Pope Francis scored big points with environmentalists with his much anticipated encyclical on climate change.
The 192-page draft wasn’t to be released until Thursday. But papal teaching letters to the world’s billion Roman Catholics was leaked ahead of schedule.
It took more than a year to pull together. The Vatican sought comments from scientists, economists, priests and theologians, The New York Times reports.
It is encouraging to note that the pope wants “to engage in a dialogue with everyone about our common home.” Human consumption of fossil fuels and the production of greenhouse gases is raising the Earth’s temperature, melting polar ice, causing the seas on the planet to rise, swamping more land, putting more water in the atmosphere, shifting climatic conditions, eliminating species and creating more violent storms.
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The pope is right to encourage people to reduce consumption and live simpler lifestyles. He also wants governments to work together to come up with solutions.
So far that hasn’t happened. But there is a world summit on climate change coming up this year in December in Paris. Let’s hope that it generates concrete changes for the sake of the planet.