I get it, you believe in peak oil. So do I, despite gas at $2.50 a gallon. But peak oil is no excuse for either you or me to just sit around waiting for the final oil crash to make the climate problem moot by bringing down industrial civilization.
Even if you’re the world’s biggest doomer, you have to admit that the timing is too uncertain — will the über-crash come in five months or five decades? Nobody knows for sure.
So far, the puppet masters of the world economy have been pretty good at keeping the party going longer than anybody had a right to expect. Who’s to say that oil wars, extreme energy production and various accounting tricks can’t keep mass consumerism running in many places into the middle of the century or beyond?
So don’t hold your breath waiting for collapse. Instead, leave your cynicism behind and let Pope Francis inspire you to finally get serious about climate, a problem that we know is already here and whose future consequences will be unthinkable — unless the world seriously changes its ways, oil crash or not.
A blessing of papal awesomeness
And if you do care about climate change, then what’s not to like in the pope’s encyclical that came out this week?
OK, well, maybe he could have been better about recognizing overpopulation as part of the climate problem. But he’s right that it’s hypocritical for rich country governments to use climate as an excuse to pressure poor nations about population. All poor countries put together have done almost nothing to warm the atmosphere compared to the real culprits, the rich nations of North America and Europe.
So don’t worry about the sliver in the other guy’s eye until you get the log out of your own, or something like that.
But the rest of the pope’s letter is pretty awesome. He connects climate change to poverty and blames them both on consumerism with too much technology used too carelessly. After connecting these dots on the problem, the pope then offers a ton of inspiration for people who care to make a real response. Just take a few quotes for example:
- “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels — especially coal, but also oil, and to a lesser extent, gas — needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”
- “We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us.”
- “True wisdom is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data which eventually leads to overload and confusion, a sort of mental pollution.”
- “There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle.”
- “Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.”
If you haven’t seen it already, read the English version pope’s whole letter, titled “Laudato Si’.”
Not a Catholic? Don’t let that stop you. The pope addressed his call not just to members of his church, but to the whole world. He knows that everyone is needed to fight climate change.
Fun graphics on the Facebook page of Forescast the Facts will help you display your support for the pope’s teaching on climate whether you’re a Baptist, Mormon, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or even an atheist, humanist or just plain spiritual.
Post your graphic all over social media. Then, get inspired to take more action against climate.
— Erik Curren, Transition Voice