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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

Presente.org Responds to Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical

June 18, 2015

Today, the Vatican released Pope Francis’ highly anticipated encyclical statement on the environment, where he states that if current trends continue that climate change will lead to the destruction of ecosystems, which will result in dire consequences for the world.

In response Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org, released the following statement:

“The encyclical hits close to home for Latinos in the United States and around the world, who are often on the front lines of our planet's changing climate, from physical ailments caused by pollution to destroyed land from fracking. The Pope's call to action links issues of climate change with evident impacts on poor, marginalized and working class communities across the globe. He set a moral imperative to stop our dependence on fossil fuels and elucidates that human action has contributed heavily to a rapidly changing climate, which is why it is critical that we continue to push for national and state action that curbs the use of petroleum, gas and other dirty fuels. There is no better example of this than the leadership senators are showing in California with the presentation of legislative alternatives SB 350 and SB 32, which would take the state’s dependence off of fossil fuels while addressing subsequent issues affecting low-income communities. California's Governor, legislature and leaders from other states should heed the Pope’s advice and take note of this legislation, which aims not only to aggressively cut our dependence on petroleum, but also seeks to create economic opportunities in our most vulnerable populations.”