By Prof. Bill Lauto, Environmental scientist, USA
One of the first actions we need to take as an individual is to collect all the facts and find the truth. We hear many claims from both sides about our environment, yet here we are on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, still without conceivable solutions.
We need solutions that are fundamentally sound, and that we as individuals, can implement within our own budget of time and money. Everything and everyone is connected in this world and that is especially true today as we see the world facing an invisible virus. This is also true when we take actions as individuals because together we then become a powerful team. Our planet, our environment, are gifts from God and we are the stewards.
Starting work with the fundamentals will accomplish a better understanding of the complete situation and provide long term solutions. Getting all the facts and seeking out the truth is paramount. Fifty years ago was the first Earth Day and for fifty years we have made some attempts to seek Truth in all the facts. This is not easy in today’s world of multiple sources of information and misinformation.
Our environment has been politicized. We have two sides that are both extreme and with their own narrative. One side says everything is fine – “Leave things status quo.” The other side, says the sky is falling and “we are all doomed!” Yet, the people on both sides seem to have something in common: They are either protecting money already made by denying any actions that should be taken or they are making money by selling fear through books, movies or 15 minutes of fame on a news channel.
I have heard so much misinformation from pretentious scientists, so called reporters, money making lies from contractors, and incomplete evaluations on multiple environmental issues over the decades, that I want to point out this fact, because
today, our Church and our Popes have been the only ones to speak fundamentally and realistically about our planet’s environment. The fact that everything is connected and everything we do as an individual has consequences is paramount. If you wish to hear about the complete picture and the truth that comes from all the environmental issues, the media is the last place to rely on. They only care about sensationalizing any and every story so they can sell additional advertisements and do another special edition, just to make more money. My personal experiences with the media over the decades has shown me this truth. Yet, there are still a few real journalists in the business trying to provide the truth.
Pope John Paul said, “Man has specific responsibility towards the environment in which he lives, towards the creation which God has put at the service of his personal dignity, of his life, not only for the present, but also for future generations.”
Pope Benedict had an electric car and said in his third encyclical called Charity In Truth, “Above all, the intention to do good must not be considered incompatible with the effective capacity to produce goods.”
Also I wish to point out another quote from Pope Benedict: “Economy and finance, as instruments, can be used badly when those at the helm are motivated by purely selfish means.”
Pope Francis seems to address the two extreme sides and the news media, with the following quote from his encyclical letter.
“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.”
Additionally Pope Francis reinforces what Pope Benedict said prior to him with the following quote “The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.”
By that very quote, Pope Francis does not blame corporations or the business of the world for our environmental issues. He blames corrupt individuals. Yet, some news media Networks claimed by “fragmenting” Pope Francis’ words that he did blame corporations. Think of that for a second. Pope Francis knew what some of the news media would do and put a quote about that in his letter. Yet, the “so call Reporters” who did not read his entire letter, just made up their own money making controversial story.
Our Popes knew and know, that the blame falls on each of us as an individual. So what is going on with many people that have the means to make a difference?
One word: Anthropocentrism
Our environment is so complex with multiple issues and everything is connected. My presentation will provide these truths, so we can all create ripples of solutions.