We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.
You have probably all heard about the pope’s recent encyclical by now. Whether or not you are religious or not it is still heartening to see figure with great influence, such as the Pope, taking a strong stance on our current environmental issues. The encyclical is well worth a read (or a skim read at least as it is lengthy and contained sections of theological discussion which were not so interesting to me) as it does a admirable job in addressing environmental and social problems.
It also reinforces the need to move away from our consumer culture and the fact that this move will need a change in thinking and operating with the emphasis on building builds the local, community-based, ecologically aware systems.
Most striking is the impassioned way in which the pope talks about our interdependence on all the other beings and this planet itself.
Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.
As George Monbiot discusses in his article, Why we fight for the living world, on the encyclical, this passion for the world around us is all to often missing from environmentalists campaigns which increasingly talk about emission reductions and ecosystem services. Perhaps as Monbiot suggests, it is time that we start talking more about not only the rational scientific reasoning behind the need for environmental and social change but also the emotions that drive us to work towards a more sustainable future.