XVI and the U.S. Catholic Bishops accept the scientific consensus that climate
change is upon us and urge prudent action now to more faithfully care for
Creation and to avoid more severe consequences in the future, and they warn that
its adverse impacts will fall heaviest on the poor at home and abroad.
As Catholic health care
providers, climate change is a moral concern and our faith demands prudent
action to reduce our carbon footprint, care for "the least of these" (Mt. 25)
and raise our voice on behalf of Creation and the poor. Our belief that
all life is sacred and that our special concern for the poor and our commitment
to the common good and stewardship call us to examine this issue and to act to
lessen and treat the effects of climate change. Specifically, the escalating
problem of climate change is an issue for Catholic health care because:
- We are people of faith and believe "the earth is
the Lord’s and all it holds." (Ps.
- We understand there is substantial body of
scientific knowledge showing "warming of the climate is unequivocal."
(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
- As health providers, we are concerned that "many
diseases will surge as the atmosphere heats up." (Scientific American,
August 2000), and that burden of caring for people will be born, in part,
by the Catholic health ministry.
CHA, funded through a grant by
the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and the National Religious Partnership
for the Environment, and in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm, offers this article, Climate Change and Health: Is
There a Role for the Health Care Sector?,as a tool for continuing
discussions and informationsharing about climate change.Authored
by Laura Anderko, RN, Ph.D., Stephanie M. Chalupka, Ed.D., RN, PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN,
and Brenda Afzal, MS, RN, it is intended to help Catholic health care
organizations provide staff education on the issue and decrease their carbon