If you are dead and God is indeed going to judge you on what you have done right and wrong in your mortal life, then an installation of solar panels on your rooftop will be a big tick on the ‘holy deeds’ column, while pollution and that new Hummer will be a giant blot in the ‘sin list’. That is not something coming from us, but directly from the office of the Holy Pope, as even the Pope’s headquarters is going green and riding the global eco wave with new solar panel installation on top of the famous St. Peter’s Basilica now in place. The new solar roof of the Vatican will provide 300 megawatt hours of energy and reduce carbon emissions by 225 tons annually.
The solar roof costs approximately $1.6 million and of course, it was donated to the Vatican, but this still is a major step forward for the environment as an official endorsement from the hierarchy of the church and now a complete backing does indeed go a long way in changing people’s mindset. Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, governor of Vatican City also stated that the Vatican was considering the installation of solar panels on 740 acres of land known as Santa Maria di Galeria, which lays North of Rome and is used as the radio broadcasting station for Vatican. If this comes through, the Vatican could export solar energy to Italy.
In the Vatican-issued ‘additional deadly sins’ list, the focus was squarely on environment. And now its aim of going 20% renewable by 2020 is indeed commendable. It is both important and amazing how the Church can go a long way in promoting and reinforcing essential scientific changes in civil society. As always, science and the church working hand in hand is better than looking eye to eye!