Your Comments on Pope Francis’ Pronouncement about Climate Change

Pope Francis said that protecting the environment is moral, ethical, and imperative, for believers and non believers alike, and that it should supersede political and economical interest. He also dismissed those who argue that technology will solve all our environmental problems, and that hunger and poverty would be solved simply by market growth.

Do you agree with Pope Francis? What do you think about protecting the planet as an ethical and moral obligation?


Aaron Burr Washington June 19, 2015
Amazing how much more credibility and authority the Pope has in the liberal universe when he agrees with the warmest point of view on global warming. But as for abortion, LGBT issues, women’s rights and others, not so much and let’s keep that line between church and state bright and clear.

Vernon Castle Aticama, Mexico June 19, 2015

Ed dodges the essential point- all efforts to roll back environmental degradation are undermined as the world pushes towards 9 billion. It’s ingenuous at best to hide behind an argument that “it’s all about privilege and wasting food”. The various religions that encourage large families, on a planet with limited resources, are as culpable as the fossil fuel industry in creating environmental degradation. There is no way around that fact. Sophistry is defined as “the use of fallacious arguments, esp. with the intention of deceiving.” The church and it’s apologists need to recognize the ever increasing cost to the planet from unlimited human reproduction.

Jagadeesan Escondido, CA June 19, 2015

This could be the game changer we have prayed for, literally and figuratively. Climate change has been waiting in the wings to become a major issue in our politics. All it takes is the right catalyst. Priests preaching from the pulpits all over America, with protestant pastors jumping aboard, could be the thing. The many ecumenical gatherings to promote inter-religious harmony could have a new purpose and passion. My fondest hopes are that the greed mongering politicians will be caught flat footed and booted from office across the land. It could happen.

Ian Easson Ottawa, Ontario Canada June 19, 2015

Republicans call on religion when those religious messages agree with their ideology. And attack them when they don’t.

Marcus NJ June 19, 2015

Climate change deniers, gun rights advocates,income inequality and greed is good charlatans. Wondering how the rest of the world is judging us

Ken Charlotte NC June 19, 2015

Not so long ago, those of us Catholics who disagreed with the positions and direction of the church hierarchy were told by conservative Catholics that we either fell in line or we were not Catholic. Obedience to papal authority was the litmus test for membership in the faith. Now suddenly those same voices are loudly questioning Pope Francis and his authority, when the Church’s teachings message collides with their interests and ideology. So, are you no longer Catholic then? Or can we just refer to you as a “cafeteria Catholic” who selects only the a la carte dishes that suit you?

yourmakinmecrazy Boston June 19, 2015

I am Catholic, I love the Pope and especially what Pope Francis does to help the poor. BUT, the Pope is no more an authority on Global Warming than he is on Economics, or the NFL. This article is so blind to real science that it is more of a commercial promoting Global Warming than anything else. I have news for you and for Pope Francis, there is no Global Warming. The real facts are, the real science is, the Earth has not warmed a single degree in almost 20 years. That is what is true. When you talk about ‘well financed’ forces impacting the debate and trying to hide the truth, you should be talking about all of the university professors collecting millions in government grant money to “study the issue”… do you think they will ever come out and say there really isn’t much impact on the world wide temperatures, which would cut off their well financed research and incomes ???

sleeve West Chester PA June 19, 2015

Ever notice the age and gender of those funding the propaganda of the deniers? The Koch-heads are in their mid 80s as is the head of Faux Noise, the White Trash Network. The youngsters leading Exxon, BP, Shell, and the rest of the big polluters, and Wall Street that funds them, are all are at least in their 70s white and male. These perverse unhealthy ugly old white men will not be here to see the results of their sociopathy, but the rest of us hope to be so time for some changes and let the deniers pay for it with a new 100% tax on wealth over a million a year. We will be at least headed in the right direction. Don’t forget who gave voice to the deniers: the same moron who assured us about the WMDs. And W may have been more correct about us being greeted as liberators in was Iraq than he was about what can kill us all.

