Strong evidence of a warming planet as presented recently in the USA TODAY section is not likely to gain the attention of contrarians in denial about what is occurring on our watch.

Perhaps strong words spoken in July by Pope Francis about our treatment/neglect of Earth will generate more awareness. An encyclical (“letter to all on Earth”) to follow in 2014 will provide spiritual support to those scientists who have been trying to warn us.

Billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions have increased ocean acidification by thirty percent in recent decades. There is not a corporate CEO or scientist who has publicly denied such a fact.

Jacques Cousteau was a much respected oceanographer who spoke of our capacity to ruin an entire ocean. Visions of double hulled ocean tankers colliding in a dark night or striking an iceberg in the fog have been supplanted by scientific evidence that the greatest oil spill in history is the fact plastic now is found in 80 percent of our vast ocean. If we visit, the evidence will appear for anyone in doubt. Those who searched for a missing Malaysian plane witnessed plastic littering the ocean.

Regarding ocean acidification, dozens of universities, cities and countries have chosen to become fossil-free by divesting from fossil fuel corporations. Dayton (Ohio) University became the first Catholic school to join the global movement for becoming carbon free. Costa Rica, Norway, Germany and other European nations joined New Zealand and several small island nations, now drowning to make the great transition to renewable energy. President Nasheed of the Maldives calls this change “the most important decision in history.”

Our children deserve such a future free from global climate catastrophes.