Laudato Si 190: Rejecting A “Magic Market”

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. The Compendium is cited:

190. Here too, it should always be kept in mind that “environmental protection cannot be assured solely on the basis of financial calculations of costs and benefits. The environment is one of those goods that cannot be adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces”.[Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 470]

Wishful (or opportunistic) thinking rejected:

Once more, we need to reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals.

The continuing financial crisis and pseudo-recovery should confirm that there is no magic in “freedom” for the 1%. Only manipulation to personal benefit for those influential enough to rig the system in their favor.

Is it realistic to hope that those who are obsessed with maximizing profits will stop to reflect on the environmental damage which they will leave behind for future generations? Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention. Moreover, biodiversity is considered at most a deposit of economic resources available for exploitation, with no serious thought for the real value of things, their significance for persons and cultures, or the concerns and needs of the poor.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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