Five Years After Speaking Out on Climate Change, Pope Francis Sounds an Urgent Alarm

By James Bruggers
Inside Climate News
August 7, 2020

The encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ motivated many people to take action on global warming, but governments, the pope said, have lagged far behind.

Yale University scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, described the pope's commitment on climate as “unprecedented,” and said it represents a “structural change” in how the world is confronting climate change and other environmental issues, such as pollution.

Science and policy have led the response to environmental concerns for decades, she said, but the pope has interjected a moral force linking people with their environment.

“It's not just social justice issues, and not just environmental issues,” Tucker said. “It's the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, all coming together in various movements. The encyclical names this 'integral ecology'.”

The global coronavirus pandemic, she added, “is making the linkages even more clear. You cannot have healthy people on a sick planet.”

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