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Vatican Issues Major Report on Science of Climate Change May 6th, 2011

Thanks to the Catholic Climate Covenant campaign for the information in this post.

A working group of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, one of the oldest scientific institutes in the world, has issued a sobering report on the implications for humankind of the melting of glaciers from human-induced climate change. In their declaration, the working group calls, “on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses.” They echoed Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 World Day of Peace Message saying, “…if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us.”

The report, which now brings the moral authority of the Vatican to bear on this important debate, focuses on the global retreat of mountain glaciers which results from human activity and warns that, “Failure to mitigate climate change will violate our duty to the vulnerable of the Earth, including those dependent on the water supply of mountain glaciers, and those facing rising sea level and stronger storm surges. Our duty includes the duty to help vulnerable communities adapt to changes that cannot be mitigated. All nations must ensure that their actions are strong enough and prompt enough to address the increasing impacts and growing risk of climate change and to avoid catastrophic irreversible consequences.” (Emphasis added.)

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