Dear Editor: Pope Francis in “Laudato si’” recognizes a climate “catastrophe” and “millions of premature deaths” from carbon burning pollutants, and demands massive decarbonization and conversion to renewables starting “without delay” “in the next few years.”
He also rejects carbon trading as a dishonest “ploy,” advocates a “fully borne” carbon price on polluters, proposes “boycotts” of polluters, condemns “loss of biodiversity” and advises “intergenerational solidarity.”
Scientifically trained and science-informed Pope Francis has been praised by scientists and climate activists, but his humane message about the worsening climate emergency has been censored by mainstream media and condemned by pro-fossil fuel and business-as usual neo-liberal politicians and commentators.
Seven million people die prematurely each year from carbon fuel-burning pollutants, including 200,000 in the U.S.A. “fully borne”cost of pollution is $200 per ton CO2-e with a consequent historical carbon debt to be inescapably borne by future generations of $540 trillion that is increasing by $20 trillion each year. The species extinction rate is now 100-1,000 times greater than normal.
It is now very unlikely that the world will avoid a catastrophic two degrees Centigrade temperature rise but decent people are obliged to do everything they can to make the future “less bad.”