World Environment Day

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations in 1972 to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action. It is celebrated annually on 5 June.

Take a moment to pray for our planet and those that impact on it. Pray for a change of heart for those who have given up because the problem seems too great and our leaders too distracted or uninterested in making any real effort to change.

Andrew Hamiliton writes in Eureka Street, “At such a time it is worth returning to Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ passionate exhortation to care for the environment. The most significant insight of the document is that the environment is not something outside ourselves that we possess and with which we must deal. We are part of the environment.
When we speak of the environment we are speaking of ourselves. When we respect or exploit the environment, we are respecting or exploiting ourselves. When we safeguard or put at risk the future of the world, it is our own future and that of our children that we risk or protect.”

In the end we are all in this together. Our care for each other, our relationships that respect the rights of others to share in the resources we have and our care for the planet that sustains us is vital to our survival. Unfortunately, our current economic credos do none of these things. They are based on individualism and exploitation such that the gap between poor and rich is increasing and untold damage is being done to the environment in the name of economic growth. Our throw away society is unsustainable. We should all know this. But we ignore it. Radical changes are needed.

Laudato Si makes the connection between changes to protect our environment and economic change. It seems self evident but our leaders are blind or don’t want to see? Few are willing to exert the leadership required in the face of powerful forces in the media and among the wealthy to the status quo. Therefore, it is up to us as citizens to continue to pray, to agitate and to persist until they are forced to listen. For the planet and for our children’s children. There is no other way.

References:
Eureka Street: https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=52437#.WTTA78klFM8
Laudato Si: https://laudatosi.com/watch
Uniting Justice: http://www.unitingjustice.org.au/environment/information-and-action-resources
United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/events/environmentday/