World Streets accepts this wise invitation of open discussion of these critical matters with grateful thanks to the Pope and the Vatican, and a genuine desire to participate usefully.
Pope Francis has invited us all, invited the world in all its varieties and contradictions, to read, ponder and comment on the carefully crafted forty thousand words of his Encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. In the opening lines of the long, varied and challenging document he addresses us in these words.
In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home. . . I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.
Francis is a sophisticated world citizen, has a talented staff of thinkers and writers, and we can be quite sure that he and his team have anticipated just about any challenge or criticism that a feisty world can come up with. After all he is a Jesuit, a disciplined Christian tribe long accustomed to doing their homework before opening their mouths. So now that we have published the full text of the Encyclical and invited comment here in the pages of World Streets, we will now turn floor over to critical and other appreciations, exactly as Francis has asked. (You will also find extensive commentary and debate in our parallel Facebook site, The Citizens Mobility Forum at https://www.facebook.com/EquityInitiative.)
Now that the painstakingly framed words of the encyclical are firmly in place, and as such already speaking for themselves and the ideas and proposals he sets out, exposing the eventual blind spots and lacunae of the proclamation, it is time now not to drop to our knees and holler amen, but to accept his generous invitation and start to read, ponder and reason together carefully so that we can find ways best to put this important initiative to work for the causes of the planet, well-being, efficiency, social justice, and fairness to our children and future generations. And here we are already in the first days after the publication of the encyclical being richly served.
To get the ball rolling you will find here a section containing some of the first reactions, critical comments, proposals and discordant views that have come to our attention and which give us a first round of challenges in the arduous but necessary task of putting our heads together to see how we can best put this unexpected initiative to work.
- Pope’s climate change encyclical tells rich nations: pay your debt to the poor – By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian.
- The Pope’s wise advice on traffic, parking and public transit –
- The Pope’s Political Earthquake. By Ted Widmer. Politico Magazine. June 19, 2015
- Guide to encyclical on climate change – By Elfren S. Cruz. The Philippine Star. June 21, 2015
- A 9-Minute Guide to Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change : Biofuels Digest. J
More to follow. Climb aboard; this is going to be an interesting and we think most useful ride.
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About the editor:
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Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .