Pope Francis calls for a new attitude toward nature in his eco-encyclical “Laudato Si” back in 2015: “Nature is usually understood as a system to be analyzed, understood and managed, but creation can only be understood as a gift.”
Humanity, he said, must adopt an attitude of humility and respect rather than arrogance and power. Today, he said, humanity is on a suicidal course. There is an urgent need for a “bold cultural revolution,” he said. This encyclical contributed significantly to the adoption of the Paris climate goals. Now the pope is showing renewed concern about the dramatic climate crisis.
In his new position paper “Laudato Deum,” he calls on humanity to make a radical change. The climate crisis is constantly intensifying, he said. Climate change deniers are “confused.” Man should not destroy creation with his industrial and technical possibilities. Francis appeals to “all people of good will”.
Francis calls above all for more humane forms of economic activity. He recalled the “human right to clean drinking water. Millions of people have no roof over their heads, while in other parts of the world there is a “scandalous level of consumption. People themselves must change, the Pope writes. Especially those who live in abundance. They can reduce their consumption, use less plastic and paper, and they should “cook only what they really eat,” ride the bus more instead of driving alone, plant trees and turn off lights they don’t need.
In March 2021, Pope Francis declared the motto for more than a billion Catholics: “Every Catholic plants at least one tree.” Catholics in Bangladesh were the first to implement this call. Fundamentalist circles of the Christian churches-especially in the U.S. around Trump or also within the German AfD or even in parts of the CDU/CSU and FDP-are among the climate change deniers. For them, the pope is rather a “climate hysteric”.
Dalai Lama “Solar policy is social policy”
Another religious leader also professes to be green. In our joint book, “Protect Our Environment – The Dalai Lama’s Climate Appeal to the World,” the Pope of the East says, “Climate change can no longer be denied. It threatens our very existence on earth.” Not only Buddha, but he himself, the Dalai Lama, is a Green.
Both religious leaders also explicitly address climate change deniers. Their position, they say, is unscientific and irresponsible. They also point to the need for a rapid shift to renewable energies. They assure the opponents and skeptics that climate policy is also social policy. The Dalai Lama: “Solar policy is social policy”.
International politics and multilateralism would have to be reshaped. Just this summer of 2023, according to the Pope, has made the climate crisis clear worldwide to all who have a heart and a mind. Critical of capitalism, both religious leaders unanimously condemn the idea of infinite and limitless growth. Pope Francis already at the beginning of his term: “This economy kills”. He does not write “The economy kills” as he has often been accused, but “This economy kills.”
It is interesting that, in contrast to earlier times, both green religious leaders refer to science in their criticism of politics. The Dalai Lama explicitly and several times praises the Fridays for Future movement and Greta Thunberg in our joint book. Both religious leaders have met with the young woman from Sweden.
- vatican.va „LAUDATE DEUM“ – of the Holy Father Francis
vatican.va “LAUDATO Si” – of the Holy Father Francis
- The Dalai Lama / Franz Alt “Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World”