Sunday, June 28, 2015

Our Common Home

The recent papal encyclical by Pope Francis  Laudato Si : On care for our common home highlights that climate change is one of the principal challenges facing humanity and a moral issue requiring respectful dialogue with all parts of society. 

The encyclical warns of an "unprecedented destruction of ecosystems" and "serious consequences of all of us" if humanity fails to act on climate change. It takes a holistic approach where climate change cannot be separated from poverty and global inequality. But it also draws on solid scientific evidence showing significant warming of the climate system and that most of global warming in recent decades is mainly the result of human activity. 

“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. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si': On Care For Our Common Home, no. 15)

 It is a moral issue which requires respectful dialogue with all parts of the society.  But it also requires an imperative for action. The pope condemns the egoism of nations when he says " international (climate) negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place  their national interests above the global common good.  On this position, the UN secretary general , Ban Ki Moon called on governments to place 'the global common good above national interests and to adopt an ambitious, universal climate agreement" at the UN climate summit in Paris this December. 

The Pope's message is not only  addressed to the Catholic community but to all communities and other faiths to act together. His words are powerful and transcend all kinds of divisions:

"We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.”  

P.S: Sign the petition to demand world leaders a strong agreement  at the Paris climate summit

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