- - Sunday, January 22, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I was encouraged to read in “Protesters, Democrats open fire on EPA nominee Pruitt at Senate hearings” (Web, Jan. 18) that Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, acknowledged climate change isn’t a hoax. However, as a Catholic, I am concerned that Mr. Pruitt still does not accept the scientific consensus that the climate change we’re experiencing is caused by a wasteful overconsumption of the Earth’s resources, as Pope Francis and hundreds of other faith, military and business leaders affirm.

It also troubles me that Mr. Pruitt did not recognize that climate change is harming human health — and doing so now. Even in the nation’s capital we can see the dire consequences of climate change. For example, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land (located in the Northeast section of the city) grows fruits and vegetables and distributes them to Washington’s community food banks. Last October the monastery reported that there was a “34 percent decrease in vegetable produce in September 2016 from September 2015 [which] was primarily due to hotter weather conditions.” That’s 34 percent less food that can be given to those who go without. Climate change is making our neighbors go hungry.

Before they vote on Mr. Pruitt’s nomination, I call on our elected officials to consider how strongly Mr. Pruitt would protect God’s creation and ensure that America’s citizens, especially America’s less fortunate citizens, do not suffer needlessly because of climate change. But I also call upon my fellow citizens to get more involved in their communities both locally and nationally to care for creation and the poor. I encourage everyone to visit catholicclimatecovenant.org to learn how he or she can get involved.

WESLEY COCOZELLO

Washington

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