Friday, November 9, 2012
The Destruction of the Natural
"Preventing a stolen future by a counterattack against the destruction of the natural" headlined, in big black type, an article on the education page of the Peace Weekly. The article went on to state that the endocrine system of the human body, which releases hormones into the organs of our body, is being disrupted by the pollution of the environment, harming the normal function of the body.
At puberty, as we know, estrogen is released in the bodies of females and testosterone in the bodies of males. We have tried to improve on some of these natural processes, and in the 1970s, synthetic estrogen was made available. After much elation, it was soon realized that there were serious side effects to its uncontrolled use.
Today, we have surrounded ourselves with about 100 thousand man-made chemicals. About forty thousand are used in daily life: ceiling materials, paints, surface coatings on furniture, synthetic clothing material, gasoline, pesticides and herbicides, fertilizers, electrical insulators, disposable products of all kinds, the list is nearly endless.
In 1940 the number of sperm has been gradually decreasing. At the present time, it is estimated we have have less sperm (well under two thirds less) than in 1940), which makes it close to infertility. The columnist introduces us to the book Our Stolen Future by Dr. Theo Colborn, who talks about the disruption and pollution of our endocrine system and the effect this will have on future generations.
Because of widespread infertility, ovum now sells for 4 to 5 thousand dollars. With this money, a college student can help take care of tuition and living expenses. This shows an insensitivity to life, and a loss of meaning, which the columnist feels is worse than the injustices of slavery.
Using the pretext of curing incurable diseases, they are opening the Pandora box of cloning. The Christian fear of what is involved in this process, and a desire to have this discussed as an ethical problem, has been ignored.
The columnist imagines a time when a DNA-constructed person, and the cyber-spaced person, will conform to the theme of the movie, The Matrix. It is, he believes our possible future, a future controlled by forces outside of ourselves, sometimes called a biocracy or ecocracy. The Church, he says, is still not ready for what is happening. If we are to be the salt and light of the world, we need to read the sign of the times and be out in front of the changes that will be coming. In 1980s the Buddhist already had a monk responsible for keeping up on ecological problems and printed a book on the subject.
He concludes that there are many Catholics who misunderstand what is involved in dealing with environmental problems. Many think it's sufficient to demonstrate in opposition to projects that are not sensitive to the environment, such as the Four River Project. This is being concerned only about peripheral matters, he says. We have to change the way we see the problems. We have to fight to respond in the way God made us, and help to change the world with the truths of our Christian world view.