By Aaron Salzman, Catholic Divestment Network, Climate Justice at Boston College
I joined Climate Justice at Boston College (CJBC) in 2016 initially because of its faith-based mission. CJBC, BC’s fossil fuel divestment campaign, was appealing to the Jesuit mission of our school to point out the hypocrisy and immorality of investing in an industry that has so harmed God’s creation. As I become more invested (no pun intended) in the work, I became more conscious of the great injustices against creation that our current system allows for. The response in Laudato Si’ to today’s ecological sins has become very important for me because of its radical call to ecological conversion in our spiritual, personal and communal lives.
My involvement in the divestment movement grew after realizing that many campaigns at Catholic colleges and universities were using similar appeals to Catholic Social Teaching in arguing for divestment. Because of this, I decided to become the head organizer for the Catholic Divestment Network (CDN), which has become a platform for activists to discuss strategies and theories of change within their campaigns. In addition, motivated by Laudato Si’, over the past four years I have gotten involved in the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), GCCM’s Laudato Si’ Generation, and now the Catholic Climate Project (CCP).
Laudato Si’ has convinced me that our response to the climate crisis must emanate from an understanding of the earth as a gift which human beings, as moral agents, are responsible for loving and caring for. This shift in attitude must then result in action for the climate. I am still journeying toward ecological conversion, which can take a lifetime to achieve. My involvement in CJBC, the CDN, GCCM and the CCP have been some of the ways I have responded to the crisis before us. I invite you to join the members of the CCP in (re-)committing yourself to ecological conversion!