Pope Francis made his clearest—and likely most divisive—statement on the environment Thursday, when he announced that man is primarily responsible for climate change. Speaking to reporters while en route to the Philippines he said “I don’t know if it is all (man’s fault) but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature.” The Pope’s comments come as he prepares a long-awaited encyclical on the environment, which he hopes to publish in June ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris.
The encyclical will provide a moral argument for action to slow climate change, and judging by recent statements, he is unlikely to mince words. In Thursday’s conversation with journalists he explained “We have, in a sense, lorded it over nature, over Sister Earth, over Mother Earth,” adding “I think man has gone too far. Thank God that today there are voices that are speaking out about this.”
He had similarly blunt words regarding the U.N. climate talks. Speaking of the Peru meeting, the Pope stated, “(t)he Peru meeting was nothing much, it disappointed me. I think there was a lack of courage. They stopped at a certain point. Let’s hope the delegates in Paris will be more courageous and move forward with this.”