Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato Si” which also focused on human being’s contribution to global warming, will invite argument even in the succeeding decades.
Among other issues discussed in his letter, the pope is attacking the “technological and utilitarian worldview that treats creation as ‘raw material to be hammered into useful shape,’ reduces humans to mere consumers and treats inconvenient people as so much refuse.”
The pope regards both nature and human nature as “gifts to be appreciated and accepted, not despoiled or redefined.” He likewise believes that God’s attitude towards nature is the “incarnation”, not destruction.
It can be recalled that the pope particularly called on the developed countries and asked its people to reflect on and reconsider their throw away and exploitative way of life.
The pope enumerated his environmental concerns, highlighting the impact of global warming on clean drinking water and biodiversity. In his letter, he reiterated how human activities have led to catastrophe. In fact, part of his encyclical reads: “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climate system. … A number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … released mainly as a result of human activity.”
Although the pope’s encyclical has not effected any American legislative action on climate change, it has raised awareness among people and made the issue unavoidable, making everyone — scientist, politician or regular citizen — accountable. In the eyes of the pope, “if climate change is a global threat, addressing it, as the pope argues, is both a moral and public requirement.”
Many conservative Republicans however deny any human-caused global warming threat.
In their National Affairs essay, Jim Manzi and Peter Wehner wrote: “The Republican position — either avowed ignorance or conspiracy theorizing — is ultimately unsustainable, but some still cling to it because they believe that accepting the premise that some climate change is occurring as a result of human action means accepting the conclusions of the most rabid left-wing climate activists. They fear, at least implicitly, that the politics of climate change is just a twisted road with a known destination … ceding yet another key economic sector to government control.”
Pope Francis’s views on climate change reflects the stand of “every national academy of science in the world.” To quote Manzi and Wehner, “There are distinctly conservative responses to global warming, particularly in promoting energy innovation. Conservatives can choose their policy reaction, but not their own reality.”