In June 2015 Pope Francis released Laudato si': On Care For Our Common Home, his encyclical on the environment, climate change, and global inequality.1 In his subsequent U.S. visit the Pope addressed climate change in several of his major speeches, emphasizing climate change as a moral issue. As environmental advocates struggle to move American public opinion toward strong, effective action to address climate change, it is instructive to examine the Pope's climate-communications effectiveness.
Laudato si' makes strong moral arguments for taking personal and collective action on climate change now, particularly in wealthier nations with unsustainable rates of energy consumption and what Francis calls “throwaway cultures.” The Pope connects high consumption of wealthy people—of energy and much more—with suffering among the poor and in the poorest nations: “The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming.”1
As the first pope from the Global South, Francis is well situated to make moral arguments for taking action on climate change. The Global North is largely responsible for past emissions that cause climate change, while the Global South, where most of the world's poorest people live, will suffer a disproportionate share of the harms.
Science historian Naomi Oreskes observes that Laudato si' “insists we embrace the moral dimensions of problems that have heretofore been viewed primarily as scientific, technological, and economic.”2 Sociologists Robert J. Brulle and Robert J. Antonio similarly note that Laudato si' “substantially expands the nature of climate change discourse from a focus on narrow technical and economic issues into a public, moral, and political conversation regarding the shape and future of human societies, our ultimate purposes, and ethical responsibilities to each other.”3
Similarly, nonacademic writers note the encyclical's moral emphasis. Bill McKibben describes Laudato si' as “nothing less than a sweeping, radical, and highly persuasive critique of how we inhabit this planet—an ecological critique, yes, but also a moral, social, economic, and spiritual commentary” that should “unsettle every nonpoor reader who opens its pages.”4 Francis's British biographer, Austen Ivereigh, notes the encyclical's moral emphasis: “His bold, excoriating … Laudato si' … may be Francis's greatest legacy. In linking damage to the planet and the plight of the poor, in calling on the wealthy to drastically alter their lives to avoid impending disaster, he made climate change a primary moral issue.”5
Laudato si' received considerable media coverage in the United States before and after its June 2015 release. In September 2015, during Pope Francis's first visit to the United States, he gave three major speeches that addressed climate change—at the White House, at a joint session of Congress, and at the United Nations. While climate was not the only issue covered in the media with respect to the Pope's visit, his climate messages received and are still receiving significant U.S. media attention.
U.S. media coverage of the release of Laudato si' was largely favorable. That was even more the case with Francis's subsequent U.S. visit. But there have been detractors in the media on the political right with respect to his climate messages. One of the strongest rebukes came months before the encyclical was issued. Stephen Moore, himself a Catholic, wrote in Forbes to deplore the coming encyclical. He claimed the Pope had aligned himself with “the radical green movement that is at its core anti-Christian, anti-people, and anti-progress. He has aligned himself with a secular movement that is antithetical to the fundamental theological underpinning of Catholicism—the sanctity of human life and the value of all souls.”6 Additional conservative criticism of Laudato si' came from several Republican presidential candidates (Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump) who disagreed specifically with the Pope's call for action on climate change.7–9
Bush and Rubio, both of whom are Catholic, said that while they would be guided by the Pope's views on moral issues, they felt free to disagree with his views on political or economic issues such as (they claimed) climate change.7,8 Bush backed slightly away from his criticism of Francis, but in so doing reiterated that he considers climate change an economic and political issue, and thus by omission not a moral issue.10
Other Republican presidential candidates avoided engaging directly with the Pope on climate change (and its moral implications) by ignoring what he and his encyclical said about the climate. Carly Fiorina chastised Democrats for embracing the Pope's messages on some issues (environment and capitalism) while ignoring his messages on other issues (addressing what she called the “sanctity of life”).11 That was a valid criticism, perhaps, but ironic since she was doing the same thing by dismissively relegating the Pope's moral arguments on climate (which Laudato si' explicitly ties to the sanctity of life) to the realm of “politics,” where she felt free to ignore the Pope. Ted Cruz, himself a Catholic (and an acknowledged “full-out” climate-science denier), did much the same thing by ignoring the Pope's moral (and other) arguments pertaining to climate while embracing him on issues like abortion and gay marriage.12,13
“Understanding climate change as a moral imperative does not occur automatically, at an intuitive level. Instead it requires cold, cognitively demanding and ultimately relatively less motivating, moral reasoning.”14 Similarly, because Americans and others in the developed world believe (for the most part correctly) that the worst climate impacts will happen to people far away geographically (in poorer nations) or distant in time (in future generations), “such people are seen as less deserving of moral standing.”14 This can lead to reduced affective or emotional responses to climate change, which can cause people to lack a sense of urgency about the problem, if not ignore it or deny its existence. “Research has consistently shown negative affect to be one of the strongest drivers of climate change risk perceptions and policy support.”15 Thus, lack of negative affect about climate change leads to lack of support for policies to address it.
