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Letter: U.S. needs to confront threat of climate change

U.S. needs to confront threat of climate change

On Sept. 16, nearly a dozen Republican members of Congress acknowledged the dangers climate change presents and broke away from their party leaders, calling for action against climate change.

This shift, a week before the pope visited Congress, appears timed to ratchet up the pressure on Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders to soften a party line of casting doubt on, or simply denying, the existence of climate change.

When he addressed a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis spoke about the environment and the need to combat climate change. He recently released a papal letter in which he wrote that the scientific consensus indicates that we are witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. He stated that many scientific studies show most global warming in recent years is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases released as a result of human activity.

The pope’s landmark intervention is a timely reminder of the need to protect human health from the decline of biodiversity and ecosystems. We need to confront the growing and consequential threat of climate change.

We live in a fundamentally interconnected world. Our national boundaries are becoming astonishingly blurred. It is our moral duty to preserve the environment that sustains humans, animals and plants with food, fuel, shelter, medicine, water and air.

Robert Townsley