Pope Francis spoke at a university in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, and said that protecting the environment isn’t “a recommendation, but an urgent requirement.” The pontiff has recently made a major push in getting the citizens of the world on board with his environmental message.
We have harmed the planet with “our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed it,” said the pope. “We have come to see ourselves as her lords and master, entitled to plunder it at will.” Those words were quoted from the pope’s most recent encyclical, Laudato Sii, which mainly addressed climate change and the environment.
Pope Francis also told Ecuadorians to balance the pursuit of wealth with the environment’s protection, a message that is applicable to everyone on the planet. “The tapping of natural resources, which are so abundant in Ecuador, must not be concerned with short-term benefits,” he said
The pope is saying that everyone should consider the long-term consequences of harvesting the planet’s natural resources over its immediate payoff. For example, American fracking companies are changing the seismologic make up of the country to harvest a finite resource in oil and natural gas.
The pope’s message is strong and thoughtful. It’s imperative that the world’s citizens come together and treat the environment better. The consequences are too grave not to.