Pope Francis Calls on Nations to ‘End the Era of Fossil Fuel’

Pope Francis looks on during the morning session, on the second day of the Special Assembl

ROME — Pope Francis has doubled down in his personal war on fossil fuels while condemning “extreme practices” such as fracking.

It is time world leaders to “listen to science and institute a rapid and equitable transition to end the era of fossil fuel,” the pontiff urges in his message for the Feast of Creation, to be celebrated on September 1.

It is “absurd to permit the continued exploration and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructures,” he insists. “Let us raise our voices to halt this injustice towards the poor and towards our children, who will bear the worst effects of climate change.”

“The unrestrained burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests are pushing temperatures higher and leading to massive droughts,” the pope declares, a product of “consumerist greed, fueled by selfish hearts.”

Activists display banners calling for action against world poverty, climate chanege and other environmental issues as they arrive on St. Peter's square prior to Pope Francis's Sunday Angelus prayer on June 28, 2015 at the Vatican. The activists included Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and those of other denominations calling for the adoption of an ambitious legally binding global agreement on climate change at the forthcoming UN conference in Paris, December 2015, along with calls for action against world poverty and other environmental causes. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

File/Activists display banners calling for action against world poverty, climate change and other environmental issues as they arrive on St. Peter’s square prior to Pope Francis’s Sunday Angelus prayer on June 28, 2015 at the Vatican. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Moreover, he states, “predatory industries are depleting and polluting our freshwater sources through extreme practices such as fracking for oil and gas extraction, unchecked mega-mining projects, and intensive animal farming.”

As he has declared on other occasions, Francis insists that “richer nations have contracted an ‘ecological debt’ that must be paid” to poorer nations.

“Let us heed our call to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, and to put an end to the senseless war against creation,” he exhorts.

Let us repent of our “ecological sins,” he urges, that “harm the world of nature and our fellow men and women.”

What Francis does not note in his message is the fact that cheap, abundant fossil fuels are a hugely important factor in economic development and one of the key reasons there are prosperous nations in the first place.

“One of the most evil things you can do to a poor person is take away his freedom to improve his fate,” Forbes observed several years ago, and this is exactly what happens in a push “for massive restrictions on the energy of opportunity: fossil fuel energy.”

“A brief history of development in the last three decades makes it clear that cheap, plentiful, reliable energy from fossil fuels is a winning formula for development and massive improvements in human life,” the article noted, citing the examples of China and India.

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Since the 1980s, “people around the world nearly doubled their use of fossil fuels,” it stated. “The poor benefited most of all — but they would have stayed destitute had we listened to leading environmentalists.”

“If climate endangerment of the poor is a moral issue, then the climate catastrophists are major sinners,” it asserted.

Pope Francis announced Wednesday that he intends to publish a second encyclical letter on the environment on October 4.

That leaves him just over four weeks to repent of his war on fossil fuels, lifeline to economic development for the poor.


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