GDP Versus Nature: Can They Co-Exist?

Major Vatican Conference Underway on Sustainable Development

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Too often, economic plans are put into effect without consideration of the effect upon natural resources and the consequences.

To address this situation, a joint workshop of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is being held 2-6 May, 2014.

Experts will be meeting under the theme “Humanities interchanges with Nature Relative to Food, Health and Energy,” according to www.casinapioiv.va.

Debate will centre around such questions as: are humanity’s dealings with nature sustainable? What is the status of the human person in a world where science predominates? How should we perceive nature and what is a good relationship between humanity and nature? And should one expect the global economic growth that has been experienced over the past six decades to continue for the foreseeable future? 

Participants include Professors Werner Arber, Margaret S. Archer, Mary Ann Glendon, and Jeffrey Sachs.

The environment was of major concert to Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis is currently 
preparing a possible encyclical on “human ecology”, according to the National Catholic Register.

In his message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace on 1 January, 2014, Francis that the Christian view of creation “includes a positive judgment about the legitimacy of interventions on nature if these are meant to be beneficial and are performed responsibly.”

He said this can be done by “acknowledging the ‘grammar’ inscribed in nature and by wisely using resources for the benefit of all, with respect for the beauty, finality and usefulness of every living being and its place in the ecosystem.”

Pope Francis said nature, in a word, “is at our disposition and we are called to exercise a responsible stewardship over it.” (D.C.L.)


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