Pope is at it again

Last week, Pope Francis again revealed why he is a global leader. Leveraging the biblical teachings that God wants us to take care of our environment, he reiterated his concerns on climate change to oil executives. Per a Wall Street Journal article called “Pope Francis Criticizes Continued Search for Fossil Fuels at Meeting with Oil Executives,” he encouraged oil executives to find ways to leave fossil fuel energy in the ground. Per the WSJ article:

“’Civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization!’ he said at a Vatican climate change conference attended by top executives including Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Darren Woods, BP PLC Chief Executive Bob Dudley and BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Laurence Fink.

At the conference, co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame and featuring nearly 20 speakers Friday and Saturday, the pope said that an estimated 1 billion people still lack electricity and noted that access to energy is an essential resource for escaping poverty. But he warned that a failure to reduce the use of fossil fuels would lead to a ‘spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty.’

The poor ‘suffer most from the ravages of global warming,’ he said, through water shortages and extreme weather which in turn drive mass migration, among other ways.
Pope Francis commended oil and gas companies for adopting policies that account for ‘assessment of climate risk’ and he encouraged the practice of environmentally sensitive ‘green finance’ investment strategies. But he warned that ‘markets and technology’ wouldn’t be sufficient to stop climate change, since our ‘current economic system thrives on ever-increasing extraction, consumption and waste.’

Earlier this year, BlackRock’s Mr. Fink in a letter urged chief executives at global companies to ‘make a positive contribution to society.’ The world’s largest asset manager has played a key role behind the scenes in insisting that companies take action to respond to climate change.

Pope Francis’ meeting with oil executives and investors comes almost exactly three years after the publication of his encyclical Laudato Si’, in which he called global warming a major threat to life on the planet and said it is mainly caused by human activity. In that document, which as an encyclical ranks among the highest levels of papal teaching, the pope blamed special interests for blocking policy responses and indicted the market economy for plundering the Earth at the expense of the poor and future generations.”

With the US President announcing his intention to leave the Paris Climate Change Accord, other global leaders, like Pope Francis are continuing the push. Ironically, Exxon Mobil’s shareholders voted (the day before Trump’s announcement to leave the Accord) to obligate the company leadership to inform them of what they are doing to address climate change. Fortunately, US cities, states and businesses are picking up the baton dropped by the President. The US has passed the tipping point on renewable energy, in spite of the President and his EPA head’s efforts.

Pope Francis should be commended for leading the charge. Taking care of the least of us has been a mantra of this leader. I recognize he is not perfect, but is concern for people and the environment is meritorious. And, unlike Messrs. Trump and Pruitt, the pope is a scientist, with a Masters in Chemistry and has worked as a chemist.

18 thoughts on “Pope is at it again

  1. ” . . . ‘spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty.’” Unfortunately that ship has sailed. I suspect the “doubters” know full well that climate change is a fact. They simply don’t want to stop making piles of money and think theirs is the only way! Thanks, Keith.

    • Hugh, love this pope. He has had a few slip ups and could move faster on bad priests, but he is a “breath of fresh air.” I would not use that same phrase to describe a more troubling leader. Keith

  2. Dear Keith,

    I am a major fan of Pope Francis. I even follow him on Twitter.

    Pope Francis is what a real leader looks and acts like with attributes like humility, decency, compassion, courtesy, etc. He has been fought tooth and nail by the conservative wing of the Catholic Church including with the planting of “fake news” against him.

    His advocacy for paying attention to the science of climate change has also received lots of push back. But he has been working on this issue for years. I am so grateful for his advocacy on this most pressing problem of our times.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, I was unaware of the fake news campaign against him. Is it me, but doesn’t the purveyors fake news phenomenon seem to be weighted more on the conservative side of the ledger? I say this not just because the the most skilled purveyor of fake news is the US President, but because one of the three reasons I left the GOP was a tendency to make things up. One of those things was the climate change is a hoax fake news tactic which dates back fifteen years.

      The pope should be commended for speaking to this issue. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: According to a study noted in the journal “Nature,” the melting of Antarctica is speeding up. As reported by the Associated Press, “From 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost nearly 84 billion tons of ice a year. From 2012 to 2017, the melt rate increased to more than 241 billion tons a year…”

    The Pope is preaching the truth to raise the alarm. People need to listen to him other than those funded by the fossil fuel industry serving in the US government.

  4. Alt Right idiots aside The Holy Father has also had to deal with cardinals and some very peculiar wings of within the Catholic Church.
    When his security detail pleaded for him not to be so close to crowds as there was danger apparently he replied ‘Why? There are no cardinals there’
    He is a wonderful man.

    • Roger, that is funny. Maybe that is another reason he took the lesser dwelling. Easier to stay away from those in red.

      You reminded me of a hated CEO that I have written about. Unlike the pope he lived lavishly off the company expenses. He had a chauffer/ body guard that drove him every where. Yet, he did not accompany the CEO inside the HQ. It was pointed out to the bodyguard there were more people who wanted to hurt the CEO inside the building than out. Keith

      • Haha! I can believe that. During my days in H.M Inspector of Taxes we had a universally disliked manager and it was said his funeral would be the best attended because everyone in the office wanted to make sure the (expletive deleted) was dead, nailed down and buried.

  5. Note to Readers: Roger and my back and forth reminded me of the news of the day, where the Trump Foundation has been sued by the New York Attorney General for self-dealing. I have read a lot on this subject prior to the election, where Trump made a big deal out of the Clinton Foundation. The fact is the Trump Foundation is guilty of self dealing with its founder. A key reason, for all his money, Trump hates to pay for things out of his own wallet. So, he used the Foundation as a personal piggy bank.

  6. I like Pope Francis … the man has more intellect and class than … well, you know. I wonder if he’d be interested in a job as president? 😉 But seriously, it is indeed good to see a man who has the ear of so many speaking out in support of climate change science and against the continued use of fossil fuels. 👍👍

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