The Blue Marble photograph of Earth, taken during Apollo 17 lunar mission 1972
Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar, warned this week that the world is facing "an environmental holocaust."
In an address to the conference of religious women of Asia and Oceania on Monday, the Cardinal said: "Pope Francis raised his voice against this impending disaster talking about modern sins, 'ecological sins' made individually and collectively by humans who destroy Mother Earth."
He observed: "Greed has sparked an ecological terrorism against Mother Earth. Climate change is real and the planet Earth overheats, causing thousands of 'environmental refugees'. Climate change is an atomic bomb waiting to explode. We are on the threshold of ecological apocalypse. This ecological apocalypse is the result of an ecological sin against God's creation."
He appealed to conference members: "It is urgent to strengthen the prophetic thrust, making oneself missionary of mercy to promote ecological justice."
The two documents of the Pope: Laudato si' and Misericordiae vultus are the reference point, said Bo: "We can talk about global ecological conversion" he observed, recalling a phrase introduced by John Paul II and insisting on the economic injustice and inequality.
Only one per cent of the rich owns 50% of the wealth in the world: "From here derives environmental injustice and ecological injustice. Greenhouse gases that increase global warming are emitted by rich countries. The United States, with a population of about 6% of the world, produce 40% of greenhouse gases. Who is dying? The poor. Poor countries are the most vulnerable to global warming. Cyclones, earthquakes, floods create thousands of victims of natural disasters.
"This is ecological terrorism. The powerful of this world decide who should live or die. Economic and ecological terrorists are unleashed against the poor".
The Cardinal said there is a need for "an integrated approach in the fight against poverty, to protect nature" and declared: "Ecological crisis is a moral crisis, it is an existential crisis: nature is mutilated for economic greed."
"Humanity has broken the pact with nature and this is why it is a profoundly moral issue: an ecological original sin, that needs an ecological conversion and an ecological evangelisation."
The Archbishop concluded: "Repent, God's creation is in danger, change your life to save the planet."