Before November 2016, we have a lot to learn about the presidential candidates and their visions for the future of the country — and the planet.
Part of that means really listening to what they're saying — especially when it comes to the issues that affect us all, like the climate.
In the parody below, the pope takes a different throne — not unlike a certain presidential candidate was "fired" from by a certain TV network. He acts as judge and jury in a competition between five self-described Catholic presidential hopefuls.
And as each candidate states their case, you might join me in thinking, "Holy geez, this is way too close to reality." Take a look:
The actor playing the pontiff opens with some familiar words.
They're familiar because the real Pope Francis wrote them in an encyclical. He was quoting Patriarch Bartholomew, the archbishop of Constantinople and spiritual leader to over 300 million Orthodox Christians.
Like the pope, each contestant is played by a highly skilled actor whose lines were modeled after actual remarks made by the individuals they portray.
Here are five things pope don't play when it comes to a presidential climate plan:
1. God wants us to burn fossil fuels.
2. Talking about climate change? So stupid.
3. Scientists, you do you. We'll be over here. Not listening.
4. Energy policy is like parenting. You can't play favorites.
The spiritually confused candidate represented here wants to end all federal energy subsidies — not just for oil and gas (which amounts to almost half a trillion dollars over the last century) but also for solar, wind, and other renewable energy development.
He doesn't want to "pick winners," but oil has been the big winner of the past 100 years. Investing in renewables is really more like practicing good sportsmanship.
5. Climate change is real. (Wait, what?)
OK, that's what I'm talking about! Maybe we're onto something here?
It's starting to seem fashionable among certain Catholic candidates to deny the wisdom of their spiritual leader.
That begs the question of who they actually follow.
The video closes with a clue.
If this is the first time you're hearing about the Koch brothers, they're billionaires who want to dominate the American political landscape. And they're spending a fortune to do it through elections and legislation.
Money in politics isn't just a threat to democracy. It's a threat to the planet.
The good news is we have until November 2016 to separate the wheat from the chaff and rally our communities for a climate plan both Pope Francis and the world can (literally) live with.