The year 2015 will be a landmark year for climate change. June 2015 saw one of the most influential people in the world talking about climate change. We have Pope Francis release an encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ with a tagline “On care for our common home”. ” I would like to enter a dialogue with all people about our common home” the Pope began.
What is an encyclical? An encyclical is an official document from the Vatican to the clergy and people around the world. By people around the world, the encyclical are typically aimed to target the 1.2billion Catholics (that’s 1 in 7 people).
Whats different in this encyclical? Through this encyclical the Pope Francis aims to reach a wider audience in an important year for Climate change action. September will see the UN adopting Sustainable Development Goals, the Pope is expected to speak at the UN conference.In December the world leaders will be in Paris to agree on a global target to cut carbon emissions.
Is he the first Pope to talk about environment? No! Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict have all mentioned about it in their encyclicals.
So, what does the Pope say in ‘Laudato Si’?
The document doesn’t provide solutions to climate but laments on lack of it. The document in large calls for rapid action from people to change their lifestyle practices in terms of production and consumption of resources. Its a 190 page document, but here are a few key points
The world for our future
“We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”
The need for alternate energy sources
“There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general. Technology, which, linked to business interests, is presented as the only way of solving these problems”
The need to adopt public transportation
“..the idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology. It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit. It is the false notion that “an infinite quantity of energy and resources are available, that it is possible to renew them quickly, and that the negative effects of the exploitation of the natural order can be easily absorbed”
We dint create the earth
“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”
Beware of being isolated from the reality
“There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself.”
“Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made…”
Reduce, refuse and reuse
Together we can
Many believe this document from the Pope will have a great impact in the months to come. Hope we get a deal at the end of the summit in Paris, Dec 2015. Act on climate change!
References: The Official release from Vatican
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