Earth Day: “We have the means to face the challenge”

In a video message, the Pope warns: the movement to destroy nature is very difficult to curb, but “there is still time” if “we work together instead of doing it alone”.

For a long time now, we have become more aware that nature deserves to be protected, and that human interactions with the biodiversity that God has given us must be done with the greatest attention and the greatest respect: taking care of biodiversity, taking care of nature. And all of this we have learned even more during this pandemic. This pandemic has shown us what happens when the world stops, takes a break, even for a few months. And the impact that is having on nature and on climate change, forcefully, in a sadly positive way, right? In other words, it hurts.

In addition, it shows us that global nature needs our lives on this planet. It involves all of us, albeit in multiple, different, and unequivocal forms; and it teaches us even more about what we need to do to create a just, equitable, environmentally safe planet. In summary, the Covid pandemic has taught us this interdependence, this sharing of the planet. Moreover, the two global disasters, the Covid and the climate, show that we no longer have time to wait. We are running out of time and, as Covid-19 has taught us, we have the means to face the challenge. We have the means. Now is the time to act, we are at the limit.

I would like to repeat an old Spanish saying: “God always forgives, we men forgive from time to time, nature no longer forgives”. And when this destruction of nature begins, it is very difficult to stop it. But there is still time. And we’ll be more resilient if we work together instead of doing it alone. The adversity that we are living with the pandemic, and that we already sense in climate change, must encourage us, must push us to innovation, to invention, to seek new paths. We do not come out of a crisis the same, we come out better or worse. That is the challenge, and if we do not come out better, we will walk a path of self-destruction.

May all of you … I too unite with you, in a call to all the leaders of the world so that they act with courage, that they act with justice and that they always speak the truth to the people, so that the people know how to guard against the destruction of the planet, how to protect the planet from the destruction that very often we unleash.

Thank you for what you do, thank you for your good intentions, thank you for coming together. And best wishes to all [and prosperity for all].

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