Politicians who delay the global response to climate change are fools, and “history will judge” climate change deniers, Pope Francis declared Monday, in an interview with an Italian journalist during his flight home from a trip to Colombia.
“Anyone who denies [climate reality] should go to the scientists and ask them,” he said. “They speak very clearly…climate change is having an effect, and scientists are telling us which path to follow. And we have a responsibility—all of us. Everyone, great or small, has a moral responsibility…we must take it seriously…history will judge our decision.”
Francis’ recent statements on climate change have “echoed several themes of his papacy, including his deep suspicion of unbridled capitalism and its role in harming the environment,” Vox notes.
In a joint statement earlier this month with Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, Francis warned that: “Our propensity to interrupt the world’s delicate and balanced ecosystems, our insatiable desire to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and our greed for limitless profit in markets—all these have alienated us from the original purpose of creation. We no longer respect nature as a shared gift; instead, we regard it as a private possession. We no longer associate with nature in order to sustain it; instead, we lord over it to support our own constructs.”