This semester I attended a lecture by Dr. Jenkins on Pope Franicis’ encyclical, Laudato Si. This document explains why Pope Francis wants us to love the earth by not “fixing” the climate. His encyclical makes 5 main points, including the relationship of science, religion, and ethics; the dangers of the technocratic paradigm, integral ecology, ecological conversion, and dialogue.

Pope Francis speaks passionately about the critical state of our environment and proposes what he thinks is the best way to go about improving our world. He emphasizes that, “Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.” The technocratic paradigm he speaks of warps our perception, deluding us into thinking we should apply our power to all things. In taking steps toward fixing climate, for example, we can bring back attitudes which caused the problem in the first place. We must understand that we cannot control the earth. Pope Francis encourages us not to view the earth as raw material awaiting human use but rather as living material valuable in its own right.

This proposal resonated with me because I have noticed how in trying to “fix” our environment, we have more or less succeeded in causing more problems than we actually solved. As a population, human beings have become obsessed with whatever “the next big thing” may be. We are never satisfied with what we have and we yearn for bigger and better. In the process of trying to fix and/or improve a situation, for example global warming, we usually cause damage in some other area, defeating the purpose altogether.