"The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish." - Pope Francis
Recently, we've been looking at how various artists, companies, and governments have been addressing climate change and pollution. It's no secret that the earth has undergone dramatic and visible changes, and today Pope Francis released his 184 page papal encyclical explaining that climate change is a global problem perpetuated by society's lifestyle choices. He notes that "the major part of global warming in recent decades is due to the high concentration of greenhouse gas … emitted above all because of human activity,” and calls on developed and developing countries to use less non-renewable energy and assist poorer nations in doing the same. The Pope also criticizes overconsumption, our throwaway culture, and reliance on technology, amongst other things, that have contributed to declining environmental conditions.
Pope Francis' encyclical has become highly politicized and contested by Republican lawmakers, the energy industry, and others who reject the realities of climate change and believe the Pope is overstepping his grounds by integrating religion, politics, and global affairs. However, regardless of how this encyclical is interpreted by various political and religious figures, it is essentially an act of consciousness. Regardless of race, religion, gender, political party, it is a statement to urge us to come together to make the world a little better for everyone. To be conscious of our neighbors and our planet. To help each other, rich or poor, because despite all of our differences we are all humans who live on one earth.
Moral of the Story: Being conscious is about recognizing your flaws and banning together with all types of people to work towards a greater good.