The Pope Gives Trump a Climate Change Wake-Up Call

During a visit to the Vatican, Pope Francis gave Trump a clever nudge to reconsider his stance on climate change.


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During last week’s visit to Vatican City, Trump and Pope Francis customarily exchanged gifts. Trump brought the Pope first editions of five books written by the late Dr. Martin Luther King. In exchange, the Pope presented Trump with a clever gift—three of the Pope’s works, including a 192-page paper entitled “Laudato Si,” in which Pope Francis outlined the necessity for political and religious leaders to jointly address the issue of human-created climate change on a global level. “Receiving a copy of Laudato Si directly from Pope Francis is an extraordinary gift,” Global Climate Policy for the Sierra Club Director John Coequyt told The Washington Post, “and Trump would do well to heed its critically important message on the moral obligation to act on climate as he meets with world leaders in the coming days.” While Trump said, “Well, I’ll be reading it then,” upon receipt of the Pope’s gift, he has publicly committed to withdraw from the Paris agreement (a collaboration between 147 nations to reduce global warming), removed all climate change information from the White House website, and signed an executive order to rehaul former president Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan in March. Conversely, world leaders—including Obama and England’s Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn—are speaking publicly about the link between emissions produced by the animal agriculture industry and climate change.