Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pope Francis Aligns Himself With Mainstream Science on Climate

By JUSTIN GILLIS, NYT
JUNE 18, 2015

The new papal encyclical on the environment is a ringing call to action, a critique of consumerism and a prophetic warning about the dangers of ignoring what Pope Francis calls “the ecological crisis.”

But amid all his soaring rhetoric, did the pope get the science right?

The short answer from climate and environmental scientists is that he did, at least to the degree possible in a religious document meant for a broad audience. If anything, they say, he may have bent over backward to offer a cautious interpretation of the scientific facts.

For example, a substantial body of published science says that human emissions have caused all the global warming that has occurred over the past century. Yet in his letter, Francis does not go quite that far, citing volcanoes, the sun and other factors that can influence the climate before he concludes that “most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases” released mainly by human activity.

(More here.)

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