“And God saw all the things he had made, and they were very good…And the Lord God took man and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it and to keep it.” These extracts from Genesis (Douai) remind us that attention to global warming is not merely a practical matter but a moral obligation required by God.
We have discussed the issue on this Blog at a time when global warming was almost an open question. We are left with Trump continuing to remain sceptical, taking the USA out of the Paris Agreement and reversing moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal fire power stations. I was convinced of the threat of global warming when a highly qualified physicist friend, some years ago, took me through the detailed projections and the evidence behind these.
You will all have read at least summaries of the latest UN panel report. It is essential to limit the temperature rise to 1.5̊C to avoid massive and damaging changes across the world. To do this would require changes in our diet, and a large drop in the level of CO2. And that means substantial changes in our lifestyle. There will be huge movements of emigrants from hotter countries, and many would die from drought and coastal flooding. And so on and so forth. While we have already addressed potential changes in our lifestyles, most of them are at no more than an infant stage.
So perhaps we could consider what we must be prepared to do in order to fulfil God’s requirement “to dress it and to keep it.” And are our personal choices enough? Should we be in active crusade to persuade others?