Pope Francis's efforts through Laudato si' and his other climate messaging can be seen as an attempt to convey and make plain to the world the “cold, cognitively demanding” moral reasoning that is needed to understand the urgency of climate change. But more than just conveying “cold” moral reasoning, the Pope is trying to help people in the developed world see and feel the “hot” adverse effects of climate change as it is being (and will be) experienced by the world's poor. Thus, in Laudato si' “Pope Francis implores us to see the faces of the poor and dispossessed, and not just the political and policy challenges they pose when we contemplate them as abstractions.”16 Pope Francis not only asks us to see those faces, but actually helps us see them and feel what they feel. He does this in part by explaining their plight and its connection to our greenhouse-gas emissions in clear, compelling, moral language. But he also does it by traveling (with a media entourage) to meet and be photographed and televised with them, as he has done in many of his trips as Pope. “Putting oneself into the shoes of another” allows one to “feel pain, sympathy, or other vicarious responses” and is thus “one of the principal pathways of moral reflection.”17 The Pope in Laudato si' and in his many gestures of humility does this, and attempts to help others do it too. To paraphrase from the title of Susanne Moser and Lisa Dilling's article on communicating climate urgency, Pope Francis is attempting to “make climate hot.”18
Denying climate science, or ignoring or denying moral issues arising from climate change in order to justify continuing high-consumption, high-emission lifestyles, is a form of moral disengagement. The moral-disengagement theory is characterized in the following way: “In detrimental schemes, authorities act in ways to keep themselves intentionally uninformed.” “Discrediting or minimizing injurious consequences, or discrediting the evidence for them, is a widely used disengagement practice.”19 Similarly, “when everyone is responsible [for a moral wrong], no one really feels responsible. Any harm done by a group can always be attributed largely to the behavior of others.”19
The theory can be used to describe how an evil such as genocide can occur in modern civilized society, and how people can ignore it or even participate in it without feeling that they are doing anything immoral. The theory can also explain how people can facilitate evils less serious than genocide. While the term “genocide” has not often been used in connection with climate change, that is beginning to change. The International Journal of Human Rights recently devoted a special issue to climate change and genocide, linking action on climate change to prevention of genocide.20 Following his November 2015 trip to Africa, intended in part to highlight the effects of a changing climate on the world's poorest people, Pope Francis suggested that failing to act now to mitigate climate change would be world “suicide.”21 Historian Timothy Snyder contends that climate change can be linked to recent conflicts and may well lead to multiple future genocides, as food and water scarcities become more common.22,23
Although Pope Francis doesn't use the term “moral disengagement” in Laudato si', the concept can be discerned throughout the encyclical, which can be seen as an effort to pierce the moral disengagement of high-consuming, high-greenhouse-gas-emitting nations (and their people) concerning climate change.
