Predatory Extractivism: Demanding a Just Response
“When nature is viewed solely as source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society.” – Pope Francis, Laudato Si #82
We stand in solidarity with communities harmed by extractive industries such as mineral and coal mining, oil and gas drilling, pipelines and other infrastructure, mega-hydroelectric dams, large-scale corporate agriculture and even, in some cases, renewable energy projects. We respond as people of faith, as advocates and as people who can make moral choices with our purchases.
Extractivism from 1400s through Today
Extractivism is rooted in a colonial and racist mindset that dates back more than 500 years. The Sisters of Mercy have created an interactive timeline to highlight examples of this development model over the centuries in parts of the world where we have a presence.
Papal decrees from 1452 to 1493 that became known collectively as the Doctrine of Discovery supported Europe’s strategy of exclusive rights to the lands “discovered” during this period of exploration. This endorsed the taking of indigenous lands and exploitation of people for the benefit of Christian, colonial powers. You may learn more in this reflection and discussion guide; you may borrow the referenced documentary from your justice coordinator or order it here.