Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, a day to be mindful that we are stewards of God's good creation, of this relatively small orb that we call home. The scientific consensus shows that human activity is impacting our environment hugely. The exact effects of this are in some dispute, but it is easy to see in many places, certainly here along the Wasatch Front, which is my home and native land, what these effects are.

Progress has been made on many fronts, but more needs to be done. As in all worthy things, we must do our part. As we sing: "let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." I believe it was Tolstoy who quipped that everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to change themselves.

Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Washington published an article in a recent issue of America entitled Stewards of Creation: A Catholic approach to climate change that is worth reading today. Another good article is one published in this same magazine back in 2001: Biodiversity and The Holy Trinity. One of the two suggested hymns (the other being All Creatures of Our God and King) for Morning Prayer for Wednesday, Week II of the Psalter, the week we are in, except that is Easter, includes this verse:

"He only is the maker
Of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star.
The winds and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed:
Much more to us his children,
He gives our daily bread"

Think about attending Mass today and giving God thanks for creation. As the IC notes there are many good reasons to go to mass daily, or any time. Of the twelve reasons given, my favorite is number 1. "It's kind of like facebook with God, the angels, and the saints." It dawned on me this morning (not for the first time) that being able to truly pray is a grace in itself. For me, this shows two things- the absolute goodness and graciousness of God and how dependent we are on our Father, who, in Christ Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, gives us life in abundance


  1. Just one Earth Day a year!? If a single day isn't enough you can get your fill by going old school and celebrating the Rogation and Ember Days from the calendar of Blessed Pope John XXIII. Put them all together and you'd almost have enough for an Earth month! ;)

    "For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth her seed to shoot forth: so shall the Lord God make justice to spring forth, and praise before all the nations." - Prophecy Of Isaias

  2. The Ironic CatholicApril 22, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    Thanks for the tip--and happy Earth Day to you too. The campus here is beginning to show its Spring beauty....

  3. kRad: I second your suggestion! I am definitely with you on that!

    Viva La Tradición! :o)

    I must say that I am decidedly not a fan of our new regime's week of devotion to the Cult of Gaia.

    Three years ago, the former pro-death president of France, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, said that he hoped the United Nations climate panel would become a fledgling world gorvernment.

    A former science advisor, Lord Christopher Monckton, to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was disinvited to appear before a House Energy and Commerce hearing today on global warming because House Democrats didn't want Gore humiliated about the lack of evidence supporting global warming.

    Lord Monckton Spring Cleans Global Warming HysteriaGlobal Warming and Pagan Emptiness, George Cardinal Pell Gives His Insight On The Latest Hysterical Substitute For ReligionClimate Sensitivity Reconsidered

  4. Because some claims about the effects of human activity on the environment are wild exaggerations, we must not approach this issue uncritically. But to deny that there is something to be concerned about strikes me as equally absurd. I was very happy that former VP Gore was not given a free pass by the House committee. He was critically questioned by committee members. I am one who agrees that in looking at what is to be done we have to be very concerned about the negative effects that many proposed changes and the arbitrary deadlines suggested as to when they should be implemented would have a deleterious impact on the economy, especially given that things are already bad enough.

    I also agree that many dire predictions and the timeframes given for them happening are reminiscent of the alarmist population predictions in the early '70s, issued by Erhlich and others, which proved to have no basis in reality. In fact, I was distressed to hear Erhlich on the radio this week as an expert. It seems to me that his expertise is alarmism.

    Finally, the connection between the two- population and environment- are of concern because Chicken Little environmentalism folds nicely into a call for forced sterilizations, legally limited family size, and abortion as international policy. Obama's overturning of the Mexico City policy is a small, but significant, step in this direction.