Friday, December 1, 2017

Cooperators With God, Not Absolute Dominion

 In many parts of the world environmental activists and those who want to see economic progress are in opposition to each other. Both have ample reasons for their positions and the issue is not one that is easily dealt with.

An article in the Catholic Times presents the case for the environmentalist. A priest working in this field presents his thoughts for the readers in the View from the Ark. In  the year 2000 a large number of children requested the Seoul Administrative Court to suspend a reclamation project that was destroying a tidal flat for future generations.

Based on the Rio Declaration which refers to the environmental rights of future generations: natural resources do not belong to the present generation but are the common wealth of future generations. The court however dismissed the children's case for not being eligible plaintiffs. We do not have a sense of responsibility for future generations nor reflect on the burden we are placing on them.

Forty three children in the Philippines in 1990 won a lawsuit against the logging companies for the felling of trees in virgin forests that would mortgage the future of these children and future generations according to the Rio Declaration. Consequently, the government rescinded more than 70 permissions that were given.

At the time the universe was created one of the most popular theories is called the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago. From nothing we have something. It is assumed that there was an impulse toward life from the first moment of the Big Bang. He quotes that God has prepared to meet us for 13.7 billion years.

Problems in the ecosystem of this  wonderful universe that God created have appeared. A great deal of time has passed from the creation of the world. From the the time of our industrialization, resources discovered and pollutants dispersed we have done more harm to the ecosystem than any time from the appearance of humans on earth. We have not done a good job as stewards.

Korea in the amount of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions is ranked 7th in the world and the climate change is something that is experienced in Korea. After Fukushima nuclear disaster and the understanding of the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear waste we are still talking about the increase of nuclear power plants. Knowing that publis opinion is still far from being convinced of the problems he laments the arogance and lack of wisdom that he sees.

In Laudatio Si Encyclical Letter Pope Francis stresses: "Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for 'instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature'. Humans don't have absolute dominion over the world we have to acknowledge this truth. We can't solve our problems only in our way but in God's way.