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My first reaction to Laudato Si was one of relief. For decades it has felt as if the world was on a path to destruction, with all the loudest and most powerful voices urging it to go further and faster. A blind faith in market forces has been pressing the world, its environment, and its people into the service of the idol of money, with economic growth and personal consumption being presented as the highest objectives to which we could aspire.
I have always been a Christian, raised in the Catholic tradition. I have also always been interested in the environment.
To judge by the reaction of some members of the far-right in America, it would seem that the Pope has hit a nerve. By daring to speak a truth, that many so dearly wish to remain hidden, he has potentially begun the revolution so long sought. For too long the Church has been comfortable to wallow in pomp and wealth while focusing displeasure on the activities of consenting adults in bed.
Conservative climate change deniers in the USA have started to adapt their vehicles so that they spew out the maximum amount of noxious black smoke. They see this as some sort of defiant political protest. A dealer who sells the equipment to make these adaptations said the message people were sending was ‘You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you."