Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus I’ve been wondering about its connection to climate change. I hadn’t seen anything in the news at all about any connection. It was just one of my private thoughts until yesterday when I happened to be looking at TED talks. I just happened to select a talk given recently at Southern Methodist University by Alanna Shaikh . Until yesterday I’d never heard of her but what she shared in her twenty minute talk was absolutely breathtaking and confirmed for me that Covid-19 is indeed connected to how we have been taking care of our common home.
When Pope Francis and others have spoken about the need to address climate change and income inequality they’ve been shouted down by those who said we cannot afford the economic strain that such efforts would entail. It seems that Mother Earth is refuting that madness in a way that only she could. Reflecting on the words of Pope Francis its becoming clearer that we have sinned and that we are paying dearly for those sins.
“The earth now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters. – Pope FrancisLaudato Si – May 24, 2015