The fate of our Earth crumbles in our wasteful hands

New Year’s thoughts about the most important challenge of the coming decades
Nyomtatóbarát változatNyomtatóbarát változat

1. We have only a few years left to avoid destruction. Scientists are scaring the Earth’s inhabitants with ecosystem nightmares for decades now. Other scientists have disagreed with them. In 2018 something has fundamentally changed. Science has found more and more pieces of unambiguous evidence that humanity rushes off the cliff. As one of the examples the latest IPPC report stated that we have only a few years left to limit global warming not to cause huge weather extremities, conflagrations, mass extinction of pollinating animals and the destruction of a large part of plants’ natural habitats by the end of this century. (For further details, please read my New Year's essay here.)

 

 

2. The man of our times is a Bad Shepherd of Creation. Our Father made man the master and not the servant of Creation. We have been given everything to become responsible, Good Shepherds of Creation. The man of our times has become a Bad Shepherd of Creation. It is time to realize what we are doing. It is time to suspect what happens next. (For further details, please read my New Year's essay here.)

 

 
 

3. What can be the way out? I have written about a lot of honorable efforts in one of my previous essays which try to reduce our sins committed so far against the Earth. However, there are highly non-honorable efforts like those which want to spread rubbish to the stratosphere hoping that it will reflect sunshine and decrease global warming though the growth diminishing effect of such sunlight-screen interventions has been proved earlier. These are not solutions. The expansion eating up the Earth’s goods can not to be domesticated but has to be stopped. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY! It is the path of inner development, which is unlimited. To start your inner growth you have to accept the touch of Totality. How to make that? "Convert!" Christ’s mission starts with this call. But most of the people did want to convert neither at that time nor these days. I have good news. God prepares a beautiful lesson for us. Time is on the side of the extension of intense faith. It is worth to prepare for all this now: Find the path of inner growth! Strengthen yourselves in your faith! Strengthen your faith-communities! These faith-communities will be the safe harbors of people – pretty soon. Let me ask You to think about that how You (or your children, grand-children) could be better prepared for the forthcoming harder decades. I wish the Reader a New Year bringing contemplating soul-search and change! (For further details, please read my New Year's essay here.)

 


 

Introduction. As I wrote in my first essay in September, I will go through a complete spiritual retreat with my essays until the next summer. With the Christmas essay we have arrived at the end of the first week of the four weeks’ long retreat: Christ may have been born within us, we may have been given our place in the House of God and we may have realized that we were the Children of God. My next four essays will guide us to the second week of the spiritual retreat and will detail our sins. This present essay is about our community sins. Here you find more about our own, personal sins. The next essay is about the power of our conscience and our best choices, while my closing essay discusses free will and the benefits of good engagements. I wish all my Readers a New Year bringing contemplating soul-search and change!

 

1. We have only a few years left to avoid destruction

 

 

 

Scientists are scaring the Earth’s inhabitants with ecosystem nightmares for decades now. Overpopulation, global warming, water crisis, and, lately, migration. Other scientists have disagreed with these scaring images: the rate of overpopulation is decreasing, there is no global warming at all, and migration can be stopped at the borders. I summarized the seven deadly temptations of mankind on this blog in last April, from which I highlighted overconsumption and inequality as the first two. The above figures illustrating these trends are taken from the instructive lecture of Gábor Vida. In 2018 something has fundamentally changed. Science has found more and more pieces of unambiguous evidence that humanity rushes off the cliff. Here are only a few examples:

  • Following an experts debate containing 38 thousand comments, the latest IPPC report stated that we have only a few years left to limit global warming not to cause huge weather extremities, conflagrations, mass extinction of pollinating animals and the destruction of a large part of plants’ natural habitats by the end of this century; these depressing news were toppled by a Nature paper published in the end of 2018 that carbon dioxide emission grows much more rapidly and at the same time air-pollution giving a shade from the warmth of the Sun decreases faster than it was expected by the IPPC report; moreover, a many-decade cycle of oceans as driven towards natural warming; in addition, all these damages are increased further by soil erosion and consequent decrease of its carbon consumption;
  • by 2050 the expansion of food production may increase the ecological damage caused by the food industry by 50-90 percent (please see the details here);
  • more carbon dioxide (CO2) can be released to the atmosphere from deep oceans that it was supposed earlier (please see the details here);
  • due to the warming of the Atlantic Ocean there can be much more hurricanes in the future than we have now (please see the details here);
  • even if everything was alright it would take millions of years for the 300 mammals we have already eradicated successfully to naturally recover from the biodiversity losses (please see the details here);
  • approximately 90 thousand tons of toxic mercury may be released from thawing permafrost (please see the details here);
  • on the other hand thawing Arctic ice absorbs much less carbon dioxide than previously thought (please see the details here);
  • there might be such unexpected consequences like e.g. a reduced activity of police officers and increasing number of accidents caused by extreme weather conditions (please see the details here).
  • Unmitigated scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions produce climates like those of the Eocene, which suggests that we are effectively rewinding the climate clock by approximately 50 My, reversing a multimillion year cooling trend in less than two centuries (please see the details here).

