Pope urges ac­tion on cli­mate change

CityPress - - News - – Staff re­porter

In a long-awaited en­cycli­cal call­ing for ac­tion on cli­mate change, Pope Fran­cis this week said hu­man self­ish­ness had caused global warm­ing.

In the let­ter, he urged the rich to change their lifestyles to avert the de­struc­tion of the plan­etwide ecosys­tem.

En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists hoped the mes­sage would spur na­tions ahead of the UN cli­mate change con­fer­ence in Paris in De­cem­ber, the BBC re­ported.

But parts of the doc­u­ment have al­ready been crit­i­cised by some US con­ser­va­tives, with two Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates dis­miss­ing it.

The en­cycli­cal aims to in­spire ev­ery­one – not just Ro­man Catholics – to pro­tect our planet.

The 192-page let­ter, which is the high­est-level teach­ing doc­u­ment a pope can is­sue, lays much of the blame for global warm­ing on hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties.

Pope Fran­cis writes: “We have come to see our­selves as her lords and mas­ters, en­ti­tled to plun­der her at will. The vi­o­lence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also re­flected in the symp­toms of sick­ness ev­i­dent in the soil, in the wa­ter, in the air and in all forms of life.”

He crit­i­cises what he calls a “col­lec­tive self­ish­ness”, but says that there is still time to stop the dam­age, call­ing for an end to con­sumerism and greed.

The re­lease comes six months be­fore in­ter­na­tional lead­ers gather in Paris to try to seal a deal to re­duce car­bon emis­sions.

The BBC re­ported that UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon wel­comed the doc­u­ment, say­ing cli­mate change was a “moral is­sue re­quir­ing re­spect­ful di­a­logue with all parts of so­ci­ety”.

It has also been widely praised by en­vi­ron­men­tal groups, with World Wide Fund for Na­ture pres­i­dent Yolanda Kak­abadse say­ing it “adds a much-needed moral ap­proach” to the de­bate on cli­mate change.

Green­peace leader Kumi Naidoo high­lighted pas­sages call­ing for poli­cies that re­duce car­bon emis­sions by re­plac­ing fos­sil fu­els with re­new­able energy.

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