The Pope at Congress: Care for Nature and the Poor
One interesting point about the Pope’s visit to Congress, as highlighted in this article, is his diplomatic approach to the debate on climate change. It is indeed curious that while the Pope has been rather candid on this matter in other forums, he chose to deliver his message in such a way that would inspire action without antagonizing conservatives. This was probably aimed at proving the possibility for the climate change question to be addressed in an environment that nurtures bi-partisan trust. It seems the Pope was intent on winning hearts to the pro-action camp. Another interesting factor is his praise for capitalism and its advantages, unlike in previous cases where the Pope has decried the evils of this economic system. This was quite unexpected. It should be noted that while the Pope provided useful insights on how to better human welfare, he outlined broad policy deliverables but failed to give practical strategies of achieving these objectives. Therefore, it would appear that while everyone is clear on the intended aims of combating poverty and facilitating environmental sustainability, the optimal set of strategies is open to multiple interpretations. However, this notwithstanding, there are vital lessons to be drawn from the Pope’s address to Congress. One key lesson is that if the war on the vagaries of climate change is to be won, then it is important to co-opt everyone in the fight and this is best-achieved through diplomacy rather than engaging in pointless and protracted blame games. The other lesson is that the human factor should be at the centre of this war. At the end of the day, business and partisan interests should be set aside for the sake of doing what is best for humanity.
Modifying the Endless Debate over Genetically Modified Crops
This article addresses the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) from a refreshing perspective. Rather than take a radical pro-GMO or anti-GMO stance, it presents a rational analysis of the issue against a backdrop of laid out facts that are a cause for concern. It is interesting to see how the author highlights the similarities between this issue and the climate change debate, particularly how the antagonists in both matters persistently question the science. It is also an interesting proposition to suggest that manufacturers of GMO support the labeling of their products with a view to gaining consumer trust. Given the practical implications of this, especially in light of the assiduous campaigns by the anti-GMO brigade, one would be curious to see how manufacturers react to this suggestion. One thing that remains vague though is whether science can definitively put to rest the long term health concerns raised about consuming genetically modified food products. As long as research is still ongoing, this will always be a grey area. Nevertheless, a critical lesson that can be learned from this article is that genetic modification, while playing an important role in facilitating sustainability, is not the silver bullet against the global problem of food insecurity. Conventional best farming practices should be used in combination with this scientific breakthrough in order to secure even more gains.