The Catholic Church in the United States worked to publicize Laudato si' and its relevance to Pope Francis's visit. On the day of the encyclical's release Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), gave a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, accompanied by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington. Cardinal Wuerl also appeared on Fox News on the Sunday after Laudato si's release to promote the encyclical and assert that climate change is a moral issue. But Wuerl appeared to undercut the Pope's moral message by saying that Jeb Bush's claim that the encyclical deals with a purely economic issue was “legitimate.”24 Many U.S. Catholic bishops (110 out of 176) issued their own statements welcoming the new encyclical.25
A pope has a pulpit of greater influence and power than that of most other people in the world, particularly on moral issues. In the United States Catholicism is the single largest religious denomination—approximately 25% of the nation's population. Moreover, popes have been popular with non-Catholics in the United States in recent years, further expanding their persuasive influence.
Pope Francis has long been known for making small, humble gestures, many now in the public eye. In fact, he has been mocked by some. Conservative columnist Ross Douthat criticized Francis for his “ostentatious humility.”26 But years before Francis became pope, a leading philosopher of climate change, Dale Jamieson, expressed the importance of humility and moral framing in inducing action on climate, and the importance of seemingly small actions, such as those Francis has used so effectively as symbols supporting his moral positions on climate:
Humility is a widely shared moral ideal that is not often connected to the love of nature or the importance of living lightly on the earth. … A person who has proper humility would be horrified at the prospect of changing Earth's fundamental systems, and would act in such a way as to minimize the impact of their behavior. …
Seeing an issue as a moral problem can provide the motivation for individual and political action. … The language of morality is the language of care, empathy, responsibility, and duty. This language has been largely absent from discussions of climate change. … Successfully addressing climate change requires long-term, sustainable changes in the way we live. This will only come about when we take responsibility for our actions, and express our concern for future generations and the health of the earth through our everyday actions.27
Increased media coverage of climate change generally leads to increased public concern about it.28 But the most important factor affecting the level of public concern about climate change is “the elite partisan battle” over it.28 Thus cues from elites on the issue are important in moving public opinion. The partisan, ideological battle over climate change in the United States has fallen largely along conservative/liberal and Republican/Democrat lines. Many conservatives and Republicans resist action to address climate change, if they even acknowledge it is a problem at all.
As the leader of a religion closely aligned in the United States with several leading conservative causes, Pope Francis, with help from leaders in the U.S. Catholic Church, could be in a position to break the partisan deadlock over climate change. The Pope and other church leaders are elites themselves, whose cues may be discerned directly by the conservative rank and file. Moreover, the Pope's and his church's moral messages could affect other conservative elites, including those holding political office.
To help publicize the message, the Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC), a Washington, DC-based organization, organized seven press conferences in the weeks following the encyclical's release, and CCC also distributed “homily helps” to 13,000 of the U.S. Catholic Church's 17,000 parishes and posted them and other Laudato si' resources online.25,29,30
With this background one might expect to find that Pope Francis's climate messaging in the United States in 2015 significantly affected Americans', and particularly conservative Americans', attitudes about climate change. But an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs/Yale University poll conducted in July 2015, a month after Laudato si's issuance, suggested that Pope Francis's climate message might not be getting through even to Catholics in the United States. The poll found that only 40% of Catholics (and 31% of all Americans) were aware of the encyclical. Of those Americans who were aware, only 23% reported having heard about the encyclical at their church or other religious service. The poll found that, overall, a majority of Americans believe that climate change is an environmental, scientific, and political issue. But only a minority of Americans think of climate as a social-justice, poverty, or religious issue.31–33
Polls taken after the Pope's September visit to the United States, however, showed that Francis's climate message was getting through at least somewhat. A George Mason University (GMU)/Yale poll found that between the spring and fall of 2015 “Americans—especially Catholic Americans—became more engaged in and concerned about global warming,” “suggest[ing] that the Pope's teachings about global warming contributed to an increase in public engagement on the issue, and influenced the conversation about global warming in America.”34 Additionally, “more Americans and more Catholics came to see global warming as a moral issue (+6 and +8 points, respectively) or a religious issue (+4 and +7 points, respectively).” And “more Americans overall also came to see global warming as a social justice/fairness issue (+8 points), and a poverty issue (+5 points).”34
Researchers affiliated with the Brookings Institution also found a shift in American climate attitudes: “The ‘Francis effect’ should not be overlooked as at least a partial contributor to growing acceptance of global warming among Americans.”35 Their report showed a 7% increase between spring and fall of 2015 in Americans' belief that there is solid evidence of global warming, with doubt of global warming's existence decreasing more sharply among Republicans.35 The authors' subsequent report surprisingly showed that the largest increase was among evangelical Christians, indicating that perhaps Pope Francis's moral messaging was influencing that group as much as or even more than Catholics.36 This deserves to be studied in depth, but seems to suggest that the Pope's moral message may be reaching conservatives who are not Catholic.
