they looked at me in disbelief. They had not made the connection
between their environmental problems and the tourism boom. Most
did not know about sea level rise and climate change.
They had jobs, roads,
cars, TV and internet because of tourism development whilst never
considering that the fresh water lense
beneath their island was finite. Because there had always
been enough, they assumed that there always would be and if there
then they would send their children to New Zealand or Australia.
Already there are more Cook Islanders living in these countries
than remain in the Cook Islands which now has a population
of approx 17,000.
In fact they were fatalistic about what was happening to them
and told me that whilst the development was good, the crop failures,
water shortages, fish toxicity, sea level rise, increasing storms
and hurricanes all signalled the beginning of the second coming
after which there would be eternal life.
It was my turn to stare
in disbelief. They are strongly Christian with the majority attending
church services on Sundays in an Old
Testament tradition of “dominion over the Earth” handed
down from the London Missionary Society for 150 years. While
I was there a fisherman in a small boat washed up on the
had drifted from Tahiti for six months with almost no food
and water on board. He was plucked from the reef and treated
as a modern
day Moses and after a short hospital stint was brought to
the Church where he was revered by all as one whom God had
is clear that the Christian religion, far from being a driver
for sustainability in the Pacific, is a force for disempowerment
in terms of sustainability. At the Queensland launch of Catholic
Earthcare Australia, Archbishop Bathersby said, “Gone
is the narrow, limited understanding of religion that could
as merely our selfish attempts to get to heaven. Getting
to heaven is certainly a part of Christ’s vision but
just as importantly is engagement with the world to make
it, with God’s help,
a new creation.”i Getting
that message out to the world’s
1 billion Catholics and those practising various Christian
faiths, especially in the developing world where Christianity
be that handed down from the missionaries 100 years ago,
would make a critical difference.
As I flew out of Aitutaki, from the air I saw work going on constructing
a second runway excavated from the reef and the airline video was
advertising the biggest foreign-owned resort on the island, a honeymoon
dream at a mere $500 US per night, and it occurred to me that Aitutaki
is a microcosm of the world, of our own planet Earth. The unsustainable
development and over-consumption happening on Aitutaki is happening
across the world to all of us and my perspective from the air on
one island would be similar to that of the astronauts as they look
back from space on planet Earth.
The Haves, like those in the resorts, live in enclaves of privilege
in the countries of the developed world and are using a disproportionate
amount of the limited wealth or natural capital of the Earth at
the expense of the Have Nots who struggle to survive on their own
land because it has been plundered, ravaged, polluted and appropriated
for forests, oil, minerals, water, coffee and fisheries. Local
people resort to violent conflict over scarce remaining land and
water, and are being forced to leave as refugees, only to be told
that there is no place for them in those countries that plundered
their resources in the first place.
Bulging populations, sea level rise, extreme weather events and
land stress are producing waves of refugees that spill across borders
as is occurring from Bangladesh to Tuvalu. Dwindling supplies of
water are causing conflicts between urban and rural dwellers from
Africa to Australia and water scarcity is a major contributor to
the conflicts in the Middle East.
Meanwhile those in the rich enclaves, including Australia, have
no idea where their consumer goods come from or where their food
is grown or where their water is taken from or goes to or indeed
how much they use. Who checks to see where their coffee is grown
and how it is grown or where their leather shoes are tanned or
their gold jewellery is extracted and what happens to the toxic
effluents? Who considers through which forest or desert ecosystem
the oil/petrol is piped before it gets to the pump or which forest
their floorboards came from? For the most part they do not care
very much either so long as there is more for them and so long
as restrictive immigration laws stop others from coming to threaten
their access to those resources.
Like the people of
Aitutaki, they have no concept that the Earth’s
Common Wealth is limited and finite and that the Earth’s
ecosystems can reach and are reaching a point where they
break down irretrievably. This lack of awareness has been
by Corporatisation which has masked the realities of the
global supply chain for food, goods and services.
