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Pope urges scientists to push for political action on climate change

November 28, 2016

Pope Francis encouraged scientists to work for remedies to climate change, in a November 28 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Complaining that the world’s political leaders have reacted “weakly” to climate change, the Pope said that “it falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences.”

Scientists have “been able to research and demonstrate our planet’s crisis,” the Pope said. Clearly indicating that he had no doubt that man-made climate change endangers the globe, the Holy Father said that the crisis has brought about “a renewed partnership between the scientific and Christian communities, who are witnessing the convergence of their distinct approaches to reality in the shared goal of protecting our common home, threatened as it is by ecological collapse and consequent increase of poverty and social exclusion.”

Referring to his own encyclical Laudato Si‘, the Pope said:

In our modern world, we have grown up thinking ourselves owners and masters of nature, authorised to plunder it without any consideration of its hidden potential and laws of development, as if subjecting inanimate matter to our whims, with the consequence of grave loss to biodiversity, among other ills. We are not custodians of a museum or of its major artefacts to be dusted each day, but rather co-operators in protecting and developing the life and biodiversity of the planet and of human life present there.

 
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  • Posted by: Kansas Girl - Nov. 30, 2016 1:21 PM ET USA

    This is so distressing and embarrassing. Of course we need to protect the environment, but buying into the green movement, which is nothing more than an attempt to control human behavior and do away with private ownership of property, is so naïve. One expects more from our Pope. He should concentrate on the many problems in the Church and avoid expressing views on subjects he obviously knows little about.

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Nov. 29, 2016 9:34 AM ET USA

    Stewardship, yes. This frantic, secular, push however is another disguise for human dominion. Rather than acknowledging that all of nature belongs to God, it assumes that humans can create a utopia without God. It's unfortunate that Pope Francis buys into this...

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Nov. 29, 2016 2:12 AM ET USA

    "Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record." and on and on about global temperatures being driven by El Nino and La Nina. The hopeful news is our politicians won't bite into junk science. "Last week, Mr Trump’s science adviser Bob Walker said he was likely to axe Nasa’s $1.9 billion (about £1.4 billion) climate research budget." That's a chunk of change better spent.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Nov. 28, 2016 9:03 PM ET USA

    Sorry about this. Is there warming? Probably. Is it man made? Maybe. Is there anything we can do to reverse it? Almost certainly not. I asked these questions in Chemical and Engineering News five years ago and so far nobody has refuted me.

  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Nov. 28, 2016 8:50 PM ET USA

    Francis should speak for his own shallowness and not be endlessly hasty to accuse others who, in this case, do not believe in plundering nature. Then maybe he will not be so shallow as to ignore the ideologies of many "scientists" who manufacture myths of global catastrophe to assuage their moral guilt from hating population growth.

  • Posted by: eft945309797 - Nov. 28, 2016 7:28 PM ET USA

    To fight pollution, get rid of the papal frequent flyer airplane and cancel World Youth Days (five million people travel to a location for a week and consume its resources then leave). Scientists should "develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change"? They already have a model. Fewer humans.

  • Posted by: MWCooney - Nov. 28, 2016 7:23 PM ET USA

    Pope Francis continues almost daily to chip away at the deposit of respect afforded to his office and to the Church as a whole by his constant aligning with the agenda of the anti-religous left. There are none so blind as those who will not see, and his rigidity is distressing.

  • Posted by: claude-ccc2991 - Nov. 28, 2016 6:03 PM ET USA

    The Pope seems not to be aware that the major fingerprint for manmade global warming, the tropical tropospheric "hotspot", has been shown to be absent. No hotspot, no manmade global warming (i.e., any warming is predominantly due to natural forces). The Pope also seems not to be aware that computer models of climate that predict dire future temps are wildly out of line with measured temps, not to mention false inputs for climate sensitivity and humidity that drastically inflate these estimates.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 28, 2016 2:22 PM ET USA

    "Scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests." If Pope Francis really believes this, he has been out of the university environment for too long. I would rather see him promote a Catholic culture than one arrived at "scientifically." Cf. Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Mao Zedong, Barack Obama, et al.