Laudato Si 164: International Dialogue

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. How should the conversation beyond single nations take place? Sections 164-175 cover “Dialogue On The Environment In The International Community.”

164. Beginning in the middle of the last century and overcoming many difficulties, there has been a growing conviction that our planet is a homeland and that humanity is one people living in a common home.

One of the ways this has been facilitated is through space exploration. Not just humans taking loved and admired images, such as Apollo 8’s view of earthrise from lunar orbit in 1968 (above, left), but also the access that travel technology has given us. More people than ever in history journey thousands of miles from home to see wonders only a select few pilgrims enjoyed.

Not just peop0le move around, but also products:

An interdependent world not only makes us more conscious of the negative effects of certain lifestyles and models of production and consumption which affect us all; more importantly, it motivates us to ensure that solutions are proposed from a global perspective, and not simply to defend the interests of a few countries. Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan. Yet the same ingenuity which has brought about enormous technological progress has so far proved incapable of finding effective ways of dealing with grave environmental and social problems worldwide. A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries.

Five reasonable goals are within the reach of sincere dialogue among people on the international level:

Such a consensus could lead, for example, to

  • planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture,
  • developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy,
  • encouraging a more efficient use of energy,
  • promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and
  • ensuring universal access to drinking water.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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