Scott Domres Denver, CO June 19, 2015

In the very same encyclical, the pope said “concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion.” I suspect the right will join in the fight against climate change just as soon as the left starts working to ban abortion.

jb Brooklyn June 19, 2015

Gee, when you look at it that way McConnell looks kinda petty for a change.

John Smithson California June 19, 2015

I agree that climate change is an important issue.

But it doesn’t help to act as though we know what we don’t know. We don’t know how much warming will occur if we put more carbon dioxide into the air. We don’t know if we are reaching a dangerous tipping point. We don’t know if any measures we take now will make much, if any, difference.

Given that science has not given, and cannot give, concrete answers, opinions will of course differ. People on both sides of the debate — the “alarmists” and the “deniers” — would do better to calm down and realize that because someone else thinks differently does not mean that they are wrong.

Truth is, we all could do better. Americans consume resources as though they were exhaustible. Huge houses — sometimes more than one — kept at constant temperatures through heat and cold. Obesity a bigger problem than hunger. Electronic gadgets bought and discarded with a year or two’s use.

I’m not a Christian, but I think the Catholic Church might do better preaching more of what the New Testament attributes to Christ than enter the political dogfight that climate change has become.

Toning down conspicuous consumption. Controlling population growth. Working together on public issues instead of selfishly. Preaching those teachings might help.

Garth Mpls June 19, 2015

Speaking as a Protestant minister, I believe this pope gives great cover for many of our ministers to preach an ecologically just message to their congregations. Having over one billion folks on one’s side (even if they aren’t in the same denomination) on this issue is a bulwark for change. Thank you, Pope Francis!

Dr D Salt Lake City June 19, 2015

As an atheist, I have a number of disagreements with the teaching of the Catholic Church including their policies on birth control which is one of the drivers on many environmental problems and poverty. Having said that, I find that this pope is far better than the previous popes and seems to actually care about the people more and less about just holding on to past practices. I think that this pope is someone that I could actually enjoy at least talking with. I can only hope that some good comes out of his pronouncements on climate change.

Stan Lubbock, Tx June 19, 2015

Science offers its view on global warming based on available data, the Pope expresses his view in moral terms, and Senator Inhofe, for example, argues on behalf of industry and ideology.

Well, as Meatloaf says, two out three ain’t bad.

Mike Maryland June 19, 2015

One child scheduled for abortion–er, excuse me, termination–and saved is worth as many trees as you can count.

Will Owen Pasadena, CA June 19, 2015

It’s too bad that while His Holiness has so well addressed one of the gravest problems that are within our power to correct, the climate change resulting from human activities, he is by his faith constrained from addressing the other one: there are simply too many of us, and those numbers will too soon double.

If we do nothing about climate change, the planet will eventually become uninhabitable to most mammals, of whom we are among the most vulnerable. If we do nothing to limit population growth, the rising rate of violence, locally to worldwide, will become less about mere ideology or theology and more about fighting over food and water, and millions more will perish. I would suggest to His Holiness that preferring that solution to simply allowing contraception, and perhaps early-term abortion, is not unlike the jihadists’ willingness to sacrifice whole populations in the name of Allah. I believe it is much better to admit that the problem exists, and to address it before life’s beginning rather than at the other end.

David X new haven ct June 19, 2015

The effect of Mitch “Peabody” McConnell actions is similar to that of a deranged father who kills his family and then himself–except that in his case, the family being killed is the whole human population of the world.

Please, Mitch, we don’t want to die!

Radx28 New York June 19, 2015

A religious leader that leads with his mind rather than his ideology is a refreshing confirmation of the intrinsic value of both political power and it’s religious heritage.

John J.B. Miller Kerrville, Texas June 19, 2015

When we see pictures of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome we see the populace dressed in very light weight garments. The world must have been warmer then rather than now. But if that does mean a cycle, it is a cycle of a thousand years, or a very long time before the earth starts to cool again.

Larry Where ever June 19, 2015

If you don’t believe the Pope is infallible, then the encyclical has about as much meaning as the Unibomber manifesto.

