Pope Francis: Climate Change Puts ‘Life on Earth’ at Risk

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ROME — Pope Francis asserted Sunday that global warming is contrary to God’s plan and presents a significant risk to all “life on earth.”

“Besides war, our world is threatened by another great danger, that of the climate, which puts life on Earth, especially for the future generations, at risk,” the pontiff stated in a written text, which was read aloud by his aide Monsignor Paolo Braida following the weekly Angelus prayer.

“And this is contrary to the plan of God, who created everything for life,” he added.

Impelled by this apocalyptic distress, the pope said that next weekend he will “go to the United Arab Emirates to speak at the COP 28 in Dubai,” despite a lung infection that has forced him to miss several appointments over the weekend.

“I thank everyone who will accompany this journey with prayer and with the commitment to take to heart the preservation of the common home,” he concluded.

The battle against climate change has been a hallmark of Francis’ 10-year pontificate and in October he published an apostolic exhortation warning that the world “is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point” due to global warming.

In that letter, titled Laudate Deum (Praise God), the pontiff called out the United States by name, blaming an “irresponsible lifestyle” for fueling the climate crisis.

“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,” he wrote.

Pope Francis attends the welcoming ceremony of World Youth Day (WYD) gathering of young Catholics, at Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon on August 3, 2023 and urged young people to focus on caring for the planet and fighting climate change. ( PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

The pope also called out climate change “deniers,” insisting that it is “no longer possible to doubt the human – ‘anthropic’ – origin of climate change,” because global warming is caused by “the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” which is 423 parts per million as of June 2023.

“No one can ignore the fact that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather phenomena, frequent periods of unusual heat, drought and other cries of protest on the part of the earth that are only a few palpable expressions of a silent disease that affects everyone,” he declared.

“Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident,” he stated.

Francis has frequently railed against a “politics of fear” and “alarmism” as enemies of the democratic process but has himself stoked fears of an impending climate apocalypse in order to incite people to action.

He has called the effects of climate change “catastrophic,” arguing that atmospheric warming is “a global problem with grave implications” and “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

This past August, however, a group of more than 1,600 eminent scientists, including two Nobel Prize winners, issued the “World Climate Declaration,” in which they stated outright: “There is no climate emergency.”

“Climate science has degenerated into a discussion based on beliefs, not on sound self-critical science,” the scholars asserted, offering a number of reasons for their criticisms.

The Declaration asserted, for example, that climate models have proven inadequate for predicting global warming, that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant, and that climate change has not increased natural disasters.

“There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent,” the document stated. “However, there is ample evidence that CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly.”

“There is no climate emergency,” it concluded. “Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Statistics regarding climate change support the evidence that very little human activities actually threaten the life of the earth to eminent destruction. There are local conditions in particular areas on the earth wherein pollution is more serious problem and some of the effects drift to other areas of the earth. Science continues to search for solutions which are acceptable and economically attainable. With an increasing world population, this is an ongoing problem to address, assuming these controls and costs are within the range of all available resources and are effective solutions. .

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