Global View on the Use of Fuel

by Dorothy Fuchs, SND on May 20, 2014

in Blogs

The early months of 2014 were marked by flash floods in many parts of the nation, including southern California, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, as well as in the southeastern part of the United States, to cite a few examples.  In 2013 the United States spent $120 billion dollars on relief related to disasters such as floods.

There seems to be less and less reason for global warming naysayers to deny what is happening.  In April, 2013, speaking to the President of Ecuador, Pope Francis said, “Take good care of creation.   St. Francis wanted that.   People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.  If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it.”   The issues of global warming and consumption of fossil fuels are directly related.   Americans continue to consume more energy than any other nation, based on per capita use.   The ongoing disparity in production and use of fossil fuels requires our attention.

In the April, 2014 issue of National Geographic, in the article on “Coal – The Invisible Carbon”, it states there are 300 million people in India without electricity.   Things we take for granted, such as refrigeration, lights, access to radio and television, are simply out of reach for these people.  Yet India has the fifth largest coal reserves in the world.  Is it any wonder that Indian workers, including children, work in dangerous conditions, in order to extract this fossil fuel, coal, which would give them greater possibility of acquiring electricity?  This same article in National Georgraphic, described the mines in which workers dig out coal, where the mining shafts are insufficiently supported, making collapse of the shaft a real possibility.   Miners are given no protective masks, so that they are breathing in coal dust as they work.  Pay is very meager.

What is our role in this picture?    Surely it is not to give up our televisions and refrigerators.  On the other hand, will we respect nature?   If we do not, we cannot expect nature to do other than what is inscribed in its very being to protect itself.   Is there a radio that is plugged in that we seldom used, that can be unplugged?   Can we refrain from getting the car to the perfect temperature immediately, waiting a few minutes to allow the course of nature to partially dispel the hot air in summer, or in winter to more gradually warm the car?   Recycling is an important part of the energy story.

Here in Northeast Ohio we can go outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature, especially during the spring and summer months.   We have much reason for gratitude.   The beauty of nature nourishes our spirit and body.  As we listen to the chirping of the birds, and the soft gentle rain failing we are reminded of this great gift of nature.   Let us heed nature, so that all may benefit from the gifts of creation.

Add your comments.  How can we  find one way to reduce our use of energy, in order that more people can share in the benefits of creation?

Sr. Dorothy Fuchs, SND,  was a high school teacher for twenty-nine years.  When teaching World Culture, religion and U.S. History  Sr. Dorothy tried to give her students the sense of the inherent dignity of people of all cultures, the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate events in history, and the realization of the  gifts of our Catholic faith, a faith that teaches that all people are children of God.  For fourteen years Sister Dorothy was a pastoral minister. For twelve if those years Sister served on the staff of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, where as staff liaison to the Social Concerns Committee she worked with the committee to promote aware of current social justice issues.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Novak May 22, 2014 at 11:16 am

Dorothy, thank you for once again reminding us of what it means practically to take care of our one earth! That quote from Pope Francis hits home when we think of the many places that have been hit by extreme weather conditions.


Susan Kusz, SND May 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

Dorothy … thanks for the reflection. Timely. All readers: this was just given to our Toledo SND Eco-group from Sr. Pat Dorobek in Rome …


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