I wish I could draw cartoons. I'd have a go at one of those of a bearded guy in a long robe and sandals carrying a placard that reads, "REPENT! THE END IS NIGH!" He'd have a smug look on his face that says, 'I told you so!'
Yes, I've been reading Pope Francis' Encyclical, 'Laudato Si' which speaks powerfully of the globalised industrial machine, powered by greed, turning our planet into 'a pile of filth'. And in doing so, destroying the biosphere. Mass extinction, irreversible climate change, inhuman exploitation of the poor, to whom he acknowledges an 'ecological debt' ... Here's a Bishop of Rome who won't fiddle while the world burns. Perhaps by giving strong moral leadership he will have an impact. At least 1.3 billion Catholics no longer have the option of denying both the reality of man-made climate change, and a responsibility towards the people losing their homes and livelihoods because of it. Will it make a difference? We shall see.
I discovered recently that 'Repent' is a translation of the Greek word 'metanoia', which has nothing to do with sackcloth and ashes. It means to 'change your mind'. Pope Francis calls those who deny responsibility for the catastrophe we may not even be able to avoid, to do just that. While there's still a chance to salvage something habitable.