The Pope puts the kibosh on carbon credit trading, calling it a 'ploy'

Maurizio Morabito originally observed that the Pope’s climate encyclical was a “damp squib”.

For the most part it is harmless, but it does confront carbon credits and a “ploy”, albeit Pope Francis believes that some “radical changes” are needed.  He is against materialism and consumption-  nothing new there.    Reading it, one can’t be certain he is advocating for reduced population or reducing CO2 specifically. Hence the “damp squib” label.  He is relying on “conventional” UN science, as do most political leaders.

This from section 171 is an interesting quote:

171. The strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.

Ploy, indeed.

carboncreditcertificate

h/t to Paul Westhaver

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154 thoughts on “The Pope puts the kibosh on carbon credit trading, calling it a 'ploy'

  1. The main theme of the encyclical is that people matter as people not commodities.
    There is a lot about not deifying the market.
    This is just a practical example.

    • The market is a practical, natural, and moral construct in a world with finitely available and accessible resources. The Pope’s admonishment is of excess that deprives people of basic, not luxury, needs in order to validate their humanity. Any policy that rejects intrinsic value (e.g. pro-choice or selective-child) serves to debase human life… and reveals that their advocates possess ulterior motives.

    • Nonsense. If the Pope cared about people he would embrace capitalism. The trajectory of the world economy is of economy of use. Increasing economy of use is highly correlated with wealth as is a cleaner environment, longer lifespan and a whole host of other relevant measures of human well-being. The encyclical as it now stands is in direct contradiction of the way the world works.

      • Steven Hales observation is correct:
        I fear the Popes’ concerns are those of a political diplomat rather than a pragmatist. His experience, coupled with his background exposure to the invasive concepts of “Liberation Theology”, make him the last person I’d depend on for a realistic understanding of “Climate Change” and Economics!
        If one “Sincerely” desires to help the poor, the only way to assure success is a “Free Market”, Capitalistic approach which has been the sole leader, in the rise of the impoverished to mainstream, wherever allowed!

      • Totally agree the pope should stick to muttering in Latin every sunday.
        And the Pope should spend a little more time focused on fixing the perverse pedophile club known as the priesthood, which exploits vulnerable boys and is turning Catholicism into an immense pile of filth.
        Let the free market run the economy and let God handle the climate.

  2. I have been reading the encyclical and trying to get bullets for those of you who will not be reading it.
    It is a a confusing mish-mash of left-center economics, 1970s vintage anti-pollution, anti-consumerism, biblical scholarship, and UN-esque faux science, albeit tempered somewhat.
    I think the Vatican is undermining the UN by taking a higher moral position wrt to pollution &waste, de-emphasizing the carbon exchange, avoiding the population control trap, all while OPENING THE DOOR TO FURTHER CONVERSATION. With further conversation, we can influence the remedies, as clearly we have done (Thanks Heartland et al), but also create scrutiny of the underlying bad science.
    It is a very confusing letter, as is much of what Francis utters.
    The take away, on balance, is good for we skeptics of the UN and their agenda.
    I will continue to reading the 191 pages for the section relating to the climate discussion.
    BBL

    • Being that confusing (perhaps on purpose), individuals and organizations can view in it whatever they want to see, and will. So it serves no good purpose except to increase the noise.

      • BFL…So much for “settled science.” There is going to be a lot of noise here on in and it in not under the exclusive control of the UN, in terms of remedies. That is better than yesterday.

      • [Rather] like the TPP Trans Pacific Partnership agreement that is reputed to have Global Warming and immigration stuff scattered through it, but you can’t read it until it is done.

    • The sad part is, the very progressive green movement that has blamed christianity(specially catholicism) in western world for 99% of everything that is “wrong” in the world(including free market), came desperate in force asking for help with the Pope of the Catholic Church for much needed hot air(seems that the Dalai Lama, Hollywood and middle east caliphates weren´t too much help).
      And now THEY will cherry pick this document (which is NOT a eco-green-lunacy mantra by all accounts, but I think it is a half hearted piece of climastrology along with good intended humanism with naively added spirituality over left leaning economic criticism) but even in this blog it is not read before being destroyed along with its authors and group origin. It will be miss-cited, like every temperature chart they have manipulated, to create more politically correct hyperbole and silence dissent, no matter the cost.
      The green hipocrytes don´t care for people, they don´t care about science, they couldn´t care less about the world or life on it, they only care to subdue whomever they deem morally inferior and justify becoming filthy green rich by doing it.
      Someone should check what stocks went up with this announcement (or if nothing happened) as a hint for what is to come for Paris 2015). MSM is already in full force about announcing the enciclical as an ICCCP endorsement.
      To the trenches people! We are not alone.
      If we are wrong the world will end in Thermagedon, but I bet 50$ it won´t in the next 100-1000 years.

