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From the Holy Father to Every Father: Our Kids Need Us To Act on Climate Change


From the Holy Father to Every Father: Our Kids Need Us To Act on Climate Change

John Friedrich

On Thursday, Pope Francis issued a letter addressed to “all people of goodwill” on human-caused climate change and other threats to our “common home.” The Papal Encyclical made clear the moral imperative to take action on climate to protect the most vulnerable, including our children, grandchildren and future generations.


It is far past the time when humankind needs to push back against hubris and embrace humility. We (sorry SR) don’t own the earth, but are satellite inhabitants along with all living things. Balance is a moral imperative. Unrestrained capitalism is not. The quality of all life is a great metric by which to design the future. It does contrast with the Manifest Destiny doctrine and the outdated idea that the frontier is without bound. Freedom and more people on the planet are at odds. Rational, compassionate, and illuminated approaches are needed.


Changing our dependence on fossil fuels will take bold action by our leaders. At a personal level, if you want to have the highest impact on our warming climate, change to a more plant based diet. Our meat based diet has an extremely large carbon footprint and wastes much of our resources. It takes over 5,000 gallons of water alone to produce one pound of beef. Most of our crops are grown as feed for animals. Teaching our children to embrace a more vegtable/fruit based diet just might be the best action you can take to combat global warming.


It’s good to see this commentary, John. A very good message for Fathers Day.

We met in Dubuque in June, 2003, when you worked for the Rep. Dennis Kucinich for President campaign. Dennis spoke magnificently for over an hour to a large crowd in a room in the Dubuque Public Library. He was an extraordinary candidate.

Caring and sharing, stewardship and solidarity are major themes of this encyclical, and they remind me of Dennis and you. Best wishes.


As always, personal responsibility is ignored. The most impactful thing that an individual can do to reduce the need for fossil fuels is to enjoy a healthy, moral, vegan or vegetarian diet. These mainstream media articles invariably overlook that fact and instead call for vague governmental or corporate action. If this author is raising his children as meat eaters, his call for morality-based action is repulsive to those of us capable of thinking clearly. Speciesism has the same root as racism. It is the absence of compassion for all sentient beings.


An especially good message for fathers day when you consider that when I turned on NPR Sunday morning the first thing I heard is “President Obama is golfing with friends in Palm Springs”.

Once again the kleptocrat in chief sets a great example.

Any idea how much water and energy inputs it takes to keep turf green during the four months od triple digit temperatures and zero net rain (when you consider that any rain that falls in summer there evaporates faster than it can be used) ???


I would never choose to impose any kind of diet on another person. I do understand how detrimental our factory farms are to the environment and recognize that every one of us has the greatest positive effect on climate change by the choices we make with regards to diet. For those who strive to live a compassionate life, they may want to investigate the immense suffering that 10 billion animals in this country endure each year before making it to your plate. Both those reasons might convince one to make modest changes on what to eat.