Pope Francis implores global community to do more on climate change

Stephen Gilbert, left, and his father-in-law sit in front of their flooded property on Sept. 20 in the Mauriceville, Texas, area. Floodwaters are starting to recede in most of the Houston area after the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda flooded parts of Texas. Imelda will likely be Southeast Texas’ fifth 500-year flood event in as many years. ( Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)Stephen Gilbert, left, and his father-in-law sit in front of their flooded property on Sept. 20 in the Mauriceville, Texas, area. Floodwaters are starting to recede in most of the Houston area after the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda flooded parts of Texas. Imelda will likely be Southeast Texas’ fifth 500-year flood event in as many years. ( Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

In a video message sent on Sept. 23 to participants at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York, Pope Francis called climate change “one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time.” The pope said that the nations of the world have a duty to fight against climate change, adding that despite a weak response so far, a “window of opportunity is still open.”

“We are still in time. Let us not let it close. Let us open it with our determination to cultivate integral human development, to ensure a better life for future generations. It is their future, not ours,” the pope said.

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“It is necessary,” he said, “to ask whether there is a real political will to allocate greater human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations, who suffer the most.”

The climate crisis is not just an environmental issue, Pope Francis said, but a “challenge of civilization in favor of the common good.”

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Climate change, he added, is “related to issues of ethics, equity and social justice” and connected to an evident human, ethical and social degradation, which “forces us to think about the meaning of our models of consumption and production.”

The climate crisis is not just an environmental issue, he said, but a “challenge of civilization in favor of the common good.”

“And this is clear, just as it is clear that we have a multiplicity of solutions that are within everyone’s reach if we adopt on a personal and social level a lifestyle that embodies honesty, courage and responsibility,” the pope said.

According to its website, the goal of the U.N. Climate Action Summit is to “ensure the global focus on climate gains momentum” as well as to make sure that “there is scrutiny on the investments countries are making in fossil fuels vs. renewables.”

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President Trump also addressed a conference of world leaders at the United Nations on Sept. 23 but not about climate change. Instead, after briefly looking in on during the climate change discussion, he attended a summit focused on religious persecution.

No one from the United States addressed the climate conference, in fact. Secretary General Antonio Guterres had told countries they could not be on the agenda without making bold new proposals. Sixty-six countries have promised to have more ambitious climate goals, said Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Echenique, who is hosting the next round of climate negotiations later this year.

Heads of nations such as Finland and Germany promised to ban coal within a decade. Several also mentioned their hopes of achieving climate neutrality—when a country is not adding more heat-trapping carbon to the atmosphere than is being removed by plants and perhaps technology—by 2050.

Mr. Trump dropped in long enough to hear German Chancellor Angela Merkel make detailed pledges, including going coal-free. He said, “I’m a big believer in clean air and clean water and all countries should get together and do that, and they should do it for themselves. Very, very important.”

But his attention at the United Nations today was officially reserved for a meeting on religious persecution. Mr. Trump said it was an “urgent moral duty” for world leaders to stop crimes against faith, release prisoners of conscience and repeal laws restricting religious liberty.

“Approximately 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted or even banned,” Mr. Trump said, adding that when he first heard the statistic, he did not believe it and asked for it to be double-checked.

Before world leaders made their carbon commitments in three-minute speeches, the 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg offered an emotional appeal in which she chided the leaders with the repeated phrase, “How dare you.”

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here,” said Ms. Thunberg, who began a lone protest outside the Swedish Parliament more than a year ago that evolved into student climate strikes around the world on Sept. 20. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you have come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

She told leaders at the U.N. that even the strictest emission cuts being talked about only give the world a 50 percent chance of limiting future warming to another 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) from now, which is a global goal. Those odds are not good enough, she said.

“We will not let you get away with this,” Ms. Thunberg said. “Right now is where we draw the line.”

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Christopher Scott
10 months 3 weeks ago

How about Pope Francis state some specifics with recommendations? Why do all his statements sound like virtue signaling platitudes that lack clarity?

JR Cosgrove
10 months 3 weeks ago

Interesting is that Germany is singled out in the article and has actually increased its use of coal in recent years. Neither solar or wind can come anywhere close to providing energy for most countries. So where will it come from? Not one of the climate change advocates ever addressed sensibly the economic havoc of their positions.

Jeffrey More
10 months 3 weeks ago

Good point about Germany. After Fukushima, Germany concluded (stupidly) that nuclear energy production was too dangerous, and began to shut down their nuclear power plants. Ironically, they began to replace the missing nuclear power with coal-generated power. In addition, they began to ramp up use of solar and wind power, which, of course, is only intermittently available. Still faced with energy shortfalls, Germany then began to import nuclear-generated energy from other countries. At the same time, they made plans to import large quantities of natural gas from Russia. In light of this reality, Germany’s “promise” must be some sort of joke.

Stanley Kopacz
10 months 3 weeks ago

Economic havoc is caused by hurricanes, floods, droughts, and continuously receding coastlines. But you deny the science, so what is the point. You live in Harry Pottersville. Solzhenitsyn once proffered a Russian saying. "See the truth, lose an eye. Ignore the truth, lose both eyes."

JR Cosgrove
10 months 2 weeks ago

Are you commenting on yourself again? You like to tout science but science cannot ignore facts just because they are inconvenient. There are landmarks all along the coast side of the world and photos exist from over a hundred years ago. Can you compare photos of now and then? I assume you could find some photos of erosion as there have been storms over the last century that have changed coast lines. But a general trend?

