Climate change responses a ploy to distract attention

Laudate Deum

Climate change deniers and politicians are called to note that the World’s responses to climate change have not been adequate.

According to Pope Francis, nations are using climate change responses merely as a ploy to distract attention, and it’s time to get serious.

The comments come in a stern warning in Laudate Deum, issued by Pope Francis on Wednesday.

In the document, Francis urges global leaders to adopt concrete measures to combat climate change, cautioning that the Earth is rapidly approaching an irreversible “point of no return.”

“The world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point,” he writes in Laudate Deum, an Apostolic Exhortation to all people of good will.

New Zealand response

New Zealand theologian Dr John Kleinsman calls Laudate Deum “a real wake-up call”.

Pope Francis is not mincing his words,” he says.

“I think about my four mokopuna, all under 3 years of age, and I wonder what the world will be like for them within one generation.

“But I also know it is no longer enough to wonder.

“I need to act with an urgency underpinned by a well-developed sense of mysticism, transcendence,and love for the dignity of all God’s creation,” Kleinsman told CathNews.

“At Mass we often pray the Confiteor, the prayer where we confess not only ‘what I have done’, but also ‘what I have failed to do’.

“And yet so easily we can be oblivious to our ‘sin’, and, in the climate case, be dismissive of what is shaping up to be a massive global challenge,” said Bishop Steve Lowe, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.

Scientific evidence of Climate Change

Armed with robust scientific evidence, diplomatic acumen and theological insights, the Pope issued a compelling ethical mandate for the world to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

He called for the implementation of “efficient, obligatory and readily monitored” measures.


Vulnerable and impoverished – a disproportionate burden

Intensifying his previous warnings about the “irreversible” damage already inflicted on humanity and the planet, Francis expressed concern for the disproportionate burden borne by the world’s impoverished and vulnerable populations.

Francis did not mince words when he singled out the United States for its outsized contribution to global emissions.

He noted that emissions per person in the US are double those of China and seven times higher than in economically disadvantaged nations.

Phase out fossil fuels – an unequivocal Yes

Francis was unequivocal on the contentious issue whether to phase out fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas which are primary drivers of climate change.

Francis says the transition needs to happen as fast as possible.

While acknowledging that individual and household actions make a difference, he said that a sweeping transformation in the “irresponsible lifestyle” associated with Western consumption patterns would yield significant long-term benefits.

The Pope’s statement “Praise God” was released to coincide with the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the Pope’s environmentally-conscious namesake.

His remarks were part of a grim update to his seminal 2015 environmental encyclical Laudato si’.

The document aims to galvanise negotiators to agree on enforceable climate goals at the upcoming UN talks in Dubai.


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