Friday, April 15, 2011

Environmental Awareness, Enlightened Self-Interest, and My Catholic Faith

Earth Day is coming next Friday, and I won't be putting my "EARTH FIRST! WE'LL MINE THE OTHER PLANETS LATER" bumper sticker on the family van.

I explained my reasons in Tuesday's post.

Environmental Awareness as Enlightened Self-Interest

So, what's a fellow who bought that "...MINE THE OTHER PLANETS LATER" sticker doing, writing about environmental awareness?

I live on Earth. It's the only place I know of where folks can live today, for any length of time. The International Space Station is, I think, a sort of prototype for what we may have as alternatives - a generation or so from now.

But right now, in practical terms, we need Earth and it's remarkably hardy ecosystems (I'll get back to that1) if we plan to keep breathing.

Besides, I think we're healthier when sewage isn't in the drinking water and we're not breathing smog.

That, in my opinion, is common sense. Or 'enlightened self-interest,' "...the practice of acting in a way that is costly or inconvenient at present, but which is believed to be in one's best interest in the long term." (Glossary," (Pearson Higher Education))

The sort of 'save the gay and lesbian codependent whales' stuff that I've heard and read for decades - that's something else.

Earth Day, 2011: This Catholic's Take

I've been intending to look into what the Catholic Church teaches about taking care of the environment, and related issues, for several years. This year, since I'd had reading documents of the Church on my Lenten 'to do' list, I figured now was as good a time as any to start.

Besides, I remember the first Earth Day - and never got all that far from my tree-hugging roots.

1 I think that although some species are hard to keep alive: pandas and koalas, for example. That said, I also think that life as a whole has proven to be quite durable.

Particularly considering what we've learned about those on-again-off-again glacial epochs, massive volcanic events, and the occasional asteroid impact.

This footnote is turning into another post, so I'll stop now.


Brigid said...

There's an odd punctuation mark in here: "(Glossary," Higher Education)"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

environmental training said...

Doing something for the environment is not an individual task but if everybody would act for it, then surely we will all reach the good side. Indeed awareness would help but self dedication towards doing something for the environment is much more important.

Brian Gill said...

environmental training,

Okay, I think I followed that. And, yeah: I think that " '...the practice of acting in a way that is costly or inconvenient at present, but which is believed to be in one's best interest in the long term' " makes sense.

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.