It has been the history of human settlement on the planet that
small numbers of human beings began by following the migrations
of the animal species that they needed for survival, but once they
learned to grow crops and domesticate animals and to stay in one
place, they learned to bring back to that place the wealth of the
lands which they continued to explore. The more they accumulated,
the more they wanted and the greater the armies they needed to
secure the source and repository of the wealth.
So it was with Empires from the Greeks and Romans and Egyptian
times to the French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, and British Empire
and British Commonwealth. The British Commonwealth was based on
the idea of appropriating the Common Wealth of the colonised lands
and taking resources from any people who lived there for the benefit
of the mother country on the understanding that the people of the
colonised lands were lesser beings with no equal rights. It is
our own history of indigenous displacement as well.
as the misappropriation of the Commons has always been part of
this scenario, its condemnation has always been part of
every faith tradition. The notion that the global commons, the
the oceans, the wild species were there for us all, the Common
Wealth for the Common Good is encapsulated in the creation
story. The Bishops’ statement in 1992 stated “the Earth
is God’s creation intended for the use and enjoyment of all
who inhabit it. Human beings have been entrusted with its
stewardship. If this principle is accepted with the proviso that
of creation must be safeguarded when the Earth’s goods
are used to serve the needs of humanity, it is completely
for some inhabitants of the Earth to possess far more than
they need while others lack the most basic necessities.”ii
Yet the industrial and technological wealth and power of the North:
Europe, Japan and the United States of America was built and is
continuing to be built with both the state and the corporate sector
plundering the natural resources of the rest of the planet and
forcing those countries so plundered through the World Bank, IMF
and WTO processes to borrow to buy back goods and services developed
from what was appropriated in the first place. Iraq and its oil
is just the latest example. The fact is that all civilisations
have been built using the biodiversity and abundance of the planet,
the diverse ecosystems, species and genetic diversity as if they
were infinite and free.
Herein lies the heart
of the problem. We utterly refuse to accept that the Earth’s
resources are finite and cannot be stretched to go around at
the same level of Western consumption for everyone,
no matter what technological breakthroughs or redistributions
occur. We have become so reliant on the idea that science and
will fix everything that we have not addressed the rate at
which we are using up resources believing that we will find a
continue with business as usual. It is as if we think the
loaves and fishes miracle will keep on working. We look to genetic
desalination of sea water, antibiotics and cloning, instead
of habitat protection and conservation of biodiversity.
We turn a blind eye to the extinction crisis, feeling sad about
the loss of plants and animals but not modifying behaviour if it
means not having what we want to consume. According to the Secretariat
of the Biodiversity Convention, 150-200 species become extinct
every day mainly due to habitat destruction, invasive species,
pollution and overexploitation. If the current rate of destruction
in forests and coral reefs is maintained, 50% of plant and animal
species will be gone by the end of the 21st Century. Our grandchildren
will inherit a lonely planet.
Recently I was in Africa and visited a place in the Transkei on
the Wild Coast because it is a global hotspot of plant endemism.
Species found there occur nowhere else on the planet and
the coastal area is about to be mined by an Australian mining company
road will be built right through the area. Whilst it was
a beautiful landscape the thing that I noticed most was the silence.
were no wild creatures or birds at all. They had been hunted
and eaten out of existence. The bush meat trade in Africa is huge
the pattern is repeated across the continent. In the Congo,
lowland gorillas are being eaten to endangerment by the miners
which forms a component part of the mobile phones that we all use.iii
We cannot comprehend
that ecosystems like forests, deserts, lakes, rivers and coral
reefs are the basis of our Common Wealth and provide
ecosystem services for our common good, such as air and water
purification, waste detoxification and decomposition, flood and
pollination, soil fertility renewal, nutrient recycling,
maintenance of genetic diversity, stabilisation and moderation
of the Earth’s
We forget that about
30,000 species are edible and of these 7,000 have been cultivated
or collected as food for humans. 15-20 crops
are of major economic importance. 20,000 species are used
in traditional medicine which forms the primary health care for
about 80% of the
3 billion people living in developing countries. 5,000 species
are potential sources of commercial drugs. Fish and shellfish
provide 5-10% of the world’s food supply and source of
But it is not only for food and shelter that we look to nature.
