CNN | Democrat Senator: We Must Listen to the Pope on Global Warming

Senator Ben Cardin, CNN:

(CNN) Pope Francis’ new encyclical on climate change is a profound reminder that we have a shared moral obligation to address climate change and the immeasurable human suffering it is causing around the world.

Climate change is causing irreparable harm to people who least can afford to adapt to the increasing instances and severity of extreme weather. To echo the encyclical, released Thursday, if you care about your fellow human beings, then you should support solutions that will help people survive climate change and work to reduce the climate pollution that endangers us all.

My Jewish faith has informed my sense of personal responsibility to work to protect people from climate change. Just last month, more than 340 rabbis from across the spectrum of Judaism penned a letter urging action to tackle the climate crisis. In that letter, they cite a passage from the Torah that warns that even if we refuse to let the Earth rest, it will rest anyway.

That Biblical warning is playing out before us now.

Climate change is already affecting the environment and economy in the state I represent. Seventy percent of Marylanders live in coastal areas, and the 2014 National Climate Assessment identified our state’s 3,000-plus miles of coastline as highly vulnerable to rising seas. Recent superstorms such as Irene and Sandy have also wrought damaging floods in places such as Annapolis and Baltimore, while the people of Smith Island are watching their island disappear under rising sea levels.

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