Thursday, October 22, 2015

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Environmenal & Science Education
Sustainable Energy & Transportation
Edward Hessler

Several months ago on November 30, 2015, world leaders met in Paris, France for the United Nations conference on climate change.

I call one document to your attention released by the Vatican before the meeting.

Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home). This encyclical seems to me a must read. The message that we need nature and each other resonates with me. I very much like its ecological and cultural tone. Reading it reminds me of a phrase in Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail where he stated that “we are caught in an inescapable web of mutuality,” one that we still barely recognize. And it reminds me of Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac.

Climate activist Bill McKibben wrote a great review for the New York Review of Books (here). And, of course, the encyclical is available, on-line. (here)

Real Climate, a technical blog written by climate scientists/modelers has a review that will add insight into any analysis/consideration of the document. (here)

Is it the answer to all things climate? No, of course not. The Pope & the Market by Yale economist William D. Nordhaus is a thoughtful, market-based perspective that adds to a thoughtful discussion and consideration of Laudato Si.

It has, of course, received some negative commentary, mostly on blogs, but you can search those out, read them and use them in thinking about the document. Some of it has to do with the religious nature of the document. But, hey, as is said, "Is the Pope Catholic?" What else would one expect?

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