Did you see this? Last week, Pope Francis visited the United States for the first time in his life -- and delivered a passionate call to act on climate change. After he praised President Obama's leadership from the White House lawn and addressed both chambers of Congress on his hope for "a courageous and responsible effort" to cut global warming pollution, Francis headed to New York and Philadelphia. Addressing the United Nations last Friday His Holiness was unequivocal in calling for a strong climate deal in Paris this December, and more. He said "I am ... confident that the Paris Conference on Climatic Change will secure fundamental and effective agreements. Solemn commitments, however, are not enough, even though they are a necessary step toward solutions."*
But despite Pope Francis' evocative words and good deeds, some leading members of Congress are leading the charge against the binding international deal on climate we need. While the excitement and momentum of Francis' visit is still fresh in their minds, will you contact your members of Congress and ask them to heed Francis' call by telling us their plan to fight climate chaos?
Drew and the Holy Climate! Crew at Environmental Action
PS - Anthony's email from last week is below if you need more references, or just a reminder about what the pope said in D.C.
His Holiness Pope Francis gave our lawmakers a specific challenge: To take courageous and responsible steps to address human induced climate change. Click here to demand your lawmakers reveal their plan to act on climate in response to the Pontiff's call.
History was made in the United States today as Pope Francis became the first pontiff to address a joint session of Congress. In a powerful speech, His Holiness referred to stewardship of our planet as the "common good." And that makes sense since Earth is the only home we have and taking care of it requires collective action.
Pope Francis also issued a challenge to our Congress when he said, "I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps, and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I have no doubt that the United States -- and this Congress -- have an important role to play, now is the time for courageous actions and strategies."
The pontiff's call to action deserves a response: How will our lawmakers respond to the pope's challenge? Click here to demand your lawmakers publicly respond to the pope's call to act on climate by releasing their plan to address global warming.
Unfortunately, many of our lawmakers have not responded kindly to the actions of President Obama or the Environmental Protection Agency to tackle humanity's greatest challenge. Some lawmakers like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) even skipped the Pope's speech because of his stance on climate change. Gosar stated, "If the pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend."1
We've also witnessed lawmakers' attempts to delay, de-fund and debunk the President's Clean Power Plan,2 and some have even contacted international leaders to convince them not to cooperate with the President on any global climate deals.3 That's why we need to contact our elected officials and press them on what they plan to do besides dismiss the proposals of their political adversaries. Who knows, maybe there will be some divine intervention and even the most recalcitrant elected officials will actually step up to the pope's challenge.
The word pope comes from the Latin Pontifex, which means "greatest bridge builder." Today Pope Francis attempted to build a bridge between our Congress and the courage it will take to stop climate chaos. And we have seen signs even before his visit that his message is resonating. This month nearly a dozen House Republicans broke rank with their leadership and will call for action on climate change.4
Amen, that's a great start, but it will take more than a baker's-dozen to secure the common good. We will need as many lawmakers as possible heeding the pope's call and coming up with plans of their own to save our climate, our planet and each other. Click here to ask your representatives and Senators for their plan to stop climate change.
Thanks for all you do,
Anthony for Environmental Action
* Transcript: Read the Speech Pope Francis Gave to the United Nations, Time, September 25, 2015
1. Foran, Clare. House Republican Plans To Boycott Pope Francis's Speech Over Climate Change. National Journal. September 24, 2015.
2. Carducci, Alyssa. Congressional Republicans Plan To Delay, Defang Clean Power Plan. Heartland. August 10, 2015.
3. Cama, Timothy. McConnell Warns Countries Against UN Climate Plan. The Hill. March 31, 2015.
4. Goldenberg, Suzanne. Republicans To Break Rank With Party Leaders In Call For Climate Action. The Guardian, September 17, 2015.