Pope Francis' recent visit to the Philippines is another caveat to his impending climate encyclical, scheduled for release this Spring. Calling the current generation "a culture of waste," Pope Francis is clearly not mixing his words. Taking things up a notch, the progressive Pope has clarified his opinion on the matter to a clear message, urging everyone to act immediately.
"I think we have exploited nature too much…Thanks be to God that today there are voices, so many people who are speaking out about it," the Pope stated during his visit to the Philippines, a region that has arguably seen the worst of climate change with impacts that have left many homeless. Pope Francis continued, "I don't know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face…We have in a sense taken over nature."
With 2014 officially being marked as the hottest year on record, his statements aren't without support as the Pontiff continually encourages leaders to make a change.
Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at CAFOD, the aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, shared, "Drawing attention to the impact a changing climate is having on poor communities in the Philippines couldn't be better timed, given the crucial decisions world leaders must take this year to tackle the issue."
Pope Francis said Thursday he is convinced that global warming is "mostly" man-made and that he hopes his upcoming encyclical on the environment will encourage negotiators at a climate change meeting in Paris to make "courageous" decisions to protect God's creation.
Francis has spoken out frequently about the "culture of waste" that has imperiled the environment and he elaborated en route to the Philippines. While there, Francis will meet with survivors of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, which the government has said was an example of the extreme weather conditions that global warming has wrought.
"I don't know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face," he said. "We have in a sense taken over nature."
"I think we have exploited nature too much," Francis said, citing deforestation and monoculture. "Thanks be to God that today there are voices, so many people who are speaking out about it."
Francis, who pledged on the day of his installation as pope to make the environment a priority, said he expected his encyclical on ecology to be released by June or July. He said he wanted it out in plenty of time to be read and absorbed before the next round of climate change negotiations opens in Paris in November after the last round in Lima, Peru, failed to reach an agreement.