WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 — The president of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Diane Grob Schmidt, Ph.D., responds to Pope Francis’ recent encyclical below:
“Pope Francis’ encyclical letter — Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home — represents an important and eloquent statement on the need to address global challenges affecting everyone and everything on planet Earth, including climate change.
“Addressing climate change is one of the most significant moral, ethical and technical challenges of our generation — it affects food production, water quality and supplies, sustainability, natural resources and biodiversity. As a world leader on matters of religion and morality, the Pope’s thoughts and opinions are an important contribution to an ongoing global dialogue about how we can address climate issues effectively and with fairness to all across countries, continents, socio-economic classes and generations.
“The Pope’s letter also reflects the thoughts of a scientist and chemist, a man who was educated and employed in the chemical sciences before joining the priesthood. This encyclical adds to the important work of chemistry professionals around the world to educate all people about the scientific aspects of this daunting global challenge, as well as to recommend actions that reverse dangerous trends, mitigate damage to our environment and help us all adapt to a changing planet.”
More information about the science of global climate change can be found at www.acs.org/climatescience, and the Society’s position of public policy related to climate can be found at www.acs.org/content/acs/en/policy/publicpolicies/promote/globalclimatechange.html.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.