A lot of silliness is talked by people about climate change. Little children go home from school as freshly indoctrinated eco-nazis fearing the end of world is about to be brought about by their parents profligate ways. We are bringing them up with a nightmarish Apocalyptic fear which far outweighs the loony “end is nigh” message of any fundamentalist sect. Every carrier bag will certainly kill a turtle, every non-earth friendly light bulb kills a tree, a petrol guzzling 4x4 reduces the ozone layer by x%, the need to recycle the weekend's wine bottle is self evident, though of course it has become too expensive to recycle, so it is back to the landfill site.
On the other hand there are the change deniers, for whom any evidence whatsoever would draw a skeptical sneer. Amongst them there are lot of conspiracy theorists who at best see climate change as a reason to raise taxes, at worse a UN conspiracy of masonic lizards seeking a new world order.
I don't understand too much of the science, I would like to ignore what is presented, more for the hectoring manner of the delivery than for anything else. Their religious zeal is as disturbing and as off putting as any Protestant fundamentalists.
Christians tend to listen to prophets of doom with a healthy skepticism: gaps are minded, phones switched off on take-off, and who doesn’t apply butter to bread without a sense of the immanence of a heart attack.
Yet when all is said and done for us Christians we have accept we have neighbours, the pile of supermarket packaging in the kitchen bin is going to be weighed against our soul simply because it reflects our wealth, it marks us out as the rich man in hell rather than poor Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. There is a real need to apply the Church’s social teaching in all its richness, and there is hunger for it.
If a poor Bangladeshi farmer is fearing for his life and the lives of his family, charity demands we not only listen but also come to his aid. If there is a possibility that filling up the car is going to harm our neighbour, even our yet to be born neighbour, we have to take the risk seriously. We have to start being concerned about our “global neighbour” and insist on our governments being concerned, just as any good Catholic demands his government is concerned about beginning and end of life issues. These issues are so important because the affect the very dignity of the human person and society. In our clamour about these issues it is easy to forget or be blasé about other life issues that affect our neighbour’s dignity.
What is the thinking behind protecting a child’s right to be born, if poverty is going to rob that child of life shortly after birth, especially if poverty is linked to the extraordinary wealth of us in the West?