Remembering Father Paul Mayer,
Climate Crisis Coalition co-founder,
February 24, 1921 – November 22, 2013

Paul Mayer, Presente! Remembrances by Ted Glick, memorial service, Judson Memorial Church, NYC, 1/5/14. “I met Paul in 1970, while on trial in Rochester, N.Y. as part of the Catholic Left for a nonviolent raid on a federal building to destroy Selective Service draft files. We worked together in the early 70’s as part of the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice… but it is over the last 10 years that we’ve worked most closely together. In late 2003 we discovered that we had both come to the same point of view regarding the urgency of the deepening climate crisis, and in early 2004, with Connie Hogarth and others, co-founded the Climate Crisis Coalition, which is still active today under the able and dedicated leadership of Tom Stokes. And for the last two and a half years Paul and I have worked closely together as co-founders and leaders of  Interfaith Moral Action on Climate which, I’m sure Paul would want me to say, is organizing its second annual interfaith service on January 15th, Martin Luther King, Jr’s 85th birthday, in front of the American Petroleum Institute and the White House in DC, calling for strong leadership from religious and political leaders on this urgent crisis.

 “Paul’s concern with and activism in defense of our wounded natural environment went back over 20 years. He attended the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and considered himself to be an ‘Earth Guardian.’ As he explained in an interview a couple of years ago, ‘That’s been my priority since having worked on peace and justice issues all my life. I feel that is now of the greatest importance, the issue that incorporates all other issues and we must make our priority.’ In this work to prevent the catastrophic disruption of human society and the ecosystems we and all life forms depend upon, Paul was a warrior. He gave of himself, of his time, his energies, his emotions and his very limited financial resources to build the strongest possible movement in defense of the earth.”

Paul Mayer, 82, Ex-priest and Peace Activist Dies. By Paul Vitelo, NYTimes, 11/29/13. “Paul Mayer, a Jewish-born former Roman Catholic priest who was at the forefront of peace and social justice campaigns for five decades, for a time working closely with the radical pacifist priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan, died on Nov. 22 at his home in East Orange, N.J… His son, Peter, said the cause was brain cancer.  Mr. Mayer converted to Catholicism as a teenager and gave up the priesthood in 1968 to marry a former nun. But he said he still considered himself a priest — just as he still considered himself a Jew…In an unpublished memoir he completed shortly before his death, he recalled his arrest in December 2011 during the Occupy Wall Street protest: ‘I found myself climbing a 15-foot linked iron fence to cast my lot with this visionary youth movement that was sweeping the planet.’”

For Your Carbon Footprint, It’s Location, Location, Lifestyle. “By Lindsey Konkel, The Daily Climate, 1/7/14. “Attention city dwellers: There's consolation for your cramped apartments and crowded subway cars. Your carbon footprint might be a quarter the size of your suburban counterparts, with their green lawns, separate kid rooms and drives to get groceries and coffee. But … the biggest cities also tend to have the most carbon-intensive suburbs, essentially wiping out the climate benefits achieved by many metropolitan areas, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.”

Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon. By Coral Davenport, NYTimes, 12/5/14. “More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming. The development is a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters.
“A new Report (PDF, 10 pp) by the environmental data company CDP has found that at least 29 companies, some with close ties to Republicans, including Exxon Mobil, Walmart and American Electric Power, are incorporating a price on carbon into their long-term financial plans. Both supporters and opponents of action to fight global warming say the development is significant because businesses that chart a financial course to make money in a carbon-constrained future could be more inclined to support policies that address climate change.”

Months After Banning Fracking, France Now Has A Carbon Tax. By Emily Atkin, ClimateProgress, 12/19/13. “The French Parliament adopted [today] a budget for 2014 which includes a tax on carbon emissions from gas, heating oil and coal, according to a report in Platts. The money derived from the tax — which largely targets transport fuels and domestic heating — will be used to reduce emissions through increased installation of renewable energy throughout the country, according to the report. The move is projected to raise €4 billion, or $5.5 billion, per year by 2016, which can then spent on tax breaks for the wind and solar power industries.”