Few Clouds 41° Good Afternoon
Few Clouds 41° Good Afternoon

Letters: Pope a key voice on climate change

Pope Francis delivers his message on the occasion

Pope Francis delivers his message on the occasion of an audience with participants of Rome's diocese convention in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, June 14, 2015. Francis engaged in some self-promotion during his weekly blessing, alerting the thousands of people in St. Peter's Square that his first solo encyclical would be coming out on Thursday and inviting them to pay attention to environmental degradation around them. Photo Credit: AP / Gregorio Borgia

Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change is a global wake-up call for humanity to mitigate the global warming for which we are responsible ["A prophet and the planet," Editorial, June 21]. Will we listen? Will we act?

We citizens, Catholic or not, can do our part: Personally use less energy, write letters, demonstrate, vote. But we need action from people with power at local, national and international levels.

I hope that powerful officials are hearing the pope's message and will do the right thing, starting with closing down coal plants and ramping up funding for renewable energy. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, are you listening?

Elizabeth Sabbatini, Old Brookville

The forceful statement on climate change and the environment by this Jesuit pope is welcomed by all people concerned about the Earth.

However, he minimizes the effect of population growth on environmental degradation in comparison with consumerism and the political and economic systems involved.

The pope ignored population because of the church's dogmatic stand against birth control. But the irony is that as we reach 8, 9, 10 billion people, any gains from personal or political change will be offset by population growth, and sadly there will be calls for forced sterilizations, mandatory limits on family size and even state-mandated abortion. The church's position on the sanctity of life will in the long run give birth to a greater tragedy.

Jon Landsbergis, Kew Gardens

As a long and emphatically lapsed Catholic, I was greatly surprised and moved by Pope Francis' manifesto on the great moral issue of climate change.

It was equally surprising but disturbing to read the infantile reaction by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who unfortunately chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources. He characterized Francis' comments as merely "more rhetoric" that won't "add a heck of a lot" to our understanding of this existential crisis. In this matter at least, the pope's vision and influence thankfully dwarf Bishop's.

Pray that we all wake up before such morally bankrupt oligarchic and plutocratic buffoons destroy the lovely planet that sustains us all. On the other hand, Francis needs to address the reality and consequences of human overpopulation.

We all need to think deeply about these things, and support those who would naturally share, rather than those who would compulsively take and squander.

James Moyssiadis, Mount Sinai