“The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.”
– Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate
Creation is not raw material to be used as we will. Instead, it is a gift from God, and its resources are to be prudently used in humble stewardship. Our duties to the environment are linked to our duties towards others. As Pope Francis has taught in Laudato Si, everything is connected. Our use of resources in our own life must be considered within the wider context of solidarity with the poor, the foreigner, and those who will live after us.
Public policy should help us as a community be good stewards of the resources with which God has entrusted us. The goal should not to be to preserve nature untouched, but to wisely shape our use of and interaction with it. This understanding of our God-given duty to be good stewards should inform laws governing agriculture, conservation, and energy.