Comments: Climate change, the Archbishop and the Pope

Laudato Si links climate change to economic injustice and the plight of the poor.The encyclical also makes the valid point that consumption by those of us in wealthy countries, rather than consumption in poor "over populated" countries, is a problem.

Columnist (and ex-Catholic) Elizabeth Renzetti, writes in the Globe and Mail:

"It is a rare document that cites The Divine Comedy, the works of Thomas Aquinas and the Basel Convention on hazardous waste. There cannot be many modern communications that ...give us quotations from St. Basil the Great along with the phrase 'synthetic agrotoxins.'

Only one such document appeared this week and it was, of course, Laudato Si ... [Frances] has hit this one out of St. Peter’s."


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/pope-franciss-encyclical-on-climate-change-an-awe-inspiring-document/article25045688/

Posted by Rod Gillis at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 4:36am BST

The good point of the new Encyclical is that it speaks up against population control being used against the poor. “concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion” (No. 120) and “that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development” (No. 50).

This is necessary as some Green zealots want to drastically reduce population.

Posted by robert ian williams at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 5:46am BST

RIW,
population automatically decreases with a stable economic system, free education, pensions and a welfare net for the weakest in society.
All over the world richer and stable countries have much lower birth rates than developing countries.

And the increasing wave of economic refugees alone makes it imperative that we do more to help stabilise those countries and help them to grow.

The challenge is how to do that without increasing environmental damage and how to get rich countries to consume much much less.

Thankfully, there are now an increasing number of economists developing models for a sustainable economy that is not based on never ending growth. Those systems haven't been tried yet and they could be a bit of a gamble.
But we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Population will then sort itself out quite naturally regardless of what religious leaders might say about it.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 9:42am BST

Canada's baptism liturgy uses the baptismal covenant from the American BCP. Recently the questions in the covenant which follow after the Apostles' Creed were revised with the addition of the final question regarding the environment. See below.

Celebrant
Will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever
you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People
I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant
Will you proclaim by word and example the good
news of God in Christ?
People
I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbour as yourself?
People
I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant
Will you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human
being?
People
I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant
Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God's
creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of
the Earth?
People
I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant
Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the earth?
People
I will, with God's Help.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 2:38pm BST

What RIW seems to not fully understand is the indisputable fact that, for the world's poor, procreative acts are a natural source of comfort - even though the results of uncontrolled sexual congress, without contraception, is the root cause of over population, causing, in poor countries, even more privation and misery.

It is not simply a matter of the rich trying to control the lives of the poor, but rather, the more advanced nations assisting the poor to become economically viable - by the provision of more freely-available contraception advice and facilitation.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 3:28pm BST

"This is necessary as some Green zealots want to drastically reduce population."

It is not helpful to exaggerate the Green/conservationist point of view by underlining the radical opinions of the few. "Zealots" and "drastically"? Perhaps a statement of just why population reduction or limitation is not needed would ad to the discussion without recourse to buzz words. We have a serious problem; serious discussion is needed, not emotional blackmail.

Posted by Nathaniel Brown at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 5:26pm BST

All over the world richer and stable countries have much lower birth rates than developing countries

That is the popular myth, but developed nations are ageing populations with no replacement birthrates. Only immigration has bailed us out....but a country like Japan ( with no significant immigration) is in dire trouble.

Then look at a country like New Zealand...the size of the British Isles with a paltry population. New Zealand should open its door to more Asian immigration.

Posted by robert ian williams at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 6:14pm BST

RIW, that's not a popular myth, that is based on statistics analysed in The Economist.

And, yes, developed countries do not reproduce to replacement level. But if all countries were developed and if immigration would no longer be an easy option to solve our problems, the economy would soon make it more possible and attractive to have children again.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 9:36am BST

Interesting AP wire story about Naomi Kline's visit to the Vatican, and her comments about the Pope's stand on climate change.


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_REL_VATICAN_ENVIRONMENT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-07-01-08-48-33

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 5:30pm BST
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