Suggestions derived from Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si”

Pope Francis encyclical “Laudate Si” which came out on 24 May was innovative as well as controversial. It acknowledged the reality of Climate Change and stated that we all have a duty to safeguard God’s creation, our planet, by working together to preserve the environment and make the world a better place for everyone.

Here are some practical suggestions addressed to everyone – individuals, corporations and governments – made by Pope Francis. (The numbers in brackets refer to relevant paragraphs in the encyclical)

  1. Don’t carry on denying that there is a problem with the environment. You cannot remain indifferent to what is happening or say that there is nothing you can do (14,59)
  2. Let us have an honest debate and clear policies. We cannot expect certain matters to be resolved once and for all. We constantly need to revise and reformulate solutions ((26.60,285)
  3. Use less, reuse, recycle. Take care of resources and use them efficiently. Consume in moderation, especially in the case of resources which are not renewable ((22,192)
  4. Reduce pollutants and greenhouse gasses. Use clean renewable energy. Find substitutes for fossil fuels (26, 265)
  5. Provide housing and buildings that are ecological and energy efficient (26, 180)
  6. Protect drinking water supplies. Clean, safe water should be affordable for everyone, especially the poorest (27-29, 164)
  7. Keep oceans and rivers clean and free from pollutants. Use biodegradable detergents at home and for businesses ((30, 174)
  8. Reduce or eliminate use of toxic pesticides and herbicides that harm wildlife, birds and insects (34)
  9. Allow migrating species to continue to live and flourish by creating “biological corridors” and not destroy them by building dams, motorways and large construction projects (35)
  10. Protect biodiversity, especially rainforests and coastal areas (39)
  11. Create well-designed communities with green spaces and open spaces that can be enjoyed by everyone, places that encourage people to gather together and get to know each other (44,45,113,143,147)
  12. Eliminate “pollution of the mind” – think deeply, live wisely, love deeply (47)
  13. Don’t become a victim of “screen addiction”, information overload and too many distractions. Beware depression and isolation caused by overreliance on electronic media – maintain social interaction with other people (47)
  14. Avoid saying empty, beautiful phrases that mean nothing. Get to know the poor and those who are suffering because in that way your conscience will urge you to do something (49)


More of Pope Francis’ suggestions for making the world a better place to live will be featured in next week’s Newsletter.