World Car-Free Day, World Rhino Day, Nuns Claim Fracking Violates Their Religious Beliefs to Protect the Climate

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

World Car-Free Day! Also World Rhino Day! Nuns Claim Fracking Violates Their Religious Beliefs to Protect the Climate!



Every year on or around 22 September, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated society.  

In 1996, a Dutch action group, Pippi Autoloze Zondag,[4] started a national campaign for car free days. Pippi[5] organized monthly illegal street actions to take over the streets and stop the cars. After blocking the streets, there would be parties, picknicks, kids playing, rollerskating on the motorway, street painting and music artists playing. After two years of actions, several cities in the Netherlands started to implement car free days. The same city mayors that were ordering the police to arrest the car free activists, were two years later playing the hero for implementing car free days in their cities.

In 2000, car free days went global with a World Car free Day[9] program launched by Carbusters, now World Carfree Network, and in the same year, the Earth Car Free Day – a collaborative program of the Earth Day Network and the World Car Free Days collaborative. 

Car-free days are an opportunity for cities to highlight how congested roads can be used in different ways. From races for alternative-energy powered vehicles in Budapest, to horse-riding in São Paulo, to street picnics in Vienna, to running in Jakarta, cities and the people who live in them are stressing the alternatives to polluting vehicles on this important day. 

Why does World Carfree Day matter to us? The results of going car-free are clear to see. For instance, the first “journée sans voiture” (day without a car) in Paris, France was held in September 2015 and was found to reduce exhaust emissions by 40 per cent.

DEEPER DIVE: WorldCarFree Day, UNEP, Wikipedia


Hey, it’s also World Rhino Day! At the beginning of the 20th century, about half a million rhinos roamed the planet. By the time America landed astronauts on the moon in 1969, that number had collapsed to 70,000. Today, fewer than 30,000 exist. 

World Rhino Day was first announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010. The following year, World Rhino Day grew into an international success, encompassing both African and Asian rhino species, thanks to the efforts of two determined women … 

World Rhino Day is a day of awareness for all five rhino species and the work being done to save them. Since 2011, World Rhino Day has been celebrated internationally on September 22nd by rhino experts and advocates around the world! On World Rhino Day, the International Rhino Foundation celebrates the five species rhinos and all those who care about them. Join us on Team Rhino as we ‘keep the five alive.’

The International Rhino Foundation has created a social media toolkit for World Rhino Day with graphics and captions ready to go –

The foundation would also love seeing the creativity of Team Rhino and look forward to seeing your own unique rhino posts each year. Make sure to tag us (Facebook: @InternationalRhinoFoundation ; Twitter & Instagram: @rhinosirf) and/or use the World Rhino Day hashtags: #WorldRhinoDay #WRD2022 #TeamRhino #KeeptheFiveAlive

Why do rhinos matter to us? Rhinos are one of the most beautiful and longest living mammals on earth, having been around for about 50 million years. They play a crucial role in their ecosystem. They’re important grazers, consuming large amounts of vegetation, which helps shape the African landscape. This benefits other animals and keeps a healthy balance within the ecosystem. Or as one observer put it, “Rhinos are gentle creatures that benefit other species, habitats and communities just by being rhinos.

DEEPER DIVE: International Rhino Foundation, WWF, Nigeria Frontier, World Rhino Day



Last week, a group of Catholic nuns who sued a pipeline company that seized its land through eminent domain argued Thursday in federal court in Philadelphia that environmental protection and stewardship of the land holds the same weight as their anti-abortion, or “pro-life” stance.

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ say Transco’s Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline, completed in 2018, violates their religious beliefs and commitment to care for the Earth.

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ is an order of Catholic nuns established in 1834 who take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Their lawsuit quotes Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on climate change, as evidence of their religious commitment to fighting global warming caused by the production and burning of fossil fuels.

The law the Sisters are basing their suit on is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits government agencies or officials from interfering with an individual’s religious expression. In one of that act’s most well known applications, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in 2014 and struck down the mandate for health insurers to provide contraception under the Affordable Care Act.

But, for the Adorers, it’s more personal. They say it impacts directly on their faith.

Why does their suit matter to us? In the words of Transco attorney Elizabeth Witmer, if the court ruled in favor of the Adorers, it would have widespread repercussions.  She said, “This is a lying-in-wait collateral attack.” In other words, it’s a great strategy! And it would set a precedent wherein the Religious Freedom Restoration Act could be used as a weapon to fight climate change!

More importantly, according to Sister McCann of the Adorers, “Somehow our land is complicit in allowing fossil fuels to perpetuate in the United States and that’s so against what we believe and what we would hope for our Earth.”

DEEPER DIVE: State Impact, The Guardian, New Yorker