Some information in the GMU/Yale poll painted a less rosy picture. Only 1 in 10 Americans and 2 in 10 Catholics reported that the Pope's climate views were discussed in their places of worship.34 In light of the care and effort that went into writing Laudato si', the urgency of climate change as a moral issue, and the Pope's popularity and visibility during 2015, those numbers are shockingly low. An Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll also conducted in October 2015 revealed that a sizeable majority (64%) of Americans do not see climate change as a moral issue.33,37 This suggests that Pope Francis's attempt to pierce Americans' moral disengagement on climate change has yet to succeed fully.
While the fall 2015 overall poll results are encouraging in many respects, and the Pope's climate efforts in the United States to date can be deemed a success, there is still much more the U.S. Catholic Church could do to support Pope Francis. A pope and a church wishing to move their adherents (not to mention the rest of the world's people and nations) to action on climate cannot merely issue an encyclical, promote it for a while, and stop there. They must repeatedly make people aware of the encyclical's messages, persuade them to read it, think about it, and talk about it. And following that they must persuade people to take personal and collective action toward greenhouse-gas reductions and efforts to help the world's poor adapt to climate changes that cannot be avoided.
For that to happen in the United States will require the assistance of the Catholic Church's American cardinals, bishops, parish priests, and many other Catholic leaders and opinion influencers. While a pope, who is the Bishop of Rome, can “commend an issue to the attention of Catholics worldwide, the other bishops, as church leaders in their own right, have considerable autonomy in deciding the priorities of their respective dioceses.”38
There are signs that a good number of U.S. Catholic bishops and parish priests have not made climate change a priority. The New York Times found indications of this at a meeting of U.S. Catholic bishops shortly before Laudato si's release:
bishops from around the country said they were withholding their enthusiasm until they saw the document. … Some said they were wary about getting the church enmeshed in the debate over climate change, a contentious issue in the United States. They also expressed concern about allying with environmentalists, some of whom promote population control as a remedy, since the church sees abortion and contraception as great evils. … Only about 40 of the 250 bishops at the meeting attended a workshop on the encyclical.39
In September, shortly before the Pope's arrival in the United States, American Catholic climate-movement leaders openly expressed disappointment in the U.S. Church's actions on climate, describing
a disconnect between the enthusiasm of community groups and the patchy response from the church leadership. “I think Francis would be disappointed by the lack of urgency in the response of most American bishops. This isn't just a letter to be read, but a call to be acted upon,” said Christopher Hale, director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. “To date, the American Catholic Church has yet to answer that call in a meaningful way.” 40
As reported in Climate Wire, in the months following Laudato si's release “there has not been a consistent response across the American Catholic church to the pope's call for action or even the dissemination of his social teaching from church pulpits.”41 This has led to calls from Catholic activists for U.S. bishops to do more.42 In November, more than a month after the Pope concluded his U.S. visit, two cardinals from the Global South spoke at several locations in the United States to promote climate action. Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, who did much of the encyclical's drafting, spoke in Boston, Massachusetts, and Columbus, Ohio.43–45 Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, a top advisor to Pope Francis, spoke at a climate-change symposium at Georgetown University.46 Following his talk Cardinal Rodriguez took questions. Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, asked the cardinal what could be done to get U.S. Catholic parishes to support Pope Francis's call to action on climate. Cardinal Rodriguez smiled and recounted how he had once been asked which of two issues should have top priority, and he had responded “both.”
