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How A San Diego Professor Influenced The Pope On Climate Change

UC San Diego Professor Advises Pope on Climate Change


Veerabhadran Ramanathan, scientist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change, issued Thursday, calls on developed nations to take immediate action on reducing greenhouse gases. One of the Pope's advisors on the issue is a UC San Diego professor of climate science.

V. Ram Ramanathan is a member of the the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which includes 80 scientists from around the world, and boasts several Nobel laureates.

He has a lifetime appointment, and first briefed the Pope on the implications of climate change in a vatican parking lot. Ramanathan was told he had a minute and a half to speak to the pontiff.

"The poorest three billion people are going to suffer the worst consequences of climate change. Even though they had very little to do with that pollution," he said.

The Pope asked what he could do about it.

"If you could please include in your speeches that people should be better stewards of the planet" Ramanathan said.

Ramanathan spoke with KPBS' Peggy Pico on Evening Edition Friday.