It is also a spiritual thing.
cannot think of a single composer, painter or writer who has
not tracked at least one major source of inspiration
to a bird, a rose, a tree. People automatically lose themselves
wordless reverence at the sight of a curlew or a silver cloud
of anchovies or at the mournful wail of howler monkeys. Or they
dumbly out at oceans, as if longing for their microbial past.”iv
“Before this panorama of meadows and mountain peaks that
touch the sky, we all discover afresh the desire to thank
God for the wonders that He has made and we wish to listen in silence
the voice of nature, so that we can transform our admiration
into prayer. For these mountains awake in our hearts the sense
infinite with the desire to raise up our minds to what is
sublime. It is the Author of Beauty Himself who created these wonders.” John
So if the natural world is so critical to us in satisfying our
need for food, shelter and clothing, and our longing for spiritual
nourishment, and it clearly has limits, why is it that we cannot
get our heads around the fact that unlimited growth based on
non-renewable resource extraction is an impossibility?
Why do we tolerate politicians and companies constantly reporting
growth figures and projecting yet more growth and citing economic
growth as the way forward for us and for India, China and the developing
countries of East Timor and the Solomons for example, when we know
that growth means clearing forests, building on crop lands, and
polluting and over-allocating rivers?
Until the 1960s very
few people had any concept of environmental limits. The global
debate was focussed on the inequitable distribution
of resources. It was a debate which assumed that the Earth’s
capacity to support life was unlimited, that ecosystems were
capable of generating more and more, and the problem was
of wealth and power, about social justice and equity, about
the need for all people to be regarded as equal with equal
fulfil their human potential and the need to redress the
balance between the Haves and Have Nots. It was about the
justice of some
having more and others less, about the injustice of forcing
indigenous people from their lands, the injustice of bad
low wages, unemployment and poverty, and gender inequality,
and the injustice in the treatment of refugees and the atrocities
with wars and invasions.
The churches were at the forefront of this debate about civil
rights, social justice and racial equality, and self-determination.
They were there urging people in the developed world to give, to
respond generously to famines and floods, to give to the poor,
to feed the hungry, to extend compassion to those in need. At the
same time the Churches in the developing world were leading the
struggle against poverty and for human rights and democracy. But
collectively, they failed to recognise that there was an even more
fundamental problem and that was that they, like many others, were
redistributing the deck chairs on the sinking ship, Earth. They
recognised that economic, political, spiritual and social challenges
were connected but largely overlooked the environment as the basis
on which all the rest depended.
That changed for many people in the 1960s when the most compelling
image of the 20th Century was beamed back from space. There hanging
like a precious ball in the solar system was planet Earth. It demonstrated
what was really meant by our Common Wealth because from the perspective
of space, the Earth was seen as an incredibly complex and beautiful
system of feedback loops and interconnections of oceans and rivers,
icecaps and mountains, deserts and forests. We saw for the first
time that the environment has no boundaries, that this planet has
physical limitations, is finite and totally interconnected in supporting
life. We saw that the political lines on maps creating nation states
were totally irrelevant to planetary climate, ecosystems and survival.
It was a revelation. It inspired awe and wonder in us all.
It confronted us with the idea that six billion of us have to
live on a finite planet with nowhere to go and by 2050 there will
be 9.5 billion of us not only competing amongst ourselves for water,
land and food, but also with our fellow creatures. It made seeking
ecological sustainability a common cause for humanity and a moral
imperative born of global interdependence and universal responsibility.
If we want peace, we have no other option.
