By: Alfredo Carpineti/IFL Science Pres. Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement has attracted scathing comments from world leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, and pretty much everyone who doesn’t want to do terrible damage to our planet.
The decision has even drawn the wrath of the Vatican, which Pres. Trump visited just last week. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, made his critical remarks known in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
“Thinking that we need and must rely on coal and oil is like claiming that the Earth is not round. It’s an absurdity brought forward only to make money,” Sanchez Sorondo stated. “I believe that oil lobbyists are behind this decision. They are pushing for it. Big oil is pulling Trump’s strings and he can’t oppose them, although this doesn’t mean he wants to.”
In his state visit to the Vatican, Pope Francis gifted Pres. Trump a copy of his encyclical on climate change, which he wrote himself. Pres. Trump also discussed climate change with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State for the Vatican. Pres. Trump promised to think about his discussion with the Bishop of Rome, but clearly, he didn’t think hard enough.
Bishop Sanchez Sorondo describes the decision as a “huge slap in the face” for the Vatican. The Bishop stressed how the decision goes against basic scientific facts. He described Trump’s vision of climate change as “not only a calamity but also completely anti-science. It’s a disaster for everyone.”
This is not the first time that Republican politicians have found themselves at odds with the Argentinian Pope. During Pope Francis’ official visit to the United States in 2015, prominent members of the GOP criticized the Pope for his defense of the environment. Rick Santorum famously told the Pope to leave the “science to scientists.”
This is tragically ignorant for two reasons. First, there’s an overwhelming consensus among scientists that climate change is real, we are the cause, and we are running out of time to do something about it. Second, Pope Francis is a certified chemical technician and worked in a chemical lab before entering the seminar.