Pope Francis Calls Upon The World To Act Swiftly To Mitigate Climate Crisis

In a new message addressing the entire world on Sunday, Pope Francis urged immediate action to tackle the climate crisis that threatens the entire planet and all the plant and animal species living on it, including humans.

The climate crisis is only getting worse as global temperatures rise to records not previously seen before. The fossil fuel industry has been unleashed by the United States and the Amazon rainforest is on fire to make way for increased agricultural pursuits, releasing even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and destroying trees crucial to absorbing it and producing the oxygen we breathe.

And it’s all in the name of unrestrained corporate greed.

As several world leaders seek to prevent the worst of climate change from becoming reality, Pope Francis added his influential voice among those calling for all nations to unite and fight the threat together.

“We have caused a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself, including our own,” the pontiff said, conceding that humans caused climate change through our unchecked activities. “In this ecological crisis affecting everyone, we should also feel close to all other men and women of goodwill, called to promote stewardship of the network of life of which we are part.”

Indeed, religious teaching does require humans to be responsible stewards of the Earth. That message should particularly appeal to Catholics and the billions of practicing Christians around the world.

Pope Francis also called for major lifestyle changes to deal with food waste, water insecurity, energy needs and materialism that wastes resources.

“It is also a season to reflect on our lifestyles, and how our daily decisions about food, consumption, transportation, use of water, energy, and many other material goods, can often be thoughtless and harmful,” Pope Francis said. “Too many of us act like tyrants with regard to creation. Let us make an effort to change and to adopt more simple and respectful lifestyles! Now is the time to abandon our dependence on fossil fuels and move, quickly and decisively, towards forms of clean energy and a sustainable and circular economy.”

Companies like Nestle should stop stealing water from vulnerable rivers and lakes for profit. The fashion world must start making clothes that last and are sustainable to produce.

Furthermore, we must reduce the power of the fossil fuel industry over governments and switch to cleaner renewable energy forms such as wind and solar as well as create a sustainable food supply that can feed the population without being destructive or wasteful.

Pope Francis also would like to see the world treat indigenous peoples with more respect and learn from them to make our lives better.

“Let us also learn to listen to indigenous peoples, whose age-old wisdom can teach us how to live in a better relationship with the environment,” he said. “Let us say ‘no’ to consumerist greed and to the illusion of omnipotence, for these are the ways of death. Let us not give in to the perverse logic of quick profit, but look instead to our common future!”

And he’s right on all counts. Our way of life over the last 200 years has been oppressive of others and destructive of the environment. Now is the time for a change if we want to save ourselves from certain catastrophe if we continue to ignore the problem. Too much is at stake to not take this problem seriously. It’s going to take everyone doing their part to make a difference, but governments need to mobilize and play the most important role by passing policies designed to combat the crisis before it’s too late. Say what you want about Pope Francis, he’s right on this issue and we should all listen to him.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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