Edenton, NC – The Sustainable Furnishings Council joins the rest of the country in welcoming Pope Francis on his first visit to the United States. In particular we welcome and support his leadership efforts to bring much-needed change to America’s environmental policies and unsustainable consumption practices.
Pope Francis has given the strongest and most compelling message yet by a world leader about the adverse effects of our over-consuming habits, including climate change and grossly uneven distribution of resources. The Pope is clear and direct in discussing the interrelation of global poverty and climate change.
Here’s hoping that our own leaders and would-be leaders will listen well and step up to respond to the challenges outlined. To that end, the Sustainable Furnishings Council reminds government, politicians and organizations, as well as the furniture buying public, that it is a credible and reliable resource for accurate information and sustainable practices in the home furnishings industries.
As he addresses our Congress, the Pope will be addressing wealthy individuals in a wealthy nation. We will be listening, too, knowing we are likely to hear wise words and good guidance on several points that our legislators should respond to immediately, acting now to ensure a healthy future inside and out:
The Pope is clear that the climate change problem is our fault. He addresses Pollution, waste and the throwaway culture:
“Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of premature deaths. There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general.”
And he is clear we must take responsibility, as he addresses the facts of climate change in Climate as a common good:
“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. 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.”
Sustainable Furnishings Council agrees with the Pope that “things can change” and that we must all act together, including our legislators:
“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges.”
And The Pope is clear that many of our leaders in Congress present a challenge that threatens humanity itself:
“Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms, simply making efforts to reduce some of the negative impacts of climate change. There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced. Some countries have made considerable progress, although it is far from constituting a significant proportion.”
The Pope recognizes the problems of climate change, of loss of biodiversity, of the hardship of environmental degradation inflicted on the poor, of lack of water, and standing at the confluence of religion, science and ecology he calls for action and the development of new national policies. He is only here for a week, but Congress and candidates must hear an ongoing call to action to heal the harm we have inflicted on our environment. We know things can change and we will be watching and listening for change makers as we consider our votes.