To the Editor:
Recently, there have been several letters and columns in this publication about human-caused global warming. One challenge I find in discussing this issue with fellow Catholics is that public opinion on global warming, at least here in the United States, is highly divided along party lines. This, however, is slowly changing.
As our political system becomes increasingly polarized, climate change is one area in which bipartisanship is actually growing. In 2016, the Climate Solutions Caucus was founded by a Democrat and a Republican member of the House of Representatives. In the prior Congress, the Caucus had 90 members: 45 from each party. Within the past two months, bipartisan legislation on reducing heat-trapping gases has been introduced into both the U.S. House and Senate. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act set forth a market-based solution that would decrease carbon emissions by an estimated 40 percent within 12 years. In brief, the bill proposed a steadily rising fee on carbon pollution with all revenue returned to households equally.
While the Catholic Church does not propose any specific policy solutions, church leaders have long accepted the best available scientific evidence on global warming and recognized the need for action, informed by principles of social and economic justice.
Catholics, reflecting both sides of the political divide, are in a unique position to encourage bipartisanship on this issue. God has blessed us with all the tools we need to solve this great challenge, but it is our responsibility to respond. Please consider writing a short letter or e-mail to your U.S. congressional representatives. As a Catholic concerned about the common good, let them know that climate change is a high-priority issue for you. If you choose, you may also ask them to learn more about the above-mentioned bipartisan bill.
St. Patrick Parish