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"'Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home,' is a call to action. We can only hope that religious leaders around the world, including the Mormon Church, will follow the Pope's wisdom and leadership on behalf of the planet. Ordinary people around the world have been advocating for these ideas for a long time. Pope Francis is a leader who listens and responds. May we all respond to the global crisis of climate change with love not fear. And may each of us find the courage to change our lives in the name of a liveable future as part of our own spiritual practice. This is the great work before us.
Terry Tempest Williams, author
"Climate change poses the greatest environmental and social threat of our time. It also presents tremendous opportunities. We have all the technologies needed to build a low-carbon future. What's been missing is a unified commitment to sustainability that will protect quality of life, both locally and globally. Today, Pope Francis helped bring us all closer to achieving a unified, global commitment to safeguard our world from the worst impacts of climate change."
Sarah Wright, Utah Clean Energy
"On the climate-change question, it is important for religious leaders to speak out. He is promoting using fewer fossil fuels at a time when big companies are suggesting an idea for a carbon tax. This is a powerful venue, speaking from a moral persecutive. He is speaking not just to Catholics and Christians, but to all of humankind. It's a hard-hitting statement about humankind's relationship toward the Earth. He talks about this idea that we need to change our culture and that's part of the problem. The environment is often treated as a political issue. My hope is this can give people a common place to discuss these issues. The starting point is one of moral responsibility. That's a powerful message and if people hear it, it can reduce the divisiveness."
Lincoln Davies, University of Utah law professor
"When it comes to energy use as it relates to global warming, the pope would help lift more people out of poverty while improving their health by working to rapidly provide the remaining 1.2 billion people who lack it with electricity from reliable, affordable fossil fuels. Access to fossil fuels would provide them with lifesaving medical services, mobility to better-paying jobs, electricity to study after the sun goes down, and countless other health benefits. Fossil fuels provide enormous social benefits that vastly outweigh their impact, and with clean-burning natural gas and today's responsible oil and gas development come environmental benefits as well. Rationing access to reliable fossil fuels will continue to leave millions in poverty and condemned to early death now, while providing only theoretical health benefits decades into the future."
Kathleen M. Sgamma,vice president of government & public affairs, Western Energy Alliance
"We have a responsibility to take care of the Earth. I share his concerns. I take it very seriously. I'm more inclined to be concerned with the pollution we have in the atmosphere. It's very real and impacts people's health on a daily basis. We should lead by example and be wise stewards of the atmosphere and the land that we live on."
Rep. David Lifferth, R-Eagle Mountain
"We endorse what the pope has done. It has potential to be a game changer, badly needed. It adds strength to the moral dimension, which has not been there. What the pope is saying is: God believes in science. We are told climate change is leading toward wholesale disruption of civilization. What can be a more compelling moral dimension than that? I hope this is setting a precedent for other religious leaders, including those in Utah. There is no question that the science has long since been settled. It should transition from a political discussion to a moral discussion."
Brian Moench, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
"We are thrilled that the pope has dedicated an encyclical to this issue. This is no small thing. [Climate change] is the most pressing and significant moral issue of our time. It will affect every aspect of every person's life. The whole point of our organization is to stress the moral imperative of what we are doing to the planet. This is our only home for all creatures. Back in the 1950s, civil rights was a partisan issue. Today, we don't call it a partisan issue because we can all see the moral imperative that it is. In the future, we will see climate change this way. It's all about human lives and social justice."
Ty Markham, Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance and Torrey Town Council member and business owner
"The pope's encyclical is a reminder to all people of faith of the importance of including all of God's creation in our sphere of moral responsibility. Climate change and other forms of environmental degradation mean that we can no longer afford to imagine that moral responsibility extends merely to our own flesh or to our own communities. I am confident that the highest principles of stewardship in the Mormon faith can inspire an adequate response to the problems we face, but we need more courage, more awareness, and more willingness to work with others."
George Handley, board member LDS Earth Stewardship.
"The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City welcomes the publication of Pope Francis' encyclical ... and looks forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the pastoral message and how we can fulfill our responsibility to protect all of God's creations."
Susan Dennin, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City
"As Pope Francis articulated in his papal encyclical: Catholics, and all humanity, have a moral obligation to address climate change in order to help the world's poor. Those living in poverty have contributed the least amount of carbon but are paying the highest price. They are most impacted by climate disruption but are least able to cope with the consequences. The faith communities that are part of Utah IPL are committed to working with Pope Francis, Utah's 300,000 Catholics, and everyone else who wants climate justice here in Utah and around the world."
Susan Soleil, executive director of Utah Interfaith Power and Light
Compiled by reporters Brian Maffly and Peggy Fletcher Stack