Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day, a day designed to focus our attention on the need to take action to protect our planet and its resources.
One of the basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching is stewardship – the idea that we have a responsibility to care for creation. God gave humans dominion over the earth’s resources, not for us to use according to our individual will, but for the good of all human beings. Stewardship obligates us to care for the earth, to use its resources wisely, and to preserve thsse resources for future generations. Stewardship also means respect for all of creation.
Our bulletin at Christ the King this week noted some sobering facts, including that
- more than one in every six people around the world lacks access to safe water for drinking, cooking and cleaning and more than 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.
- 70% of coral reefs are either threatened or destroyed, coral reefs that provide food, storm protection, jobs, recreation, and other income sources for more than 500 million people worldwide.
- over the last decade, approximately 13 million hectares of foret have been lost each year, forests that 1.6 billion people depend on in some way for their livelihood.
- more than 22% of the world’s plants are at risk of extinction and more than 24% of the world’s mammals and 12% of the world’s bird species are threatened.
What are going to do about it? Being good stewards requires a combination of individual and group actions.
Each of us needs to think about what we can do to make a difference.