Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let's get practical ...

Pope John Paul II joked about how to solve the crises swirling around the late 20th century. We had two choices, he insisted: a practical one and a hopelessly naive mystical one. The practical one was to fall on our knees a pray for the intercession of our Lady of Czestochowa. The hopelessly naive one was to organize a meeting of politicians and bureaucrats.

David Warren has contempt for the ideologues and unelected bureaucrats pushing the climate change crisis, but he has solid advice about how to address the real ecological problems we face. He writes:
We could -- I know this sounds a little idealistic, but bear with me -- try to export the best of our old Christian civilization, instead of the worst of our post-Christian one. For my reader may recall that civilization had nothing to do with conspicuous consumption, and put more of its money in cathedrals than into personal and corporate display.

To say this would be "good for the environment" is an understatement: there is so much joyful life we could recover, by simply discarding what is not genuinely useful, and getting on with the root human task of salvation, through the advancement of the good, the beautiful, and the true.
I second his suggestion.

Read his column here.


Gordon said...


It's not a choice between left and right.

It's the Cathedral or the Tower of Babel.

ignatius said...

Hmm. Sounds nice, but I'm not sure we're even aware of how much we're involved in the commerce. My family has, for Austrian standards, a simple lifestyle, no car, small cozy apartment for a relatively big family. Yet I'm writing this on my nifty new laptop, powered, maybe, by imported electricity produced in an atomic power plant. Our flat is heated by natural gas piped in from Russia. A typical dinner for us includes olives from Greece, pistachios from California or Iran, wine from Italy or Spain, sometimes cheese from England, occasionally a pomegranate or dates from the middle East, a lot of locally grown food, and maybe at the end a chocolate from Switzerland. In other words, we nobodies, economically speaking, have suppers which not even King Solomon could rival. Needless to say, all this wealth is a burden on the environment, but I don't feel so guilty about it. A lot of jobs are created by it.

Yes, we need more time for ourselves, for others and to give glory to God.

The economic slowdown will continue, and that may enable us to change our priorities to some extent.