Pope Francis has publicly made known his position that climate change is real and human activity is the cause of it. On Thursday he'll be delivering a roughly 60-page encyclical to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics promoting action on the environment as a moral imperative. If you are a Christian and an anthropogenic global warming denier, is your resistance to AGW swayed in any way by the Pope's encyclical on climate change?
Scientists say pope may be the key player on climate changeScientists weary after years of often vicious opposition by doubters of their climate-change findings see this year as crucial to the planet's future because of a religious document expected from Pope Francis on Thursday.
The rare encyclical, or teaching letter, expected to promote climate action as a moral imperative could do more to slow global warming than international negotiations this year to limit greenhouse gas emissions, scientists say.
"The encyclical is going to go out to over 1 billion Catholics — that's a way of getting a message across to a segment of society that the scientific community could never do," said an excited Jeff Kiehl with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "I mean it's just unbelievable."
He has been called the “superman pope”, and it would be hard to deny that Pope Francis has had a good December. Cited by President Barack Obama as a key player in the thawing relations between the US and Cuba, the Argentinian pontiff followed that by lecturing his cardinals on the need to clean up Vatican politics. But can Francis achieve a feat that has so far eluded secular powers and inspire decisive action on climate change?
It looks as if he will give it a go. In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions.
Pope FrancisAccording to Vatican insiders, Francis will meet other faith leaders and lobby politicians at the general assembly in New York in September, when countries will sign up to new anti-poverty and environmental goals.
In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. In October he told a meeting of Latin American and Asian landless peasants and other social movements: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.
“The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.
“The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,” he said.