Mikhail Gorbachev said at that time, “For all the contradictions
of the present day world, for all the diversity of social
and political systems in it, and for all the different choices
made by the nations
in different times, this earth is nevertheless one whole.
We are all passengers aboard one ship, the Earth, and we must not
it to be wrecked. There will be no second Noah’s Ark.”vi
it took the Churches quite a bit longer to recognise the centrality
of the environment as Archbishop Bathersby conceded, “Only
in more recent years has the Catholic Church become intensely
interested in these same matters of the environment. This
deficit of interest
was due largely to an inadequately developed theology, as
well as a lack of vision in our leadership. Indeed, where
the environment existed, it did so largely outside the mainstream
Christian churches. In the last 10 years however, all that
has changed markedly, partly due to a new theology of Evangelisation
based upon Christ’s vision of the Kingdom, and partly
from the leadership of Pope John Paul II who in a remarkably
series of statements on the environment has passionately
Conversion” as the norm for all Catholics.”vii
said, “It is immediately evident that humanity has disappointed
divine expectations … humiliating … the Earth,
our home. It is necessary therefore, to stimulate and sustain
The Australian Catholic Bishops in their statement on the distribution
of wealth in Australia, Common Wealth for the Common
in 1992, recognised Stewardship and Sustainability as one
of the 10 relevant principles and themes in the Catholic
social teaching. The Bishops said that “An authentic
concept of development cannot ignore the use of the elements
the renewability of resources and the consequences of haphazard
industrialisation – three considerations which alert
us to the moral dimension of development.”ix
went on, “In a sense sustainability is good stewardship
through time and in effect a matter of intergenerational
justice. It means that the Earth’s resources are to be used
with future needs always in mind.”x
them as if they were inexhaustible with absolute dominion seriously
endangers their availability not only
to the present generation but above all for generations to come.”xi
“When Greed and selfishness lead people to destroy rather
than preserve, and to jeopardise the well-being of millions
of their fellow human beings and of future generations, they are
abusing God’s trust.”xii
But in spite of the inclusion of environmental stewardship in
the statement in 1992 and the questions posed in that statement,
and the great work done in schools, the central role of the Earth
as our Common Wealth has largely been on the backburner in the
Australian Catholic Church to the point that in the review of the
Common Wealth for the Common Good statement 10 years on published
in 2003, the principle of Ecological Stewardship was not revisited.
But I am pleased to welcome the ratification by the Bishops of
Catholic Earthcare Australia and the release in 2002 of the Social
Justice statement and its accompanying video, The Garden
which focussed on the environment.
I want to pay tribute to the advocacy and leadership of all the
Bishops but especially to Archbishops John Bathersby and Adrian
Doyle, and to Bishops Chris Toohey and Bill Morris, who really
got behind the initiative.
John Bathersby said at the launch of Catholic Earthcare Australia, “our task like that of St Francis of Assisi,
the Patron of Ecology, is to love life comprehensively and
but it warns us that such activity will not be easy, as it
was not easy for Christ. …Life and God are inextricably
linked. Just as we cannot contemplate life in all its grandeur
seeing behind it all God, its creative source, so also we
cannot seek to expand life in this world for ourselves and
taking up the cross. The diminishment of life in this universe
in any way, in some way, diminishes our capacity for knowing
God because faith and life are deeply linked.”xiii
Herein lies the moral challenge of ecological sustainability.
Whereas speaking out on issues of peace and non-violence and social
justice are expected from the Church and are seen as legitimate
if somewhat irritating to those in the political process, such
statements frequently relate to economic and social justice, or
lack thereof, of government allocations to defence, welfare, public
housing, pensions, taxation reform, gambling revenues and licenses.
