Monday, May 9, 2011

Hell must be freezing over...

...because, as far as I can tell from having read this article on Ars Technica, there's actually some sense coming out of the Vatican.  Environmentally speaking, anyway.  And though I still feel no small measure of contempt for the source of this statement, I can't deny that I agree with this particular message anyway.

To summarize: the damage that we've been causing to the environment is real and it has Consequences.  We're already starting to see them in the natural disasters that have killed so many people in recent years, and it's going to keep happening.  We have to do our best to help the people who have been made vulnerable to these disasters, and if the nations who are doing all this damage in the first place don't wise up and do something decisive and constructive to halt this damage, it's going to get a hell of a lot worse than it already is. And yes, it'll be expensive to do what's necessary, but if it isn't done then the long-term consequences will be even more expensive.

Despite my great dislike of the Vatican, I can completely agree with the principle behind this statement.  We humans have been very bad for the planet in recent centuries.  We're starting to see changes to the world's climate, and a corresponding rise in the number of natural disasters that we ourselves have gradually caused, no matter how indirectly it may be, because of our pollution and our refusals to do anything about the damage we've caused to the Earth.  Thousands of people have died because of natural disasters that have happened because of the changes we've slowly been making to the planet.  If it isn't already too late to fix the damage we've caused, we've got to act now or we'll eventually find that in abusing our planet so badly, we've truly sown the seeds of our own destruction.

And harvest time is coming.

Now, I don't think that we'll absolutely destroy the planet.  Life has sprung up here several times after several mass extinctions, and I have no doubt that it will happen again, even if it takes a few millennia for the Earth to sufficiently heal itself.  But we'd better smarten up, or the next mass extinction will be our own.

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