“Man is stupid,” Pope Francis announced during his flight from Colombia to Rome Monday, as his personal jet soared over the Caribbean, which was laid to waste after Hurricane Irma crashed through last week.
On his flight to his home, the pontiff openly criticized climate change skeptics, stating that its effects are a “serious matter over which we cannot make jokes”, adding that everyone has a moral responsibility, big or small, to monitor their actions and make themselves aware of the situation.
“When you don’t want to see, you don’t see,” the pope said, referring to a passage from the Old Testament. “Those who deny climate change need to go to scientists and ask them”.
"These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air," he said. "They are very clear. They [world leaders] decide and history will judge those decisions."
The pontiff has used his influence to bring awareness to the reality of climate change, criticizing politicians such as Donald Trump on numerous occasions for their lack of involvement in preventative measures.
During his visit to Colombia last week, the pope advocated for the preservation of the nation’s vast biodiversity as well as the need to protect it from exploitation and over development.
"You can see the effects of climate change with your own eyes and scientists tell us clearly the way forward,” he said.
Last month, Pope Francis even wrote a letter completely dedicated to the effects climate change will have on the poor, concentrating on the infiltration of corporations and the risk to native peoples and impoverished communities due to exploitation of the world’s natural resources.
Within the last two weeks, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Katia have wrecked havoc from the southern tip of the United States to the Caribbean.
Additional disasters have been seen in both Mexico and Guatemala as earthquakes and mudslides claimed dozens of deaths.
"If we don't go back we will go down," the pontiff stated as he flew over the destruction left behind by Irma.