The Pope has called out “Irresponsible” Americans for using double the emissions than citizens of China, even calling out members of his own church for being climate crisis deniers.
Irresponsible Western Lifestyles
Pope Francis unreservedly addressed the pressing issue of the accelerating climate crisis, presenting a call to action and blaming “irresponsible” Western lifestyles.
He sounded the alarm, shunning the inadequacy of our responses as our world grapples with impending collapse, “Our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.”
Revealing harsh realities, the Pope argued the irreversible consequences, including rising ocean temperatures and acidification.
No Ignoring the Facts
The Pope confronted climate change deniers and delayers, urging acknowledgment of the undeniable signs of this global crisis, “Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident,” he said.
He stressed the urgent need to address climate change to avoid its worst impacts, “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,” he continued.
Pope Francis argued that China’s individuals use less emissions than the average American, “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.”
Wealthy Countries Need to Change
Pope Francis put the responsibility on wealthy nations to alleviate the climate crisis, demanding a lifestyle shift, “a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model would have a significant long-term impact.”
He condemned leaders and businesses prioritizing short-term gains over essential climate action, “the climate crisis is not exactly a matter that interests the great economic powers, whose concern is with the greatest profit possible at minimal cost and in the shortest amount of time.”
Even within his own ranks, the Pope confronted dismissive opinions about the climate crisis, “certain dismissive and scarcely reasonable opinions that I encounter, even within the Catholic Church.”
Will HIs Words Have an Impact?
The Pope’s influence on the older generation could spark a change of tune from religious believers who have been in denial.
With the UN COP28 climate conference looming, Pope Francis’s statement amplifies the urgency for worldwide collective action.
At the conference, held in Dubai, each country will have the opportunity to display their commitment to the cause.
In 2015, Pope Francis became the first Ponfit to ever produce a piece of religious writing on an issue such as climate change.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Stefano Guidi