23 May 2011


The Pontifical Academy of Sciences a Vatican-appointed panel of scientists, has reported what climate change experts have been warning for years: the Earth is getting warmer, glaciers are melting, and urgent measures are necessary to stem the damage.

The scientists called for urgent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and reductions in methane and other pollutants that warm the air, and for improved observation of mountain glaciers to better track their changes.

"We appeal to all nations to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change on communities and ecosystems, including mountain glaciers and their watersheds, aware that we all live in the same home" the report said.

"We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us."

The statement is consistent with previous Vatican statements and actions. In 2008, the Vatican installed photovoltaic cells on the roof of its main auditorium. A year later it installed a solar cooling unit for its main cafeteria. The Vatican has also joined a reforestation project aimed at offsetting its CO2 emissions.

At the same time according to the latest report from the Australian government Climate Commission "Global warming is real, man made, and could cause the world's sea level to rise a metre by the end of the century, much higher than previously thought". The report also warns that "the costs of not doing something about climate change will almost surely be far, far greater than the costs of doing something about it"

Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus in regard to the threat posed by climate change, enough people remain unconvinced or remain unwilling to accept the necessary changes to their lifestyle to persuade governments to act.

Yet as President Tong of Kiribati has said "We need to make sacrifices to provide a future for our children and grandchildren" and as leader of a country whose very existence is threatened by rising sea-levels he added "knowing what we do today, carrying on as business-as-usual is irresponsible and immoral. Failing to take action borders on an act of criminality."

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