The Earth today is at the mercy of humanity contrary to God’s purpose in creation. The book of Genesis, chapters one and two affirms that before He created man God ensured that everything was in place, plants and animals. He created and put man in control to cultivate and guard the Earth, beginning with our first Father, Adam. Indeed, environmental activists, including spiritual leaders have warned severally, the serious consequences that await man should the indifference to the destruction of the planet in pursuit of short term economic gains continue unchecked.
Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si, issued on May 24, 2015 added his voice to the rape and callous treatment of planet Earth, he refers to as “Our Common Home” and to draw attention of the world, especially the industrialized west, of the excessive exploitation and destruction of the environment. The Catholic Pontiff blamed the unceasing and vicious attack on the Earth on general apathy, having faith in technology and political shortsightness in the reckless pursuit of profit. Climate change has resulted, amongst others, in lack of clean water, loss of biodiversity, decline in human life and breakdown of society, and above all global warming, largely man-made, taking its toll on food security.
As it stands, it has become a global problem with grave implications on the environment, socio-economy, politics, down to the general well-being of the people. Similarly, fossil fuels, predominantly found in Nigeria and other countries of the world, are also found to trigger climate change, especially coal, oil and to a lesser extent, gas and for that reason the clamour for the development of widely accessible sources of renewable energy should be sustained to replace the harmful and poisonous effluent generated by fossil fuels. The world should pay attention to the warning of the Holy Father, Pope Francis and act now. Instead of viewing humanity as having “Dominion” over the Earth, we must see that everything is interconnected and that all creation is a kind of “universal family.”
It is time the developed world should assist the developing nation to arrest the climate crisis. Science and technology should also be harnessed to put an end to the dangers of climate change staring humanity in the face. We recall the statement of His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, in the collective fight by the Church to rescue mother Earth, when in December 2019, at the launch of Network of Young Catholics Cares for the Environment- NYCCEN, at St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos, supported the initiative by planting a symbolic tree. On the occasion, Archbishop Martins submitted that just as it is in the interest of humans to take care of their homes, it is imperative to take good care of the Earth for the preservation of life. It is a clarion call for all hands to be on deck to save the planet from total extinction by taking necessary measures to preserve our rich but diverse ecosystems.