Just back from a Vatican synod on the Amazon, San Diego Catholic Bishop Robert McElroy oversaw a climate-change seminar Wednesday with a top scientist in the field.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan laid out compelling evidence of manmade climate change – and why morality demands global warming be slowed.

But the distinguished professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography didn’t address the political elephant in the room.

Later, McElroy did.

After the nearly 2-hour session of 160 clergy, religious and lay people at the diocesan Pastoral Center, the San Diego bishop suggested elected officials — apparently Republicans — must reverse their climate-change denial.

Asked which is more important to the church — the anti-abortion movement or the drive to blunt carbon dioxide pollution — McElroy said they’re both part of a single fight: “the defense of life. You can’t separate those two out.”

He acknowledged that America’s “political structures” separate the issues. He called such politics misshapen.

“They’re distorted,” he told Times of San Diego. “They say you can’t be for a holistic view of safeguarding life.”

So given the red-blue split over abortion and climate change, what can be done to unite efforts to stave off “crisis levels” of CO2 the Scripps scientist said could be 10 years away?

“We have to have our elected officials change,” McElroy said. “We have to change that structure so that people don’t have to choose, when they’re voting, between safeguarding the future of the planet and safeguarding the life of unborn children.”

The above comes from an Oct. 30 story by Ken Stone in the Times of San Diego.