To the Editor:
I feel much reassured after listening to Pope Francis speak to our Congress and afterward to the United Nations.
First of all, he spoke as our brother, not as someone who would lord it over us. He seemed to be speaking to me, personally. I was deeply moved, and I believe that very many others reacted to him in the same way. I think he was telling us that if we are to resolve the very difficult problems facing us, we must do so as brothers and sisters of each other – not in a mean-spirited confrontational way.
He spoke frankly about the increasing dangers of climate change. His concern matches that of the world’s climate scientists and world leaders such as our President Obama and China’s Xi Jinping.
For me climate change is more of a major crisis than a danger, and for effective action, the world’s people must act immediately, or it will be too late too soon. (Please see the sobering article, “World without Ice,” in the Oct. 2011 National Geographic).
At the United Nations he spoke about the extreme danger of the presence of the huge number of nuclear weapons world-wide, many ready to be launched in a few moments.
The Quaker organization, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, has reported that the U.S. “…has an arsenal of about 1,500 nuclear weapons – more than enough to destroy the world many times over.” (Washington Newsletter #756)
That must mean that the world’s nuclear nations may have a total of over 3,000 nuclear weapons ready to use. This is absolutely totally unacceptable and is responsible – along with climate change – for the world’s atomic scientists moving the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight. It is now just three minutes before midnight (Wausau Daily Herald, Jan. 23, 2015).
Pope Francis clearly sees the extreme dangers, and he hopes that we will act quickly and effectively as brothers and sisters of the world’s family.
With renewed hope,
James A. Lewis
Town of Maine
To the Editor: