Laudato Si’ June 18, 2015 LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord” Introduction Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home Chapter Two: The Gospel of Creation Chapter Three: The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis Chapter Four: Integral Ecology Chapter Five: Lines of Approach and Action Chapter Six: Ecological Education and Spirituality Introduction “This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, the water, the air and all forms of life” (no. 2). Papal precedent (nos. 3-9) St. Francis of Assisi (nos. 10-12) “My appeal” (nos. 13-16) “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (no. 14). Chapter One What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change II. The Issue of Water III. Loss of Biodiversity IV. Decline in the Quality of Human Life and the Breakdown of Society V. Global Inequality VI. Weak Responses “It is remarkable how weak international political responses have been. The failure of global summits on the environment make it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected” (no. 54). Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day” (Laudato Si’, no. 25). “Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change?" (Pope Benedict XVI, 2010 World Day of Peace Message, no. 4). “The related ‘greenhouse effect’ has now reached crisis proportions as a consequence of industrial growth, massive urban concentrations and vastly increased energy needs” (Pope John Paul II, 1990 World Day of Peace Message, no. 6). Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ https://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/rise-in-global-temperatures-since-1880 “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities” (NASA, “Scientific Consensus,” https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/). Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change “Climatic changes already are estimated to cause over 150,000 deaths annually” (World Health Organization, “Climate change”). “Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress” (World Health Organization, “Climate change and health”). “How can we separate, or even set at odds, the protection of the environment and the protection of human life, including the life of the unborn?” (Pope Benedict XVI, 2010 Address to the Diplomatic Corps). Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change “This great inequality between polluters and victims makes anthropogenic climate change into a fundamental problem of global justice” (The German Bishops, Climate Change: A Focal Point of Global, Intergenerational and Ecological Justice, 12). Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change Climate Feedback https://climate.nasa.gov/images-of-change?id=684#684-vavilov-ice-cap-glacier-accelerates Tipping Point Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change To stabilize global warming at 1.5°C relative to pre- industrial levels, the IPCC recommends that “global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 ... reaching net zero around 2050.” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Global Warming of 1.5°C - Summary for Policymakers Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-09.PDF Chapter One: What is Happening to Our Common Home I. Pollution and Climate Change “Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations” (Pope Francis, “To Participants at the meeting promoted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on the theme: The Energy Transition and Care for our Common Home,” June 14, 2019). Charitable Works: “Avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices” (LS, no. 211). Social Justice: “There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy” (LS, no. 26). Chapter Two The Gospel of Creation I. The Light Offered by Faith II. The Wisdom of the Biblical Accounts III. The Mystery of the Universe IV. The Message of Each Creature in the Harmony of Creation V. A Universal Communion VI. The Common Destination of Goods VII. The Gaze of Jesus Chapter Two: The Gospel of Creation II. The Wisdom of the Biblical Accounts “Human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself. According to the Bible, these three vital relationships have been broken, both outwardly and within us. This rupture is sin. The harmony between the Creator, humanity and creation as a whole was disrupted by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations. This in turn distorted our mandate to ‘have dominion’ over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28). “ ... fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over ...” (Gn 1:28) Hebrew for subdue: kabash - neutralize hostile aggressor Hebrew for dominion: radah - royalty and delegated authority “Cultivate and care for” (Gn 2:15) Chapter Two: The Gospel of Creation IV. The Message of Each Creature in the Harmony of Creation “Other living beings have a value of their own in God’s eyes: ‘by their mere existence they bless him and give [God] glory’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2416). First five days of Creation narrative (Gen 1:1-25): “God saw that it was good.” Chapter Two: The Gospel of Creation V. A Universal Communion “Peace, justice and the preservation of creation are three absolutely interconnected themes, which cannot be separated and treated individually” (no. 92). Chapter Three The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis I. Technology: Creativity and Power II. The Globalization of the Technocratic Paradigm III. The Crisis and Effects of Modern Anthropocentrism Chapter Three: The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis II. The Globalization of the Technocratic Paradigm One-dimensional paradigm rooted in mastery/scientific method that only uses instrumental reasoning and assumes all technological advances/economic profits are “good” without asking broader ethical questions. Chapter Four: Integral Ecology 138. Ecology studies the relationship between living organisms and the environment in which they develop. This necessarily entails reflection and debate about the conditions required for the life and survival of society, and the honesty needed to question certain models of development, production and consumption. It cannot be emphasized enough how everything is interconnected. Time and space are not independent of one another, and not even atoms or subatomic particles can be considered in isolation. Just as the different aspects of the planet – physical, chemical and biological – are interrelated, so too living species are part of a network which we will never fully explore and understand. A good part of our genetic code is shared by many living beings. It follows that the fragmentation of knowledge and the isolation of bits of information can actually become a form of ignorance, unless they are integrated into a broader vision of reality. 139. When we speak of the “environment”, what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it. Recognizing the reasons why a given area is polluted requires a study of the workings of society, its economy, its behaviour patterns, and the ways it grasps reality. Given the scale of change, it is no longer possible to find a specific, discrete answer for each part of the problem. It is essential to seek comprehensive solutions which consider the interactions within natural systems themselves and with social systems. 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. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature. Chapter Five: Lines of Approach and Action http://www.usccb.org/about/justice-peace-and-humandevelopment/upload/Two-Feet-handout-color.pdf Chapter Six: Ecological Education and Spirituality “Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it” (no.19). “More than in ideas or concepts as such, I am interested in how such a spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world. A commitment this lofty cannot be sustained by doctrine alone, without a spirituality capable of inspiring us, without an ‘interior impulse which encourages, motivates, nourishes and gives meaning to our individual and communal activity’ (no. 216). 217. ‘The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast’. For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an ‘ecological conversion’, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. Chapter Six: Ecological Education and Spirituality “Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning” (no. 205). “Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems” (no. 61). “Relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1817). “May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope” (no. 244).