Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Environmental protection is a moral imperative

Speech by Msgr. Pietro Parolin, under-secretary of the Secretariat for Relations with States, at the United Nations. Zenit has the story.

American Papist, ever the enviro-skeptic, fisks the speech. Do read the comments there as well.

I'm trying to place a finger on what about the Vatican's advocacy of green issues that bothers me. It's not the fact that they're green -- stewardship and protection of creation, and avoiding destructive exploitation are moral imperatives. What can individuals do is, of course, the rub of the matter, as well as questions of what kinds of policies are best when it comes to climate change.

I guess it's a suspicion of the green agenda as it plays out in the secular world, especially in Europe. The way in which "going green" is now all the rage, the way in which this tends to skew the whole concept of both virtue and ethics, and the way in which this might impact development in poorer countries. I guess it's the fadishness and politically-correctness of all this that rankles, especially when it basically translates to a form of secular moralizing.

Which doesn't of course mean that it's necessarily untrue. It just makes me suspicious. Which is, I guess, another way of saying that my skepticism is ideological.

The rational thing to do is to study the science, because, frankly, I know very little, and I don't want to become another true believer because he watched a slick video produced by Al Gore, or, just react against that because he's convinced that Al Gore is whacko.

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