I don’t know if you have been following sustainability issues in popular media, but a lot of things have been happening lately.
Nothing demonstrates how connected we all are like a natural disaster. This summer fires in Saskatchewan affected our air quality, and with the combination of record heat and record drought, four of our western states are battling record wild fires. Heat and smoke from the fires actually change the immediate environment, create pollution, eliminate plants that clean pollution, threaten agriculture, and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Wildfires are part of the prairie ecology, as well as the western ecology, but the fire season this year has been extreme.
So let’s focus on the positive!
Often sustainability issues and religious issues are presented as being separate and unrelated, if not downright opposite each other. Most major religious organizations have in the past decade published statements encouraging awareness of environmental degradation and the need for conservation of resources. Pope Francis made an unprecedented move for his denomination earlier this summer in releasing his Encyclical on Climate Change. The central message that these statements have in common is: we live on this planet, we require it to survive, we are making a mess of it, and we need to change our ways.
To follow this up, the Pope just announced the first “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, “ to be celebrated on September 1st (that’s today!!), which is also the Christian Orthodox “Day for the Protection of the Environment.”
Whether or not you are religious, this is a huge step forward for environmental awareness. It expands the current conversation, brings more people in, and unites people with a common cause; all of which can bring about more varied solutions as well as a huge cumulative effect.
Thank you for all you do to help the environment. The steps you are taking are reducing pollution, improving the environment, and making this city and the world at large a healthier place to live now and in the future. Want to do more? Check this out!