The Old Man and the Sea? Yes indeed!

by Duane Nichols on November 19, 2023

Pope Paul planning to attend the UN Conference of the Parties, COP28

Pope Francis Says He Will Attend COP28, a First by a Pontiff
From an Article by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch News, November 2, 2023
PHOTO PROVIDED ~ Pope Francis meets with President-Designate of the upcoming COP28 climate talks and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates the Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and delegation during an audience at his Studio of the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City, Vatican on Oct. 11, 2023.

Pope Francis said he will attend the United Nations COP28 Climate Change Conference. The meeting in Dubai is the first time a pope will attend the UN climate summit since they started in 1995.

In an interview on the RAI Italian state television network, Pope Francis said he would travel to the United Arab Emirates to attend the summit early next month. “I believe I depart on the 1st [of December] and stay until the 3rd. I’ll be there three days,” Pope Francis said yesterday, as reported by the Catholic News Agency.

The COP28 Climate Change Conference begins on November 30 and runs until December 12.

At the conference, it is expected that the pope will express the sentiment of his recent Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum (Praise God), in which he implored policymakers and those who deny the existence of climate change to stop dismissing human causes or ridiculing science when Earth “may be nearing the breaking point.”

Instead, the pope encouraged action, saying in an interview that there is still time to stop global warming.

“Our future is at stake, the future of our children and our grandchildren. A bit of responsibility is needed,” Pope Francis said. The Dubai climate talks “can represent a change of direction” if binding accords are made to transition away from fossil fuels to sources of renewable energy like solar and wind, AFP reported.

“If there is sincere interest in making COP28 a historic event that honours and ennobles us as human beings, then one can only hope for binding forms of energy transition that meet three conditions: that they be efficient, obligatory and readily monitored. This, in order to achieve the beginning of a new process marked by three requirements: that it be drastic, intense and count on the commitment of all,” the pope wrote in Laudate Deum.

Pope Francis met with Sultan al-Jaber, the president of the COP28 climate conference, on October 11. They discussed their common climate goals, as well as the role faith-based organizations and leaders have in furthering climate objectives.

“May those taking part in the Conference be strategists capable of considering the common good and the future of their children, more than the short-term interests of certain countries or businesses,” the pope wrote in the Apolstolic Exhortation.

Pope Francis, who is 86, has made protecting the environment one of the characteristics of his papacy.

“If we are confident in the capacity of human beings to transcend their petty interests and to think in bigger terms, we can keep hoping that COP28 will allow for a decisive acceleration of energy transition, with effective commitments subject to ongoing monitoring,” Pope Francis wrote in Laudate Deum. “This Conference can represent a change of direction, showing that everything done since 1992 was in fact serious and worth the effort, or else it will be a great disappointment and jeopardize whatever good has been achieved thus far.”


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Antarctica’s ice shelves block glaciers from flowing into the sea but a recent study found that these ice shelves lost 8.3 trillion tons of ice in the last 25 years and are at risk releasing more glacier ice into the ocean. Richard Alley is a professor of Geosciences at Penn State University and joined Host Steve Curwood to shed light on what all this could mean for sea level rise and future ice loss in Antarctica.

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Philip Pullella December 3, 2023 at 1:33 am

Pope pleads with COP28 to find breakthrough on climate change

From an Article by Philip Pullella, Reuters News Service, December 2, 2023

DUBAI, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday called on the U.N. climate summit to strive for a essential breakthrough agreement to stem global warming that includes the elimination of fossil fuels, saying climate had “run amok”.

The 86-year-old pope had planned to attend the conference but a lung inflammation forced him to remain in the Vatican. His full address was left with delegates and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin shortened it in order to remain within the 3-minute time limit for speeches.

“Sadly, I am unable to be present with you, as I had greatly desired. Even so, I am with you, because time is short,” Francis said in his message.

“I am with you because now more than ever, the future of us all depends on the present that we now choose. I am with you because the destruction of the environment is an offence against God,” he said.

Francis has made defences of the environment a main part of the social teaching of his 10-year-old papacy, writing two major documents on the topic – in 2015 and this past October.

Francis returned to the main themes of both writings but in his message to COP28 delegates he appealed directly to them, saying “it is essential that there be a breakthrough that is not a partial change of course” in Dubai.

“May this COP prove to be a turning point, demonstrating a clear and tangible political will that can lead to a decisive acceleration of ecological transition,” he said.

To achieve this, he said it was necessary to move decidedly ahead with greater energy efficiency, renewable energy, the “elimination of fossil fuels” and a change of a wasteful lifestyle.

Saying that “the gap between the opulent few and the masses of the poor has never been so abysmal”, the pontiff called for debt forgiveness for poor countries that are less responsible for greenhouse gasses but suffer more than advanced countries.

He called this the repayment of “the ecological debt” that they are owed for suffering from something they did not cause.

“May we be attentive to the cry of the Earth, may we hear the plea of the poor, may we be sensitive to the hopes of the young and the dreams of children! We have a grave responsibility: to ensure that they not be denied their future,” he said.

“The climate, run amok, is crying out to us to halt this illusion of omnipotence. Let us once more recognise our limits, with humility and courage, as the sole path to a life of authentic fulfilment,” he said.

Reporting by Philip Pullella in in Rome and Elizabeth Piper in Dubai; Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alison Williams


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