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Pope's Take on Climate, Poverty Finds Support in Nevada

Pope Francis' remarks before Congress and the White House on climate change and poverty are finding support among grassroots groups in Nevada. Credit: C-SPAN
Pope Francis' remarks before Congress and the White House on climate change and poverty are finding support among grassroots groups in Nevada. Credit: C-SPAN
September 25, 2015

LAS VEGAS - Pope Francis is in New York today after already expressing concerns during his historic U.S. visit about climate change and poverty. The pontiff's comments are finding support among some grassroots groups in the Silver State.

Jane Feldman, energy chair for the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club, noted the pope's sense of urgency.

"He talked about the urgency of phasing out fossil fuels and moving into renewable energy, clean energy," she said. "He talked about climate change no longer being an issue that we can leave to future generations."

Just as importantly, Feldman said, Francis talked about needing to enact policy that moves forward on these issues. She said the pope's comments are building both passion and excitement to take the steps needed to protect both people and the environment in Nevada into the future.

Francis also made history in addressing a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday. Laura Martin, associate director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said she was particularly impressed with his stand that America's leaders need to accept those born in other countries as their own children.

"The pope has also talked about how we have to reject this notion that there are people who are just disposable," she said, "and I think that's kind of what our mission is, you know. We want to create a Nevada where the people and planet come first before greed and profit."

Feldman noted that the pope also gave a ringing endorsement to the Obama administration's actions on climate change.

"He credited President Obama for the initiative that's going to reduce air pollution," she said, "so, that's what we are working for here in Nevada. Of course, the Clean Power Plan is going to be worked under the auspices of the governor."

Feldman said her group and fellow organizations stand ready to help Gov. Brian Sandoval put the Clean Power Plan's carbon-reduction limits into action.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV