While older people love to complain about “young people today,” they must admit that the younger generations are leading the way in opposing “an economic system that is unfair to the poor and an enemy of the environment,” Pope Francis wrote.
[The youth] are not only asking us; they are doing it,” he said, pointing to a trend in choosing to consume less, to buy products “produced following strict rules of environmental and social respect” and to lower their carbon footprints with the means of transportation they use.
The young, Pope Francis said, are asking older people “to change. Change our lifestyle, so predatory toward the environment. Change our relationship with the Earth’s resources, which are not infinite. Change our attitude toward them, the new generations, from whom we are stealing the future.”
Christians cannot remain indifferent when they see people suffering because of drought and other environmental disasters and or who are forced to migrate because of climate change,” he wrote.
Those who stand by and watch or turn the other way, he said, are “accomplices in the destruction of the beauty that God wanted to give us in the creation that surrounds us.”
It is not just about the land, the Pope said. With the destruction of the earth, “that ‘very good’ gift that the Creator forged from water and dust – man and woman – will perish.”