A planetary problem needs a planetary conversation. And when Charlie Hales is one of 60 mayors from around the world invited to discuss global warming and human trafficking with Pope Francis in Rome, he probably should go.
It’s got to be more productive than talking to this Congress.
The pope, after all, has said that global warming poses a grave danger to all of us, which is more than the folks running Congress would ever say.
It may be going too far to claim, as Hales has, that Francis is “the Portland pope,” because his statements on global warming and social justice match up with Portland’s attitudes. After all, the pope has said nothing about brunch.
But there’s an advantage for Portland in anything that raises the profile of the global warming issue, as an event with the pope and the mayors of New York and Paris, among dozens of others, clearly does. And as cities look for their own ways to address t he crisis, mayors have to learn from each other.
At a time of minimal congressional interest in slowing the rise in global temperature and keeping sea levels from getting above our waists, we’re going to need a serious effort at the local level.
And, of course, at a much higher level.
NOTE: This commentary appeared on KGW-TV, 7/25/15.