Hope and Scandal: This Week in Climate News

Hope and Scandal: This Week in Climate News

Progress and setbacks for climate action are coming from the most unexpected places.
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Progress and setbacks for climate action are coming from the most unexpected places. http://3bl.me/3gt2c7 #climatechange via @SaraGBM

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Green Builder Media CEO, Sara Gutterman

Green Builder Media

Friday, October 2, 2015 - 6:30am

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living


Pope Francis continues to inspire the world with his infectious love for life. His unadulterated joy and authentic humility transcends the common human experience, arguably making him the most galvanizing spiritual leader since Gandhi.

His advocacy for climate action makes him an invaluable player in consensus-making and, hopefully, the development of a viable global plan to reduce emissions and develop a sustainable international economy.

For Pope Francis, climate action isn’t about political positioning or economic gain. From his sanctified perspective, taking care of the planet—and each other—is a moral imperative, a duty, and an honor.

The Pope’s stance on climate change (clearly outlined in the encyclical that he released this summer) goes like this: it’s real, it’s caused by people, and there is copious science to prove it.

Francis denounces deniers, particularly those with economic or political power that place profits over the environment. In fact, he believes that excessive capitalism is the root of the problem, and he has unabashedly criticized global consumerism, claiming that our throwaway culture “reduces things to rubbish” and leads directly to environmental degradation.

As he visits the U.S. this week, he won’t shy away from tackling the hot potato issue of climate action, even if it means ruffling the feathers of some legislators in Congress. He has already praised President Obama for his climate initiatives, including the Clean Power Plan, and he has explicitly entreated Congress to crack down on emissions, develop policy that will reduce the use of fossil fuels, and clear the way for the adoption of renewable energy.

It is believed that the Pope’s dedication to climate action has already influenced (and provided political cover for) a small group of 11 GOP House members, who recently introduced a resolution that encouraged conservatives to proactively respond to the financial, health, and national security threats of climate change. The resolution’s language is somewhat flaccid, the statement is non-binding, and 11 is a far cry from the 247-member House Republican caucus, but the call to action is clear, and it’s certainly a step in the right direction.


CATEGORY: Environment