This Laudato Si’ Week, ANDY HAMILTON SJ writes that in a world where so many people face economic hardship and are anxious about such basic needs as food and shelter it is easy to forget the larger issues that will determine the lives of our children and their descendants.
Chief among these is climate change, whose warnings come everywhere through the unprecedented melting of glaciers and thousand-year floods, as well as fires and floods in Australia. We know that even if we curb emissions, such disasters for those affected will occur more often and threaten housing, water and food supplies in the future.
For that reason, it is helpful to return to one of the most significant contributions to alerting people to the reality of climate change. Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, written seven years ago, brought together the best available science, the best theology, the best reflection on economic ideologies, and the broadest view of the relationships involved in human flourishing. It held all these things together in a deep spiritual and practical vision. And it did all this while speaking a language that all of us ordinary people – Christians, atheists, scientists and politicians – could understand.