In other words they relate to the redistribution of the Common
Fiscal Wealth collected in taxation for the Common Good. They have
at their heart the aspiration to eradicate poverty and promote
human development in an equitable and sustainable way but they
do not challenge the moral legitimacy of those industries that
contribute to the Common Fiscal Wealth by exploiting non-renewable
resources and by promoting over-consumption. In so doing they do
not challenge those who give political support to, own or operate,
the industries that destroy biodiversity or those who work in them,
whereas advocacy of sustainability does.
sustainability poses great moral dilemmas. We know that the vast
wealth of Australia from agriculture and mining
has come at the loss of native ecosystems and species, and land
water quality. We know that our vast coal reserves have generated
cheap electricity but have been and continue to be a major
cause of greenhouse gas emissions. The State of the Environment
warns that “under present conditions, Australia is
not ecologically sustainable.”xiv We
know that land clearance in Australia is the greatest cause
of habitat loss
the nation. We know that
old growth forests in Tasmania are being logged at the fastest
rate in history and that only 10% of Australia’s original
old growth forest remains. We know that those ecosystems
cannot be replaced; that agricultural runoff, invasive species
bleaching are damaging the Great Barrier Reef; that salinity
levels are rising and laying waste to thousands of hectares
of land in
Western Australia and in the Murray-Darling Basin; wetlands
are being drained for coastal development or as in Ranger
contaminated and polluted by radioactive waste; water shortages
are forcing a rethink on whether we have over-allocated water
from our rivers for irrigation; 80% of the Murray now surrenders
flow for human consumption; fisheries are being destroyed
as in the case of the orange roughy for example, and our
cities and atmosphere
are clouded with greenhouse gas and pollution hazes from
traffic and industrial emissions.
In the midst of so
much compelling proof that across the planet from Aitutaki to
Brisbane we are living beyond our environmental
capacity and that the planet is on the way to ecosystem collapse,
why are we not facing the hard decisions of what needs to
be done? Why are we still paying lip service to ecological sustainability?
Yes, it gets a mention, but if we in Australia with our relatively
small population and high standard of living cannot address
own sustainability, what makes us think that the millions
who live with dirty water, poor sanitation and hazardous waste
can? If we
know about the ecological crisis facing the planet and the
moral imperative to exercise good stewardship of the fragile
that support all life on earth, why aren’t we doing
it? Is our valuing of human life above all other life, the
root of our
own species demise? Why do we duck the moral imperative implied
by Socrates when he asked, What ought one to do?
The answer can be summed up in the words of Martin Luther King
when he said,
Is it safe?
Vanity asks, Is it popular?
Expedience asks, Is it politic?
Conscience asks, Is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither
safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because
conscience tells one that it is right.”xv
Taking up the cause of planetary sustainability challenges us
all in a very direct way, even more so than does poverty
alleviation. You can give away excess cash as aid and donations
but it costs
a great deal more in lifestyle sacrifices and in votes and
shareholder profits to save ecosystems.xvi
It is hard and, summed up by the Bishops in their statement, A
New Earth: The Environmental Challenge when they said
that, our lifestyles should not make such demands on resources
others are left in need. We should practise simplicity, moderation
and discipline so that others may live.xvii It means that
at a personal, local, national and global level, we have
consumption of everything that is not renewable and reuse
and recycle what we have.
We as individuals, and at an institutional level, have to stop
buying shares and investing in banks and superannuation schemes
that directly sponsor companies destroying ecosystems.
We have to forego huge houses, elaborate furnishings and multi-vehicle
garages. We have to opt in favour of water-efficient devices, for
example, and reduce our use of carbon fuels and energy.
But at another level we have to challenge corporatisation: global
political, economic and social structures that force millions to
live in squalor burdened by crippling debt while a few continue
to accumulate wealth from the Common Wealth of the planet.
Nationally we have to speak out and say with the same passion
as we do on refugees that some trade and agricultural practices
have to stop or be severely restricted in favour of restoring ecosystems.
