Pope Francis has made an amazing amount of headlines in his short tenure, and his latest splash is because of his stance on climate change. The extremely progressive pope is expected to instruct the over one billion Catholics that it is their duty to act on climate change and will reportedly do so from the typhoon devastated city of Tacloban in the Philippines.
Pope Francis has been in the news very frequently of late. Most recently, as the Inquisitr reported, he wished the Curia a merry Christmas by, in essence, calling them a bunch of power hungry hypocrites and listing off a host of ailments that weaken their ability to serve God. As the leader of a Church that has a history of scientific denialism tracing all the way back to the dark ages, this pope is an enigma. Pope Francis has declined to judge gays, saying "It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety," referring to allowing same sex couples the ability to be given economic and medical access equality. The pope has also decried capitalism and embraced evolution as complimentary to divine creation, not counter to it.
The vast majority of scientific minds have come out in support of climate change. The Earth is warming due to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This warming is creating instability in various locales which leads to harsher winters, such as those experienced by the Midwestern United States last year, extended droughts, melting polar ice caps, and more violent storms such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and typhoons. Despite the denialism exhibited by many U.S. politicians and decried by the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedic personalities such as Jon Stewart, the pope has made climate change a common theme of his papacy.
Pope Francis called a five day summit in May entitled "Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, Our Responsibility" that brought together a diverse group of experts including economists, various scientists, astronomers, and philosophers to investigate the different ways the Catholic Church could mitigate climate change and enhance sustainable practices. He has often referred to deforestation as a sin and referenced the book of Genesis when telling Christians that they are charged with the care of the world God created.
"Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!"
Pope Francis reminds the faithful that Creation (the Earth) is a gift, not something that is owned and can be destroyed at will. He calls the destruction an insult to God, likening it to a declaration that the Earth is not good enough because the individual or their interest in a profit is superior. Pope Francis calls this the sin of self-idolatry.