CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME
Pope Francis tells us that we are faced with a complex crisis which is both social and environmental. The solution demands an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the underprivileged, and at the same time protecting nature. Here are some facts
- Did you and your family have a roof over your heads last night? Here in Reading, each night, about twenty-five to fifty people do not.
Pope Francis writes ‘what we all need is an ‘ecological conversion’ whereby the effects of our encounter with Jesus Christ becomes evident in our relationship with the world around us.’ ‘…..we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act. We need to experience a conversion, or change of heart.’ Here are some facts.
- Coral reefs have the most diversity of all ecosystems
- On land equatorial regions are also rich in biodiversity
Pope Francis writes that ‘there are are number of symptoms… of what is wrong environmental degradation, anxiety, a loss of of the purpose of life and of community living… Respect for our dignity as humn beings often jars with the chaotic realites that people have to endure in city life.’ How often do we find ourselves too busy, too worn down to listen to or care for others? Here are some facts.
- 42% of UK mariages end in divorce, with money problems bing a lead cause.
- Last year, over half a million workers suffered from work rleated stress, anxiety and depression. 44% were caused by workload, and 13% by bullying.
Pope Francis writes that: ‘It is a false notion that an infinite quantity of energy
and resources are available.’ He says it’s essential to reduce our use of energy,
particularly fossil fuels, and that we should use energy efficiency to help pay off the debts of those most affected by unequal trade and climate change. Here are some facts:
- In the UK 50% of all the energy we use is from fossil fuels (www.worldData.info)
- 40% of all energy use is through transport, and air transport is 23% of that. We now fly 3 times as much as we did in 1970. (ONS, 2017).
- Energy use by TVs on standby has gone up by 350% since 2003. (www.gov.uk
Pope Francis writes: ‘Recognizing the reasons why a given area is polluted requires a study of the workings of society, its economy, its behaviour
patterns, and the way it grasps reality.’
There are many forms of pollution, such as air, water, and chemical pollution.
? Here are some facts.
- Air pollution hugely damages intelligence and it causes seven million premature deaths a year.
- People in the UK are 64 times more likely to die from the effect of air pollution than people living in
- Polluted water kills one new-born child every minute.
Pope Francis writes “Reduce, reuse, recycle. Preserve resources, use them more efficiently, moderate consumption and limit use of non-renewable resources”
Here are some facts.
- Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
- On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
- £36,000,000 worth of aluminium is thrown away each year but aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use again in just 6 weeks. Do not crush aluminium cans as the
recycling machinery cannot detect crushed cans.
Pope Francis writes: ‘we are witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.’ Scientists say this is the result of human activity since the 1950’s – and it is proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented.
Here are some facts.
- The 5 warmest years on record have
taken place in the last decade.
- The rate of polar ice loss has tripled in the last decade, leading to rising sea levels that threaten our cities.
- Scientific evidence indicates that we
only have 10 years left to stop a climate change catastrophe.
Pope Francis wrote: ‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us …?’
For us to live sustainably we need to watch how we interact with our environment, to enable every one of us to reach our full potential without causing irreversible damage. This means changing the way we live by acknowledging the cost of our ‘convenient’ way of life
We invite you to review the previous 9 leaflets in which we have shown how:
- Pollution in all its forms, food & energy waste compounded by non-renewable sources of energy, are leading to climate change and dislocation of coastal and riverside communities
– resulting in a significant increase in poverty and a threat to biodiversity.
- We have also touched upon how over-development blatantly ignores humanity’s need to
interact with the natural world and with each other. All of the above clearly demonstrates
that WE ARE NOT LIVING SUSTAINABLY.