We have to say that land clearance and old growth logging has to
stop. We have to question the morality of mining uranium. We must
convert quickly to a non-carbon economy, sign the Kyoto Protocol
and adopt policies that protect wetlands and reefs from unsustainable
tourism development and promote eco-tourism and renewable energy
But all this is hard
because it means that it will affect someone’s
job somewhere and someone’s capacity to develop or expand
their business and it will incur the wrath of political parties
no more so than in Australia because despite our urban lifestyles,
we are still a resource-based economy where the popular mythology
of the outback has it that real men in real jobs work on farms,
down mines, build dams, log forests or drive trucks, and in their
spare time shoot and hunt and fish and live by the refrain that
if it moves shoot it and if it doesn’t chop it down.
If you challenge this mythology, you are attacked for challenging
very essence of our self identity.
Status is determined not by the kind of person you are but by
the amount of material wealth you have accumulated. It is not safe,
popular or politic in churches or schools or the public debate
to speak out in opposition to development in this country no matter
how unsustainable it is. We are still living in a nation where
if you speak for the environment you are labelled as anti-development.
We have to reach a stage where we realise that development has
to be ecologically sustainable or it is not acceptable and we have
to be courageous enough to say so. We need to understand that once
basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about
being more, not having more. We have to reach a stage where gross
demonstration of materialism is seen as socially unacceptable.
This will require courage and ingenuity. In Australia we have
the knowledge and technology to provide for all at a reduced rate
of consumption and to reduce our impact or ecological footprint
on the environment and to assist our Pacific and Asian neighbours
to adopt ecologically sustainable practices so that they can remain
in their own countries and not be forced to leave as refugees.
But that will require governments to redirect resources away from
ecologically unsustainable industries and practices and towards
employment restructuring, education and retraining, especially
in the primary industry sector, and towards promoting employment
in the emerging fields of environmental technology, management
and energy efficiency for example.
It will require a much greater political generosity of spirit,
resources and endeavour with our Asian and Pacific neighbours and
a policy commitment to technological transfer, multi-lateralism
and to the United Nations. We have to have the courage as active
citizens to stand up and demand it of those standing for political
In Tasmania, following the release of the Social Justice statement
and The Garden Planet, members of the clergy were harangued by
those who are employed in the native forest logging and woodchip
industry and for the first time ever some parishioners walked out
of Mass. In spite of the fact that the native forest industry in
Tasmania has shed jobs dramatically in the last decade as it has
increased woodchipping and company profits, it is always the workers
who are manipulated by the companies to oppose old growth protection.
Huge pressure was brought to bear to silence the church on the
basis of jobs. Three moral imperatives were on a collision course:
the right of every person to the dignity of work, the right of
ecosystems to exist, and the right of future generations to experience
and benefit from old growth forest ecosystems.
Elsewhere in the country, the Bishops were threatened with legal
action from a polluter because they dared to alert the public to
pollution issues. After the release of the statement on global
warming, a Federal Minister told the Bishops to stick to religion
and keep out of things that did not concern them.
Yet the moral imperative says that we must all continue with courage.
The Church has a major role in assisting faith communities across
Australia to work through the anger and frustration which arises
when protecting ecosystems comes into conflict with current industrial
practices and employment patterns. The ability of the Churches
to educate their parishioners and the community by raising awareness
of the centrality of ecology to theology will be critical to ecological
conversion and intergenerational equity on a planetary scale.
Although it will be
difficult, as Archbishop Bathersby said, “we
cannot seek to expand life in this world for ourselves and others
without taking up the cross.” I cannot emphasise enough
the critical role the churches have to play in mainstreaming
between the environmental and the economic, social, political
and spiritual challenges facing us all.
Pope John Paul II has recognised environmental vocations and again
I cannot underestimate the difference it will make to legitimising
environmental concerns in Australia if the churches stand beside
those campaigners standing for environmental protection, just as
they have stood beside those campaigning for peace, reconciliation
and social justice. In the Philippines Catholic priests supported
the campaigners on a hunger strike against the introduction of
genetically modified crops, in the Solomons they have stood beside
villagers opposing logging and in South Africa against the miners,
in Tasmania they stood beside those supporting forest protection.
