Pope Francis released a 184-page manifesto Thursday, calling for a cultural revolution to save the planet and to fix the "perverse" economic system. He added that most climate change is due to human activity, and that the world's financial system exploits the poor.
"The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth," Francis said. "In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish."
The throwaway culture of today calls for a new lifestyle. #LaudatoSi— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 18, 2015
The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 18, 2015
Climate change represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. #LaudatoSi— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 18, 2015
The letter aims to spur action from the United Nations climate negotiations.
"The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programs of sustainable development," Francis said.
The Pope's letter has drawn criticism from conservatives and climate skeptics who say he should stick to theology. The Minnesota Catholic Conference is hosting a roundtable discussion Thursday in St. Paul to share a variety of reactions to the ecology encyclical.