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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Warning over climate change threat to biblical landmarks

The Bishop for the Environment has urged society to “act now to fix the damage we are doing to the planet,” amid warnings that biblical wonders, such as the Dead Sea, are drying up.

In fact, the Dead Sea is shrinking at such an alarming rate, it could become ‘just a tiny pool by the middle of this century’, scientists claim.

The stark forecast comes after scientists found that the level of the sea is now falling by as much as 1.5m (5ft) each year.

The Dead Sea has suffered from years of drought and failed policies to try and avert what has been described as an ‘environmental disaster in slow motion’. Its main tributary, the River Jordan – where Jesus was baptised – is now just ‘a trickle’ and the Sea of Galilee is also very low.

Bishop John Arnold has urged people to change their lifestyles in an effort to tackle climate change.

“It is now very clear that we are seeing the physical consequences of a warming world. We need to act now to fix the damage we are doing to the planet, our common home. The damage is now changing people’s lives, with the loss of farmland and livelihoods,” he told The Catholic Universe.

“In Laudato Si’, Pope Frances laments that our Mother Earth ‘now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her’.

“It is time for us all to take action in our own homes, business and communities to change our lifestyles to deal with the underlying causes of climate change. We have every reason to hope, if we act now.”

Read more on this story in this week’s edition of The Catholic Universe (dated Friday 11th January 2019).
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Picture: The Jordanian coast of the Dead Sea. Its water level is falling by as much as five feet a year. (Manuel Cohen/Aurimages).