The Earth is not a math problem

“The earth, our home,” Pope Francis wrote, “is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” That was five years ago. Many observers, not only in secular media but in “conservative” Catholic circles as well, misunderstood the point of his encyclical on the subject of what he calls “human ecology” by insisting that its theme was climate change.

This is a very narrow understanding of the great crisis of our age, the dimensions of which transcend graphs and their apparently alarming upward-sloping lines. The problem of human ecology that we are confronted with is the absorption of all creation into a sinuous continuum of decontextualized economic exchange.


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