Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home (184 page pdf, Vatican, Jun. 18, 2015)
Also discussed here: Eight things we learned from the Pope's climate change encyclical (The Guardian, Jun. 18, 2015)
And here: Civil Society Reactions: Papal Encyclical for Climate Action (Climate Action Network, Jun. 18, 2015)
And here: The Pope’s Memo on Climate Change Is a Mind-Blower (Wired, Jun. 18, 2015)
And here: What Does the Pope’s Climate Encyclical Mean? (Aaron Huertas, Union of Concerned Scientists, Jun. 18, 2015)
And here: Can Pope Francis's 'street cred' shift the climate change debate? (Erin Obourn, CBC, Jun. 20, 2015)
Today we review the “Encyclical Letter” which sets the stage for nations to gather at Paris in December 2015 to meet the challenges of climate change and prescribe global solutions that reduce impacts. The Pope’s comprehensive and (surprisingly) well informed statement recognizes that oil and gas consumption by technology is the main cause of anthropogenic climate change and that impacts unfairly hit the developing world which has had little if no role in causing them but now have difficulty in dealing with them. The need to go beyond technological solutions is underlined as well as the need to communicate both social and environmental concerns in addition to economic challenges which many see as the main or only worry.
“most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity…The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system”
“we are conscious of the disproportionate and unruly growth of many cities, which have become unhealthy to live in, not only because of pollution caused by toxic emissions but also as a result of urban chaos, poor transportation, and visual pollution and noise.. "
"The quality of life in cities has much to do with systems of transport, which are often a source of much suffering for those who use them. Many cars, used by one or more people, circulate in cities, causing traffic congestion, raising the level of pollution, and consuming enormous quantities of non-renewable energy. This makes it necessary to build more roads and parking areas which spoil the urban landscape."
“We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay. Until greater progress is made in developing widely accessible sources of renewable energy, it is legitimate to choose the lesser of two evils or to find short-term solutions.“
“The strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide.., it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors”
“To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.”
“It is essential to seek comprehensive solutions which consider the in¬teractions within natural systems themselves and with social systems. We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”
"this puts the right wing U.S. agenda in a tight space. This Pope has global efficacy and affection. They will look like scrooges if they come out against their Pope."