The 2020 coronavirus pandemic minimized human activity on the earth and silenced big industries.
The Earth flourished.
There are lessons to be learned.
Climate change caused by human invasions on biodiversity impacts on the health of both the Earth and human beings. A sick world is a sick people. Yet, the pandemic also brought home in real terms the meaning of Pope Francis’ concepts of “our common home” and humanity as being a single family. No country was spared from the Covid-19 virus, yet we also gained a deeper understanding of global solidarity to address the threats to public health caused by the climate crisis.
Another Laudatu Si concept made real, “the cry of the earth, the cry of the poor”. The poor and vulnerable are hardest hit by natural disasters and pandemics.
If we want to heal the earth and heal humanity, there can be no turning back to what was perceived as normal. Listen. Nature – is asking each person living on this earth to change and evolve non-consumerist lifestyles. Evolve new forms of social economic and political systems that promote equality and just peace. Systems that protect the health of both the environment and the people. There can be no turning back to what was perceived as normal. Pope Francis’ strong words must move us to action:
We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years. We are not God. The Earth was here before us and was given to us. The idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit. Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”
Loren McClenachan, an interdisciplinary scientist who did intensive research on marine life history says, “We are living in a 10% percent world. An order of magnitude less that it was several generations ago. When you look back in time it used to be about 90 percent more, so the fish used to be 90 percent bigger we used to catch 90 percent more big fish, there used to be 90 percent more coral.”
A healthy biodiversity will lessen the probability of another pandemic from occurring. A healthy planet is a healthy people and can be, a world at peace.
There can be no turning back. In a post-Covid 19 virus world, governments and businesses must stop destructive practices such as the use of non-renewable energy mining, logging that leads to deforestation, industrial farming and fishing, industrial production of foods and consumer goods – that infringe on wildlife and the rights of nature. Governments must also make bolder steps to prevent wars and the nuclear arms race. At the heart of nature’s plea to every human being and all governments – respect and uphold the rights of nature and human rights. Live with justice, peace, charity and compassion in our hearts.
This year’s Season of Creation theme is Jubilee for the Earth. Rooted in the Bible, jubilee according to biblical regulations, had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel. According to the Book of Leviticus, Hebrew slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest. The modern-day implication of jubilee may mean no less that restoring the balance between nature and peoples, preventing wars, and upholding the “principles of equality, justice and sustainability and confirming the need for a prophetic voice in defence of our common home” Rev. Christian Krieger and H. Em. Card. Angelo Bagnasco President
The pandemic brought us face-to-face with our human vulnerability, death. But it also reaffirmed the value of life, human life and the life of nature, and the rare opportunity to act on our divinity, our innate capacities for goodness and greatness as “single human family” (laudatu Si)
A blessed and meaningful celebration of the Season of Creation!
AMRSP – Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission
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