Pagans react to the Conference of the Parties

The 24th annual Conference of the Parties, commonly called COP 24, began last week as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCC) Change conference in Katowice, Poland.  The conference began in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, then called the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, whereat the UNFCC was adopted as an international treat to “”stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCC is also the eponymous secretariat of the United Nations that organizes the conference. To place the activities of the UNFCC in perspective, terms such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, the Copenhagen Accord and the Bali Action Plan are all agreements and activities that have emerged from prior conferences and now have entered common lexical use when discussing climate change. The COP 24 conference is expected to finalize the implementation rules around the Paris Agreement that was adopted by consensus in December 2015. Broadly, the Paris Agreement is an international and inter-agency plan to mitigate the effects of global warming by addressing greenhouse gas emissions, the economics of development and societal adaptations to climate change and the financial structure of assets and liabilities that are impacted by the global warming and its potential outcomes.

Editorial: This Earth Day, Let the Land Spirits Lead You

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This year as we celebrate the 48th annual Earth Day on April 22, hope is a resource that’s coming up short for many environmental activists. Environmental regulations are being rolled back, U.S. governmental departments like the EPA and the Department of the Interior face huge cuts, and land and monuments that have been held in the public trust for a generation are being slashed. April 21-29 is also National Parks Week in the United States, with all national parks offering free admission on the 21st. 

This is a great week to enjoy our national parks; what we have is actually a rarity among most of the countries on the planet.