Pope Francis Blasts US, Climate Change Skeptics & ‘Irresponsible’ Western Lifestyles

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In a scathing letter released on Wednesday, Pope Francis issued his sharpest statement to date against the escalating climate problem, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of major corporations, world leaders, and “irresponsible” Western lifestyles.

“Our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point,” the pontiff wrote in a 7,000 word encyclical called Laudate Deum (“Praise God”).

“Some effects of the climate crisis are already irreversible, at least for several hundred years, such as the increase in the global temperature of the oceans, their acidification and the decrease of oxygen,” he wrote.

The pope harshly criticized those who delay or deny climate warming.

“Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident. No one can ignore the fact that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather phenomena, frequent periods of unusual heat, drought and other cries of protest,” he wrote.

Ignoring it will increase “the probability of extreme phenomena that are increasingly frequent and intense,” he warned, and climate change is expected to only become worse.

The pope focused in particular on the wealthy nations’ disproportionate contribution to climate change.

“If we consider that emissions per individual in the United States are about two times greater than those of individuals living in China, and about seven times greater than the average of the poorest countries, we can state that a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model would have a significant long-term impact,” he wrote.