  3. As the titular head of the 19th wealthiest country on the planet where nearly 100% of its wealth is property and investments in the economies of other countries, as Vatican City produces only hot air and not enough of that to fuel a single heat engine, it behooves him to tread carefully with any measures that would cause a total disruption of any part of the global economy. And to give Francis credit (because even though I think the organization that he heads is largely corrupt and based on philosophical premises incompatible with reason, I do think he personally is a pretty good man, both compassionate and nobody’s fool, trying to “do the right thing”) I think he is also fully aware of the impact of the current measures being taken to combat “CAGW” on the third world and would rather see voluntary conservation and gentle steps rather than any sort of global environmental fascism.
    Unfortunately, Francis isn’t equipped to judge the science on any basis but the loudness of the noise, and his whole worldview is based on Authority, not evidence. So when the world’s Authorities tell him CAGW is real and inevitable (and for that matter, present him with the “evidence” of the climate models without pointing out their many, many warts) we don’t see him assessing it with the skeptical mind of a scientist. How can the Pope maintain a skeptical mind? It is completely incompatible with religious ontology.
    rgb

    • But the warts of CAGW were presented to him. His “goodness” is corrupted by his blindness to the evils of human nature when given authority.

    • rgbatduke,
      We often disagree, but for today I set those disagreements aside and will focus on what you wrote wrt climate.
      you said:
      “I think he is also fully aware of the impact of the current measures being taken to combat “CAGW” on the third world and would rather see voluntary conservation and gentle steps rather than any sort of global environmental fascism.”
      YES! France does advocate the use of “sustainable” energy systems whatever that means, and the use of solar power, buying in with the false economics of solar energy, but it seems he is taking a caring posture wrt humanity, rather than revolutionary schemes of empowering the UN. (the UN will try to exploit this encyclical notwithstanding)
      also you ask :
      “How can the Pope maintain a skeptical mind?”
      I think it is up to us to heighten the gaps between the UN agenda and that of the Vatican, (the gap is huge) and instruct everyone about the pause in warming, and the faulty science, as WUWT is untirelessly doing. The Pope et al will follow the opinion of the scientific thought leaders.

      • YES! France does advocate the use of “sustainable” energy systems whatever that means, and the use of solar power, buying in with the false economics of solar energy,
        Can anything with false economies be sustainable?

      • I do not know what “sustainable” means. I am sure it means something different to everyone that uses it.

      • This Paul, is where Francis disappoints. He does not recognize the greatest evil extant in the land today.
        ===========

      • Kim, I can’t speak for him, but I do wonder why he does not see the miasma of the green religion in words like “sustainable” as you and I do. I just don’t know. Naivety? Ignorance? Machiavellian genius?

      • We often disagree, but for today I set those disagreements aside and will focus on what you wrote wrt climate.

