Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rain, Commencement Warning, The "Green Pope"

If you live in New York or the Tri-state area rain has become a familiar reality. It has rained for 17 days in June so far. There's a new expression in New York and it's called rain rage. In a New York Times article titled, New Yorkers Near A Saturation Point, by Michael Wilson, he points out that "It is too soon to know whether humans will adapt to living, in effect, in an alternate universe in which water has replaced air." Even New Yorkers who are usually resilient are losing patience.  "Jose Arbona, 45, who bartends at the Oak Room was in a cab on 5th Ave. when he found himself embroiled in road-rain rage or rain-road rage." 
One wonders, does this strange weather pattern have anything to do with global warming? I hope not. Of course, there are many people who don't think global warming is anything to worry about, but I disagree. And so does Energy Secretary Steven Chu. He delivered the Commencement Address at Harvard University and he warned graduates that, "....if the world pursued business as usual, climate change could be so rapid that many species will have trouble adapting, including humans".......He also said the following, "Climate change is not new; the Earth went through six ice ages in the past 600,000 years. However, recent measurements show that the climate has begun to change rapidly. The size of the north polar cap in the month of September is only half the size it was a mere 50 years ago. The sea level has been rising since direct measurements began in 1870, but that rate is now five times faster than it was at the beginning. These changes are not due to natural fluctuations. For the first time in human history, science is now making predictions of how our actions today will affect the world 50 and 100 years from now."
One hopes that today's graduates will help reverse global warming. There are brilliant men and women working to find creative solutions to global warming, all around the world. 
Dioceses such as the Brooklyn Diocese and the Diocese of Rockville Center on Long Island have a vested interest in promoting "green" initiatives and teaching children and adults the importance of conserving energy and helping the Earth. 
In 2007, Pope Benedict said the following about ecology and teaching young people about it, "Everyone today can see that man could destroy the foundation of his existence-his earth-and therefore, we can no longer simply use this earth, this reality entrusted to us, to do what we want or what appears useful and promising at the moment, but we must respect the inherent laws of creation.....people must learn these laws and obey these laws if we want to survive....the first thing young people can learn is that our earth speaks to us and we must listen if we want to survive.....We must not only care for the earth, but we must respect one another....only with respect for living together on this earth can we move forward." 
Pope Benedict is sometimes referred to as the "Green Pope," because of his persistent message of respect for creation.

Happy Father's Day to all fathers, young and old. I was blessed to have a remarkable father, for that I will forever be grateful.