The pope is an environmentalist.
As Pope Francis spoke before a crowd of 15,000 on the White House lawn this past Wednesday, he wasted no time in telling his listeners that it's time to start caring for "our common home." He praised President Obama for implementing new emissions regulations, stating that it's "encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution at a crucial time in history."
He went on to say that Earth's climate crisis is no longer a problem that "can be left to a future generation." Typically the pope avoids speaking to or of any particular political figure so as not to show partisan favoritism, so this gesture of praise specifically towards Obama's emissions regulations perhaps speaks to the vital importance of environmental awareness.
The pope went on to imply that there is also a responsibility under the US constitution to implement climate change. President Obama thanked the pope for "shaking us from our slumber," an apt statement in this time of desperate need for environmental action. In short, we as citizens of the planet cannot be apathetic or complacent-- we must all do our part, even if it's just by riding a bike to work or using fewer single-use containers. We are all in this together and no one is free from the responsibility of taking care of our "common home."
As always, reduce, reuse, recycle. Small, everyday changes can make a big difference.