The Vatican: Climate change is an inequality issue

2015 will be the world's last, best chance at climate stabilization. (As we heard two weeks ago from the U.S.'s leading representative at the Lima climate talks, Jeffrey Sachs.)

So its good news, in a paradoxical way, that the Vatican is leading the charge for real action on emissions control this year by talking very tough on climate and the economy, and linking inequality in income to inequality in climate. Bold new action is promised by the Pope.  

The growth in GDP has been accompanied by unacceptable gaps between the rich and the poor, who still have no access to most of the advancement of the [Anthropocene] Era. For example, about fifty-percent of available energy is accessed by just one billion people, yet the negative impacts on the environment are being felt by the three billion who have no access to that energy.  Three billion have so little access to modern energy that they are forced to cook, heat and light their homes with methods dangerous to their health.

Andrew Revkin at Dot Earth, reporting from the Vatican meeting before the launch of their promised bold new action by the Pope on climate in 2015, sounds surprisingly hopeful. Revkin concludes: 

"Here’s how [he] described this theme in the summation [he] delivered on the final day at the Vatican:

It says much that even some of the most accomplished scientists at this meeting articulated that progress on climate, energy, equity, education and conservation of living resources will be driven by values and faith more than data and predictive models.

In a discussion over dinner, Walter Munk, at 96 one of great oceanographers of modern times, spoke not of gigatons of carbon or megawatts of electricity: “This requires a miracle of love and unselfishness,” he said.

Almost all you need is love. Here’s to Pope Francis, and Walter Munk."

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