Who Pope Francis Blames For Climate Change Makes Him More Progressive Than Most Of The Republican Party

We knew Pope Francis was the most progressive leader the Catholic Church has ever had — by, like, a mile — but his stance on climate change takes it to a whole new level. In fact, what the pope blames for climate change automatically makes him more progressive than the majority of people in the GOP. For starters, he does't think it's all a big hoax. (Shocker!) On Thursday, Pope Francis's papal encyclical blamed global warming on reckless human activity and fossil fuels. In the extensive 184-page letter, the pope says, "Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day."

Even before releasing the encyclical, the pope was adamant that we needed global action to save the environment, and now it's clear that he believes we're the ones destroying it. (Which we are.) In the letter, Pope Francis blamed our constant consumption of products, our excessive use of technology, and our reliance on fossil fuels for the earth's warming. "Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it," the pope wrote.

Franco Origlia/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The fact that Pope Francis a) acknowledges climate change as a real problem and b) admits that humans play a huge role in its manifestation makes him way more progressive on the issue than most American Republican politicians. Six of the current GOP candidates for president of the United States either don't believe humans caused global warming or don't fully trust scientists' predictions — or both. The pope conceded to conservative nonbelievers that there are natural occurrences that warm the earth, but he stood firm in the belief that humans are to blame. In his encyclical, he said:

It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, and others) released mainly as a result of human activity... The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system.

Who knew it was even possible to be more conservative than the pope? The GOP has done the impossible.

Images: Getty Images (1)