pope francis

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With the announcement that the Pope may “intervene” in the Paris climate negotiations, the last act of the Great Paris Climate Conference is set.

As I wrote in 2010, these giant climate conferences follow an entirely predictable story arc that goes like this:

1) The media will downplay expectations, and diplomats and environmentalists will bemoan how far behind the process is in producing an agreement.

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As pretty much everyone in the world knows by now, Pope Francis published an encyclical recently On Care for Our Common Home, which discusses all things environmental—climate change, of course, but also air pollution, water pollution, sustainable development, the precautionary principle…the list goes on through 184-pages.

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Any time of year is a good time to discuss poverty but the subject has obvious resonance at Christmas. Thus, unsurprisingly, Pope Francis recently wrote about the necessity of compassion for those on the margins.

In Evangelii Gaudium, the Pontiff covers much ground. He urges deliberate, thoughtful action for the world's poor and warns against the folly of loving money and worshipping consumer goods. These are calls with which no thinking, compassionate person should disagree.