Monday, July 9, 2012

Too Much Talk About the Environment?

Too much talk about the environment makes our attempts at eating and living well  worrisome. Some  would like the talk reduced; it tends to bring fear into our lives, says the author of the book Where are the Polar Bears Going to Go? 

Interviewed by both Catholic papers, the author, a priest with a doctorate in environmental science, says the issue is not going to go away simply because we don't want to talk about it. 

He explains why we need to take an interest in the environment: the diseases we are exposed to because of the chemical toxins that are entering the food chain, the spread  of hormones in the environment which can affect sterility, the dangers of genetic engineering, among many other areas of concern.

 Some time in the future will we be talking less about the state of our democracy, he maintains, and more about the state of our environment. At present, those who are harming democracy are penalized; the time will come when those harming the environment will also be penalized. The pollution and destruction of the environment are serious matters, but we are not sufficiently conscious of the destruction.

Koreans, generally, do not appreciate the beauty of our environment, he says, even though the natural environment of Korea is one of the most beautiful in the world, and we are taking care of it. There is no other country that has succeeded in preserving its forests like Korea has: over 65 percent of the land surface is forested. We should start celebrating the beauty of our natural environment.

The author wants religious people to read the signs of the times and be prophetic in their efforts to speak out in this area before it gets worse. He gives us a list of ten things we can do to help: 1) Love nature as we love ourselves. 2) Don't do harm to the animal and vegetable life. 3) Let us boast about the ways of simplicity and be embarrassed about luxury. 4) Have a simple diet and not  waste food. 5) Separate our waste and recycle. 6) Use electricity and water sparingly and use detergents carefully. 7) Don't use disposable products. 8) Control the use of heat and air conditioning. 9) Use the bicycle and public transportation more. 10) Reduce the emitting of methane gases.

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