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Pope blasts climate change doubters and calls on world leaders to take action in the wake of the devastation caused by hurricane Irma
Pope Francis has sharply criticised climate change doubters, saying history will judge those who failed to take action.
- Pope Francis was asked about climate change on a visit to Columbia
- He said about fossil fuel emissions: 'If we don't turn back, we will go down'
- He added individuals and politicians had a 'moral responsibility' to do their part
- Pope Francis has made caring for the environment a hallmark of his papacy
Francis was asked about climate change and the spate of hurricanes, including Irma, have pummelled the US, Mexico and the Caribbean recent days.
He called on world leaders to take the necessary decisions to curb heat-trapping emissions blamed for the warming of the Earth.
The pope made the comments as his charter plane left Colombia on Sunday and flew over some of the devastated areas.
'Those who deny this must go to the scientists and ask them, he said.
'They speak very clearly', referring to experts who blame global warming on man-made activities.
Francis said scientists have also clearly charted what needed to be done to reverse course on global warming and said individuals and politicians had a 'moral responsibility' to do their part.
'These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air. They are very clear.
'Then they (leaders) decide and history will judge those decisions,' he added.
During his visit to Colombia, Francis spoke out frequently about the need to preserve the country's rich biodiversity from over development and exploitation.
For those who have denied climate change, or delayed actions to counter it, he responded with an Old Testament saying: 'Man is stupid.'
'When you don't want to see, you don't see,' he added.
Pope Francis said the recent spate of hurricanes should prompt people to understand that humanity will 'go down' if it does not address climate change and history will judge those who deny the science on its causes.