By Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham
Pope Francis has released an encyclical on ecology – reminding us that all are called to act now to protect the climate and our neighbors around the world.
The first chapter of the 184-page document is entitled, 'Pollution and Climate Change' and states that the climate crisis "represents one of the principle challenges facing humanity in our day." In stark terms, he warns that fossil fuel use is causing "unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us."
Sadly, those who don’t want to hear this message, such as climate change deniers and certain politicians, are already criticizing the pope and asking him to stick to "theology and morality.” In fact, that's exactly what he’s doing in making the moral case for climate action.
We’ve never seen this kind of leadership from the most high profile religious leader in the world, and it’s an opportunity to mobilize more people of faith into action to address climate change.
Although previous popes including Benedict and John Paul addressed environmental concerns, this is the first time the Vatican has elevated protection of the environment as a justice issue. With the U.N. climate talks this December in Paris, it could not have come at a better time. As Pope Francis says, "The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham is the founder and President of Interfaith Power & Light. The mission of Interfaith Power & Light is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy and mobilizing a religious response to global warming.