Pope Francis has been outspoken in recent years when it comes to discussing climate change. The leader of the Catholic Church just released a new statement on it and took aim at both climate change deniers and “irresponsible” Americans in the process. He warned that climate change will continue to get worse if swift action isn’t taken.
Delivering a Call for Action
Pope Francis has been very vocal when it comes to talking about climate change in recent years. Back in 2015, he released a historic encyclical called “Laudato Si” that featured him addressing global warming on behalf of the Catholic Church.
He released a follow-up to “Laudato Si” called “Laudate Deum,” which translates to “Praise God,” this week. In it, he expressed even more urgency than he did almost a decade ago as he called for people all across the world to take action against climate change.
Issuing a Stern Warning
In “Laudate Deum,” which is approximately 7,000 words long, Pope Francis pointed out that people haven’t done enough yet to combat climate change. “Our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point,” he wrote. He also warned that too much damage may have already been done to the planet.
“Some effects of the climate crisis are already irreversible,” he wrote, “at least for several hundred years, such as the increase in the global temperature of the oceans, their acidification, and the decrease of oxygen.”
Taking Aim at Climate Change Deniers
Pope Francis saved some of his harshest words for those throughout the world who have denied that climate change exists. He advised these people to begin paying closer attention to the negative impact climate change is having on the planet.
“Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over, or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident,” he wrote. “No one can ignore the fact that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather phenomena, frequent periods of unusual heat, and other cries of protest.”
Calling Out the U.S.
Outside of chastising climate change deniers, Pope Francis also criticized those living in the U.S. for being “irresponsible” as far as combating climate change is concerned.
“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.
Lecturing World Leaders and Large Corporations
Pope Francis didn’t stop there, either. In addition to offering up criticisms of climate change deniers and the Western world, he also delivered a strong message to world leaders and large businesses that have made key decisions while considering profits over the planet.
“Regrettably, the climate change 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,” he wrote.
Holding the Catholic Church Accountable
Pope Francis didn’t hold back at all while criticizing others with regard to climate change. But he also admitted that those who help run the Catholic Church should share some of the blame for not taking it seriously enough.
He revealed that he has been faced with “certain dismissive and scarcely reasonable opinions…even within the Catholic Church” when he has brought up climate change.
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