HOW WOLVES CHANGE RIVERS – Laudato Si Insights
In his ground-breaking environmental encyclical letter, Laudato Si, addressed not just to Roman Catholics but to all humanity, Pope Francis emphasized the fact that all life is interconnected. Humans, therefore, while having a profound responsibility to care for one another, must also recognize that we have an equally profound responsibility to care for our common home, the Earth.
Laudato Si challenges the concept that Humanity is the pinnacle of God’s Creation and, therefore, as Lord and Master of the Earth, is free to exploit it at will. The encyclical introduces us to a new concept; something understood by mystics such as St. Francis of Assisi and the ancient wisdom of indigenous peoples. We are children of the planet and must show the same love and respect to Mother Earth, our source of sustenance, as we would to our human mothers.
What is particularly inspiring about Laudato Si is that it is based on a respectful dialogue between religion and science. The dialogue is not about proving or disproving the existence of God but on agreeing that life is a sacred gift.
Religion and Science is beginning to agree that we must combine our intelligence and influence to protect the gift of the Earth, not only for future generations of humanity, but also to protect the delicate and fragile balance of diversity amongst all living species.
The following short film was produced by the organization ‘Sustainable Human’ (formally ‘Sustainable Man’) in February 2014 and offered as ‘a gift to humanity’ by Chris and Dawn Agnos, with footage and music compiled by Steve Agnos.
While not related to the insights offered in Laudato Si, this film, “Wolves Change Rivers’, could have been made as a visual compendium to Pope Francis’ letter. It is a stunningly beautiful revelation of how the balance of nature knows how to regulate itself and can, when balance is returned, stimulate the healing process.
When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent for nearly 70 years, the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred, including their impact on the Yellowstone rivers.
A trophic cascade is an ecological process that starts from the top of the food chain and tumbles all the way down to the bottom. What happened in the Yellowstone National Park in the United States is a classic example when wolves were reintroduced in 1995. Narrator and writer, George Monbiot, informs his listeners: “We all know that Wolves kill various species of animals. But perhaps we are slightly less aware that they give life to many others…”
Already watched by almost 34 million viewers on YouTube, you may deepen your appreciation of wolves and marvel, through faith, in the wonder of our Creator God.
You may view ‘How Wolves Change Rivers’ by clicking here:
You can access the info-graphic above, demonstrating the wolves ‘trophic cascade’ by clicking here: