This is a weekly series about Pope Francis’ letter on ecology, Laudato Si (Our Common Home), offering practical suggestions for families to translate these ideas into prayer and action.
“Things are made worse by the loss of tropical forests which would otherwise help to mitigate climate change.” (24)
Deforestation harms the environment in a number of ways. Over eighty percent of the earth’s land animals live in forests; deforestation leads to the loss of habitat for millions of species. Fewer forests also means larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere—and increased speed and severity of global warming.
NASA has a good article on the causes of deforestation.
Americans are complicit in global deforestation. According to a Union of Concerned Scientists report:
“Producing meat, especially beef, requires large amounts of land. Global meat consumption has increased in recent years—and much of the new land for meat production has come from clearing tropical forests. This trend is a leading driver of deforestation and a significant contributor to global warming emissions. Beef in particular requires vastly more land than meats like chicken and pork, which use much less land to produce the same amount of protein.”
For teaching your kids, there’s really nothing better than Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. Explain to them that this is a story that is happening right now – across the globe.
Holy Spirit we need help!
Our planetary home is hurting;
global warming and climate change
with millions of humans uprooted,
and fish, flower and fauna
facing dire extinction.
Holy Spirit hear us!
Consider limiting your family’s consumption of beef. American consumption habits have an effect on the global market, even if Brazilian meat never makes it onto your table. Baby steps are always more sustainable; consider reincorporating the traditional Catholic practice of meatless Fridays outside of Lent.
10/10 – St. Francis
10/17 – Confession
10/25 – Connectedness, Air Quality
10/31 – The Book of Nature, Parks and Open Spaces
11/7 – E-waste
11/14 – Wastefulness, Non-Renewable Resources
11/28 – Climate Change