Focus on climate facts: Wilson

Adelaide Archbishop and ACBC President Philip Wilson says that the effects of climate change are clear to pastors in his diocese and that action is needed so "we learn to live in this land".

"We're not looking to enter into the debate about the theories behind this," Archbishop Wilson told the ABC.

"What we're saying is that the consequences of the present have very important effects on the lives of people and that decisions and actions have to be taken so we learn to live in this land, which is so unique and different."

Meanwhile Sydney Cardinal George Pell says his scepticism towards climate change is not incompatible with the Pope's decision to set the issue as the theme for his visit to Australia.

Pope Benedict used a press conference on his 20 hour flight to Sydney yesterday to highlight the issue ahead of this week's World Youth Day celebrations.

He told reporters, "We have to give impulse to rediscovering our responsibility and to finding an ethical way to change our way of life."

He said politicians and experts must be "capable of responding to the great ecological challenge and to be up to the task of this challenge."

Cardinal Pell welcomed the Pope's statement saying that "we have an obligation to care for our environment, a moral obligation," he said.

"We also very clearly have a moral obligation not to damage or destroy or ruthlessly use the environment at the expense of future generations."

But he added, "I'm a bit of a sceptic about the claim that human activity is likely to produce a man-made catastrophe."

Even so, scientists are optimistic that highlighting the issue to hundreds of thousands of young international pilgrims can only be a good thing.

The former chief of CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Graeme Pearman, has worked with organised religions on the topic of climate change.

"The common ground is that they all felt that in all faiths, there was a sense of stewardship by the people to their God," he said. "That stewardship meant they had a responsibility for reacting to a threat to the earth, particularly to the living organisms on the earth."


Sceptic Pell backs Pope's climate call (ABC News, 14/7/08)


Climate change (Wikipedia)

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