Pope Francis is now in the US where he continues to make the moral case for climate action. The most scientifically feasible way we can make progress in the war against climate change is to abandon fossil fuels and turn in earnest towards renewable forms of energy. In his address to Congress the Pope talked about the need to “put technology at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral.”
As explained in this video from Think Progress, there is a powerful biblical argument for taking better care of the Earth. Many US states have made remarkable strides in renewable energy. Hawaii and California have already pledged to generate all of their power from renewables, as have cities like Burlington, Vermont.
We know that transitioning away from fossil fuels and getting all our power from renewable sources is possible in the US. Scientists say that using existing technology the US could power their entire energy infrastructure — their electricity, transportation, heating, and cooling systems — with wind, water and sunlight by 2050.
Driven by the Pope’s message and Christian theology faith communities like Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington D.C. are going green.
REV. DR. EARL D. TRENT JR.,
“One of the tenets of our faith is, we have to take care of creation. That’s early on in the book, the first book, the Book of Genesis and so we’ve taken that kind of seriously,” explained Florida Avenue Baptist Church Reverend, Dr. Earl D. Trent. jr., “It’s raised our whole consciousness about sustainability. We’ve had people in the church who’ve gone solar in their homes.”
Religious scholars point to biblical passages such as Numbers 35:34: “You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell.”
Stanford University’s Mark Z. Jacobson, pointed out that conventional fuels actually cost twice as much because of the health and climate costs. Although most people are unaware of the technical feasibility, he says that the United States can go completely green in 35 years.
Jacobson plan sees the switch to renewables unfold like this: In 2013, 81% of the power we generated came from fossil fuels like petroleum, natural gas and coal.The remaining 19% was sourced from nuclear, hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass. Under Jacobson’s plan, all 50 states would power their entire infrastructure — their electricity, transportation, heating and cooling systems — with wind, water and sunlight by 2050. 80% of that conversion would take place by 2030.
Pope Francis on the Environment Politics and Business (Address to Congress)
Why Republican’s Fear the Pope’s Environmental Message
Pope Deprives Republican Climate Deniers of Religious Support
Implications of Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical and Republican Attacks (Videos)