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Pope Francis is calling on the world to take action against global warming, and many conservatives in the United States are up in arms. The pope should stick to morality, they say, and not venture into science. These groups' attitudes mirror those of Americans more generally: 69 percent of Catholics and 62 percent of mainline Protestants responded that climate change is happening, with a smaller majority of Evangelicals (51 percent) agreeing. Majorities in each group also agreed that global warming will harm the natural environment and future generations, and that reducing global warming would help the environment and future generations.Science can reveal the environmental dangers caused by humanity; engineering can create the tools to protect the planet; and faith and moral reasoning can provide the practical wisdom (as Aristotle and Aquinas would have said) to choose virtuously for the common good.The Vatican gathering in April included not only world-leading climate scientists and Nobel laureates, but also senior representatives of the Protestant, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim faiths. Like Francis, religious leaders of all the world's major religions are urging us to take wisdom from faith and climate science in order to fulfill our moral responsibilities to humanity and to the future of Earth.
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