Pope Issues Encyclical Affirming Climate Change, Urges Action 

click to enlarge - Pope Francis -  - WIKIPEDIA/JEFFREY BRUNO
  • Wikipedia/Jeffrey Bruno
  • Pope Francis
Pope Francis has issued an encyclical affirming climate change and has urged the world's 1.2 billion Catholics—and everybody else within his message's reach—to action.

"The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together and seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change," he wrote. 

The encyclical, Laudato Si, acknowledges the "human roots" behind climate change and calls for a global conversation on the subject. But it also casts the debate in social and economic terms, with "those who possess more resources or political power" downplaying the severity of climate change, and the poor and disenfranchised bearing the political and economic burden of its effects.

According to the encyclical, access to safe drinking water is a "basic human right," though "there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market." 

Central to Francis' message is how all people have helped create the process of climate change and how all people will share in its effects, pointing to the increased wealth generated by the industrial age and what the encyclical calls "the silent rupture of the bonds of integration and social cohesion." 
"The social dimensions of global climate change include the effects of technological innovations on employment, social exclusion, an inequitable distribution and consumption of energy and other services, social breakdown, increased violence and a rise in new forms of social aggression, drug trafficking, growing drug use by young people, and the loss of identity."
Numerous high-ranking Idaho politicians, including U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, have denied or cast doubt on human-caused climate change. According to a 2014 Yale Project on Climate Change study, while 58 percent of Idahoans believe climate change is occurring, only 44 percent believe it is "caused mostly" by human activity.

"As a policymaker, I won't be guided by the global warming propaganda machine," Labrador told ABC News in 2014.
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