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New paradigm for environmental sustainability

01:48 AM June 06, 2015

I’m an avid reader of the Inquirer. I found the article titled “Catholics mobilize for Pope’s Encyclical” (Front Page, 5/26/15) very interesting. I want to comment on the topic because I wrote and defended in Rome last April my doctoral dissertation on the issue of environmental degradation—specifically climate change—and what to do about it.

Indeed, the worsening state of the environment is a serious global concern. Climate change has become a grave threat to the global community. Sustainable development has become the popularly accepted paradigm to address climate change and the environmental crisis. But I don’t find the paradigm a holistic framework. It ignores the moral and spiritual life of the human community.

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We should have, instead, sustainable community as the appropriate paradigm for environmental sustainability. When human beings live with the moral and theological virtues, when they act prudently, justly, steadfastly, moderately with faith, hope and charity, the human community and the environment would become sustainable. All human beings and the environment will be in harmony because living virtuously would be in accordance with God’s will for all of God’s creation.

—FR. JAY-AR BABOR, MSC, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, 10 17th St., New Manila, Quezon City

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TAGS: climate change, encyclicals, environmental degradation, sustainable development
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