 

The Reader may say now: all this can even be true. But my own life is not affected (moreover, I am actually happy with the reduced activity of police officers...). Let me mention some hypothetical examples (I emphasize that they are not based on scientific evidence!) which is worth starting to prepare for. Now it is clear that climate changes will bring much more severe and more frequent storms. There may be such super-storms in which our cars will be flying all over the streets. Soon we may see flying buses, too. It is worth travelling far now – until it is still possible... Because a few years ahead constant storms may stop the major part of the air traffic. It is worth buying a few bottlea of the exceptionally good Hungarian vine 'Imperial Tokay' – until it is still possible... Because if warming goes on like this, the Botrytis cinerea mould, the basis of this wine, may go extinct in Tokay. And I have not started to talk about the coming food crisis and fresh-water crisis at all... Let’s come to our senses – until it is possible...

 


 

2. The man of our times is a Bad Shepherd of Creation

 

"Merciful man helps not only his fellow’s sufferings,
but nature’s sufferings, too."

(Pope Francis, 10 November, 2018)

 

Our Father made man the master and not the servant of Creation. At the expense of His one and only Son’s crucifixion, He has spread his Holy Spirit on man, and by this He has given him love, sight and wisdom. We have been given everything to become responsible, Good Shepherds of Creation. During the accelerated rush of our past centuries we have wasted these treasures. The man of our times has become a Bad Shepherd of Creation. A Bad Shepherd does not go after the last straying sheep. He rather eats up – all the others... The last straying sheep benefits the most of this – at least it is not eaten up... This is not a "micro sin" whose effect is local but such a "macro sin" that destroys the living conditions of the whole planet and it becomes less and less reversible... It is time to realize what we are doing. It is time to suspect what happens next.

 


 

3. What can be the way out?

 

"I think that the disabled
can give a lot for our narcissist times,
in which man thinks that he has the right to have all his desires
fulfilled and that a life is worth living only
if all circumstances are given."

(Giorgio Ronzoni, paralyzed from the neck down since 2011,
but still serving parish priest of Padova)

 

 

I have written about a lot of honorable efforts in one of my previous essays which try to reduce our sins committed so far against the Earth, and moderate or delay their effects. Do not think that seemingly small steps towards saving our Earth do not add up! Make one of them today! (Or more than one! E.g. we may participate in the zero waste movement.) However, there are highly non-honorable efforts like those which want to spread rubbish to the stratosphere hoping that it will reflect sunshine and decrease global warming though the growth diminishing effect of such sunlight-screen interventions has been proved earlier. These and other "creative ideas" to maintain the current speed of growth are not the real solutions. They only prolong the agony. Why? The expansion eating up the Earth’s goods can not to be domesticated but has to be stopped. Here the Reader may exclaim: "Peter! The development is the engine of mankind’s motivation. Should we stop that?" No! THERE IS ANOTHER WAY! It is the path of inner development. There are a lot more dimensions and depths inside us than outside. Inside there is the Totality. You may grow inside without any limits and without any hurt of others. Just inversely! Your inner growth will help others to explore theirs – for their benefit. To start your inner growth you have to accept the touch of Totality. How to make that? "Convert!" Christ’s mission starts with this call. But most of the people did not want to convert at that time. They rather had crucified the Savior... Not many people would like to covert today either. I have good news! God (with our coming anguish described at the beginning of this essay) prepares a beautiful lesson for us. As I wrote in my starting blog post in September, effective learning is realized through the cycles of good and bad. All historical and Biblical examples showed that men tended to convert to God when they got into a big trouble. The experience in pastoral care is also that a man in trouble seeking help should not "be helped to avoid" the lowest point of the crisis because he can only find Christ right at the lowest point of his crisis. Jesus truly reveals himself for us in sufferings. The path of Jesus is the path of the Cross. Thus we should not be anxious about the coming troubled times. THERE WILL BE a solution! The solution of inner peace at the time of outer troubles. I might say that time is on the side of the extension of intense faith. But it is worth to prepare for all this now: Find the path of inner growth! Strengthen yourselves in your faith! Strengthen your faith-communities! These faith-communities will be the safe harbors of people – pretty soon.

 

Let me ask You to think about
that how You (or your children, grand-children) could be better prepared
for the forthcoming harder decades.

 

I wish the Reader a New Year
bringing contemplating soul-search and change!

 

 

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