Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Climate Sunday: Am I the World's Keeper?

In Genesis, the brother-slayer Cain replies to God when asked where his brother is: "Am I my brother's keeper?" It's a very sarcastic and defensive question. He is trying to deflect from his culpability in slaying his brother, to ask whether he was ever responsible for making sure his brother was safe to begin with. When reading the scriptures entire, an answer to this murky question of filial responsibility emerges--"Yes, stunato, you are your brother's keeper! Not only are you not to murder him, but you should see to his thirst and hunger. You should love him as you love yourself. "

The encyclical of Pope Francis with respect to the creation goes a sensible degree further--"Yes, you are also the World's Keeper." And why wouldn't you be? You and your brother live here, and nowhere else.

The response to this simple moral entreaty to not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs or to try and make the wheat grow by pulling it up by its stalks, has been greeted by some fairly thick people by labeling the Pope a Leftist if not a Communist. Why, they fret, is the Pope trying to hurt the economy? Why is he decrying greed--isn't greed good? Shouldn't people make money off of the earth? Doesn't financial success speak for itself?

Well...the funny old thing is, the economic security of continuing to deny climate change has a limit. And if anyone suffers from climate change, it will actually be the poor foremost, and looking after them has both a moral and financial obligation--because when the soil is fucked, and the water is fucked, and the crops are fucked, you will not be able to eat money. And there will be no one left to commiserate or even teach how to do with less. The poor will be the climate refugees, and there will simply be no escape anywhere on this planet from facing what we have destroyed. The misery will be spread, if not equitably, then, at least, broadly.

The other funny old thing is that the science this time is pretty solid--contra Rick Santorum, who doesn't seem to grasp that this time, the Vatican is siding with Galileo. The skeptics are wrong on the science, but the moral wrongness in their failure to adapt their worldview to fit our world's changing needs and the cowardice and dishonesty they indulge in to try to avoid necessary sacrifices are telling.

I do not look to religious figures to set my world view--the Laudato Si' in practical terms, isn't more meaningful to me than Humanae Vitae, which I have obvious differences with. But I agree that, even if one has differences with respect to when life begins, we can all agree it begins on this planet, and we better treat this planet right.

1 comment:

Shirt said...

"... we can all agree it begins on this planet, and we better treat this planet right."

Amen