Pope Francis said he believes the Chinese coronavirus pandemic is “certainly nature’s response” to humanity’s failure to address the “partial catastrophes” wrought by human-induced climate change.
Asked by British journalist Austen Ivereigh whether the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for an “ecological conversion,” the pontiff reasserted his belief that humanity has provoked nature by not responding adequately to the climate crisis.
“There is an expression in Spanish: ‘God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives,’” Francis said in the interview published Wednesday. “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that a year and a half ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?”
“I don’t know if it is nature’s revenge, but it is certainly nature’s response,” he added.
“Every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out from the danger,” he said. “Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world.”
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