Pope Francis' lead man on climate change visits Silicon Valley

David Louie Image
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
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Pope Francis's right-hand man on climate change was in Silicon Valley Tuesday to enlist help from tech companies.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Pope Francis's right-hand man on climate change is in Silicon Valley to enlist help from tech companies.

Cardinal Peter Turkson also suggests individuals can make a small contribution.

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Turkson believes Silicon Valley can and will play a key role in addressing climate change and that's why he's in the Bay Area trying to engage the valley's tech leaders.

He said individuals can also make a difference. "The encyclical addresses people to resort to very basic, modest lifestyle changes. One of them, which probably may not to be too popular here in this part of the world is like even learning to turn off air conditioners," Turkson said.

He said its individuals' voices, including those of the poor and the disadvantaged that need to be heard. It's a position also embraced by brother Keith Warner, a climate expert at Santa Clara University. "The challenge to the human family is to find a way so that the voices of those already affected can shape the debate and can help overcome the intransigence, the resistance, the denial," Warner said.

The valley's young generation may be more influential than their parents because they've grown up around solar panels and renewable energy. "I think whether it's for good for bad, my generation will have a huge big impact. I just hope it's for good," Santa Clara University freshman Lydia Donaldson said.

But turning off the air conditioning? "So I don't see us shutting it down completely. What I do see is making better decisions about when we use air conditioning, how frequently and how we might be able to use renuables to power that air conditioning," San Jose Sam Liccardo said.

Click here for full coverage on Pope Francis' historic visit to the U.S.