Pope Francis is convinced that global warming is mostly man-made and is hoping to encourage the negotiators at the Paris climate change summit in December with his encyclical on the environment. He would like them to make courageous decisions to protect God’s creation.
Speaking in January, the Pope said humans are guilty of taking over and exploiting nature, but he is grateful that there are many people now speaking out. His paper on the environment is expected to be released in June/July in plenty of time for it to be read before the climate negotiations in December.
Catholics all over the world are also trying to raise awareness for climate change by fasting. Each of the 45 countries involved have been assigned a day where they will not only abstain from food but also from carbon-intensive activities. This is linked to the pray and fast for the climate initiative supported by many organisations including Christian Aid, Tearfund, Friends of the Earth and our very own Ruth Valerio. The idea is to pray and fast on the first day of each month until progress is made on tackling climate change.
This is all especially poignant as two major new studies reported in January that of 9 global processes that underpin life on earth, 4 have exceeded safe levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change, and the high level of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into the oceans due to fertiliser use. The current rate of environmental degradation is putting life on earth at risk.
Sources: Huffington Post Jan 15, Christian Aid, Guardian online Jan 15, Grist online Feb 15