Pope Francis is neither a scientist nor an economist. Specialists in both areas may contest some of what the leader of the Roman Catholic Church says in “Laudato Si”, an encyclical published on June 18. But the discipline of economics would gain from studying the pontiff’s call for an “ecological culture”.
Francis’ views about man-made climate change have already garnered global attention. But the encyclical is not really written in an attempt to settle the scientific argument. The pope’s much more important message is that the degradation of the physical environment is a symptom of cultural disorder.