Dominion from Latin is dominium meaning ownership and from the root dominus or master as shown online at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dominion When dominion is applied contemporaneously to Genesis 1, you will read in verse twenty six; “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion or “have ownership and be master over” the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth…” Then it goes on to read at verse twenty eight; “God blessed them: and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and “have ownership and be master” or have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth…” While it is important to care for living things specifically, it is equally important to understand that we are the owners of our planet as a whole. We are due ordained by our creator to subdue, replenish and be master over all the earth. This is no small task and must be considered in terms of global climate change and it does not matter if it is caused by human actions or not.
“Climate change is shrinking the world's mountain glaciers, whose retreat creates new risks for humans and sensitive ecosystems alike, warns a new report commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church… The widespread loss of ice and snow in the world's mountain glaciers is some of the clearest evidence we have for global changes in the climate system," concludes the analysis, which will be delivered to Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis sums the issue up in “LAUDATO SI” released in 2015 where he speaks of the earth as our sister, and how we must care for our home. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage, and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.” He goes on later to speak of the climate as a common good for all that must be considered in our human existence. Because human life is dependent upon a sustained range of degrees, we should be very careful not to contribute to moving the planetary climate outside of a life sustaining place for all of creation. Pope Francis stands with many prior popes on this issue and he is more exacting in what needs to be done than any other pope in history. This is not his criticism; it is a prophetic word for those who have ears to hear in our day. If you have not listened to the voice of God concerning what should be done then now is the time to begin to listen to his still small voice as it cries out for justice. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production, and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors like volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle, yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides among others that are released mainly as a result of human activity. the arguments of is it a natural climatic cycle or is it caused by humans and the industrial revolution is an argument that no longer matters. We are morally obliged by our creator to be good stewards of the gift given; planet earth our home. While it may be true that no one individual doing anything will make a difference in terms of mitigating global climate change. I beg to differ with that misconception because for mankind to answer to the creator, everything matters and care for our planet as its master and owner is the universal reality for all humans and living individually different is exactly what the new evangelization calls us to. Nothing in Christianity is easy and this fight is a losing battle for the near future that can only be won in time, one heart at a time. This fight as in all of Christianity is not about who is right but about what is right for our corporal home the earth.
So, where does one begin? The very first thing to be done is easy and simple, start by recycling as much as you possibly can. This idea of recycling can actually be a profitable proposal for serious consideration. Collecting cans and trading them for cash is but one small way to make your difference and get paid to do it. For those of us with the means, the second thing to do as soon as you are practically able is to convert as entirely as possible to renewable energy like solar power and electric cars. The third thing is to get involved at a minimum by at least supporting elected officials who are willing to legislate the mitigation of climate change as proactively as they possibly can. Collectively all governments of our planet must support efforts to internationally mitigate climate change. Climate change has no national boundary and so internationally is what we as the people of earth must consider if we are to remain as the owners and masters of such a wonderful gift; planet earth as our home.