The pope provides a moving and profound view on the deep connection between environmental and social issues, between humans and animals, and between spiritual and practical. He also hits head-on the contentious issue of man's "dominion" over nature: Many have interpreted the Bible to indicate that man should conquer nature, but the pope explains how wrong that reading is.
Offsetting isn't a complete and total "fix" to the climate mess, and it isn't intended to be. Poorly implemented, it may even become the ploy the pope worries about. But done right, it's an incredibly effective tool in a very large toolbox, yet it will only deliver on a large scale if it's embedded in a functional, well-regulated, and global climate-change response.
STOCKHOLM -- In 2009, my colleagues and I identified nine planetary boundaries relating to areas like climate, biodiversity, nitrogen and phosphorus use and deforestation that, if respected, would enable us to preserve -- or, at least avoid disrupting further -- Holocene conditions. When we updated our analysis earlier this year, we concluded that we have already violated four of the nine boundaries.
Last week Pope Francis issued a blockbuster papal encyclical on the environment called "Praised Be." It is the Pope's clarion call to address what he describes as an urgent global environmental crisis. Sweeping in scope, it addresses the many dimensions of environmental degradation and the devastating toll it is taking on people, communities, and nations.