On a first reading of Pope Benedict’s new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, I’m struck by the consonance in many of the pope’s statements with the key values of the worldwide Green movement. The Greens have consistently espoused and based their policies on what they call the Ten Key Values (or a summary Four Pillars in the case of some of the world's Green parties). These include such concepts as “community-based economics,” “grassroots democracy,” “decentralization,” “future focus,” “ecological awareness,” "social justice," and more.
These Green ideas, some originating in the writings of economic thinker E. F. Schumacher, are a blueprint for shaping a world economy based on real human values. Similarly, Benedict’s encyclical urges Christian humanism as the basis for a world order.
The subject of development in the world, the encyclical states, is closely related to duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment. “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.” This is ecological awareness of the first order.