International Scientific Society Responds to Pope Francis’ Encyclical

22 June 2015

Washington, D.C.—The following statement is attributable to American Geophysical Union (AGU) Executive Director/CEO Christine McEntee. AGU represents more than 60,000 Earth and space scientists worldwide.

“The scientific community has long agreed that climate change is one of the most profound challenges facing our global society, and as AGU outlined in our position statement on climate change, there is no question human activity is playing a predominant role in that change and that action must be taken immediately. Our hope is that a statement such as the encyclical, from the leader of a religious community that numbers more than a billion worldwide, will serve to elevate the issue to a public that may not have been fully aware that climate change affects all of us and foster a dialogue that can help reduce its negative consequences.

We were also pleased to see the level to which scientists were consulted in the development of the encyclical. All too often, opinions on climate change are informed more by political and social rhetoric than they are by legitimate scientific research. The state of climate research in the U.S and around globe is very strong – but in the U.S., the level of support is declining and will diminish our ability to use such expertise in our decision making. If we can reverse this trend, then science can continue to help the U.S. and the world have access to the knowledge needed to protect our collective health and welfare. We urge our nation’s leaders to accept that investments in scientific research are investments in our future.”

The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 60,000 members in 139 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, and our other social media channels.

AGU Contact:

Joan Buhrman, 202-777-7509, 571-213-3812 (c), [email protected]