University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

News Journal: Pope's climate stance is still sinking in

Enthusiasm is building across the Wilmington Diocese over Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to Philadelphia late next month, with some local Catholics planning to join a million-or-more-person crowd in Philadelphia and many more saying they’ll watch every moment from afar. The buzz has been slower to grow, however, for the pope’s recently issued 184-page papal letter, or encyclical, on the environment, climate and “care for our common home” on Earth.

Released in mid-June, the encyclical pointed to alarming and unprecedented threats from “global environmental degradation” brought on largely by what the pope described as an indifference to consequences of human activities, and a false notion that “an infinite quantity of energy and resources are available.”

Francis appealed “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future” of a planet threatened by pollution, ecological breakdowns and species extinctions. Ruinous climate change also looms, he said, as carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants warm the atmosphere, driving up global temperatures.