“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political...It represents one of the major challenges facing humanity in our days. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in the coming decades.” (Pope Francis: Encyclical Letter “On the Case of Our Common Home”, n. 25, 24 May 2015)
No less than Pope Francis, the Sovereign of the Universal Catholic Church spread all over the globe with membership from all known continents, races and colors, made the deliberate option to formally and categorically address the phenomenon of Climate Change – the eventual and ultimate victim of which is humanity as a whole. Among other definitely serious and deadly consequences of Climate Change are the following: The progressive warming of the global climate. The gradual destruction of the world environment. The slow but sure wastage of earthly resources, the eventual loss of human lives well-included – when nature itself revolts against its destructors. It is definitely not a profound truth that a bomb-maker can be the victim thereof when it precisely explodes on him.
The Church is certainly much concerned with the truths in the supernatural sphere. But this does not mean that the same Institution is indifferent to the realities in the natural order. Yes, the Church is continuously teaching the fundamental Commandment of Love of God. But the same Ecclesial Institution is also much concerned with the basic Commandment of Love of Neighbor. In other words, the Church is committed to affirm the glory of God and at the same time also mandated to safeguard the good of man. And when the Church through the Pope himself speaks about the mortal dangers brought by climate change to humanity, this is but her obligation. So it is that the perpendicular love of God plus the horizontal love of man brings about no less than the reality of the Cross of Christ.
The earth is the “Common Home” of humanity as a whole. It is God’s creation for man to live on even but temporally until he is called to his eternal abode. The truth of the matter is that God Himself saw to it that the earth was ready – the air and the waters, the sun and the moon, the land and the trees, the greenery and the animals – before He brought man to life and live thereon. What a pity if through his abuse and other misdeeds, he is in fact slowly but surely destroying his “Common Home” with all others brought about precisely by Climate Change.
The vicious exploitation, degradation and destruction of nature usually on account of avarice and greed, the consequent phenomenon of pollution on account of a throw-away social culture, the consequent loss of biodiversity – all these and more challenge the integrity of nature, all these and more demean the environ and necessarily make man as the ultimate victim. No. Man is not meant much less able to challenge nature because by so doing, he is the sure loser and victim. He is instead obliged to take care of nature so that nature takes care of him.
Would that the just concluded international encounter of no less than leaders from countries the world over, one way or another sooner than later decidedly take remedial steps to counter Climate Change.