Pope Francis encyclical on the environment showed profound courage. His warning of the impacts of climate change has amazing implications. As a former chemist, Pope Francis acknowledges that humans are a major contributor to greenhouse emissions and global warming.
The International Energy Agency's recently cited that the fossil fuel industry last year got subsidies totaling $510 billion dollars. Leaders and experts of all walks have advocated a carbon tax to price greenhouse emissions or some sort of emissions trading system.
The $8 billion Vatican Bank is divesting in fossil fuels and shrinking its carbon footprint.
The Pope urges us to seriously address the whole "technological paradigm" of climate change impacting those less fortunate and the economic impacts.
This document agrees with the scientific consensus advocating global agreement to quickly lessen the use of fossil fuels. This encyclical talks about pollution, consumption, and other ways we are rapidly deteriorating our fragile earth.
Below are his key points:
* “An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness,”
* “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?"
* “recent World Summits on the environment have not lived up to expectations because, due to lack of political will, they were unable to reach truly meaningful and effective global agreements on the environment.” He writes, “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.”
* "The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming.”
* The importance of access to safe drinkable water is “a basic and universal human right."
* “must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures.”
* “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever,”