Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pope to make climate action a moral obligation

Many aspects of the climate change issue cannot be handled well by traditional market forces and politics. The people effected most are 1) people in poor countries, and 2) future generations, neither of whom have any market impact for the next quarter, or vote in current U.S. elections. Thus it's important to see other organizations, and in particular religions stepping up to the plate on this.

When Benedict XVI was first elected to his position as the new Pope, there was a concern that he would turn the Catholic Church in a very conservative direction. The fact that the announcement below is coming from what most people view as a very conservative Pope makes it all the more surprising and important as a milestone in the changing views on sustainable development and climate change.

The Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following. The New York speech is likely to contain an appeal for sustainable development, and it will follow an unprecedented Encyclical (a message to the wider church) on the subject... It will act as the centerpiece of a US visit scheduled for next April.... and round off an environmental blitz at the Vatican, in which the Pope has personally led moves to emphasize green issues based on the belief that climate change is affecting the poorest people on the planet, and the principle that believers have a duty to "protect creation".

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic Church in the UK, said last night: "This is a crucial issue both today and for all future generations. We are the stewards of creation and we need to take that responsibility seriously and co-operate to care for the created world."

A Papal tour of America will be particularly potent during election year in
the US, where Catholics number around 73 million [emphasis added]

( from http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article2987811.ece )

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