Pope Francis has called on the world’s rich nations to begin paying their “grave social debt” to the poor and take concrete steps on climate change, writes the British newspaper The Guardian. He said the failure to do so presents an undeniable risk to a “common home” that is beginning to resemble a “pile of filth”.
The pope’s 180-page encyclical on the environment, released on Thursday, calls for action on phasing out the use of fossil fuels.
The Guardian says it is also a document infused with an activist anger and concern for the poor, casting blame on the indifference of the powerful in the face of evidence that humanity is at risk following 200 years of misuse of resources.
He says that up until now the world has accepted a “cheerful recklessness” in its approach to the issue, writes The Guardian.
“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods,” the papal statement says. “It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”
The German newspaper Deutsche Welle (English version):
“Climate change deniers in the United States are already spluttering with indignation. So far only one of the Republicans running for the US presidency views climate change as a possible danger, and now the pope has demanded action in the name of the poor, whom he says are bearing the brunt of the richer nations’ greed.”
“The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours,” says James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate environment committee. “I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists,” said Senator Rick Santorum earlier, according to Deutsche Welle.