Pope Francis calls for action to tackle climate change linking its impacts to poverty, inequality & social injustice
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Author: Chris Mooney, Washington Post (USA)
"In his sweeping encyclical on climate change Pope Francis reveals himself to be a master of scientific detail", 18 Jun 2015
In the 192-page paper released Thursday, Francis lays out the argument for a new partnership between science and religion to combat human-driven climate change — a position bringing him immediately into conflict with skeptics, whom he chides for their “denial." Francis urges taking public transit, carpooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, recycling — and boycotting certain products...“He is giving us a moral legitimacy to continue campaigning,” said a jubilant Giuseppe Onufrio, executive director of Greepeace in Italy who was set to join a June 28 march in St. Peter’s Square in support of the pope’s environmental stance. “Climate change is now an issue of social justice.”...In the document, Francis linked global warming to the overarching theme of his papacy — fighting inequality and global poverty. “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” Francis wrote, blaming a toxic cocktail of overconsumption, consumerism, dependence on fossil fuels and the errant indifference of the powerful and wealthy. He described a hell on Earth should nothing be done, one filled with more methane and carbon dioxide, acidification of oceans and the crippling of the global food supply...He called for a binding international treaty that would have rich countries help poorer ones adapt, including a move to help them switch from fossil fuels to clean energies such as solar power...
Author: Francis X. Rocca, Wall Street Journal
He writes that there is an “urgent and compelling” need for policies that reduce carbon emissions, among other ways, by “replacing fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.”...[T]he pope writes that “numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide and others) emitted above all due to human activity.”...The pope’s encyclical also comes as oil companies are turning increasingly vocal on climate change amid rising scrutiny from investors and governments. Many are looking to influence the debate by proposing remedies, including the imposition of a carbon tax, that might have a lesser impact on their business than more wide-ranging changes being sought by some...Many of the industries’ largest players are advocating a shift away from coal to cleaner-burning gas—which they are producing in ever larger volumes—as a means to mitigate climate change while continuing to meet rising energy demand in the coming decades...The pope wrote that powerful economic and political interests seek to “mask the problems or hide the symptoms, seeking only to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.” But he warned that global warming could worsen “if we continue with the current models of production and consumption.”...Pope Francis emphasized the unequal social effects of environmental problems, which he said “strike in a special way the weakest on the planet.” Unequal access to natural resources has led to an “ecological deficit” between the northern and southern hemispheres, with the former exploiting the latter to the enrichment of its industrial economy, he wrote...Part of the solution lies in adopting “another style of life,” featuring more environmentally conscious behavior, such as reducing use of paper, plastic and water; separating trash; car-sharing and turning off unnecessary lights, the pope wrote...[Refers to ExxonMobil]