Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Rabbits, Contraception, the Pope And Climate Change

Is this serendipity again?  I read a pretty depressing article about the likely consequences of climate change the other day.   Then I read what Pope Francis thinks of birth control.

The first article made me think about the possible solutions to what's happening to our little space ship Earth.

Many solutions to combat human-caused climate change are nearly impossible, because either people don't believe in climate change or have decided to feast until the Day of Demise or people want the countries that didn't get to feast a chance to do so, too, even if that speeds up the Day of Demise.  And then there are those who think we could work this out just fine if everyone agreed to an austere lifestyle with no computers and not much food etc.

I'm exaggerating, of course.  But there's something about human beings which make those self-assumed austerity solutions extremely unlikely.  The best solution to me seems to have a lot fewer people on earth in the long-run.  It might happen, in any case, because of the coming resource wars (which may already have begun).   But we could also carry out that solution by at least making sure that people don't have to have children they don't want to have in the first place.  Birth control, you know. 

A smaller total number of human beings would have a less damaging impact on earth and would also be able to have a higher material lifestyle, on average.  Other animals would have more space, too.

But what do I know, sigh.  The Pope obviously knows better, because he told his flock to be more open to life.  That's Pope-speak about not using contraception:

After discussing various threats to the family, including “a lack of openness to life,” he deviated briefly from his prepared remarks, transitioning from English to his native Spanish in order to speak from the heart about the subject.

“I think of Blessed Paul VI,” he said. “In a moment of that challenge of the growth of populations, he had the strength to defend openness to life.”

In 1968, Pope Paul VI released the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which upheld Catholic teaching on sexuality and the immorality of artificial contraception, predicting the negative consequences that would result from a cultural acceptance of birth control.

“He knew the difficulties that families experience, and that’s why in his encyclical, he expressed compassion for particular cases. And he taught professors to be particularly compassionate with particular cases,” Pope Francis said.

“But he went further. He looked to the peoples beyond. He saw the lack and the problem that it could cause families in the future. Paul VI was courageous. He was a good pastor, and he warned his sheep about the wolves that were approaching, and from the heavens he blesses us today.”

So it goes.  Though later Francis clarified that he didn't mean to advocate that Catholics should breed like rabbits.

Weird and fascinating stuff.  Not logical, but then very little about the recent world events looks logical to me. 

And notice all the animals in those pope-quotes?  Sheep, wolves, rabbits!  The types I worry about when it comes to climate change.  Serendipity, I say.  It would most likely be a better basis for writing than trying to make some sense of stuff.