Josephite Justice Network
Seeking to live in right relationship with each other and all of creation
- TRANSPORT -
Father, we know that in all creation only the human family has strayed from the sacred way. We knowthat we are the ones who must, together, come back to walk in your sacred way. Father, teach us love,compassion and honour, that we may heal the earth and heal each other.
(A prayer from the Obijway nation of Canada )
The development in the 20
century of oildriven means of mass transport is one of the major contributors to global warming.Globally, land transport contributes 14%of greenhouse emissions.Air transport contributes 1.5% to globalemissions.The pollution and congestion from thevolume of road transport in our cities canhave negative effects on the quality of life.Dependence on oil for transport has to bereviewed not only for ecological reasonsbut because the world is close to “peak oil”production. Oil is a finite resource.Oil dependence also has also economicconsequences as high fuel cost have a flowon effect through the economy and impactmore on the poor.
There is a search for more fuel efficientvehicles and for alternative fuels.Bio-fuels are a possible solution and theEU has a target of 10% biofuel transportby 2020. This has had the effect of takingland out of food production; in Tanzania20% of farm land has been turned over forthe production of biofuels. This is repeatedin other African countries producing foodshortages and increased poverty.Increased costs for petrol can have apositive effect if they reduced dependenceon private cars and result in provision of better public transport.The desire for “out of season” producetransported half way around the worldadds to the greenhouse gas emissionsbecause of the transport required.
A call to ecological conversion
“Perhaps reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are also scares which mark the surface of our earth: erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world’s mineral and ocean resources in orderto fuel an insatiable consumption.Some of you come from island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising water levels;others from nations suffering the effects of devastating drought.God’s wondrous creation is sometimes experiences as almost hostile to its stewards, even somethingdangerous.How can what is ‘good’ appear so threatening?”
Pope Benedict XV, WYD, Sydney.