Today the Pope is visiting SolarTown’s home city, Washington, DC and then will visit New York and Philadelphia. The city is abuzz with excitement and anticipation. The buses are running and the kids are going to school, but the major event is the Pope’s visit. Climate change is on his agenda.
A major reason he is visiting Washington is to address a session of Congress to discuss the fight for climate change, a topic that former Popes have not addressed. The Pope believes that it is our responsibility to pass along a clean and safe planet to future generations. Frustration with the way humankind has treated the planet is what provoked the idea of an address to Congress, a branch of the government that is ideologically torn when it comes to issues of climate change.
Not only is the Pope concerned with the grave environmental implications from climate change, but also with the social, economic, and political ones. This concern shows that he is very committed to making a positive impact on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
The Pope has made it clear to the world that he is a supporter of clean energy and that climate change is a top priority of global issues that need addressing. The support for solar and wind energy is driven from the desire to change the way people treat this planet, and the way the planet has changed since the beginning of the 20th century.
The New York Times quotes the Pope saying, “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”
It is clear that the Pope believes clean energy, such as solar energy, will not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere, but will also promote the welfare of underprivileged people who have suffered from environmental injustice for years. Pollution to the environment due to many factors, a large one being fossil-fuel energy and unsustainable business practices, has opened a gap between the impoverished and those with affluence. This gap is not financial, but geographic.
While it is understandable that lower-income citizens live in lower-income neighborhoods and high-income citizens live well, the environmental difference is one that the Pope and many environmental justice advocates deem unacceptable.
With the growth of clean energy and the decline in cost, it is becoming more and more possible to clean up the atmosphere, lands, and oceans. The Pope is on a mission to help spread the word and help bring unity within Congress on issues of climate change before the climatic United Nations conference on climate change this December in Paris. The Pope’s public support for the clean energy movement is a big step forward in inspiring leaders in Congress and around the world to make important decisions that promote clean energy and environmental justice.