Pope Speaks Out Against Global Warming
NBC News reports that Pope Francis is convinced that global warming is “mostly” man-made and that he hopes his upcoming encyclical on the environment will encourage negotiators at a climate change meeting in Paris to make “courageous” decisions to protect God’s creation. He explained the basis for his conclusion while en route to the Philippine Islands, where he is meeting this weekend with survivors of the 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan, which the government has said was an example of the extreme weather conditions that global warming has wrought. Pope Francis, who has spoken out often about the “culture of waste” that has imperiled our environment, said “I don’t know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face,” he said. “We have in a sense taken over nature”, he exclaimed.
“I think we have exploited nature too much,” the Pope said, citing deforestation and monoculture among the many human instigated causes. “Thanks be to God that today there are voices, so many people who are speaking out about it”, Francis said, adding that he pledged on the day of his installation as pope to make the environment a priority.
The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church which numbers 1.2 billion people around the world over. Catholics believe the Pope is infallible in his authority to make decisions for the Church, meaning he is incapable of making mistakes or being wrong.
Pope Francis is expected to public release his encyclical on ecology by June or July, 2015. He said he wanted it out in plenty of time to be read and absorbed before the next and final set of Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change negotiations which opens in Paris in November 2015, especially considering that the last round of meeting in Lima, Peru, failed to reach an agreement.
The ultimate goal of U.N. climate negotiations is to stabilize greenhouse gases at a level that keeps global warming below 2 degrees C (3.6 F), compared with pre-industrial times.