A CLOUD of massive moral and social significance. is on the horizon and should be given the Church's serious attention.
Because oil is beginning to run out, steps are being taken to maintain the supply of motor-fuel by conversion of vegetable matter. This is chemically, and in a narrow sense economically. feasible on a large scale. Couple this with the fact that the car is the developed nations' god. and the following consequences are certain unless the policy is vigorously fought now.
At first. non-food-producing land will be used: then, potentially food. producing land: and finally as more and more oil wells dry up and big profits are at stake, land already used for food-production will be turned over to motor-fuel production.
As a result those at present starving in the world will continue to starve because the extra food will not be grown. Then, as land at present producing food is converted to motor fuel production, the numbers or the starving will increase. History shows unequivocally that those enjoying well-entrenched privilege usually fight ruthlessly to preserve their privilege. The car is a well entrenched privilege and will be no exception to this rule. Conscience will be stifled by sophistry.
Arguments such as "cars are essential and processing vegetable matter to produce fuel will provide more jobs than just growing food does" will be trotted out.
The developed nations accept as normal and without genuine twinge of conscience 150.000 killings by vehicle per year, with the maimed and mangled counted in millions. They will certainly not hesitate to add to this holocaust the starving to death of many more as a fair price for the privilege of using their cars.
All Catholics should be concerned at this highly un-Christian prospect.
H. Atkinson Tyne and Wear