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Editorial: Global Warming, Human Ecology and a Catholic Way of Being Green Comments

Catholics should live a way of life which understands our place with one another in the world which God created for all of us to care for, steward and share. We need a human ecology, a relational environmentalism, a Catholic way of being green. The most recent debate concerning global warming invites us to continue to develop such an approach, together. It also calls for the charity in truth and respect which should characterize ... Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 13 Comments

  1. Steve Elfelt
    1 year ago

    Suppose earth can grow food to give 20 billion the bare minimum nutrition, but we keep adding people anyway.

    It is your job to decide who does not eat (and dies).

    Instead, you decide to make everyone just a little malnourished so that all can live.

    But then a new strain of bird flu goes aerosol, people-to-people. Being malnourished, we all have weakened immune systems. Baring "hands on" intervention by God, your choice to spread the food equally renders us all vulnerable and so there's no more human race.

    There are two ways in our control to prevent that.

    One way is for you to make the triage decision and decide that the "extra" people have to starve. Not a good option is it?

    The other way - the moral way - is to acknowledge *right now* that being faithful stewards of creation demands that we start paying attention to the limits of growth; in fact, we need to replace "growth" as the central ideal in our economy with "equilibrium" and "longterm sustainability".

    Anything else is morally bankrupt because ultimately, uncontrolled growth kills its host.

  2. kirk
    1 year ago

    @Steve Elfelt, I take it you are for population control and that in turn makes you in favor of contraception and abortion. I do understand it is impossible to convince you that you are wrong about this issue because you are so well educated and know the truth. (notice I used a small 't") I will let you dwell on some words of wisdom from Archbishop Fulton Sheen

    “If my own eternal salvation were conditioned upon saving the soul of one self-wise man who prided himself on his learning, or one hundred of the most morally corrupt men and women of the streets, I should choose the easier task of converting the hundred. Nothing is more difficult to conquer in all the world than intellectual pride. If battleships could be lined with it instead of with armor, no shell could ever pierce them.”

  3. Steve Elfelt
    1 year ago

    Ruth, let's not just talk about common sense, let's watch it....

    If you have a highschool level knowledge of math then your common sense should tell you that zeroing population growth is the ULTIMATE right to life issue. Why? Because the earth only weighs so much..... I've got a kid. I know very well that all those pounds of groceries I feed her slowly turns into pounds of my wonderful bundle of joy.... I can barely pick her up now!

    However, if we grow the population, and grow it and grow it and grow it.... common sense leads to the absurd idea that we will eventually convert the entire mass of the earth into human flesh. That's ABSURD, right? OBVIOUSLY there is a limit. The question is, will we decide to make a conscious choice to stop growing, or will we overshoot the limit and then have a massive population crash? Think of your retirement savings. Do you live off the income of the investments or overshoot by spending the principal?

    That's why population-expressed-as-consumption is the ULTIMATE right-to-life problem.
    In case you missed the video link above here it is again

  4. Tom McGuire
    1 year ago

    MJGT I do not disagree, the article is a good one. It left out important aspects of the problem. No country is ideal, but we can learn from all. The ideal is the reign of God, which Jesus proclaims through those who believe in him. 2 Corinthians 8 speaks of sharing from our surplus and equality. To protect creation as Pope Francis calls for; we all must learn to be more frugal and share in the natural resources.

  5. Ruth
    1 year ago

    This article is finally my perspective--Traditional based--humans as the stewards of creation. That we have an obligation to care for it.

    Too many times that the discussion of the above, gets sidetracked by neo-paganistic Global-warming believers who are also zero-population growthers.

    No one of intelligence should argue against clean and renewable energy sources. But too often we waste money and resources bases on beliefs and not science or even common sense.

    Carbon dioxide is part of the cycle of life designed by God. Particulate and toxic pollutions are a real issue.

    Spending $25,000 per car in a program to give up to $5,000 to help people buy more fuel efficient cars that the whole program saves less than a few hours of gasoline consume the first year and even less after that. And by destroying the used cars, people were prevented from 'moving up' from very old cars to these 'better' cars (the price of used cars spiked dramatically). (I was caught in that cycle because I had a 150,000 miles on my old car but it was too fuel efficient to qualify and I couldn't upgrade because of that spike in prices and ended up driving a less efficient car than I would have for about 2 years longer than I wished until my finances support buying a new car.) Anyway, by destroying good cars, there was forced a massive use of energy and resource to make unnecessary new cars to replace them (so much for recycle/reuse). The money could have been much better spent with more enviromental effect but you can't even discuss that with some 'Green'-religion people.

