A copy of the Pope’s expected “climate encyclical” (in Italian) was leaked to the Italian press today.
He points to this paragraph in particular (translated mostly by Google Translate so there may be inaccuracy):
For poor countries, the priority should be the eradication of poverty and social development of their inhabitants; at the same time the scandalous level of consumption of certain privileged sectors of their population must be considered and better counter corruption. Of course, they must also develop less polluting forms energy production, but for this they have need to rely on help from countries that are grown much at the expense of pollution today the planet. The direct exploitation of abundant solar energy requires that you establish mechanisms and subsidies so that developing countries can have access to technology transfer, for technical assistance and financial resources, but always paying attention to concrete conditions, since the compatibility of the systems with the context for which they are proposed is not always properly assessed. The costs would be low when compared to risk of climate change. In any case, it is above all an ethical choice, based on solidarity of all peoples.
E. Calvin Beisner sends this translation of some other sections:
Here is a rough translation of the climate change portion of the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si, based on the L’Espresso published leak this morning in Rome (numbers followed by periods are presumably section numbers; other numbers are presumably page numbers):
The climate as a common good
- The climate is a common good of all and for all. It, globally, is a complex system in relation to many conditions essential for human life. Scientific consensus exists that indicates that we are very firm in
presence of a worrisome warming of the climate system. In recent decades, that the heating was accompanied by the constant rise in the sea level, and is also hard not to relate it to the increase in extreme weather events, regardless of the fact that we can not attribute a cause scientifically determined at each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to become aware of the need to change lifestyles, production and consumption, to combat this heating or, at least, the human causes that produce or accentuate. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanism, and the variations of the orbit of the Earth, the solar cycle), but numerous scientific studies indicate that most of the global warming of recent decades is due to the large concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other) issued mainly because of human activity. Their concentrations in the atmosphere prevents the heat of sunlight reflected by the earth being dispersed in space. This is especially enhanced by the development model based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the center of the world energy system. It has also affected the increase in the practice of land-use change, mainly deforestation for agricultural purposes.
- In turn, the heating has effects on the carbon cycle. It creates a vicious cycle that exacerbates the situation even more and that will affect
on the availability of essential resources such as drinking water, energy and agricultural production of the hottest areas, and will result in the extinction of the planet’s biodiversity. The melting of polar ice and high altitude threat of those escaping at high risk of methane gas, and the decomposition of organic matter frozen could further accentuate the emission of carbon dioxide. In turn, the loss of tropical forests makes things worse, since they help to mitigate climate change. The pollution produced by carbon dioxide increase the acidity of the oceans and impairs the marine food chain. If the current trend continues, this century could be witnessed climate change inau- fingers and unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us. Rising sea levels, for example, can create situations of extreme gravity when we consider that a quarter of the world population lives by the sea or very close to it, and most of the megacities are located in coastal areas.
- Climate change is a global problem with serious environmental implications, social, economic, and political distribution, area and are one of the main current challenges for humanity. Impacts heavier probably will fall in the coming decades on developing countries. Many poor people living in particularly
affected by phenomena related to heating, and their livelihoods depend heavily from nature reserves and by so-called ecosystem services, such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry. They have no other financial resources and other resources that enable them to adapt to climate impacts or deal with catastrophic situations, and have little access to social services and protection. For example, climate change give rise to migration of animals and plants that can not always adapt themselves, and this in turn affects the productive resources of the poor, and they also see ob- bligati to migrate great uncertainty about the future of their lives and their children. Tragically, the increase of migrants fleeing poverty exacerbated by environmental degradation, which are not recognized as refugees will in international conventions and carry the burden of their lives abandoned without any protection legislation. Unfortunately there is a general indifference to these tragedies, which still occur in different parts of the world. The lack of responses to these dramaturgical me of our brothers and sisters is a sign of the loss of the sense of responsibility for our fellow men that underpin any civilized society.
- Many of those who hold more resources and economic or political power seem to concentrate mainly in the mask problems and hide the symptoms, just trying to reduce some of the negative impacts of climate change.
But many signs indicate that these effects Po- tranno always be worse if we continue with current patterns of production and consumption. Therefore it has become urgent and compelling policy development in the coming years so that the emission of carbon dioxide and other heavily polluting gas is reduced drastically, for example, by replacing fossil fuels and by developing renewable energy sources. In the world there is a small level of access to clean and renewable energy. There is still a need to develop appropriate technologies for accumulation. However, in some countries there have been advances that are beginning to be significant, although they are far from reaching a significant proportion. There were also some investments in modali- ty of production and transportation that use less energy and require fewer raw materials, as well as mode of construction or renovation of buildings which do best- no energy efficiency. But these good practices are far from becoming general.
A full copy of the “climate encyclical” (in Italian) can be seen here (PDF)