Monday, June 15, 2015

Climate Change

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.

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