Lenten Carbon Fast?

There’s a new calendar by the Archdiocese of Washington that is causing a stir among some critics for its focus on Catholics cutting their carbon footprint this Lent.

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 The calendar, created by the Diocese’s Environmental Outreach Committee, provides 40 carbon-fasting suggestions in order to be “wise stewards of God’s Creation” in preparation for Lent and the Easter Season.  Some of the measures include:

  •  “Turn down your thermostat by at least one degree.”
  • “Remember your baptism today, and the power of water. Try to conserve: Leave a bucket in the shower or kitchen sink, and collect ‘grey water’ to water the plants.”
  • “Be aware of how much food you discard this week. Look for opportunities to avoid wasting food by planning well, and eating leftovers.”
  • Speak out! Ask our leaders to take action on climate change today.”
  • Show reverence for life and for the Earth today by obeying the speed limit when driving. Every 10 mph in speed reduces fuel economy by 4 mph, and increases the risk of getting into an accident.

The full calendar is viewable here, and more detail on the calendar and the promotion of this “new twist on Lent” by the California bishops is at the California Catholic Daily.

While these are good suggestions to be stewards of God’s creation, how appropriate is it to focus an entire 40 days on cutting your carbon footprint?  Is that more important than the grave issues like abortion, adultery, euthanasia and others that could inform Lenten sacrifices such as volunteering at a Pregnancy Resource Center or taking time to help an elderly neighbor? Some, like the Sweetness & Light blog,  have questioned the calendar’s focus saying

Is nothing sacred? This isn’t your father’s Catholicism.

Others, like this Catholic who must remain anonymous, shared a keen insight saying

We have clear guidelines on how to follow the liberals on saving the planet but we cannot have clear guidelines when it pertains to their votes on killing babies?

What do you think?

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