If you DO believe the Pope is infallible, then you must be obedient to ALL of his teachings, including those on abortion and Birth Control, etc.

You don’t get to pick and choose.

Curmudgeon Ithaca, NY June 19, 2015


William Trainor Rock Hall,MD June 19, 2015

Why is climate change a political issue? Democrats have embraced the role of human behavior and Republicans have denounced the Science. Democratic politicians thus accept the conclusions of the Climate Scientists, and the Republicans have used Science as a political club. I am astounded by the degree that the Republican political system has exploited an anti-science, anti-intellectual bias that must pervade our electorate. I can only guess that many of those who call themselves “Conservative” harbor these anti-science biases either because of religious reasons, lack of education or self consciousness about their lack of knowledge and understanding. It will be up to the Republicans to make this right. In the meantime, Go Pope!

Lloyd Levine Philadelphia June 19, 2015

Reality is the science is not at all consistent and seems more likely that the climate change narrative is false. When stats about the number of scientists supporting these likely false theories, it is NOT climate scientists, but often social scientists, so don’t believe those numbers. Have you considered reading anything about this subject? I can always tell if someone has read anything serious on this subject because they are aware that the models are wrong, there has not been warming in many years and extreme weather is at an all time low these facts do not support the climate change hysteria. Who then is the science denier? Read the work of actual climate scientists such as Fred Singer (likely the most respected expert on this subject) and you’ll see that we’re (I should say you are) being manipulated with distorted facts, debunked models and a political agenda.

Lawrence Zajac Williamsburg June 19, 2015

Does what the Pope says matter? Damned right it does!

Barbara L.A. June 19, 2015

“The fact that a majority in Congress does not support him (President Obama) cannot help his credibility as a world leader on the climate issue.” I do not agree. Most people, having watched our shameless, dysfunctional Congress bring a once-proud U.S. to a standstill in recent years, will credit President Obama for trying. And, like President Obama, these countries should go ahead without Congress. The last iceberg will have long melted by the time Congress does anything.

yourmakinmecrazy Boston June 19, 2015

“The last iceberg will have melted by the time Congress does anything”… what a laugh. According to the Global Warming alarmists in 2008, we should have seen no snow at all in the U.S. this year – in 2015. How did that work out ?

2015 saw super heavy snow storms, frigid temperatures, the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls frozen at record levels. That, is the fact. That, is the real truth. There is no Global Warming. None. Zip. Nada.

blackmamba IL June 19, 2015

The Pope Francis is both scientist-chemist- and theologian- Jesuit Roman Catholic. The Pope Francis is both humanitarian and judge. His faith has a heritage of crusades, inquisitions, slavery, genocide, colonialism, sectarian conflict/war, misogyny, anti-science and anti-intellectualism. Politicians are not scientists.

The Pope Francis is a community organizing humanitarian socialist like St. Francis of Assisi and the Jesus of Nazareth of Matthew 25:31- 46. The Pope Francis is not a gun toting, gum chewing, NASCAR watching, military service evading, truck driving, Fox News watching, Wall Street Journal reading conservative Republican Southern businessman.

The climate will change no matter what we humans know or do. Science is the provisional best natural explanation for the best currently available natural information. Faith is the eternal divine supernatural truth. Humans are alleged to be more intelligent than the Synapsid aka mammal-like reptiles that vanished at the end of the Permian and the dinosaurs who became extinct except for birds at the end of the Cretaceous era. Time will tell.

Radx28 New York June 19, 2015

We live in a universe where ‘the roll of the dice’ is every bit as important as intelligence. We’ll need some of both.

carolinajoe North Carolina June 19, 2015

“The climate will change no matter what we humans know or do. ”

Really? Based on what?

Doing nothing and praying for the best?

Dennis New York June 19, 2015

God Bless You, Pontiff, Oh Holy Father for your Pax Humana on Climate Change.

