Serving the Lost and Forgotten in Appalachia
“Indigenous prophecy meets scientific prediction. What we have known and believed, you also now know: The Earth is out of balance. The plants are disappearing, the animals are dying, and the very weather – rain, wind, fire itself – reacts against the actions of the human being. For the future of the children, for the health of our Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the rest of Creation, we call upon the people of the world to hold your leaders accountable.” Circles of Wisdom: Native Peoples/Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 1998
Fr. Neil Pezzulo, First Vice President of the Glenmary Home Missioners is featured in a recent Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) series exploring Justice and Peace from the perspective of the religious working with those most affected by these issues. Neil works in the Appalachian region of the United States, particularly in the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky, where the battle lines over energy, jobs, and environmental justice intersect. Nationally, much of the current conversation has been around a “just transition” from a fossil fuel-based economy to an economy that can create new jobs in renewable energy. Neil feels strongly that men and women religious must work together with local environmental groups where young leaders and new energy are rapidly emerging.
Background for some of the issues that Fr. Neil works with:
Fracking Fumes: Air Pollution from Hydraulic Fracturing Threatens Public Health and Communities
The experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal
Indigenous Principles of Just Transition
Opinion: McConnell wildly out of step with Kentucky and US on climate change
Credit: CMSM. Photo: Stream destroyed from mountaintop removal mining.