In an unprecedented encyclical published on June 18, 2015, Pope Francis addressed “every human being on earth,” and called for urgent action on climate change and environmental degradation of our planetary home before it is too late. The 183-page encyclical can be read in full HERE.
The Pope (and his panel of science advisers) blended concern for earth’s future with a plea for the poor, boldly asserting that global capitalism is undermining the future of life on earth:
“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day…
… Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms, simply making efforts to reduce some of the negative impacts of climate change. However, many of these symptoms indicate that such effects will continue to worsen if we continue with current models of production and consumption.”
Go HERE for Steffen Bohm’s economic analysis of the encyclical (“Pope Francis’s Climate Letter is a Radical Attack on the Logic of the Market”), HERE for Bill McKibben’s (350.org) response (“Pope Francis: The Cry of the Earth”), and HERE for analysis from The New York Times (“Championing Environment, Francis Takes Aim at Global Capitalism”).
Newsflash 6/28/15: The Vatican has invited Naomi Klein, “ferocious critic of 21st century capitalism,” to help lead a conference on climate change at the Vatican. Read the details and Klein’s reaction in The Guardian, HERE.