Environmental Education and the Pope’s Encyclical

When I founded the Go Green Initiative back in 2002, I saw myself as more of a child advocate than an environmentalist. The human health impact of pollution, and the break-neck speed at which our world is consuming finite natural resources, made me worry about the world I was leaving to my children. My motto was (and still is): “It’s not enough to prepare our children for the future. We must prepare the future for our children.” I simply could not stand by and leave my children’s future up to others, and so I joined hands with other concerned parents across the country and around the world, and together, we have created the Go Green Initiative movement which is active in 3,200 schools in all 50 U.S. states and in 73 countries around the world. We have implemented programs aimed at two powerful goals: to preserve and conserve natural resources for future generations, and to protect human health through environmental stewardship.

In the Pope’s new encyclical, Laudato Si, he devotes an entire section to what he calls, “Justice Between Generations”, and calls on all people – not just Catholics – to bring about “intergenerational solidarity…and reflect on our accountability before those who will have to endure the dire consequences.” It is my hope that all parents, teachers, and those who love children will cherish and enact this section of Laudato Si.

I had an hour-long conversation with Fr. James Martin, Editor-at-Large of America magazine on my radio show, Go Green Radio. We talked about many of the sections in the Pope’s guidance on environmental protection, including the use of fossil fuels, the relationship between the Catholic Church and science, the correlation between care for the planet and care for the poor, and much more! You can listen to the archived broadcast here, or download it for free from iTunes.