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Will a wonder of nature be an environmental catastrophe?

It is one year since Pope Francis published the encyclical Praise Be: On care for our common home (Laudato Si’) on 18 June 2015 and much of the initial attention from politicians, economists and environmentalist centred on what he would say about climate change.

What he did say is expressed in paragraph 23. The pope was clear, saying, “Very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing, a disturbing warming of the climatic system.”








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The revelations of Kew Gardens

I vividly remember my first visit to Kew Gardens in London in the early 1980s. I was on my way to Ireland for a holiday after my first term as a missionary among the T’boli people in the highlands of south-eastern Mindanao in The Philippines.

I had enjoyed my time there learning their language, listening to their music, watching their intricate dances, observing their rituals and celebrations, especially around marriage.








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A polluted mind will pollute the land

HONG KONG (SE): Addressing pollution problems stemming from rapid economic development must go hand in hand with a change in social attitudes, a seminar organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong was told on April 15.

Gloria Chang Wan-ki, the campaign manager of Greenpeace Hong Kong, told the seminar that rapid economic development in China has resulted in a wide range of serious pollution problems.

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Supreme Court acts against environmental pests

MANILA (SE): The Supreme Court of The Philippines issued a Writ of Kalikasan (Writ of Nature) on June 21 in response to a request filed by residents of the Santa Cruz area of Zambales, ordering that the natural environment be protected against all destructive practices.

Father Daniel Resto, from Iba, said that at least five mining companies would be immediately affected.

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Thousands protest against new coal-fired power plant

MANILA (Agencies): Around 10,000 people from various Church groups, concerned citizens, and civil society organisations marched in Batangas City, The Philippines, on May 4 to call for a moratorium on new coal plants in the country.

Led by Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, from Lipa, the demonstrators demanded that the next administration cancel all proposed coal-fired projects and shift to renewable energy, according to a report of CBCP News.

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Mourning an indigenous leader

NEW YORK (SE): The worldwide Church has been asked to pray for the martyrs for the environment and on March 3, Berta Cáceres, from Honduras, was added to the ever-growing list of those who have lost their lives for their work in the defence of nature and the life-giving energy of God’s creation.

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Meat eating tigers and people

In his encyclical, Praise Be: On care for our common home (Laudato Si’) Pope Francis reminds us, “Our sister (planet earth) now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will” (No.2).








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Inactive awareness of environment not a help

HONG KONG (UCAN): The results of a survey released in early February highlight a disparity between theory and practice in caring for the environment in Hong Kong.

While the survey reveals that Hong Kong people generally agree they have to think about the next generation and look after the environment, far fewer believe they must consume less.

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Endangered species can get a second chance

One of the great strengths of the encyclical, Praise Be: On care of our common home (Laudato Si), is its extensive treatment of the importance of biodiversity. Before the publication of the encyclical there had been little writing on biodiversity in Catholic social teaching.








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If you love the environment you better watch your back

DAVAO (UCAN): The Church is warning environmental advocates to watch their backs, as they have again become the target of the mining company goons in recent weeks. Father Edwin Gariquez said on February 2 that the worst of it is that the government is not doing anything to prevent the murders or bring those responsible to justice.

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