Marie Matta: Protection of planet transcends politics |

Marie Matta: Protection of planet transcends politics

"Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry."

A statement from a liberal politician, activist or organization? Actually, it is Pope Francis, in his 2015 encyclical, "LAUDATO SI", a title inspired by "Laudato si, mi Signore" — "Praise be to you, my Lord", words of a canticle by Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology.

The Pope also refers to "the urgent challenge to protect our common home" and writes that "the natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone."

In a letter to the 23rd session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-23) in Germany last November, the Pope wrote, "I would like to reaffirm my urgent call to renew dialogue on how we are building the future of the planet. We need an exchange that unites us all, because the environmental challenge we are experiencing, and its human roots, regards us all, and affects us all. "

While the Catholic community that he shepherds is diverse in its political beliefs, Pope Francis places the protection of the planet in a context that transcends party politics and appeals to our humanity and the common good. As his humility and compassion have inspired and moved many around the world, his call to action on the environment can bring people of all beliefs and ethnicities together.

At its meeting this Tuesday, Feb. 27, the Steamboat Springs City Council will consider a proposal by the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, supported by more than 100 local businesses and organizations, to sign the Compact of Colorado Communities and take action on climate change. This is an opportunity for our community to act locally and play a part in protecting the future of "our common home."

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Marie Matta

Steamboat Springs

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