Here in the US we have over a dozen Republicans running for the highest office in the land, and many of them are Catholics, yet I don’t know what kind of Catholics they are. They dismiss you, Holy Father. They say you of all people should have no say in climate change because somehow it is not your area of expertise. They say they want you to stick to saying Mass, singing hymns and say good things without regard for the tremendous selfishness we have exhibited and the lack of care we have shown as caretakers of this wonderful spinning Blue Marble we ALL inhabit, our glorious Mother Earth.

I thought your job, Holy Father, if one could call it that, was to look out for we sinners, provide solace and guidance and hope, and pray for us to see the light, to realize that you are not only looking out for only Catholics, or only Americans, but all of Humanity.

What is wrong with Catholic Republicans in the US, Holy Father? How could they deny you as they denied Jesus? For you embody to Catholics the physical presence of God on this sacred Earth, and Earth you spoke so eloquently and lovingly of.

Pray for us, Father, for we have sinned. Pray especially for those who wish to lead US, yet deny you, for they know not what they do. They have chosen the false god of political expediency over you.

But, if they do know, then shame on them.

James Jordan Falls Church, VA June 19, 2015

It is regrettable that global warming became a political issue rather than a technical challenge. It should have never happened. I don’t know who to blame but it was stupid, beyond belief.

Republican President Eisenhower, when he found himself between a rock and a hard place on putting the Interstate Highway System through an uncooperative State system, came up with the Defense Highway System which got him over the Constitutional challenge hurdle.

Likewise on Global Warming, President Obama should direct for National Security purposes two major Defense projects,

  1. A Defense Interstate Maglev Transport System which would result in the development of a 300 mph superconducting Maglev national logistics network for passengers & freight trucks, see: for concept, that would interconnect the major metro areas and ports of the country. 74% of the population would live within 15 miles of a Maglev station.
  2. A Defense Maglev Launched, Space Based Electric Power Generating Satellite System to beam electric power to receiving stations on Earth for distribution on Grids.

This should be done as an International Project like the international space station so as to avoid it being used as a military weapon. This same system can be used as an Asteroid Defense System & as means to increase global communications.

These projects are described in “Maglev America” by the superconducting Maglev inventors, Drs. James Powell and Gordon Danby. Available on Amazon.

PJ Lanet Florida June 19, 2015

The Pope has spoken – the truth. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Pity so many members of Congress need hearing aids.

Carolinajoe North Carolina June 19, 2015

So many people below do not want to hear the truth. They want to stay the course, or worse, continue exploitation with no concern for tomorrow. So many without the basic level of common sense. Just look around people, we can’t continue with this amount of garbage produced and environment destroyed. The American Conservatism sickens me to the core. There is no morality there, no decency, no value whatsoever, no concern for the future.

The younger generation is more receptive to change, and there is the only hope….

c. n.y.c. June 19, 2015

Papa Francesco has advanced for us a vision of our society as deeply-connected, fragile, and worth protecting.

Coverage in the Times has focused narrowly on the connection between ecology and the poor. This is vastly understating the scope of his encyclical.

I encourage you to read it in full, as I’m doing now.

Francis explores the breakdown of our society with the advance of technocracy. It critiques the relativism that allows us to exploit people, other living creatures, and ecosystems with a self-centered, self-enriching attitude.

The Pope takes an impressively wide perspective, including people of other faiths as well as the non-religious in his call to action.

He spares no “drop the mic” moments, castigating big business and leveling a withering attack on reckless destruction; careless profit-seeking.

Above all, he calls out the “globalization of indifference” as the primary obstacle to healing our planet.

We live in a beautiful, profound, world. That should motivate us to protect it.

Trover Los Angeles June 19, 2015

Excellent and 100% on point. Please refrain from telling us what talk radio hosts and Fox news have to say.

álvaro malo Tucson, AZ June 19, 2015

“Be Praised,” Francis.

