Climate Change Republicans

Eric Wüstenhagen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pope Francis says science shows that human activity is responsible for climate change and views the situation as a moral issue. Republicans speak out against his view.

As the United States prepares for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit in September, leading Republicans are distancing themselves from the pontiff’s political views – most recently on climate change.

Francis’ encyclical, in which he holds human activity responsible for climate changes and views the situation as a moral issue, was made public earlier this month.

MSNBC reports that conservative political commentator and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh condemned the pope, saying that Francis “doesn’t even disguise” his Marxist beliefs about global warming.

Jeb Bush, who recently announced his presidential bid, said in New Hampshire that “I don’ get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,” adding that “religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm.”

The Guardian reports that Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic and another presidential hopeful, told a Philadelphia radio station that “we are probably better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re good at, which is theology and morality.”

Republicans on the Hill have been even more direct. “The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours,” said James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate environment and public work committee, and the grand old man of climate change deniers.

Majority of Republicans in the Congress deny the existence of global warming and many of the American right view the pope’s statements as a direct hit to their core beliefs.

In his 180-page encyclical, published officially on Thursday, Francis calls on rich nations to pay their “grave social debt” to poorer countries and criticizes the climate talks within the United Nations for a lack of progress. He also writes that coal should be phased out, and that consumption is bigger problem than population.

The pope calls for decisive action both from decision-makers and individuals, “here and now.”

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