The moral imperative to effectively address climate change

Effectively addressing climate change is a moral imperative according to the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

The Vatican body has listed numerous examples of glacial decline around the world and the evidence linking that decline to human-caused changes in climate and air pollution.

“The widespread loss of ice and snow in the world’s mountain glaciers is some of the clearest evidence we have for global changes in the climate system,” the Vatican’s Academy of Sciences report says.

The report warns of “serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses,” urging steep cuts in the world’s output of heat-trapping pollutants.

Failure to do so will imperil vulnerable ecosystems and human societies that depend on glaciers for fresh water, it says, including a huge swath of Central Asia where mountain glaciers store water for millions of people. Inaction also leaves some communities vulnerable to flooding from unstable meltwater lakes that can burst without warning, causing floods and mudslides.

“We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us,” the document continues. “The believers among us ask God to grant us this wish.”


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