President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2014. The pope visits the United States later this year to address climate change.
Here’s a sneak peak of Pope Francis’s historic “Climate Change Encyclical,” soon to be released, complete with talking points for his upcoming address to the joint session of Congress. We’ll analyze them:
The encyclical’s likely headline: “Safeguard Creation … We are the custodians of Creation … If we destroy Creation … Creation will destroy us,” a public warning often repeated by the pontiff this past year, a message certain to intensify the anger of GOP climate-science deniers, Big Oil, Koch Bros, Exxon Mobil and most fossil-fuel firms, as well as their banks, investors owning their stocks and capitalists everywhere. Here’s why:
Pope Francis’s much-anticipated encyclical will be broadcast worldwide to billions, including 5,000 bishops, 400,000 priests and 1.2 billion members of the Roman Catholic Church. He will be encouraging his army of the faithful to take strong action, fight climate change and global warming threats to the environment.
The encyclical will also be translated into hundreds of languages and broadcast worldwide. At the same time, Pope Francis will be lobbying heads of state and religious leaders, and inspiring billions of people worldwide, encouraging them to join this revolution.
This historic encyclical will also set the stage for everything else Pope Francis has planned in 2015. He’s a man with a mission to save the world from the accelerating threats to the planet’s natural resources. More immediate, the encyclical will serve as major talking points for his address to the joint session of Congress in September, his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and his December message to the historic UN Climate Conference in Paris. Many of his points on the environment are already well known.
When Pope Francis addresses the U.S. Congress he will confront a hostile caucus of 169 hard-line GOP climate-science deniers who dismiss the idea that global warming is human-caused, in part because collectively they have received more than $52 million in career contributions from Big Oil, coal and fossil-fuel interests, three times what the other members of the Congress, who agree climate change is a threat the survival of our civilization, received.
GOP climate-science deniers in Congress include Catholics like House Speaker John Boehner, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, as well as former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Committee, all of whom will be listening to Pope Francis. Sitting with them will be Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, author of “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.”
Also listening to Pope Francis will be the GOP’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who recently tried to “undermine international negotiations aimed at combating climate change” by publicly “telling other countries not to trust President Obama’s promise to significantly reduce the United States carbon emissions.”
And in yet another desperate act, McConnell also sent a letter to the governors of all 50 states encouraging them to ignore federal laws enforcing the Environmental Protection Agency’s “clean air regulations designed to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.” His state is a big coal-mining state.
Key talking points in pope’s historic encyclical on climate change
The ever-smiling, upbeat Pope Francis, a former boxer, loves a good fight. But he’s laser-locked on his real target — encouraging action — inviting hundreds of millions of the Catholic faithful, in fact inviting all seven billion people worldwide, to join a global economic revolution.
Here are eight of the pope’s public warnings edited in the Catholic Climate Covenant, from his “Apostolic Exhortation,” from the Guardian and other news sources, warnings on the rapidly accelerating climate change and global warming risks to the environment, along with our individual responsibility to “safeguard Creation, for we are the custodians of Creation. If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us.” Listen to the pope’s warnings.