In December 2015 world leaders reached a landmark agreement at the United Nations COP 21 meeting in Paris to begin to phase out greenhouse gases and provide climate- and energy-related assistance to developing nations. That agreement, of course, is hardly the end of the matter, but rather the beginning of a long difficult process, which in the United States will be opposed for the foreseeable future by one of the nation's two major political parties. For the U.S. Catholic Church to play an effective role in this post-Paris process, its leaders will need to step up more at the local-parish level, rather than relying on activist groups and visiting cardinals and a pope from the Global South to make the urgent moral case for climate action.
The U.S. Catholic Church is not immune from the culture wars and political polarization that have afflicted Congress and other institutions in recent years, including on matters of climate-change policy. John Gehring describes how leadership appointments during the collective 35-year reigns of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI changed the U.S. Catholic Church. Appointments to high positions such as bishops and cardinals were largely filled during these decades with conservatives, leading to “a vocal minority of culture warrior bishops” more interested in fighting battles on gay marriage, abortion, and contraception than on climate change.47 This presents a challenge for Pope Francis and the U.S. Church in the coming years.
While Laudato si' is not focused primarily on climate science, it does touch on the basics and thoroughly describes the likely consequences and dangers of a heating planet. Americans opposed to climate action, such as Jeb Bush, have responded to Laudato si' by arguing that “the Pope is not a scientist.”48 A more engaged Church leadership might have responded quickly and forcefully to such claims when they arose, not only by pointing out that the Pope has in fact studied and taught science, but more importantly by explaining that the Pope is advised by a panel of distinguished scientists—the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Another missed opportunity during the Pope's U.S. visit was the lack of a visible symbol of the Pope's concern for the effects of climate change on the poor, such as the visit he undertook in 2013 to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa to meet with migrants from drought-ravaged Africa. In the United States, possible visits highlighting climate effects on those less well off could have included New Orleans, Staten Island, or Norfolk, Virginia, all gravely threatened by sea-level rise.
Pope Francis may well be the most effective communicator in the world regarding the moral urgency of climate action. The Pope's use of moral framing and his skill at communicating the encyclical's moral messages through his words and actions have “changed the conversation” on climate in the United States, as one poll report noted. But there is still much more to do, and no guarantee of success.
Francis cannot visit the United States every year. The U.S. Catholic Church's leaders, and all other religious and moral leaders in the United States, need to build on the Pope's momentum and ensure that Americans better understand the moral issues surrounding climate change, and are moved to act on that understanding.
Seth Heald is a candidate for the M.S. in energy policy and climate at Johns Hopkins University.
1. P. Francis, Laudato Si—On Care for Our Common Home. 2015. http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html
2. P. Francis and N. Oreskes, Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality: On Care for Our Common Home (Brooklyn, NY: Melville House, 2015).
3. R. J. Brulle and R. J. Antonio, “The Pope's Fateful Vision of Hope for Society and the Planet,” Nature Climate Change 5, no. 10 (2015), 900–901. http://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2796
4. B. McKibben, “The Pope and the Planet,” The New York Review of Books, August 13, 2015, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/aug/13/pope-and-planet
