Preventing Climate Change
The Pope’s latest encyclical “Laudato si” takes a very grim assessment of the current environmental crisis. In it he say, “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” On climate change, he writes, “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.” He goes on to warn: “If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us.”
As for who is responsible for all this, he places the burden at the feet of the developed world: “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.”
Francis warns especially of the damage that our “culture of waste” does to the poor. He dismisses attempts at population control while leveling broadsides against financial markets, inequality, and the indifference of the rich. Moreover, he sees all these disturbing trends as interconnected. A casual attitude toward material goods leads to a casual attitude toward people. A willingness to exploit creation is deeply connected to a willingness to exploit human beings.
Trócaire organized a major international conference co-hosted Maynooth University and St Patrick’s College Maynooth to bring together some of the world’s leading voices on climate science, climate justice and climate activism. This week’s interviews are dedicated to looking at the many different aspects of the encyclical.
Miriam Gormally spoke with Éamonn Meehan, the executive director of Trócaire about the conference, the Papal Encyclical and the changes that need to be made to made.