Trash, trash and more trash


We looked with horror at the rubble after the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in France.  We looked at the rubble too, with shock and sadness after the bomb blasts in Sri Lanka.  Shocked and saddened because reportedly so many body parts were strewn about, they could hardly be identified.  Pairs of shoes lined up outside churches, reminders of worshippers who were no more.

Cyclones and floods. 

Cyclones,  two in Mocambique, also in Zimbabwe and Malawi caused massive floods that will leave indescribable devastation as the waters recede.  Right back at home in our own backyard in parts of Kwazulu Natal and the Eastern Cape centimetres of rain too caused massive flooding, mudslides and destruction of houses and roads, dragging people to their death.

Some such events happen constantly throughout the world but I have not seen images like those of trash piled up on beaches, even blocking Durban harbour for a time.  Piles of carelessly discarded plastic items were the clearest possible images of mass destruction of the environment for which we citizens are responsible. The plastic littering the coast could or would have ended up in the ocean, as no doubt much did, an even worse scenario for marine life. Are these not signs of the times, hardly acts of God, but consequences of global warming and climate change?

Who can be blamed?

Those who dump or the authorities who clearly do not provide the means to clear away the trash that mounts up right in front of peoples’ noses in informal settlements, on properties and roads along rivers in the catchment areas?

All these are signs of the times. People who have lost faith and hope and love too, for themselves, one another and the environment. People protest but we nevertheless abuse the environment, the world our common home as Pope Francis calls it, God’s world and our home. The way we deal with waste shows so little care and pride.

Days to Remember.

Last Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday, a devotion commonly practised everywhere throughout the year.  Its main focus is on God’s mercy and love in spite of our sinfulness which we do confess. Does environmental neglect qualify as social sin?  Does mercy demand greater care?

May 1st is Workers’ Day in SA and many other countries. The Church has dedicated the day to St Joseph the Worker.  May 8th is Election Day in our country.

Election promises.

Every party is lobbying to the point of dizziness for our votes. What are they promising?  A better life, a cleaner environment, or is that each one’s own responsibility? What are the parties offering in their manifestos?  Daily Maverick made an analyses of eco-issues which didn’t feature very strongly in any manifesto, but a nice thought comes from the EFF (who incidentally are often responsible for overturning dustbins during protests).  “The EFF has declared that all school children will clean up their school and surrounds together one day a week, whereas members of a specific community will have to tidy up their area once a month. The EFF does not outline exactly how it will enforce this rule.”  Here’s hoping and praying!  For God’s mercy endures forever,


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