Due to Pope Francis' encyclical, what had been a fringe and at times a lonely voice, has suddenly become mainstream. It is our sense of being separate from the Earth that has allowed us to abuse it. If we held the Earth as sacred, as part of the living oneness to which we belong, could we treat it in this way -- would we pollute its rivers, kill off its species?
There's a new term being bandied about, and it's high time we paid heed: integral ecology. Whenever the same notion arises synchronously in a number of different contexts -- in this case the Catholic Church, the Occupy movement, the climate movement, and the new-economy movement -- it's an idea whose time has arrived.