After watching Jacquie Baly and Mustafa Tameez spar on the topic this morning (curiously without Chris Tritico’s usual refereeing; didja oversleep, Chris?), I decided to go look at Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, “On Care for our Common Home”. There’s an awful lot in it that’s not going to be reported on by the news media, but is worth at least scanning.
Okay, yeah, it’s really long, and if you’re not Christian, or you’re rabidly anti-Roman Catholic, you might not care. But I’m telling ya’, there are a lot of provocative and counter-cultural (and thus counter-intuitive) statements that deserve at least some reflection.
As for political preferences and forces (related to global warming or not), Francis gores everyone’s ox. For your consideration:
123. The culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects, imposing forced labour on them or enslaving them to pay their debts. The same kind of thinking leads to the sexual exploitation of children and abandonment of the elderly who no longer serve our interests. It is also the mindset of those who say: Let us allow the invisible forces of the market to regulate the economy, and consider their impact on society and nature as collateral damage. In the absence of objective truths or sound principles other than the satisfaction of our own desires and immediate needs, what limits can be placed on human trafficking, organized crime, the drug trade, commerce in blood diamonds and the fur of endangered species? Is it not the same relativistic logic which justifies buying the organs of the poor for resale or use in experimentation, or eliminating children because they are not what their parents wanted? This same “use and throw away” logic generates so much waste, because of the disordered desire to consume more than what is really necessary. We should not think that political efforts or the force of law will be sufficient to prevent actions which affect the environment because, when the culture itself is corrupt and objective truth and universally valid principles are no longer upheld, then laws can only be seen as arbitrary impositions or obstacles to be avoided.
Political left or right, I think we all just got skewered. IMO, regardless of where you fall on politics or religion, there’s some good stuff to chew on in this letter.