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Environment Magazine September/October 2008


November-December 2015

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Laudato si'

It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. (Laudato si')

Will Pope Francis's words influence Americans' thinking about the environment, people's role within it, and specifically climate change?

According to the Pew Research survey, 68% of American adults, about one-fifth of whom are self-identified Catholics, say they “believe the Earth is warming,” and that belief is about twice as common among Democrats as Republicans. As to whether human activity is causing global warming, 64% of Democrats think this is the case and that this is as a very serious problem, with about one-third of that percentage of Republicans so concluding (, accessed on August 1, 2015).

Joseph F. C. DiMento, Ph.D., J.D., is professor of law and social ecology at UCI. He writes on domestic and international environmental law and international public law, including most recently Climate Change: What it Means for Us, Our Children and Our Grandchildren (second edition; co-edited with Pamela Doughman) and Environmental Governance of the Great Seas: Law and Effect (with Alexis Hickman). He teaches courses in domestic and international environmental law, including climate change law, public international law, and land use law. He is a member of the California Bar. 

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