Returning to Rome following his trip to Colombia, Pope Francis warned that political leaders need to see climate change and its effects in making their decisions.
While we are flying, we are pass near Hurricane Irma which, after causing dozens of deaths in the Caribbean, is now heading towards Florida where there are millions of displaced people. Scientists think that ocean warming makes hurricanes more intense.
“Is there a moral responsibility of those political leaders who refuse to cooperate with other nations by denying that this climate change is man-made?” a journalist asked Pope Francis as his plane passed near Hurricane Irma, which caused dozens of deaths and massive devastation in the Caribbean over the weekend.
“Those who deny this must ask the scientists: they speak very clearly, they are precise,” Pope Francis answered. “The other day the news came out of a Russian ship that went from Norway to Japan and crossed the North Pole without finding ice. From a university, they have said that we only have three years ‘to step back,’, if not, the consequences will be terrible.
“I don’t know if the three years are true or not, but if we don’t step back, we will fall!
“We can see climate change in its effects, and we all have a moral responsibility when we make decisions.
“I think that is a very serious matter. We all have our moral responsibility and politicians have their own. Let them ask the scientists and then decide. History will judge on their decisions,” the pope warned.
Asked why governments are delaying this realization,Pope Francis recalled a biblical phrase.
“A phrase from the Old Testament comes to my mind: man is a stupid man, a stubborn man who does not see, the only animal that falls twice in the same hole. The arrogance and conceit… and then there is the “Mighty Dollar”. Many decisions depend on money.
“Today in Cartagena I started by visiting a poor area of the city. On the other hand, there is the tourist side, luxury, and a kind of luxury without moral measures. But do those who are there not notice this? Do socio-political analysts not realize this?
“When you don’t want to see you don’t see, you look only look at one side,” Pope Francis concluded.