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Letter: Let’s follow pope’s lead and protect our planet

Let’s follow pope’s lead and protect our planet

Two years ago, Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” held the promise of awakening more people to the radical changes needed to de-escalate our world’s accelerating environmental and humanitarian crises. In his encyclical, Francis noted both the moral imperative and the urgency of halting human activity that fuels the former, and how climate change disproportionately impacts the poor, spelling out what is needed to get off the collision course we are on.

We might all reflect on the pope’s words and how we might relate to Mother Earth in mutually enhancing rather than destructive ways. Our choice is between relating to our world, to quote David Brooks, “simply as an arena for competitive advantage” as exemplified by President Trump, or following the lead of Francis and other courageous moral leaders.

Collective action is essential. By joining with faith-based, environmental or other socially conscious groups concerned with the whole planetary web of life, we can together learn and act beyond our own self-interest. With mutual support, adopting more reflective lifestyles and valuing biodiversity, we can foster the conversion required for sustainability, and make a difference.

Two years ago, people from many faiths in our area came together and formed the Interfaith Climate Justice Community to respond with urgency to the crisis of climate change. The work of the ICJC and the commitment and support of its members help keep my hope alive. We decry Trump’s withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Why not join us in helping secure our one, wondrous common home?

Mary O’Herron

Member, ICJC Steering Committee

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