The Daily Fix: Can Pope Francis Clinch a Climate Change Deal in 2015?

All the news that’s fit to fix on Monday, Dec. 29.
(Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)
Dec 29, 2014· 2 MIN READ
Todd Woody is TakePart's editorial director, environment.

Pope Francis intends to issue a papal encyclical on climate change in 2015 to influence international negotiations over a long-elusive agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions, reports The Guardian.

The first-of-its-kind encyclical will represent a major statement to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on the relationship between humans and the environment. It will come as world leaders gather in Paris next December for the United Nations’ climate change talks.

“Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialization, today we have changed the natural environment so much,” Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told The Guardian. “If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences.”

Sorondo said the pope hopes to break the two-decade-long deadlock over reaching a binding international agreement that would require rich and poor nations alike to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The exact nature of Francis’ message in the encyclical remains unknown, but it’s not likely to please conservative Catholics, who have resisted his other moves to make the church a more welcoming place for gays, the poor, and other marginalized groups.

The pope, however, has made no secret of his environmental views.

“An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it,” Francis said in October. “The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”

In other news...

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China Blocks Gmail: Good luck trying to access Gmail accounts in China. The Google email service was disrupted over the weekend when addresses started disappearing inside the country. “I think the government is just trying to further eliminate Google’s presence in China and even weaken its market overseas,” a member of GreatFire.org, a free-speech group, told Reuters. Google has long tussled with Chinese officials over the country’s censorship efforts. (via The New York Times)

Tesla Motors Reboots Its First Electric Car: Before the Model S, there was the Roadster, Tesla Motors’ two-seat, battery-powered pocket rocket. The Silicon Valley automaker stopped manufacturing the Roadster in 2011, but now owners can get an equipment upgrade that will extend the car’s range to 400 miles on a charge. (via The Huffington Post)

Why Rising Egg Prices Are Good for Chickens: The price of California eggs will jump as much as 40 percent as farmers comply with a new state law that takes effect Thursday that bans the confinement of hens in cramped cages. (via Los Angeles Times)

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