“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not parish have have eternal life.”
– John 3:16
I remember going to my first national park, Yellowstone in Wyoming. It was incredible; the combination of landscape and wildlife changed my entire view of the environment and its beauty. All I could think about was how I wanted to show the pictures I had taken to my friends and family back home, hoping that one day they could show me their pictures of Old Faithful and the like. However, with the way the environment has been and is being treated, seeing such pictures in the future is becoming less likely.
The environment is a very popular topic in today’s society. There are constant newspaper headlines such as: “Thick sheets of oil blanket Baldwin Beaches” or “Pollution threatens to kill the Dead Sea” illustrating continuous catastrophic events. It is great that people around the world have a heightened awareness of current environmental situations but more needs to be done, actions need to be taken. In my experience, however, people are not sure exactly what those actions should be.
Catholic Social Teaching gives humanity a broad outline as to the necessary actions. Catholic Social Teaching illustrates what it means to dignify the human person, and care for oneself, others and God’s creation. When I thought about it, I realized that when taken together and seen as a whole, solutions to environmental issues such as clean water, climate change, genetically modified organisms, extractive industries, and climate migrants can begin to be tackled. My idea is that if people care about themselves and others they will join together and work to achieve a better world, which includes taking care of God’s creation. Humanity will realize creation’s importance and begin the effort of trying to save it.