With intellectual precision and relentless courage, you have addressed the possible origin and purpose of human presence on earth:

  • Economy, ‘from Greek ‘oikos’ = dwelling, household; nomos’ = management, stewardship — good housekeeping at any scale, from your own home, to the village, to ‘blue dot’ earth, management of energy, materials and resources, including all animate species and ourselves
  • Ecology, from Greek ‘oikos’ = dwelling, household; ‘logos’ = rational discourse, knowledge — rational [not superstitious or mythical] understanding of our residence on earth resulting in ideas, communication, precepts and abidance by natural laws
    If the pundits, the politicians and the ‘raiders of spaceship Earth’ want to make hay of your encyclical pronouncement for their own gain or vanity, let that be their epitaph. This is not a temporal document — it is a timeless manifesto.

They may ignore it at their own risk. But you have reminded us that this earth is not ours to keep and exhaust, but to steward with reason and affection and pass on with care and love to future generations of all living species.

Delicate Genius Cambridge, MA June 19, 2015

In the spirit of rigorous philosophical thinking and good science – has anyone on the editorial board spent even 5 minutes reviewing the evidence *against* anthropogenic global warming {and/or the newer ‘climate change’?}

Just wondering. Because, at very least, many of those models from 10 and 15 years ago? Wildy inaccurate.

“It is difficult to discriminate the voice of truth from amid the clamour raised by heated partisans.” — Friedrich Schiller

Prof.Jai Prakash Sharma, is a trusted commenter Jaipur, India. June 19, 2015

It seems the climate change action agenda that Pope Francis has outlined through the Encyclical would be difficult to ignore by the world leaders at the Paris conference.

Dave Sjolin St. Louis Missouri June 19, 2015

Until the pope and his minions give up their billions, sell the Vatican grounds & their fabulous homes and contribute all the proceeds to the UN, I would say so what? It’s all hot air. The Catholic church long ago lost any standing on moral issues when it covered up all the pedophile priests and its financial dealings with the Mafia. I cant believe the NY Times and all the liberals going ga-ga over the pope when they would call him a Neanderthal if he said anything about abortion.

Jeremy Eliot Chicago June 19, 2015

The Human race moved into buildings and moved around in cars… far, far away from nature… One day, we will pen our window and see that we have destroyed it. In the movie “Matrix”
we, the human race are accurately defined as a fungous… and we are… we are… and there is nothing that can stop it from growing in numbers… nothing.

tom carney manhattan Beach June 19, 2015

Can’t get blood out of a rock. It is obvious that many of the hearts of the conservative party members have turned to stone.

whistling_girl lokicat June 19, 2015

What hypocrisy that the pope never mentions the true cause of climate change: overpopulation, with said problem to be laid at the door of the Roman Catholic Church and it’s pro-natalist dogma. It’s been millennia since the early Jews, and the child of Judaism, Christians, needed to increased its numbers or die out. If he’s supposed to be a scientist, then he should know that the “filth” begins the moment a child is born. I speak of the first stages of life: trillions on nondegradable diapers, and billions of baby wipes, now know to clog up city sewer systems.

The ‘filth’ each child generates, just by being, escalates as he or she grows and consumes more and expects more things in life (cellphones, cars, fashionable clothing that self-destructs, and appliances with “planned obsolescence” so you have to replace it after 5 years).
I love children but we need to stop making fewer of them. “The population explosion is everybody’s baby” even if you never have your own.” We need to hold the Vatican and all pro-natalist groups responsible for changing laws (like the global gag rule) and encourage birth control. The IUD is hugely effective and safe, yet the Vatican opposes it with a bogus argument. That means huge social change–meanwhile women are fighting a rearguard action with the US Bishops to just preserve access to birth control. The cynicism of all this, of forcing women to give birth, when they don’t 7 children, is appalling.