Jim Smith
10 months 3 weeks ago

Like the High Priest saying that it was "better for one man to die than ...", as she is quoted as saying this troubled teenager should never have been exposed and exploited the way she is. This IS a disgrace.

I expect discernment from the episcopacy.
The elder, expert and experienced scientists who have been working in the fields connected to life and climate have been warning for years that the panic about humankind heating up the planet by burning fossil fuel is not only wrong, but a sinister means to an end.

The IPCC is a UN government body charged with ONLY ONE THING, proving the above scare and not using scientific investigation but COMPUTER MODELS which have incorrectly pronounced a much higher temperature will be coming and EVERY prediction has been wrong by measurement of the real world temperatures at the predicted time and also by measurement from world-wide tidal gauge readings showing only minuscule increase and noting LESS extreme weather over a period of more than the last twenty years.

If we have to be climate aware, we need to be ready for cold, crop failures and food shortages as the sun-induced cold period is now upon us.

JR Cosgrove
10 months 3 weeks ago

Why the photo above? There have been tropical storms for centuries and they have nothing to do with global warming. This is an example of using emotions not facts. Here are facts http://bit.ly/2muU32T

When are the seas going to rise? There are photos of over 150 years ago compared to today showing no rise in coastal waters.

Final Questions: Who are Greta's handlers? Is this child abuse?

Judith Jordan
10 months 3 weeks ago

J Cosgrove--

I checked out your source. The author, Marlo Lewis, has an impressive educational resume, but has no degrees or credentials in science or even related to science. He is a senior fellow at Competitive Enterprise Institute, a group that receives funding from such sources as Koch family foundations, ExxonMobil, Texaco, Arch Coal, and the American Petroleum Institute. Obviously, he is not acceptable as an impartial source. Some even call him, “The Dirty Energy Industry’s Best Friend.”

JR Cosgrove
10 months 3 weeks ago

He was presenting facts. There are tons more. Are you disputing his facts?

Stanley Kopacz
10 months 3 weeks ago

Warmer oceans mean stronger storms. Scientific fact since storms are not fueled by wind demons.
7% more atmospheric water vapor capacity per degree centigrade.
Scientific fact as per Clausius-Clapeyron relationship.
Ever hear of KISS.

Robert Lewis
10 months 3 weeks ago

Climate Change deniers crowding these threads, please provide explanations for why the polar ice caps are melting; for why species of indigenous animals are migrating, and dying; why ocean currents are changing, why hurricanes are increasing in force? Personally, I really don't care whether these phenomena are caused by humanity, or whether they are caused by solar activities. They demand our attention, in the forms of conservation of resources and making allowances for changes in migration patterns that might save vast numbers of human lives. I'm of the opinion that, even if climate change HAS been caused by human activities, the effects are IRREVERSIBLE at this point, and that there are moral and ethical responsibilities to devise plans for coping with it. The "climate change deniers" seem determined to absolve us from this responsibility and to continue to promote the welfare of corporations and plutocrats over humanity in general. The present hierarchy of the Church are correct--this is an abomination!

Andrew Strada
10 months 3 weeks ago

Are there really climate change deniers? I've never met anyone who denies that ice ages came and went or that it was a lot warmer when dinosaurs roamed the earth. And few people will deny that there was a mini-ice age in Europe that lasted several centuries. Or that Greenland acquired its name because it was once green, not because of the fabled Viking sense of irony.

Few things are less likely to make me see the error of my ways than being lectured by a 16-year old whose major accomplishment thus far is cutting a lot of classes. It only goes to show, once again, how little our children have to teach us.

JR Cosgrove
10 months 3 weeks ago

Why don't you document all your claims? Then we can see what some may be denying. Nothing beats facts. I provided a link to several facts above and have many more links to facts and insights about what is going on. At the same time stop denigrating others.

JR Cosgrove
10 months 3 weeks ago

My understanding:
Q1 Has there been warming?
Q2 If so, how much?
Q3 If so, what is the cause?
Q4 If so, how dangerous?
Q4a What are the positives?
Q5 What can be done to affect the dangerous aspects?
Q6 Will other countries comply?

Christopher Scott
10 months 3 weeks ago

Robert, you make as much sense as a 16 year old girl. Please stop crying for a moment and tell us what your solution is!

Any serious scientist will tell you that renewables are not the answer, it simple math. So tell us what you propose as your preferred alternative energy sources....

“People (climate alarmist) underestimate the power of invention”

Bill Gates

https://youtu.be/d1EB1zsxW0k

Douglas Fang
10 months 3 weeks ago

“…no rise in coastal waters…”???
https://www.popsci.com/ghost-forests-sea-level-rise/
“"In rural, low-lying areas, there are so many dead trees and farmland that's either stressed or abandoned that the signs of sea-level rise are obvious."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-09-20/america-s-great-climate-exodus-is-starting-in-the-florida-keys
“…Nine states, plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, will decide how to use it, whether to build sea walls, put houses on stilts or move people out of the way…”

Imelda will likely be Southeast Texas’ “fifth 500-year flood event in as many years” – Does it seem normal?

So much for “conservative viewpoints are based on facts” – There is no worse lie and denial!

Judith Jordan
10 months 3 weeks ago

Douglas Fang---
I agree with you.
The mayor and citizens of Miami have complained that sea water is backing up into the drains in peoples’ homes and businesses.

Judith Jordan
10 months 3 weeks ago

a

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