As Catholics, we’re passionate about social justice. We don’t fit into political boxes either–we’re pro-life (Republican) but against the death penalty (Democrat). I’m proud of our vibrant legacy of caring for the poor, and that’s why I care about climate change. Those most affected by climate change are in the countries who contribute the least greenhouse gases. It’s unjust. This issue can generate anger and vitriol from some, who, according to the statistics, usually identify as Republicans or conservatives (check out more information about poll positions on climate change here).
Those who are angry of dismissive could begin sending me websites with reports “debunking” climate change, but I’d first like to pose a question: why should we, people who care about human dignity, be quick to dismiss something so disturbing as climate change, a problem that is causing and will cause drought, floods, and extreme temperatures? It’s not just that some days will be slightly warmer, it’s that raising the world temperature, like raising a body temperature, wreaks havoc on the entire system! The records we’re breaking for more frequent extreme weather events many scientists say will become the new normal. If you care about poverty, does this issue at least deserve some of your time? The Catholic Climate Covenant is a phenomenal group who is faithful to the Magisterium and working to mobilize Catholics. I’d recommend their resources describing the guiding principles of Catholic teaching on their efforts (prudence, poverty, the common good, solidarity), and also recommend you check out the video below.