The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website.
51. Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations.
Inequity in the context of this document might also intersect the age-old rivalries of tribes–even European tribes–and the human instinct to dominate and oppress those it can.
A true “ecological debt” exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.
Long periods? O yes: people and nations have long memories.
The export of raw materials to satisfy markets in the industrialized north has caused harm locally, as for example in mercury pollution in gold mining or sulfur dioxide pollution in copper mining. There is a pressing need to calculate the use of environmental space throughout the world for depositing gas residues which have been accumulating for two centuries and have created a situation which currently affects all the countries of the world.
Nations, especially their industries, indeed can affect people thousands of miles away:
The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming.
Exporting waste is an issue; citizens in many nations have no voice to utter “NIMBY” to their governments:
There is also the damage caused by the export of solid waste and toxic liquids to developing countries, and by the pollution produced by companies which operate in less developed countries in ways they could never do at home, in the countries in which they raise their capital: “We note that often the businesses which operate this way are multinationals. They do here what they would never do in developed countries or the so-called first world. Generally, after ceasing their activity and withdrawing, they leave behind great human and environmental liabilities such as unemployment, abandoned towns, the depletion of natural reserves, deforestation, the impoverishment of agriculture and local stock breeding, open pits, riven hills, polluted rivers and a handful of social works which are no longer sustainable”.[BISHOPS OF THE PATAGONIA-COMAHUE REGION (ARGENTINA), Christmas Message (December 2009), 2]
And Pope Francis was well aware of that document of his fellow bishops.
What do you commenters have to say about this?