Ellen Oxman New York New York June 19, 2015

“Above all, Francis frames the encyclical as a call to action. He praises young people for being ready for change, and said “enforceable international agreements are urgently needed.” He cites Benedict in saying that advanced societies “must be prepared to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving its efficiency.”” I was the mother to two young people (now 21 & 23). They and their friends Need the newest phones, computers, TV’s, on and on. My generation invented Earth Day. Recently a friend joked his little brother was the “TV remote control” because they didn’t exist…and their TV had foil on the “antennas” because in “the old days” families kept TV’s Forever. Now everyone needs a new one every year, bigger more hi def, dead TV’s piled high on Arthur Kill landfill. Why? US culture requires you be on the newest anti-depressant or other drugs, the newest food fad in a plastic container, on and on. The Pope’s new message is a Golden Oldie. Ignatius Loyola said “Go forth and set the world on fire”, so goes “Laudato Si”, with hope and Jesuit/Franciscan ideals at work. As Joni Mitchell sang in “Woodstock” so long ago, “we are stardust we are golden and we got to get ourselves back to the garden”.

DaDa Chicago June 19, 2015

This is the point we’ve reached:
Republicans (who keep reminding us that they are not scientists): The Pope has no business discussing the earth, which is 5,000 years old, as it says in the Bible.
Pope (who actually is a scientist): Yet it moves.

Neal New York, NY June 19, 2015

So the Pope is a tree-hugger? This may well force Ross Douthat to change his religion — again!

Ray Illinois June 19, 2015

Conservatives accuse the Pope of politicizing the issue of climate change, what a laugh, they have politicized the issue thoroughly not the Pope.

HJBoitel New York June 19, 2015

The logic applied by some, who dismiss Pope Francis’ encyclical, is what I would call “war time logic”: never give credibility to the enemy. They cast him as the enemy because they disagree with Church teachings on other subjects. That is precisely the kind of logic that has put the US Congress in a straight jacket, as to many important issues, and that has permitted the majority, in one house or the other, to steamroller through legislation that proper debate and/or cooperative action could have substantially improved.

No one and no group is right all the time. Those who believe that the Pope has a theologically endowed access to truth, because of his position, are free to accept his currrent pronouncements, without question. The rest of us, who understand and agree with his analysis on the subject of this encyclical, either bring that agreement to a reading of the encyclical or are persuaded by the logic of his analysis. Either way, we can be happy that these points are being made by a person of great stature, with an extremely widely heard voice.

Those who disagree with him, should specify their points of disagreement. rather than merely saying he should be disregarded because he is a religious leader or because he does not have scientific ecology credentials or because they disagree with his views on other issues.

Kelly New Jersey June 19, 2015

As the atheist son of very lapsed Catholics I have had to balance my admiration for this Pope against my own deeply held personal beliefs. But then again I do that every day as when I read a piece by a conservative that makes sense and requires me to check my thinking and reconsider my position. Linking Catholic Church pronouncements on abortion or reproduction or past church leaders’ failure of courage or moral fiber to this pronouncement is a dodge. No surprise from the deniers camp, where logic and reason have no sway and the future be damned. Despite our disagreement on numerous important issues, I love this Pope.

E.S. Jackson North Carolina June 19, 2015

Some of those commenting seem to make the innocent assumption that all Pope Francis has to do is wave his hand, issue an edict, and the entire world will suddenly stop breeding without restraint. It’s true that Catholics comprise about half (50%) of Christians worldwide. But Catholics account for 16% of the total global population. Impressive numbers, if you’re in the U.S., Europe, or South America.

But CHINA, with 1.357 billion people, doesn’t much care what the Pope says about population or anything else. Various guesstimates list the Catholic population of China at about 0.75%. Imagine how little impact a lower birth rate of Chinese Catholic will have on the Chinese total.

INDIA, with 1.25 billion people, is approx. 1.55% Catholic.

Of AFRICA’s 1.11 billion people, perhaps 175 million are Catholics.

To put in another way, yelling about how it’s all the Pope’s fault will probably not solve the overpopulation of the world.

Winthrop Staples, Newbury Park, CA June 19, 2015

It is actually much more important that the Pope advocate for human population stabilization and then reduction on earth. It will do no good to reduce CO2 emissions and other pollution and habitat destruction per person, if we keep increasing the number of polluting, none renewal resource consumers on this planet by an additional billion every 2 decades.

Carmellow London June 19, 2015

Is there any subject that this mortal doesn’t have an opinion on? Rather than solve the world’s problems why doesn’t he simply clean up his own house. His church still runs the most corrupt bank in the world and his clergy are riddled with pedophiles. I for one not interested in his political views.