5. A. Ivereigh, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, Upd Exp edition. (New York, NY: Picador, 2015).
6. S. Moore, “Vatican's Turn To The Left Will Make The Poor Poorer,” Forbes, January 5, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemoore/2015/01/05/vaticans-turn-to-the-left-will-make-the-poor-poorer
7. S. Goldenberg and S. Siddiqui, “Jeb Bush Joins Republican Backlash Against Pope on Climate Change,” The Guardian, June 17, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/17/jeb-bush-joins-republican-backlash-pope-climate-change
8. E. Atkin and J. Legum, “Marco Rubio Says The Pope Doesn't Really Know Anything About Poverty or Climate Change,” Think Progress, September 24, 2015, http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/09/24/3704841/marco-rubio-pope-francis/
9. N. Gass, “Trump: Pope Is Wrong on Climate Change,” Politico, September 24, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/donald-trump-pope-francis-climate-change-214006
10. T. Gabriel, “Jeb Bush Avoids Criticizing Pope While Acknowledging Threat of Global Warming,” The New York Times, June 17, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/06/17/jeb-bush-avoids-criticizing-pope-while-acknowledging-threat-of-global-warming
11. T. Elliott, “Fiorina: Dems Like the Pope's Progressive Views But Ignore His Belief in the Sanctity of Life,” National Review, September 22, 2015, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424452/fiorina-democrats-popes-views-progressive-politics-not-sanctity-life-tom-s-elliott
12. T. Cruz, “Ted Cruz: Pope Francis Leads On Social Issues,” The Federalist, September 23, 2015, http://thefederalist.com/2015/09/23/ted-cruz-pope-francis-leads-on-abortion-marriage-and-religious-liberty
13. B. Jacobs, “Ted Cruz Expresses “Full Out Denial” of Global Warming During Forum,” The Guardian, August 2, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/03/ted-cruz-expresses-full-out-denial-of-global-warming-during-forum
14. E. M. Markowitz and A. F. Shariff, “Climate Change and Moral Judgement,” Nature Climate Change 2, no. 4 (2012), 243–247. http://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1378
15. S. van der Linden, E. Maibach, and A. Leiserowitz, “Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change Five “Best Practice” Insights From Psychological Science,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 10, no. 6 (2015): 758–763. http://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615598516
16. D. Jamieson, “Theology and Politics in Laudato Si',” AJIL Unbound 109 (2015): 122.
17. J. Haidt, “The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment,” Psychological Review 108, no. 4 (2001): 814–834. http://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.108.4.814
18. S. C. Moser and L. Dilling, “Making Climate Hot,” Environment 46, no. 10 (2004): 32.
19. A. Bandura, “Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities,” Personality and Social Psychology Review 3, no. 3 (1999): 193–209. http://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr0303_3
20. J. Zimmerer, “Climate Change, Environmental Violence and Genocide,” Sur International Journal on Human Rights 18, no. 3 (2014): 265–280. http://doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2014.914701
21. N. Chokshi, “Pope Francis: The world Is Near “Suicide” on Climate Change; “It's Now or Never,”” The Washington Post, November 30, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/11/30/pope-francis-the-world-is-near-suicide-on-climate-change-its-now-or-never/
22. T. Snyder, “The Next Genocide,” The New York Times, September 13, 2015, SR7.
23. T. Snyder, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (New York, NY: Tim Duggan Books),2015.
24. “Cardinal Wuerl Backs Pope On Global Warming But Says Bush's Response Was “Legitimate,”” Fox News, June 21, 2015 [Text.Article], http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/21/cardinal-wuerl-back-pope-on-global-warming-but-says-bush-response-was.html
25. L. Ellis, “Laudato Si' Resources,” n.d. http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic_teachings/resources (accessed October 31, 2015).
26. R. Douthat, “The Plot to Change Catholicism,” The New York Times, October 18, 2015, SR11.
27. D. Jamieson, “The Moral and Political Challenges of Climate Change,” in S. C. Moser and L. Dilling, eds., Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change, reissue edition (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 475–482.
