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Support scientists in protecting our planet’s health Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing the December 1 article on Pope Francis’ November speech at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Pope Francis said, “I would say that it falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests . . . ” to build a cultural model to confront the challenge of climate change.

American Catholics must also support our scientists. U.S. bishops could hold a similar science summit. This would be an opportunity to teach Catholics and public leaders and explain the Catholic principle of stewardship of our earth in human solidarity.

We must pray for, preach to, and teach the faithful, and convince our leaders of the necessity of protecting God’s gift of the only habitable planet.

Americans have a greater challenge than most. Donald Trump, our president-elect, will be the only major country leader that denies the science of climate change and nominated a climate change denier to protect our environment.

In his address to Congress about a year ago Pope Francis stated, “In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to ‘redirect our steps’ (Ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.” We must repeat that call to our president-elect and Congress.

Pope Francis also said to Congress, “In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.”

His optimism is justified by the one million Americans working in clean energy jobs, the progress made in car mileage, building more energy efficient homes, and other achievements.

We must respect our scientists and create habits in citizens that put our responsibility for the planet’s health into action. Americans possess skills, knowledge, and resources to make even greater progress once we realize our moral obligation to do so.

Bill Dagnon, Baraboo