James Pittsburgh June 19, 2015

The New York times opinion piece and the Pope’s Encyclical clarify one thing. The primary issue about being for or against climate change is moral not scientific. This is why the climate change deniers or even those who admit to climate change but see more benefits than detriments from the change are not considered just wrong but Bad. It is why the republicans are considered not dumb but rather evil.

drspock New York June 19, 2015

While Republican candidates avoid discussing global warming, they are all quick to proclaim their commitment to “faith” and point out how their belief in God has shaped their lives.

Fine, let’s hold them to what they say and ask how their particular theological views inform their opinions and prospective policies on global warming? After all, isn’t the earth God’s creation and isn’t mankind merely its steward?

David San Francisco June 19, 2015

To cut back on consumerism – and the filth it generates — cut back on shopping.

To show respect for the Bible, for Christianity, for this planet, and for future generations, cut way, way back on shopping at Christmas.

Dr. Mysterious Pinole, CA June 19, 2015

Your worries about the detrimental effects of a long term creeping, at best, problem would be worthy of note if you did not ignore the total context of the Pope’s message. The whole planet includes human beings being treated as disposable rubbish by many tyrants, religions, “ecologists” and “progressives”.

Keith TN June 19, 2015

In reply to retired physicist’s comment, “Week after week, I read comments that invoke population control as the ‘elephant in the room’. It’s time to set the record straight – population control, while necessary in the long term, is woefully inadequate to address rapid climate change.”

The problem with this statement is that population control needs to start now so that we can stop or at least slow the rate of increase. Sure its not an immediate complete solution but it will definitely help and is necessary since as you note people live a long time so reducing the number of births now has a high long term effect as well as a short term effect.

What we need is an all of the above strategy.

NYT Pick June 19, 2015

Part of the tragedy of this week is that the murders in Charleston have understandably taken the attention away from the Pope’s statement. Somehow we need to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

JoJo Boston June 19, 2015

I’m an agnostic Humanist, but I like Papa Frank, and he’s clearly one of the most universally loved pontiffs in a long time. Have you noticed that there seem to be only two groups that don’t like him? — violent, radical Islamic fascists and the extreme right-wing in America. That’s significant. In my opinion, these groups are two sides of the same coin, differing only by accident of indoctrination & currently the two most destructive on the planet.

By the way, maybe we should have listened to sincerely religious leaders on some other things in the past, like when the leading Christian & Jewish clerics almost universally took the position in 2003 that starting the War in Iraq violated Just War Criteria. Leaving aside the false pretexts for that war, in light of this new-found concern for the environment, even the real reason for the war, guaranteeing access and control of damaging fossil fuels, seems ultimately self-destructive.

jim worth nyc June 19, 2015

Hooray for the Pope! As for “the timing – could not have been better” may be not so much. A quarter century ago would have been nice but one can’t fault Francis for that. And reading many of the comments it doesn’t seem we are quite ready to face the facts even now. And as to the Pope’s and the NYT’s reflex about the poor being the most hard hit – while true, the damage to all life on the planet, the misery, starvation, disease, war and chaos etc should be enough to spur us to action beyond our sympathy for the less fortunate.
However slim our chances to avoid the worst they are so much better NOW –
so much cheaper, more possible of success NOW than later.

Adrian O State College, PA June 19, 2015

Mike B:”I think the more immediate issue or concern is eliminating fossil fuels from our energy diet.”

Nothing would showcase better the problems of fossil fuels,
nothing better than an All New England Fossil-Free February 2016.

Only solar cell and wind heating, power and transportation, for the whole of February.

That will show’em.

Jerry Steffens Mishawaka, IN June 19, 2015

People who criticize Pope Francis for not coming out in favor of population control need a reality check; if he had done so, it would have ignited a civil war within the Catholic Church. And it’s a red herring anyway — the two most populous nations on earth by far are China and India, neither of which is likely to be swayed by a pronouncement by the Pope!