Care for the environment is a real moral challenge for us today. Care for the environment was the first responsibility that God gave to us, to mankind — to cultivate and care for his creation (Genesis 2:15).
How does the environment become a moral concern? It becomes a moral concern when we hear of businesses that dump their toxic wastes in watershed areas, eventually destroying this vital natural resource. It is a moral concern when great numbers of endangered species of animals and fish are slaughtered to satisfy someone’s greed for profits. It is a moral concern when we ignore the seriousness of climate change.
It is a moral concern when mountains and forests are denuded for short-term gain, ignoring the fact that in the long run this denudation would irrevocably damage the ecosystem. It is a moral concern when businesses manufacture and/or promote products that will end up polluting the environment. It is a moral concern when industries ignore the safety measures that would minimize their toxic exhaust fumes from destroying the ozone layer.
It is a moral concern when we do not reuse, recycle and/or reduce our household garbage so that illness-causing pollution of the air from the incineration of garbage is minimized. It is a moral concern when there is no discipline or proper regulation in the use of natural resources, resulting in their misuse and depletion.
Protecting and restoring the environment to its God-created condition is a great moral challenge for everyone, for each one of us, whether in business or not. Only when our activities, at home, in our workplace, in our community, contribute positively and dynamically to a healthy, sustainable environment can we truly say that we take our environmental responsibility seriously. Only when we look for ways to nourish, love, and care for our environment on a daily basis can we say that we are good stewards of our God-given responsibility for the environment.
1. What do you consider as the most challenging concern about our environment that is facing us today? What actions can you (personally or as a group) take to help solve this challenge?
2. What can you do to help protect and restore the environment in the community where you live?
3. What steps can you take to insure a more liveable environment for the future, for your children and your grandchildren?
Reference: Evangelizing Presence: Living the Moral Life Today, by Fr. Pat Giordano, SJ, and Nancy R. Catan, Published by the BCBP. pp 130, 131.