Written on: June 1, 2020
(From: EarthBeat, an exploration of Laudato Si’ through a social, political and spiritual lens)
The second focus is on Ecology
Principle II ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY
In Laudato Si, Pope Francis reminds us of the leadership that Pope Paul VI and John Paul II took concerning our home, the earth.
In particular: In 1971, eight years after Pacem in Terris, Blessed Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity: “Due to an ill-considered exploitation of nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”.
Pope Benedict asked us to recognize that the natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible behaviour.
Bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”.
Pope Francis wrote, Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. He reminded us that the Earth Charter asked us to leave behind a period of self-destruction and make a new start…
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.
Temperature rise and melting ice caps are causing sea-level rise.
We know in large part that temperature rise is due to our use of fossil fuels. South Pacific Islanders have already been resettled due to sea-level rise.
In 2020, an article in the New York Times identified 100 roll-backs during the past 3 years of the Trump’s administration some of which include: Repealed limits on carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants, repealed a requirement of oil and gas companies to report methane emissions, repealed a rule to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters, repealed a requirement to track tailpipe emissions, lifted a ban in drilling in the Arctic, approved construction of the Dakota Access pipeline less than a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, revoked orders to preserve ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters in favor of non-renewable energy production, loosened offshore safety regulations, reversed a freeze on new coal leases, and proposed opening most of America’s coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling.
All of these and more increase the dangers to people and their homes around the world.
Increased carbon dioxide in the ocean (acidification) affects sea life as well. Washington State has documented creatures with shells are already being affected. The following are images of shell degradation due to a small increase of carbon dioxide in their environment.
Our homes, our food, and our way of life are at stake.
To understand further the climate change background join Sister Bridget via zoom addressing the following little known, but easily understood topics:
The first, Milankovitch cycles, will be held on June 15th at 7PM. An invitation will be sent out. Dates for additional topics to be announced.