest 2020 survey information here and messaging strategies for the six Americas here.
  • Six America’s Quiz. Take the quiz to find out are you Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful, or Dismissive.

For strategies of how to invite various audiences into the discussion related to global warming, here are some additional recommendations:

  • Jonathan Haidt’s work on the moral foundations that drive our attitudes and behaviors:
    • TED Talk: The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we’re left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.
    •  Welcome to, where you can learn about your own morality, ethics, and/or values, while also contributing to scientific research. We are a group of professors and graduate students in social psychology.
    • The Righteous Mind:  Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidtchallenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to conservatives and liberals alike in this New York Times bestselling “landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself” (The New York Times Book Review).

Renee Lertzman, PhD on How to Turn Climate Anxiety into Action

TED Talk: How to Turn Climate Anxiety into Action. It’s normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed by climate change, says psychologist Renée Lertzman. Can we turn those feelings into something productive? In an affirming talk, Lertzman discusses the emotional effects of climate change and offers insights on how psychology can help us discover both the creativity and resilience needed to act on environmental issues.

Project Inside Out.  We have launched this Hub with an invitation for the climate campaigning community to self-assess our theories of change and to shift our mind sets and skill sets toward Guiding. This is less of a methodology as a set of robust, flexible and powerful Guiding Principles. Within each Guiding Principle are applications for your work, whether it informs how you understand your stakeholders and members, or designing your entire engagement strategy. Our hope is that this is taken as a holistic approach, and you experiment and practice with each other and colleagues.

Towards 2040 – A Motivational Discussion. Damon reached out to Dr Renee four years ago when he started research for ‘2040’, keen to understand the psychology of apathy and disengagement when it comes to our biggest environmental and social challenges and to understand what can keep us buoyed, engaged and motivated to positive action. This conversation with Dr Renee inspired the solutions-focussed narrative of ‘2040’ and new ways to communicate the opportunity that the climate movement presents as we learn more about creativity, resilience, and problem-solving than ever before.

How to Have Better Political Conversations.  Robb Willer studies the forces that unite and divide us. As a social psychologist, he researches how moral values — typically a source of division — can also be used to bring people together. Willer shares compelling insights on how we might bridge the ideological divide and offers some intuitive advice on ways to be more persuasive when talking politics.

How to talk to someone who does not believe in climate change. Not every conversation with a climate denier must lead to raised voices and hurt feelings. Here’s how to do it constructively.