Pope Francis warned Monday that history will judge the actions of leaders on climate change, saying the science is clear on the matter.
"These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air. They are very clear. Then [world leaders] decide and history will judge those decisions," Francis told reporters while on a trip to the South American country of Colombia.
The pope urged "those who deny this" to "go to the scientists and ask them" because "they speak very clearly."
He brought up the topic of climate change as several major hurricanes hit the United States and the Caribbean. Climate scientists and environmental groups have used Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to point out that although global warming is not directly the cause of the storms, it is a factor making them much more devastating.
But bringing up climate change so quickly after the storms is misplaced and insensitive to the victims, according to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. He told CNN last week that the country's focus should be on the immediate effects of the storms, not wading into a political debate over climate change.
"Here's the issue. To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm, versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced," Pruitt said. "All I'm saying to you is, to use time and effort to address it at this point is very, very insensitive to the people in Florida."
Francis has given a copy of his 2015 encyclical on climate change to President Trump. The papal document determined that climate change was a being caused by manmade activities and that world leaders were not moving fast enough to address it.