from The Globe and Mail:
Bishop questions ‘moral legitimacy’ of oil sands
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — The Roman Catholic bishop for the region around Alberta’s massive oil sands projects is questioning the “moral legitimacy” of their rapid development, saying their destructive effect on the environment is against God’s plan for the earth. Bishop Luc Bouchard says in a pastoral letter posted to the website of the Diocese of St. Paul that the Earth is a gift that, undamaged, allows people to sense God’s existence.
“Therefore, even great financial gain does not justify serious harm to the environment.”
Oil sands developments threaten the natural order on an overwhelming scale, he writes.
“The moral problem does not lie in government and industry’s lack of a sincere desire to find a solution; the moral problem lies in their racing ahead and aggressively expanding the oil sands industry despite the fact that serious environmental problems remain unsolved after more than 40 years of on-going research,” the letter says.
“The moral question has been left to market forces and self-regulation to resolve, when what is urgently required is moral vision and leadership.”