Thursday, June 18, 2015
Pope Francis and the Moral Revolution to Save the Planet
His enemies tried to undermine Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change by leaking it before it was officially released today.
But it's still an incredibly powerful document.
Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.
And what makes it so powerful for me, is its call for a moral revolution.
Climate change, the mass extinction of species and the poisoning of the oceans have been unfolding like slow-motion disasters for decades and universally damage the lives of the poor for the benefit of the rich.
Yet for many people these planetary crises have not felt, deep down, like moral issues. They are too distant in time and space, affecting people we don’t know and creatures we have never heard of. As coal, oil and gas continue to be burned, and emissions rise, the risk of floods, famines, heatwaves and refugees that will affect us all rises. And yet so little has been achieved to curb the use of fossil fuels.
The pope provides the clearest and loudest moral case yet for action now, firmly rooted in justice for the world’s poor.
For what could be more moral than saving the world for the generations that will follows us? Or what could be more immoral than failing to do that?
Or more dangerous.
You know, my differences with Christianity, the religion I was raised in, have nothing to do with the message of love of its founder, which is one I share.
It is based on my refusal to accept the existence of a heaven, to which we can escape after having treated this planet as a mere waiting room for something better.
When my scientific beliefs tell me that energy cannot be created or destroyed. So all those who ever lived are still with us today.
In the trees and the flowers and all the other natural wonders that surround us.
And my equally firm belief that this beautiful little blue ball is our heaven and our hell...
And the actions of those who have inherited it, will determine what it will become.
Which is something this monstrous climate change denier will never understand...
Who would help destroy our only home in the name of short term greed.
I also have my differences with Pope Francis because the Catholic Church is flawed as are so many other faiths, who still refuse to accept the equality of women, and the humanity of LGBT people.
But on this issue I am with him all the way. I welcome and share his call for a moral revolution.
And since I know he has many powerful enemies who will seek to discredit him, and even try to destroy him...
I will pray, in my way, for his safety.
And hope that he can take his message to the meeting on climate change in November, so all the leaders who have failed our planet so badly can hear him.
Or in the words of the Brazilian climate change activists who made this fun video.
Go Francis go...
As you can see, unlike so many in this country, including many in the blogosphere, I refuse to surrender to despair.
Because to do so would be to betray the future, and all those who will follow us.
I know we can do it because we must. And that the first thing we Canadians need to do is defeat the foul Harper regime. Because until that happens change won't stand a chance.
I want to live in a moral country.
I want my Canada to help save the world...
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