Pope Francis Calls for ‘Prompt and Effective’ Response to Climate Change

Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Franco Origlia/Getty

Even as nations around the world are quietly backing away from the Paris Climate Accord, Pope Francis has called for a prompt and effective response to the “threat posed by climate change” in a message to a Rome summit on water and climate.

The international summit “Water and Climate: Meeting of the Great Rivers of the World,” sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and other partners, is taking place in Rome’s Capitol building (the “Campidoglio”) from Oct. 23-25.

In the Pope’s written message to the meeting, conveyed by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the pontiff expressed his concern for water conservation around the world, as well as his fervent desire that “the threat posed by climate change to our brothers and sisters in the most vulnerable countries will find prompt and effective responses.”

In another speech at the summit Monday, Mr. Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, echoed the Pope’s concerns regarding climate change, tying it into the situation of the world’s rivers.

“We are here today because our climate is under threat,” Mr. Vella said. “Seasonal river flows are changing, and floods and droughts are more severe, more frequent than ever before.”

“Climate change is raising the temperature of rivers and lakes, with major impacts on ecosystems and water quality. These problems are just as real in Europe as they are elsewhere around the globe,” he asserted.

The European Commissioner insisted that the key to addressing the problem of climate change and avoiding a “point of no return” is to be found in “political will.”

“The Paris Agreement reminds us of the need to prepare and adapt, and to build up our climate resilience,” he said.

In a major report last week, the prestigious UK journal, The Lancet, suggested that pollution of air and water, rather than carbon-induced global warming, is the real crisis facing the world, one being overlooked by environmental activists.

The Lancet revealed that pollution-related diseases were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015, or some 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence combined.

Pollution is not only the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today, the study found, but diseases caused by pollution were responsible for roughly 16 percent of all deaths worldwide—“three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence.”

Curiously, neither the European Commissioner nor the Pope made any mention to the extraordinary number of deaths caused by water and air pollution, preferring instead to focus on the nebulous and ideologically charged notion of anthropogenic climate change.

While to date there has not been a single documented case of a person being killed by carbon dioxide related “global warming,” real pollution of air, water and land is killing an average of 25,000 people every day across the globe.

Late last week, a report out of Canada suggested that many nations around the world have quietly begun ignoring or abandoning the energy goals outlined by the Paris Climate Accord.

According to Lawrence Solomon of Energy Probe, a Toronto-based environmental organization, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is one of the only signers of the Paris agreement who is actually abiding by the exacting demands of the accord.

Solomon proposed that while feigning interest in global warming is politically expedient, most people are unconvinced that it poses a real problem—unlike the real pollution that is killing millions.

In an essay in Friday’s Financial Post, Solomon said that “most signatories are ignoring, if not altogether abandoning Paris commitments, undoubtedly because voters in large part put no stock in scary global warming scenarios.”

“Trudeau now stands almost alone in sincere support of Paris,” Solomon wrote. “The populist backlash — a revulsion at top-down governments laden with jet-setting politicians landing in posh places to preach restraint to the masses — has swept America with Trump’s election, Great Britain with Brexit, much of Europe, and Australia.”

“In the process, global warming enthusiasts are being swept out,” he said.

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