Delayed by fog that forced his plane to land in Milan, de Blasio arrived 80 minutes after his allotted time to speak at the gathering of mayors invited by the Vatican. Once he was given time to speak, though, he waxed eloquent about “powerful corporate interests,” adding, “Is it not the definition of insanity to propagate corporate policies and consumer habits that hasten the destruction of the earth?”
De Blasio’s penchant for tardiness was evidenced by his decision to take a flight that was due to arrive only two hours before his speech, in which he pledged to cut New York’s carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
Pope Francis has been pushing hard on the issue of climate change, having issued a recent 184-page papal encyclical largely blaming climate change on fossil fuels and human activity. He also said that developed, industrialized countries bore the most responsibility for the problem.
De Blasio referenced the encyclical, asserting that it “burns with urgency,” while lauding the Pope, saying he had “awakened people across the globe to the dangers we face as a planet.” De Blasio loftily stated, “The encyclical is not a call to arms. It is a call to sanity.”
De Blasio will speak again at the Vatican on Wednesday.