Pope Francis Wants Action on Climate Change, a Life Issue

In an interview with Inés San Martín, Cardinal Peter Turkson calls pro-life and environmental activism inseparable:

I mean, care for human life and pro-life activism essentially resonates with the message for climate change.

What climate change is saying is that the present state of the climate is a menace to human life itself. It’s not sustainable, and if we continue on this path, it won’t be possible anymore to have human life on this planet.

In that sense, the message on climate change coincides perfectly with any pro-life activism, or any belief in human life. The two are not separable. The emphasis given to the names of these [forms of activism] should not make us miss the real, core message of the two issues.

Climate change is simply saying that if trends on our use of the environment go on in the way they are, the world, creation, would not be able to support human life. It’s simply that. And those who say they are concerned for life, I’m also saying that. All of us are about ensuring the dignity of human life on this earth.

It’s drawing attention to the menace, or threat, of this being possible in the future. So basically, I think we’re saying the same thing.

Christopher White writes:

In an interview with Crux, Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, said he believes this could be an effort to get the attention of the current administration….

“The United States, as the leading global economic and political power, needs to be part of that, so I’m sure that the pope and the patriarch are saying. let’s get back on the bandwagon here,” he told Crux….

Christiana Zenner Peppard, associate professor of theology, science, and ethics at Fordham University, described the statement as both “steeped in tradition and yet fiercely contemporary.”…

“This document identifies climate change by name, twice, without qualification,” she told Crux. “This is surely a noteworthy feature for two religious leaders who apparently take climate science- and the implications for social ethics – far more seriously than does the executive branch of the White House.”