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Trip Van Noppen's blog

Pope Francis greeting the crowds in St Peter's Square.

[Editor’s note: Today, Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., to encourage and support Pope Francis’ moral call to action to protect our planet for all people. Most notably for Earthjustice’s work, the pontiff will highlight his call to defend God’s creation set forth in his historic papal encyclical, Laudato Si, released this summer. Below is a transcript of Van Noppen’s speech.]

A crowd waves to Pope Francis.

Last week, Pope Francis made history with the release of his papal encyclical on the environment, courageously stating that he “would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.” An encyclical is a rare teaching from the pope, an in-depth piece meant to counsel and guide the direction of the whole church, 1.2 billion members strong.

This week the EPA finalized a Clean Water Rule that will better protect our nation's waterways, but polluting industries are looking to Congress to block this rule.

Growing up in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, the streams and rivers were not only our source of clean drinking water, they were our playgrounds. As a kid, I roamed the forests and spent a lot of time in the creeks, especially where I could slide down slick rocks into cold pools.

Sunset in the Arctic

When Secretary of State John Kerry took the Arctic Council chair on Thursday from Canada, the United States began an exciting opportunity to lead the world in advancing environmental safeguards across the Arctic, while slowing warming and ice melt that threaten the region and our planet.

The Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum of Arctic governments and indigenous people, has been critical in promoting cooperation in the region. But the council needs to be faster and bolder to meet the growing threats to the region, especially in addressing climate change.

Don Harris

Earthjustice friends and family are mourning the passing of H. Donald Harris (Don), a retired lawyer and co-founder of Earthjustice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund or SCLDF). Don served on the Earthjustice board for 35 years, from its inception until 2006, and was Chair from 1971 to 1989. A lifelong litigator, Don filed, tried and won the first case brought in the United States under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), preventing the concrete channelization of the Gila River in Arizona.

The National Wind Technology Center in Colorado.

It’s almost that time of year again, when people resolve to begin the year anew with ambitious goals to improve upon their lives. This year, Earthjustice’s resolution is to push our country to take a hard turn away from fossil fuels—and toward clean and innovative renewable energy sources—and we’re asking you to join us.

Our mutual resolve could not come at a more important time.


About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.