We continue our reflection on ‘Laudato Si’.
Change is part of life. Change is often desirable, but not all change is about the greater good. There is no doubt that the rate of change has accelerated enormously in the last few decades.
As a young man I remember a certain optimism that believed that humanity can resolve any challenge. It is good to be hopeful; it is also important to have a sense of balance of what is rational and irrational confidence.
Pollution and climate change are part of our experience. Widespread use of pesticides in agriculture, the enormous increase in fossil fuel consuming means of transport and other farm machinery, and other pollutants are having an enormous effect on our environment.
We also tend to have a throwaway culture. Products, including paper and plastic, are often used once and then thrown away. Of course, some places recycle better than others. However, there is a major challenge regarding rubbish accumulation and dumping.
It is certainly a time to reflect on lifestyle, production, and consumption to combat climate change, at least the human factor that is either producing or aggravating the effects of global warming.
There has always been climate change from natural phenomena, however there is increasing evidence that points out the fact that human activity has a very significant contributing factor.
Here in Australia where so much of the original flora has been cleared for farming, we are learning about more sensible ways of farming that is in better harmony with nature.
Reflection and learning from past practices can help us decide how to act now.
Education, awareness, sharing of information, and a more balanced living is part of integral human living.
Some good questions to ask myself:
• Do I need to use all the throwaway plastic that I do?
• How much food do I throw away?
• Can I walk more (good for health) and use the car less?
• Do I need all the clothes that I own? Do I need to keep buying more clothes, more and more things?
• Do I believe that there are other values as well as the economy?
• Are there any positives that I can learn from the indirect effect of the Coronavirus on lifestyle?
• Am I aware of the difference between needs and wants?
• Am I always conscious not to litter the environment?
• Do I try to stay connected with the cycles of nature, the seasons, the flora and fauna, etc.
As Christians we are called to a commitment to the common good. That is the quality of life for all human beings, as well as the innate dignity of all creation.
God Bless you today
Bishop of Darwin