In Leaked Draft, Pope Francis Takes 'Hard Core' Stance on Climate Debate
In a lengthy and moving letter to Roman Catholic bishops leaked on Monday, Pope Francis unequivocally asserts that “human activity” is to blame for our planet’s destruction, and the only solution is for humanity to change its “lifestyle” and “consumption.”
The draft encyclical, published by Italian newspaper L’Espresso on Monday, three days before its intended release, is making waves among the international community as it boldly condemns both climate-deniers and carbon credit speculation, and upholds the growing climate movement and push to divest from fossil fuels.
“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it,” he wrote in the draft. “Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all because of human activity.”
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The letter was intended for release on Thursday, ahead of the pope’s scheduled address to the United Nations in September and less than six months before the upcoming UN climate change summit in Paris. On Monday evening, the Vatican condemned the early release, and reportedly asked journalists not to publish details of the draft, saying it was not the final text.
The draft letter, addressed to bishops but intended as a wider statement on Catholic doctrine, takes aim at those who remain skeptical over the man-made causes of climate change, or those who believe that geo-engineering schemes and other technical advances will permit industrialized nations to continue business-as-usual.
“The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions,” reads the text.
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