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Letter: Pope’s unintentional harm

Tom Harris re climate change

Published on September 22, 2017 12:01AM

Last changed on September 25, 2017 7:48AM

In response to “Pope blasts climate change doubters: cites moral duty to act” (The Daily Astorian, Sept. 11): Pope Francis is right to be concerned about the moral aspects of climate change. However, he is unintentionally encouraging the greatest moral travesty of all.

Across the world people are suffering due to the effects of dangerous climate change. Yet aid agencies are unable to secure sufficient funds to help them because: Of the more than $1 billion spent globally every day on climate finance, only 6 percent of it is goes to helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change today. The rest is spent trying to stop climate phenomena that might, or might not, happen in the distant future.

As demonstrated by dozens of open letters and other public lists, many experts do not agree that we face a man-made climate crisis. Consider our Climate Scientists’ Register ( which, in only a few days in 2010, attracted over 100 expert endorsers to the statement: “We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming.”

By promoting the belief that we know we can control earth’s climate merely by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions, Francis is unwittingly encouraging governments to put more importance on the possible problems to be experienced by people yet to be born than the real problems people are suffering today. That is the real moral issue that should most concern His Holiness.

Tom Harris

Executive director, International Climate Science Coalition

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


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