Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Pontifical Prophecy on Ecology
Of course all this falls under the category that there are consequences to our actions. The extinction of entire species, which is reported to be occurring at a rate of one every twenty seconds, is a global phenomenon that has a very real potential for causing some grim times ahead. Recent research out of the University of Texas in Austin predicts that within two to three centuries, half of the bird and animal life on earth today will be extinct.
All of this has gotten the attention of scientists and governments. An upcoming conference in Germany will be bringing together a sizable group of politicians and researchers; but as we have seen in the related area of climate change, blending science and politics isn’t easy. Developing countries, like China, India and many in Central America, may not be keen on slowing economic growth based on this or that scientific study. And they have a point. Current superpowers like ours developed huge amounts of wealth in an age without much regard for the environment.
This is all very similar to another phenomenon occurring at present: prideful in our deluded perception that we have mastered the natural world, cultural superpowers — again, like ours — are seeking to undo not just natural laws, but moral ones, too.
These words were written almost two decades ago. Since then, evidence of their truth has only mounted, and staggeringly so. Perhaps this evidence will help us recognize that how we choose to use God’s gifts — equitably or not, responsibly or not, selflessly or not — is a matter of free will. What the consequences of our choices bring, however, are matters of natural and moral laws that no pretense or denial can extinguish.