Are we any closer to peace in this highly developed, technologically advanced and highly educated world? Surely, at a time when the world has become a global village, we have a much better chance to live in a lasting period of peace than ever before!
Yet, there are still numerous threats present to peace in the world today. Even now there are wars, international and regional conflicts, acts of terrorism and violations of basic human rights.
There is still another new element which directly leads to open conflict, namely, the neglect, if not downright misuse, of the earth and the natural resources that God has given the world. This is just another reason why we must renew and strengthen our commitment to the environment in which we live.
The environment must be seen as God’s gift to every one of us and we must all share in the responsibility of maintaining and protecting it for future generations regardless of which country we live in. We can no longer remain indifferent before such realities as climate change, the expansion of deserts and the loss of productivity of agricultural lands, the pollution of rivers and the rapid loss of species.
All of these have a profound impact on human rights; the right to life, food, health and personal prosperity. We cannot, and will not, have peace on earth when there are great differences in the quality of life and wealth of individuals.
Ecological issues cannot be viewed in isolation to the other elements which lead to peace in the world. The whole world belongs to God, and we cannot think that because we have our own country borders that our issues do not concern or affect others who live outside those boundaries.
We are one planet and the health of the planet depends on how we understand the relationships between ourselves and the rest of creation. Our present global problems are also moral crises at the same time because economic, food related, environmental or social crises are all interrelated.
We have to agree that the world is a gift and a work of the direct Will of God. God created the world and its people and gave people the obligation “to have dominion over it”. Unfortunately, the sin of Adam and Eve was one of selfishness. It is this selfishness which is the cause of our modern ecological problems.
It is more important now than ever that if we are to save the universe we must return to the teaching of God who sent us His Son so that we can overcome this selfishness. It’s amazing that in this day and age when we are so environmentally concerned, we, at the same time, seem to be so unconcerned about the environmental health of our immortal soul. It is our personal sanctity which is the real key to our ability to save our planet.
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