Trump’s coal plan disastrous, sends US energy “back to the past”: Vatican

US energy

While President Trump visited the Vatican, the Pope urged him to make America a Peacemaker and gave him a signed copy of the 2015 encyclical. On Friday, a senior Vatican official said Pope Francis was concerned US energy and climate policy was driving the US “back to the past”.

US energy, climate decisions like a “boomerang that will come back…especially to poor people”

On Friday, a senior Vatican official said Pope Francis was concerned that under the Trump administration, US energy and climate policy was sending the country “back to the past” after decisions were made to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and promote the coal industry.

In a Reuters report, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said the pope is concerned that harm inflicted on the environment will be like a “boomerang that will come back…especially to poor people” with ever worsening effects.

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On June 1, President Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, arguing he wanted to create jobs in the US fossil fuel industry.

According to Trump, should America continue to participate in the Paris Accord, the US would be at a permanent disadvantage because the economy would be undermined, jobs would be lost and national sovereignty would be weakened.

 

 

“This is to go back to the past and not to see the future,” Sanchez Sorondo, an Argentine like the pope, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Sorondo said future energy jobs would be in renewables, not coal.

Speaking with an Italian newspaper prior to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Sorondo said the move “is a disaster for this country (the United States) and also for all the world.”

According to Reuters, the pope urged Trump to take on the roll as peacemaker, and gave him a signed copy of a 2015 encyclical about the environment during a meeting at the Vatican last month.

Sanchez Sorondo says he does not know if Trump has read the document.

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Along with criticizing Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Accord, Sorondo also criticized the US for what he called a poor level of teaching of science in the United States.

Comparing the US to Germany, Sorondo said “The German people are more educated in sciences and believe in science,” he said.

“The real situation of the Earth today, of the planet, is described by scientists,” he told Reuters. ┬áSorondo then added that to anyone on the surface, the Earth can seem flat but scientific findings mean “it’s difficult to say the Earth is not round,” he said.

In recent years, the Vatican embraced climate change.  During the 2016 US presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump dismissed climate change as a hoax made up by the Chinese to attack US industry.

A panel of UN scientists say it is at least 95 per cent probably that most warming since the 1950’s has been caused by human activities.

 

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