Pope Francis has called for a ‘revolution’ to save the planet from climate change, effects of which are already visible in many parts of the world. In a 191-page encyclical titled Laudato Si (Praise Be), On the Care of Our Common Home, the Pope urged world leaders to hear the “cry of the Earth and cry of the poor.” He called for a “decisive action” to stop global warming and environmental degradation.
Our planet has turned into an ‘immense pile of filth’
He called for a bold cultural revolution to correct the “structurally perverse” economic system and a change of lifestyle in rich countries. The rich exploiting the poor has turned our planet into an “immense pile of filth.” His manifesto is sure to trigger action in the U.N. climate negotiations later this year, everyday life and domestic politics.
Pope Francis said protecting the Earth is a moral and ethical imperative for everyone, believers and non-believers alike. Pope Francis rejected the notion that poverty can be resolved by market growth and technology could solve all the environmental problems. If we don’t take decisive action now, the world would see “an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems,” he said. Pope Francis said “quick and easy solutions” like carbon credits don’t allow the radical change needed.
Pope Francis confronts climate change deniers
Citing Scriptures and past popes’ appeals, Pope Francis urged the whole world to save God’s creation for future generations. Drawing on the results of the “best scientific research available,” he targeted both – those who say climate change in not man-made as well as climate change deniers.
Pope Francis said it was true that other factors such as volcanic activity and solar cycle played a role in climate change. But dozens of scientific studies show that most global warming in recent decades has been largely due to the emission of greenhouse gases released mainly as a result of human activity. Fossil fuels need to be “progressively replaced without delay.”
“It is not enough to balance, in the medium term, the protection of nature with financial gain, or the preservation of the environment with progress,” writes Pope Francis. “Halfway measures simply delay the inevitable disaster. Put simply, it is a matter of redefining our notion of progress.”