From Pope Benedict XVI:
The first step for a just relationship with the surrounding world is precisely the recognition, on the part of human beings, of our condition as creatures: humans are not God, but are his image. We should therefore strive to become more attentive to the presence of God all around us. In all of creation and, especially in human beings, there is a kind of epiphany of God. “Those who can recognize in the cosmos the reflections of the Creator’s invisible face, tend to have greater love for creatures” (Benedict XVI, Homily for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, 1 Jan. 2010).
Men and women will be capable of respecting creation, to the extent in which they have a full appreciation of life; otherwise they will be inclined to condemn themselves and their surroundings, to respect neither the environment they live in nor creation. Thus, the first ecology that is in need of defence is “human ecology” (cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate, n. 51). It is also important to say that without clearly defending human life, from conception until natural death; without defending the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman; without truly defending those who are excluded and marginalized from society, without forgetting in this context those that have lost everything, victims of natural disasters, we could never speak of an authentic defence of the environment.