  6. J. Bob
    1 year ago

    was the Fukashima disaster or quakes, from the Midland fault east of St. Louis, caused by oil drilling.. Look at the most recent one in Iran, again no drilling in any of the areas.

    AGW, or human caused global warming has many perceptions, but proof of how much is another story.

    Have humans caused a increase in the earth's temperature do to energy consumption.

    The answer is yes! Look at all the oil we consume for cars & plastics. Look at all the natural gas & coal we consume to heat, cool & light our homes. All that is providing energy previous generation did not.

    The real question is how much has this contributed to measured increase in the earth's temperature in the last say 150 yrs., or is most of this a natural fluctuation in the earth's cycle?

    So for Ecology & in order to reduce global warming what are you prepared to give up? We could start with walking to work, sperm oil for lamps, local forests for heat, forget about air conditioning. Bring back the itchy scratchy Union suits & fur coats, we will need them. . .

  7. George Ronald Adkisson
    1 year ago

    I searched the web and found the definition for something that is the basis for all the mankind's confusion when dealing with just about any topic.
    Politicians-1.A person who is professionally involved in politics. Plus;
    2.A person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement.
    Put two distinct but dysfunctional groups of politicians together...and also allow the lobbyist's influence...
    Then you have the united States government...a great example for how ducks deal with each other socially...
    Like Job ... not advisable to go foolishly.
    Not a problem for the Catholic...but living like a Catholic is needlessly demanding.
    That's why I will never be a politician...period.I am a uS citizen...but not a neutralized one...begging for a politician's subjection.It's then, just normal to be liken Christ. Accomplished in their sight... and not as distorted by a currency, or token coin.
    Green is a good discipline and idea...for everyone...a direct approach is also.

  8. RoodAwakening
    1 year ago

    If we humans will jointly invest in cleaning up our oceans, together with taking steps to protect them in the future, our planet will regulate its own climate. We also need to remember, though, that climate change is NORMAL, and is simply part of the earth's natural life cycle. It's the current state of the oceans that has thrown the cycle out of whack.

  9. Steve Elfelt
    1 year ago

    To me, the Christian way - including the Catholic way - of approaching global warming should be in accord with the commandment to not "bear false witness".

    The instant a "global-warming-is-a-hoax" believer truly pledges to NOT commit this sin, two problems arise.

    (1) The notion that climate scientists have cooked data, that the hockey stick is a lie, that climate-gate exposed something dastardly..... you hear all these in various conservative, mostly fossil-fuel-funded media..... but if you are pledged to NOT bear false witness you are obligated to truly learn the basis of these claims. What you will find is that investigation after investigation has failed to overturn the basic conclusions of the climate scientists. If you then repeat the talking points from the mostly fossil-fuel-funded media anyway, that's the sin of bearing false witness.

    (2) And how about bearing false witness against *yourself*? This is the old problem about knowing that you might not know that you don't know. The Arabs put it this way
    and a NYT column illustrates this with the story of the Lemon Juice Bandit
    A quick way to tell if you have educated yourself enough to be reasonably sure you are not lying to yourself by intentionally staying ignorant of the science is to take the following quiz

    (a) What do "forams" tell climate scientists?
    (b) What is an "isotope"? Why are they important in climate science?
    (c) What are the 5 parts of the climate system?
    (d) What is the "PETM" and how fast did CO2 rise in the atmosphere during the PETM?
    (e) What is a "core sample"?
    (f) What is "water vapor feedback"?
    (g) What does melting arctic ice have to do with the weather we need in order to grow food ?

    Answers to some of these questions are found in the following videos (BBC "Science under Attack") (NOVA "Secrets Under the Ice") (sea ice and food-growing weather)
    and blog post (its been warming *faster* these last 15 years, its just going into the ocean)

    There's no way to be a Green Catholic and still bear false witness against yourself or climate scientists.

  10. mjgt
    1 year ago

    Tom McGuire, this article presents a foundation on which to build a sound approach to ecology, economics and government. It's not the purpose of this article to get into the specific arguments (pro or con) surrounding these topics. I think this article is excellent and important.

    Furthermore, your comment-- "The way of life promoted in the United States requires the use of a disproportionate amount of the limited resource of fossil fuels. Progress is premised on the continued growth of consumerism which means even more waste of the gifts of creation."--seems like typical leftist propaganda. Please let us know which nation has promoted a way of life that meets with your approval. Thank you.

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