28. R. J. Brulle, J. Carmichael, and J. C. Jenkins, “Shifting Public Opinion on Climate Change: An Empirical Assessment of Factors Influencing Concern Over Climate Change in the U.S., 2002–2010,” Climatic Change 114, no. 2 (2012): 169–188. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.proxy1.library.jhu.edu/10.1007/s10584-012-0403-y
29. S. Plank, Des Moines Diocese Bishop Richard Pates on Pope Francis' Encyclical on Climate Change (2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDJT_1E4_MA
30. R. Pates, “Column: Candidates Should Show Honesty, Courage on Climate Change,” Des Moines Register, July 2, 2015, http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/caucus/2015/07/02/candidates-show-honesty-courage-climate-change/29599775/
31. B. Roewe, “Poll Finds Few US Catholics Familiar With Francis' Eco-Encyclical,” NCR Online, August 19, 2015, http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/poll-finds-few-us-catholics-familiar-francis-eco-encyclical
32. B. Roewe, “Despite Poll, Catholic Climate Leader Optimistic “Laudato Si”' Is Spreading,” NCR Online, August 26, 2015, http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/despite-poll-catholic-climate-leader-optimistic-laudato-si-spreading
33. APNORC.org, “Speaking Out on Global Warming: Public Attitudes Toward the Papal Encyclical on Climate Change Issue Brief,” August 2015, http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/speaking-out-on-global-warming-public-attitudes-toward-the-papal-encyclical-on-climate-change0813-5383.aspx
34. E. Maibach, A. Leiserowitz, C. Roser-Renouf, T. A. Myers, S. Rosenthal, and G. Feinberg, The FrancisEffect: How Pope Francis Changed the ConversationAbout Global Warming (Fairfax, VA: George Mason University and Yale University, 2015), http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/files/The_Francis_Effect.pdf
35. S. Mills, B. Rabe, and C. Borick, “The Francis Effect on the Greenhouse Effect,” Brookings.edu, November 2, 2015, http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2015/11/2-pope-francis-climate-mills-rabe-borick
36. S. Mills, B. Rabe, and C. Borick, “Acceptance of Global Warming Rising for Americans of All Religious Beliefs,” Closup, November 2015, http://closup.umich.edu/issues-in-energy-and-environmental-policy/26/acceptance-of-global-warming-rising-for-americans-of-all-religious-beliefs/
37. S. Borenstein, “As Scientists Worry About Warming World, US Public Doesn't,” The Big Story, November 3, 2015, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/978e08f494c24c61a9800dff3ab2f282/scientists-worry-about-warming-world-us-public-doesn't
38. M. Agliardo, “The U.S. Catholic Response to Climate Change,” in R. Veldman, A. Szasz, and R. Haluza-DeLay, eds., How the World's Religions Are Responding to Climate Change (Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis, 2013), 174–192, https://catalyst.library.jhu.edu/catalog/bib_4685173
39. L. Goodstein, “Pope Francis May Find Wariness Among U.S. Bishops on Climate Change,” The New York Times, June 14, 2015, A8.
40. S. Goldenberg, “Pope Francis Faces Challenge Persuading US's Catholic Leaders on Climate Change,” The Guardian, September 16, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/16/us-catholic-leadership-pope-francis-climate-change
41. M. Vyawahare, “RELIGION: How Long Will It Take for the Pope's Message to Land in the Pews?,” September 23, 2015, http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060025147
42. M. Fiedler, “US Bishops Are Quiet on Climate Change,” NCR Online, November 4, 2015, http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/us-bishops-are-quiet-climate-change
43. B. Roewe, At Boston College, Turkson Maps “Laudato Si”' Path to Paris Climate Agreement,” NOCR Online, October 1, 2015, http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/boston-college-turkson-maps-laudato-si-path-paris-climate-agreement
44. J. Viviano, “Concern for Earth Must Be Priority, Cardinal From Ghana Tells Central Ohioans,” The Columbus Dispatch, November 3, 2015, http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/11/02/Cardinal-takes-on-environmental-issues.html
45. S. Abercrombie, “Turkson's Visit to Ohio State a Watershed Event for Climate Discourse, Academics Say,” NCR Online, November 2, 2015, http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/turksons-visit-ohio-state-watershed-event-climate-discourse-academics-say
46. T. Roberts, “Cardinal Rodríguez at Georgetown: Without Paris Climate Deal, “Some Countries Will Not Have a Future,”” NCR Online, November 4, 2015, http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/cardinal-rodr-guez-georgetown-without-paris-climate-deal-some-countries-will-not
47. Gehring, J. (2015). The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
48. S. Page, “Somebody Tell Jeb Bush That The Pope Actually Is a Scientist,” Think Progress, September 25, 2015, http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/09/25/3705720/bush-says-pope-not-a-scientist/