Agriculture and the Environment

| September 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

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Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.12

Americans are more conscious than ever of their responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. Years of successful public awareness campaigns and the work of tireless advocates have ensured that protecting creation is at the forefront of public discourse. Many landmark pieces of legislation have been passed in the last 50 years, including the federal Wilderness Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Yet, debates continue at the local, national and international levels about how to address environmental challenges such as climate change, the byproducts of hydraulic fracturing, soil and water contamination, air quality and the global competition for scarce natural resources.

Similarly, in protecting creation, attention must be paid to the proper management of agricultural resources and ensuring food security for all. The Church has indicated that these discussions are decisive and that they are “about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both the ‘human environment’ and the ‘natural environment.’ It is about our human stewardship of God’s creation and our responsibility to those who come after us.”

The United States Catholic bishops have stated that the following considerations should guide debates about environmental policy: “stewardship and the right to economic initiative and private property”; the needs of “future generations”; “population and authentic development”; and “caring for the poor and issues of equity.”13   Underscoring the urgency of the situation, Pope Francis recently said that if we destroy creation, then creation will destroy us. Prudent attention must be given to environmental and agricultural policy debates, as a proper human ecology cannot take shape unless it is fostered by a healthy natural ecology.

  • Where does the candidate stand on the importance of enacting policies that foster sustainable agricultural practices, and the promotion of family farms and local agriculture?
  • Where does the candidate stand on policies that promote the use of alternative and renewable sources of energy?    

 

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Category: Voter's Guide 2016