Liberation Ecology: Tom Hayden on the Pope’s Climate Encyclical

“The coming climate encyclical of Pope Francis, coupled with his visit to Washington D.C., might ensure a global agreement in Paris this December and transform environmentalism into a movement based on social justice. The Pope’s message also might ignite a greater spiritual awakening and an opportunity to challenge the foundations of a global order which forces billions of people to survive amidst poverty and pollution.”

So writes Tom Hayden in his first-rate report on the Pope’s forthcoming climate encyclical this summer that might be called Liberation Ecology by its marriage of environment and social justice. The article in Tom’s Democracy Journal is an in-depth and genuinely brilliant analysis that’s a must-read.

Climate Encyclical a Shift to Theology of Kinship?

As a polymath, Tom is a bit of a scholar on faith and the environment, including his landmark book The Lost Gospel of Earth (read an excerpt here).

The Pope’s recent statements connecting caring for Creation and caring for the poor suggest a shift to what Tom identifies as a “‘kinship’ model embodied by the original Francis, many native people, environmental biologists and the counter-culture.”

A concern for climate solutions that engage those most impacted by climate disruption is also a hallmark of California’s climate policy leadership. In 2014, Tom collaborated with Bioneers on a pre-conference California Climate Leadership Intensive that brought together leaders from a wide range of sectors.

Watch Tom’s opening keynote from the 2014 Intensive below. You can view video of all Climate Intensive keynotes here.

Explore Faith, Climate & More at Bioneers 2015

Given the building momentum leading up to the December talks in Paris, we’re thrilled that Tom will be joining us as a 2015 Bioneers Conference keynote speaker and panelist, and for the 2015 pre-conference intensive “Building Green Blocs: Collaborative Climate Policy Innovations,” which will build on last year’s intensive.

The 2015 Bioneers Conference program also includes panels on spirituality and social movements, a keynote from Sister Simone Campbell of “Nuns on the Bus” fame, and more.

Check out the full schedule and register to join us at the Bioneers Conference this October!


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