LAUDATO SI': A RESPONSE TO ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA AND IN THE WORLD (ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISION FORUM) - jerkand

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LAUDATO SI': A RESPONSE TO ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA AND IN THE WORLD (ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISION FORUM)





INTRODUCTION
This paper presents us the contribution of the encyclical Laudato Si’ as a response to ecological justice especially in Nigeria. Ecology is a branch of biology science that studies organisms’ relations to one another and to their surroundings. The planet earth is a type of community of life characterized by interdependence and delicate balance. A deeper understanding of this has been accelerated by the accusation by environment deterioration. The rapid change of human activity has developed contrast with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution.

The human activities have been brought interruption and contamination to our environment and atmosphere. There are have been a lot of health hazards because of environmental degradation. In fact, we experience premature death in the world society. If we are to flash back, the ecological problem started as from evolution of industralisation and new technologies. There is also pollution that affects everyone, because by transport, industrial fumes, substance which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general. These modern practices and development have aggravated the destruction of the climate which is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. Therefore, it is the hazardous incidences that Laudato Si’ sets out to address.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION
An increasing concern with the natural environment has developed recently throughout the world. Many factors have contributed to these, for example, the growth in global pollution with depletion of many natural resources and threat of extinction of many forms of plants and animal life, and the realization that human life and welfare are interrelated with the life and welfare of other organisms with the biosphere. We have been unjust to our environment, how do the rights of human beings and the rights of environment come into conflict. The first is private property. Its foundation is that the goods of the earth belong to all. Thomistic tradition held that the rights of private ownership were subordinate to and derived from the social needs of the community as the common good. Distribution of common good- over the past twenty years there has been an increasing concern in Church documents for the equitable distribution of nature’s resources at the level of basic needs. Defacto there is an increasing interdependence in the world physical, economics, political, social, and environmental. This calls for a renewed and deepening awareness of moral interdependence. This has been accompanied by the accusation that Christianity has been significant influence in shaping exploitation attitude toward nature. Factors such as these have force a reappraisal of creation, humanity and God in ecology theology and ecological ethics.

LAUDATO SI’: A RESPONSE TO ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE
Environmentalists have argued that it is erroneous to assume that only human being have rights. Non-human natural things were considered simply of value, it was unclear whether they were value in themselves or valuable simply because they were instrumental in achieving some human purpose or in meeting some human needs. The environmentalists are by this stand call us to be holistic in the caring for the nature, that is, if we care for the nature the nature will care for us and we should not be anthropo-centric. Human beings are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects on people’s lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture.

The social dimensions of global change include the effects of technological innovations on employment social exclusion on inequitable distribution and consumption of energy and other services social breakdown, increased violence and a rise in views forms of social aggression, drug trafficking, growing drug use by young people and loss of identity. The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation. Inequality affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations. A true ecological debt exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.
According to Pope Francis, “human ecology is inseparable from the notion of the common good, a central and unifying principle of social ethics. The common good is the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual member’s relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfillment. The notion of the common good also extends to posterity. “The environment is part of logic of receptivity. It is on loan to each generation, which must then hand it on to the next”. An integral ecology is marked by this broader vision.

CONCLUSION
Humankind has sinned against the environment, but it has also sinned against itself and against God. God calls humankind to cultivate and take care of a creation that is good (Gen 2:15). As co-creators we have the task of developing the potential both of nature’s resources and our human gift. Then, giving too much weight to respect for nature can dilute human responsibility.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ on the Care for Common Home, St Paul Publication, Nigeria, 2015.

Warrant T. Reich, Encyclopedia of Bioethics, The Free Press, London, 1978, pg 388.

Judith A. Dwyer, The New Dictionary Catholic Social Thought, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville Minnesota, USA, 1994.

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ on the Care for Common Home, St Paul Publication, Nigeria, 2015.

The New Community Bible, (Catholic Edition), St Paul Publications, Ibadan.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Revised edition, Paulines Publications,  Africa, 1994.
                   
                             By
                   ‘BISI-OLUWOLE

                 DATE: APRIL, 2016.



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