Just weeks after Pope Francis announced he would urge 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide to take action on climate change, he is visiting the Philippines and meeting with survivors of several typhoons that devastated the country. The Philippines is Asia’s largest Catholic nation, and 80 percent of its 100 million residents are Catholic. On Saturday, the pope heads to Tacloban to have lunch with survivors of Typhoon Haiyan — known as "Typhoon Yolanda" in the Philippines. We go to Manila to speak with Naderev "Yeb" Saño, the country’s climate change commissioner. Until recently he was the country’s lead climate negotiator at the United Nations climate conferences, where he drew links between climate change and the deadly typhoons the country has faced. He is leading a group of eco-volunteer bikers for the papal convoy — they are monitoring the papal route’s cleanliness and ensuring the implementation of the church’s zero-waste policy.
We continue our coverage of Pope Francis’s visit to the Philippines, the country most impacted by global warming, ahead of his plans to issue the first-ever comprehensive Vatican teachings on climate change. The pope recently said the warming planet is "frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity." We are joined by Nathan Schneider, a columnist at America magazine, a national Catholic weekly magazine published by the Jesuits, where he has been covering Catholic engagement with climate change. "This is a different way of thinking about economics that is a part of Catholic tradition," Schneider says. "Pope Francis talking about the environment, about creation, is not an innovation; it is a response to a contemporary crisis. But it goes way back, to the scriptures, to Genesis." Schneider’s recent article is "A Global Catholic Climate Movement, None Too Soon." He is also an editor at Waging Nonviolence and the author of "Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse."
Satellite images and witness accounts have emerged of what Amnesty International calls the "catastrophic destruction" from a massacre in northern Nigeria. Hundreds are feared dead after Boko Haram militants attacked Baga and surrounding areas earlier this month. Before and after images taken of two adjacent towns show thousands of buildings damaged or destroyed. The Nigerian military has claimed a toll as low as 150, but it could be as high as 2,000. Boko Haram is also suspected in a pair of suicide attacks over the weekend where explosives were strapped to young girls. It was nine months ago that the hashtag #BringOurGirlsHome drew the world’s attention to the group’s abduction of some 270 schoolgirls, most of whom remain unaccounted for. We host a roundtable discussion on the latest developments and the rise of Boko Haram with three guests: Adotei Akwei, managing director of government relations for Amnesty International USA; Rona Peligal, deputy director of the Africa Division for Human Rights Watch; and Horace Campbell, professor of African American studies and political science at Syracuse University. "The Boko Haram struggle is about who will control the billions of dollars, 10,000 barrels of oil per day that is siphoned out of Nigeria," Campbell argues. He has written extensively on African politics, including the article, "The Menace of Boko Haram and Fundamentalism in Nigeria."
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