Monday, June 15, 2015
MERS virus has brought fear to the lives of many in Korea. Visitors to restaurants have dropped noticeably and meetings have been cancelled. On the subway many are seen wearing masks. The government and health authorities have been criticized by the media for the lack of transparency and urged to set up structures for controlling the spread.
A columnist in the Peace Weekly on current problems mentions how in the last 30 years we have had the spread of new viruses like MERS, HIV, AI , SARS, Ebola.... Global warming has brought typhoons, tidal waves, droughts, floods, and frequent cold and hot spells. Many scientists attribute this to the use of fossil fuels.
Our earthly village is giving too much attention to the creation of wealth, bringing about a polarization crisis, and we have the crisis in ecology. All the different countries are trying to resolve the polarization even if it is only to maintain their authority; ecology is a question of life or death, according to the columnist. Developed countries are beginning to accept a carbon tax, and there is an effort to develop natural energy sources, but with unwise development and the use of fossil fuels, we have reached a situation which will be difficult to stop. Many see the long range efforts to preserve our environment, and work for the common good, will give way to efficiency and profit.
He mentions the efforts of Norway in Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the island of Spitsbergen in the remote Arctic, where they have stored the samples of the world's seeds in case of serious damage to our eco-system.
Pope Francis is scheduled to release his encyclical on the environment this week: called "Praised Be", taken from the Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi. Pope John Paul II in 1979 proclaimed St.Francis as the patron of those who are in love with creation and are working to preserve it.
The columnist hopes that we will take warning on the damage that is threatening the global village. God has given us creation to look over it wisely.
IPCC is an intergovernmental body under the United Nations that has warned about the dangers that will come to the earth by the end of this century unless something is done with global warming.
The columnist finishes the column lamenting that Korea does not seem interested in curbing the use of energy. Bishop head of the Committee for Peace and Justice, on world environment day, mentioned in his message that Korea is one of the countries that imports little energy that is environmentally friendly. He hopes that in the December of this year when the nations of the world gather in Paris to discuss agreement on climate change, the Pope's words will help us reach a consensus on this serious problem.