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Vatican Bishop Confident Pope Will Change Trump's View on Climate Change
"In the election campaign, he even said it was a Chinese invention to criticize America," Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo told Italian wire service ANSA. "But this president has already changed about several things, so perhaps on this as well."
Pope Francis dedicated his Laudato Si encyclical to climate change and called it "a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation." Trump, a climate doubter, has criticized the pope and does not agree with the pontiff about the global phenomenon.
"They will come to an agreement, since the president claims to be a Christian, and so he will listen to him," Sanchez Sorondo said.
Sanchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, works closely with the pope and has been outspoken on the issue of global warming and its effect on the world's migrant crisis.
In his interview with ANSA, he called the president's anti-climate executive orders "against science" and "against what the pope says."
Refuting Trump's infamous saying that climate change is a Chinese "hoax," Sanchez Sorondo commented, "Today the Chinese are actually very collaborative as concerns the commitments they took on climate with the Paris Climate Conference."
"Even large capitals that have thus far invested in fossil fuels are beginning to be concerned about the effects of climate change and see new investment and research opportunities to find different energy solutions that are 'clean' or renewable," he said.
Over the weekend, Pope Francis said he would be "sincere" with Trump over their diametrically opposed views on subjects such as immigration and climate change.
"Even if one thinks differently, we have to be very sincere about what each one thinks," Francis said. "Topics will emerge in our conversations. I will say what I think and he will say what he thinks. But I have never wanted to make a judgement without first listening to the person."
Also in the ANSA interview, Sanchez Sorondo claimed the fossil fuel industry tried to influence the pope's climate encyclical:
"When he was preparing the Laudato Si, oil lobbies did everything in their power to prevent the pope from saying what he did, meaning that climate change is caused by human activity that employ fossil fuels.
Perhaps the oil companies wanted a 'light' encyclical'—a romantic one on nature that wouldn't say anything at all.
Instead, the pope followed what the scientific community says.
If the president does not follow science, then that is the president's problem."
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Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.
By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.
The unanimous verdict was announced Tuesday in San Francisco in the first federal case to be brought against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, alleging that repeated use of the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller caused the plaintiff's cancer. Seventy-year-old Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, California said he used Roundup for almost 30 years on his properties before developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up."
Judge Vince Chhabria has split Hardeman's trial into two phases. The first, decided Tuesday, focused exclusively on whether or not Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer. The second, to begin Wednesday, will assess if Bayer is liable for damages.
"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."
Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.
However, a remark made by Chhabria during the trial and reported by The Guardian was blatantly critical of the company.
"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.
Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have ruled that glyphosate is safe for humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found it was "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015. A university study earlier this year found that glyphosate use increased cancer risk by as much as 41 percent.
Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," they wrote in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Hardeman's case is considered a "bellwether" trial for the more than 760 glyphosate cases Chhabria is hearing. In total, there are around 11,200 such lawsuits pending in the U.S., according to Reuters.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.