I’m operating on no sleep again, so I’ll keep this post short and sweet…
Another mass shooting last night as a gunman killed 9 and wounded many more in a shooting in Charleston, NC. After the show ended, the shooter was captured and taken into custody. Yes, he is white. Just saying…
Pope Francis today released an Encyclical on climate change, attributing “the majority of the global warming in recent decades” to human activity. MSNBC pulled what it says are the five most important arguments in the Pope’s missive:
- Climate change is real and people are the primary cause of it. “The climate is a common good,” Pope Francis writes, “linked to many of the essential conditions of human life.” It’s also in dire trouble, he argues. “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnesses a disturbing warming.” While he acknowledges that there are many factors related to global temperature, “most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases released mainly as a result of human activity.”
- Technology will not save us. “We must be grateful for the praiseworthy efforts being made by scientists and engineers dedicated to finding solutions to man-made problems,” Francis writes. But “the degree of human intervention,” he continues, “is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey.” “We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with some which we have created ourselves,” Francis concludes. “It’s based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit.”
- There is no excuse for denying reality or playing politics. Pope Francis hammers business-people and elected officials for “masking the problems or concealing their symptoms,” often for personal gain. “This is the way human beings contrive to feed their self-destructive vices: trying not to see them, trying not to acknowledge them, delaying the important decisions and pretending nothing will happen.” He calls on such people, and the rich west in general, not only to acknowledge “the spiral of self-destruction that currently engulfs us” but to do something about it. Those who are most to blame for our problems, he implies, have the most responsibility for fixing them. “We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities,” he writes. The emphasis was in the original.
- The Bible was written by an environmentalist. In a chapter on “the convictions of believers,” Francis quotes his predecessor Pope John Paul II, arguing that “Christians in their turn realize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essential part of their faith.” He is more direct in his own voice, knocking down the idea that humans have “dominion” over nature, a biblical right to harvest the earth without limit. “This is not a correct interpretation,” Francis writes. “We are not God. The Earth was here before us and it has been given to us.”
- We have to change everything if we hope to survive. In the run-up to the pope’s letter, members of the Heartland Institute traveled to Rome for a “pre-rebuttal,” denying the scientific reality of dangerous climate change. At the same time, Republican presidential contenders joined a conservative backlash, criticizing a leaked draft of the text. But the final draft is arguably more radical than any of these critics anticipated. Francis calls for “a bold cultural revolution” in the way we live and work. He calls on us to slow down, drop the iPhone, and give up on the idea of infinite growth and boundless, buyable pleasures. Doing so, he argues, will help us “to live wisely, to think deeply, and to love generously.” It may also save our lives.
Fast Track Redux
Just when you thought we were done, they play politics. Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim wrote about Friday’s dramatic votes, and the different scenarios in which this could play out. And then everything changed.
Boehner & co snuck in a secret vote, just two days after passing an extension through July 31 on the motion to reconsider, leaving most of us to believe that the vote would be weeks away. Sadly, it passed. Next stop: the Senate. Stay tuned..
Tomorrow’s Friday! I’ll be back with a very special treat from my music archives that you won’t want to miss, radio or not!