The Pope Weighs In on Climate Change

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jun 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM


Pope Francis Speaks Out

Pope Francis is calling for an environmental revolution - a wake up call to not just the 1.2 billion Catholics across the globe, but to humanity as a whole.

In his encyclical address, an "authoritative teaching" document traditionally addressed from St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis makes his stance clear: climate change impacts us all, especially the poor. To prevent its catastrophic consequences we need an ethical and economic shift, a revolution in hearts and minds.   

Francis' encyclical address was more than a year in the making and drew from the work of dozens of scientists, theologians, scholars from various fields and previous popes.  It was published in at least five languages during a news conference at the Vatican. 

The Root of the Problem

In his powerful and poignant address, Pope Francis called out industrialized countries for the unbalanced burden they are putting on poorer nations:  developing countries have significantly less resources to deal with rising oceans, droughts and flooding - they have the biggest burden, while having contributed the least to the "carbon problem."   If humanity does not take carbon pollution seriously, Francis argued, the changing climate will have grave implications for poor communities who lack the resources to adapt or protect themselves from natural disaster.

Further, Pope Francis called out the heedless worship of technology, societal addiction to fossil fuels and compulsive consumerism as root causes of climate change.  The Pope said humanity's "reckless" behavior has pushed the planet to a perilous "breaking point."

And while Pope Francis' address focused more on large picture concerns, he did give examples of immediate action steps that people can take to address climate change including recycling and improving public transportation.  Pope Francis repeatedly urged deep thinking and dialogue to address the complex symptoms now plaguing the planet

The Goal

Ultimately Pope Francis' primary aim is for humanity to initiate more mindful means of caring for "our common home."

"Yet all is not lost," Francis said. "Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning."

"Humanity is called to create awareness of the need to change styles of life, production and consumption, to combat this warming or, at least, the human causes that produce or accentuate it.”

Want to be part of the solution?  Consider installing solar on your home today.


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