Human beings have caused “a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself,” Pope Francis said Sunday before urging “drastic measures” to fight global warming.
In his Message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the pope adopted the apocalyptic language encouraged by climate alarmists to frighten people into taking action.
“Too many of us act like tyrants with regard to creation,” he declared. “Let us make an effort to change and to adopt more simple and respectful lifestyles!”
“Now is the time to abandon our dependence on fossil fuels and move, quickly and decisively, towards forms of clean energy and a sustainable and circular economy. Let us also learn to listen to indigenous peoples, whose age-old wisdom can teach us how to live in a better relationship with the environment,” he said.
Recent studies have shown that the language of “climate change” and “global warming” do not stir up an emotional reaction in people and so climate alarmists have issued an appeal for the use of more powerful expressions to provoke people to action.
Last April, a team of advertising consultants from SPARK Neuro released the results of a study suggesting that worn-out expressions such as “climate change” do not frighten people enough, whereas stronger vocabulary such as “climate crisis” and “environmental collapse” produced a significantly stronger emotional response.
The expression “climate crisis,” for instance, got “a 60 percent greater emotional response from listeners” than “climate change,” the study found.
In its research, SPARK Neuro measured physiological data such as brain activity and palm sweat to quantify people’s emotional reactions to stimuli.
Of six different options, “global warming” and “climate change” performed the worst, beaten handily by “climate crisis,” “environmental destruction,” “weather destabilization,” and “environmental collapse.”
The pope has apparently joined the climate alarmists in employing more incendiary language, dropping his former references to climate change to speak of a “climate emergency” and an “environmental crisis” in Sunday’s message.
He also underscored the forthcoming United Nations Climate Action Summit as of “particular importance” while proposing that governments will have the responsibility there of showing the political will to take “drastic measures to achieve as quickly as possible zero net greenhouse gas emissions.”
Referring specifically to fires in the Amazon region, Francis called on everyone to “take up these opportunities to respond to the cry of the poor and of our earth!”
“Egoism and self-interest have turned creation, a place of encounter and sharing, into an arena of competition and conflict,” he said. “In this way, the environment itself is endangered: something good in God’s eyes has become something to be exploited in human hands.”
“Deterioration has increased in recent decades: constant pollution, the continued use of fossil fuels, intensive agricultural exploitation and deforestation are causing global temperatures to rise above safe levels,” he said.
The pontiff went on to enumerate the effects of climate change: an “increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather phenomena,” the “desertification of the soil,” “melting of glaciers, scarcity of water, neglect of water basins and the considerable presence of plastic and microplastics in the oceans.”
All of these “testify to the urgent need for interventions that can no longer be postponed,” he warned.