Just as I experienced on Aitutaki, information alone is not a
driver for action. It has to be aligned to the values that people
hold. Thus a huge responsibility lies with the Churches, both in
the developed and in the developing world, to educate their followers
to take up the challenge of addressing global sustainability at
a personal and institutional level as a matter of faith, justice,
intergenerational equity and survival. Imagine what a difference
1 billion Catholics committed to sustainability could make.
One way of doing so is to promote the Earth Charterxviii as
operationalising the theology, values and principles of Christianity
pertain to the environment. This document emerged from the need
a set of principles which would underpin sustainable development.
It was part of the unfinished business of the Rio Earth Summit
Conference in 1992 and it reflects extensive international
consultation conducted ever since.
It calls for respect and care for the community of life, ecological
integrity, social and economic justice and democracy, non-violence
and peace. It has been supported by UNESCO and forms the basis
of the Global Greens Charter adopted by the Green political parties
of the world.
In conclusion, when
I was at school at St Mary’s College
in Hobart, the Presentation nuns inculcated in us a sense
of justice and personal responsibility, to stand up for what we
regardless of the consequences or whether we would see immediate
results. It has sustained me throughout my life and kept
me optimistic because it is reassuring in the struggle to know
that it is enough
to have tried. It is summed up in the words of Schumacher,
must do what we conceive to be the right thing and not bother
our heads or burden our souls with whether or not
we will be successful, because if we do not do the right thing
be doing the wrong thing, we will be part of the disease
not part of the cure.”xix
I look forward to working with everyone inside and outside the
Christian church community to give effect to ecological conversion
so that the Common Wealth of the Earth is reclaimed for the Common
Good as was envisaged when the Australian Catholic Bishops released
their statement in 1992 and as has been championed by Pope John
Paul II. In time to come his call for ecological conversion will
be seen as the most visionary, insightful and prophetic initiative
of his papacy.
John Bathersby, Queensland Launch of Catholic Earthcare Australia,
Marymount Qld, 5 June 2003.
ii Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, A Statement
on the Distribution of Wealth in Australia, Common Wealth
for the Common Good, Collins Dove, Victoria,
1992, p 26.
iii Guerilla forces from surrounding Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe
armed by weapons supplied by UK and French companies have burned villages and
villagers into the World Heritage Area to mine coltan. The 10,000 miners have
no option but to eat animals and birds to survive. 88% of the world’s
arms are produced by five members of the UN Security Council: UK, USA, France,
iv R Rosenblatt, Time Magazine, April/May 2000.
v Pope John Paul II, Homily in Val Visdene, Italy 1990.
vi Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and The
New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1987.
vii Archbishop John Bathersby, Queensland Launch of Catholic Earthcare Australia,
Marymount Qld, 5 June 2003.
viii Pope John Paul II, General Audience, 17 January 2001.
ix Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 34.
x Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, A Statement on the Distribution
of Wealth in Australia, Common Wealth for the Common Good, Collins Dove, Victoria,
1992, p 26.
xi Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, p 34.
xii Common Wealth for the Common Good, p 27.
xiii Archbishop John Bathersby, National Launch of Catholic Earthcare Australia,
St Francis of Assisi Church, Paddington, Sydney NSW, 30 June 2002.
xiv State of the Environment Report, Commonwealth Government, Canberra, Australia,
xv Martin Luther King.
xvi Archdiocese of Brisbane Lenten Programme 2003, Attending to the Sacred,
was a great example of this new challenging thinking.
xvii A New Earth: The Environmental Challenge, 2002 Social Justice Sunday Statement.
xviii The Earth Charter, www.earthcharter.org
xix Ernst F Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed, Harper and Row,
is pictured here on the right with Mary Tinney rsm
and Mark Copland,
both of whom made a response to her address
here to download a pdf version of Christine's address (152
here for Mary Tinney's response to Christine's address