As we celebrate the Season of Creation it is pertinent and germane to call humanity’s consciousness again to the importance and necessity of relating, communicating and caring for the Earth, our common home as etched in the second Encyclical letter “Laudato Si” of the Holy Father Pope Francis on May 24, 2015. A critical reflection on the Earth (Environment) today reveals that human activities on it either makes it or mars it.
This is so true that when one meticulously considers human activities within the confines of the environment, one comes to the realization of the fact that the fate of the environment lies solely in the hands of human beings. There is no gainsaying that human beings have always attempted to develop, take care of the earth and make it habitable, especially with the aid of science and technology, but saddening enough much have been reported about the devastating and fast -tracking heartbeat stories of our deteriorating earth by humans and if not checked and quick solutions proffered, its effects might become more detrimental and hazardous for humanity to live in.
The hazardous and abysmal effects on our common home by humans is something that is alarming and worrisome as we see first and foremost in the consumerism, ill exploitation and destructive mentality that characterized the 4th Industrial Revolution and Generation. This destructive mentality has given birth to many mis-normals and has made us in many ways not to communicate with and care for the earth the way we ought to. Beginning with war, we observe that violence offered by war both in the past and contemporary times destroy a lot of lives, properties and makes some place inhabitable till date.
During war or civil unrest, we see cases of indiscriminate use of guns, bombs, gases, and other lifeseeking war weapons. This is so painful that humanity sometimes regrets the invention of the aforementioned implements and the likes, which are supposed to serve the purpose of security and defense but have now become a burden to humanity and a wreck on the earth due to their misuse. Also worthy of note is the issue of environmental pollution.
More often than not, we observe the pollution of the atmospheric gases as a result of the excessive release of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide emanating from the exhaust fumes of motorcycles, tricycles, cars, refineries, industries and tear gas. Just to mention a few. As a matter of fact, these gases deplete the ozone layer (the layer which shields the earth from too much ultra violent ray’s of the sun); pollute the atmospheric gases, thus making them unhealthy for plants, animals and even human beings. In a like fashion, we can also talk about land pollution due to the improper waste disposal pattern practised in some parts of the world today.
Lastly, water pollution is also not left out, as we see the prevalence of oil spillage polluting water bodies across the globe and particulate to us in the Niger Delta Regions. More so, the use of chemicals such as gammalin-20 in fishing also brings about reduction in the quality and quantity of aquatic life. Furthermore, the loss of forest resources through indiscriminate hunting and deforestation is due for consideration. Day in day out, forest resources are used up without replacement. Hence, we can talk of extinction of some animals species in our time.
In addition, we can also talk of the destruction of microbial life as a result of the practice of Bush burning carried out by some peasant farmers. Soil microbes are very essential for fertility as they help in incorporating organic manure into Communicating And Caring For The Earth: A Clarion Call the soil, thus making the soul rich in humus and other essential nutrients needed for crop productivity. Again, the use of heavy duty machines such as tractors, bulldozer and the like also leads to the destruction of soil structure and texture thus predisposing them to untimely infertility.
Finally, in the sphere of mineral exploration, we have over time recorded cases of earthquakes, flood and erosion. These abound as a result of the mining technique or method employed by mineral explorers and its effects have left the earth ailing even till date. In addressing these disturbing issues and proffering solutions to them Pope Francis again speaks to us in his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si-on care for the earth our common Home, where he discussed issues of global concern especially on the Global Environmental Degradation resulting from the unchecked human activities and its adverse effects on the biosphere, most especially the human life and how humans can develop a constructive rather than a destructive attitude in how they relate with the Earth; hinged on loving creation, protecting the Planet, Saving the Earth, growing green plants, limiting fossils, fuel energy and avoid gas flaring.
Following from this, the earth needs to be cared and catered for. It is our collective responsibility to see to the fact that it is being respected and cared for in its totality despite the technological advancement in the world today. Thus it behoves on us to ensure that we are proper mangers of the earth by ensuring that activities that pollutes and abuse the earth are being brought to a halt, and also act as whistle-blowers, exposing and correcting companies and individuals who are culpable of this devastating activities in other to help safeguard and care for our common home .
As we relate with and care for the earth, we are urged to rapport with it having in mind that it is a gift from God to us, and it is for our own good. Therefore whenever we abuse it, we sin. With this in mind, it becomes needful that we all need to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. As Christians, Catholics, non-Catholics, Muslims, Traditional worshippers, and all men and women who inhabit the earth, we are called to appreciate the earth as a gift to us from God, by caring for it, relating with it properly and nurture it for our good and for future generations.