Pope Francis issued a new statement on climate change. He took aim at climate change deniers and claimed many Americans are being “irresponsible” when it comes to doing what’s right for the planet.
The Pope Speaks
Pope Francis just released a 7,000-word encyclical called “Laudate Deum,” which translates to “Praise God” in Latin.
Climate Change Is on the Agenda
“Laudate Deum” is the follow-up to his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si.” It features him once again discussing climate change.
A Call for Action
In “Laudate Deum,” Pope Francis pleads with people from all around the world to take more action when it comes to combating climate change.
A Stern Warning
Pope Francis writes about how people haven’t done enough yet to fight back against climate change. He says this complacency has resulted in more problems over the last decade.
Doing More Is Necessary
“Our responses have not been adequate,” Pope Francis writes, “while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.”
Is the Damage Already Done?
Pope Francis also suggests that too much damage has already been done to certain parts of the planet, like the world’s oceans.
The “Irreversible” Climate Change Effects
“Some effects of the climate crisis are already irreversible,” Pope Francis writes, “at least for several hundred years, such as the increase in the global temperature of the oceans, their acidification, and the decrease of oxygen.”
Calling Out Climate Change Deniers
At one point, Pope Francis takes aim at the many climate change deniers from across the world.
Accepting the Truth
“Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over, or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident,” Pope Francis writes.
“No one can ignore the fact that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather phenomena, frequent periods of unusual heat, and other cries of protest.”
Pope Francis also calls out Americans in his encyclical and refers to them as “irresponsible” when it comes to how they lead their lives.
A Reality Check for the U.S.
“If we consider that emissions per individual in the United States are about two times greater than those of individuals living in China and about seven times greater than the average of the poorest countries, we can state that a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model would have a significant long-term impact,” Pope Francis writes.
A Message for World Leaders and Large Corporations
Pope Francis shares a strong message for world leaders and large corporations, too. He writes about how many of them have chosen to prioritize profits over the planet.
A Lost Cause?
“Regrettably, the climate change crisis is not exactly a matter that interests the great economic powers, whose concern is with the greatest profit possible at minimal cost and in the shortest amount of time,” Pope Francis writes.
Holding the Catholic Church Accountable
Pope Francis doesn’t let the Catholic Church off the hook, either. He claims Church leaders need to take climate change more seriously from now on.
An Uphill Battle
Pope Francis writes about how he has faced “certain dismissive and scarcely reasonable opinions…even within the Catholic Church” when the topic of climate change has been brought up.
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