        Well said, Paul. We do indeed, and one day it would be great fun to have a truly extended debate on Ontology and General Semantics (basically, what it is best to believe, the basis of epistemology and worldviews). But in the meantime, I don’t disagree with what you say either. It could have been much worse — Francis could have made burning anything “a sin” by fiat if he felt strongly enough about it or was overwhelmed by the warmist arguments, and he came far short of that and displayed a reasonable cynicism towards the obvious economic exploitation and public trough associated with carbon credits.
        Outside of that, I personally think it is very reasonable for the world to stop burning irreplaceable coal and oil for energy, not so much because I buy into CAGW as a probable outcome of continuing (I don’t) but because there are a lot of other excellent reasons to do so. I just don’t think that we can accomplish that without working out the engineering and manufacturing and sometimes scientific/technical kinks of the alternatives so that they are ultimately cheaper in real dollars than coal/oil/gas/whatever without any specific subsidies or artificial costs imposed on the production or consumption end of things by law or policy. People buy solar rooftop power if and when it makes economic sense, not necessarily because they can get taxpayers in general to subsidize a quarter of the cost. In a decade, solar power will make a lot of sense as part of the energy supply in much of the world without any sort of subsidy, and a breakthrough in certain technologies could shorten that by a factor of 2. Heck, it makes sense now in a lot of places, without subsidy and with a 10 year plus amortization on the borrowed money. Get that down to 7 years, and you’ll see houses being built with rooftop solar as a standard feature just because people would pay more for a house with lifetime “free” air conditioning and electricity built into the cost of the house.
        But my own money is on fusion and LFTR — fusion because it solves the problem of energy production for the world basically for all time and removes all barriers to eliminating world poverty as a first step towards world peace. If you like to pray and think that prayer in some way influences reality, that’s a great thing to pray for. LFTR because it is in principle immune to meltdown, in principle burns up the bulk of the radioactive waste as it goes, and in principle is no more a risk as far as proliferation is concerned than regular fission (if not less so). Oh, and there is a LOT of thorium in the Earth’s crust — North Carolina alone has deposits sufficient to fuel the entire US for thousands of years.
        The one sad thing is that nobody managed to articulate to the pope the benefits (so far) of the increased CO_2 in the atmosphere whatever its origin. Roughly a billion people dine on that CO_2 every day based on greenhouse studies of growth in CO_2-enriched atmospheres. Most of the world’s population also receives the direct benefits of the civilization that the burning coal produces — improved life span, wealth, health care, food supply, sanitation. It is all well and good to try to gently redirect our collective energies into getting off of the coal wagon before we’ve burned all of the readily available coal and it is positively wise to invest considerable amounts in research into economically viable alternatives, but not to prematurely force the issue at the expense of the world’s poorest people, or, for that matter, at the expense of the richest or those in between. And not because of carefully promoted fear of a catastrophe that is not well supported by the actual data from the evolving climate as opposed to predictions of computer models that nobody sane would even expect to work a priori.
        BTW, we both probably agree that it is wisest and most compassionate to love the sinner and hate the sin, so please understand that our energetic disagreement on matters religious does not mean that I hold you in any sort of lowered regard. I’m the grandson and uncle of methodist ministers, and I disagree with them too — for what are in my opinion and quite defensibly the very best of epistemological reasons. I’m certain that whichever of us is in error (and it could be both, as there are many, many alternative mythology-based belief systems and “the truth” might not even be in any mythology at all) is in error in the very best of faith.
        rgb

      • rgbatduke,
        Like they say, A house divided cannot stand. Also on this matter we indeed agree. I also agree with the general effort to get off fossil fuel when the technology is ready for prime time. I am (was) a nuclear engineer when I was younger and spent my days minding the emergency core cooling system at a nuclear plant. I had many choices for a career but voted for nuclear with my feet. Heavy water non-enriched uranium. CANDU
        The timing was terrible with a moratorium on nukes everywhere due to effective activism.
        I am holding out hope for liquid salt thorium reactors for the future. But my knowledge is not too current.
        The people hurt by this encyclical will indeed be the poor. When Francis et al realize this, they will back track. I see an escape hatch in the paragraph cited above. The Carbon Credit scheme is a PLOY.

      • rgbatduke
        Plus several shedloads.
        I’ll buy what you have written generally, although lacking enough knowledge on fusion (‘around the corner for thirty years’ fusion?) ; and LFTR – had to Duckduckgo it; to agree with you from any knowledge.
        Thanks for your always enlightening comments/letters.
        Auto

    • rgb, most people aren’t equipped to judge any scientific notion on any basis but the loudness of the scientists involved. Indeed, most people are no better equipped for most things they intersect with in life. Be it auto mechanics, or cooking up French sauces. If you’re of a mind to favor Bertrand Russell, this comes down to his notions of Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description.
      Notionally, Science seeks to replace Description with Acquaintance by a codified and formal means. But as a practical matter, who can replicate every scientific experiment written about in journals for the sake of being acquainted with everything that intersects their life? As a practical matter, this leads to people pounding the table about the legitimacy of Knowledge by Description every time an article is Peer Reviewed and published in a Credible Journal.
      But again this is not limited to religious domains or the modern practice of Science. Electricians routinely rely on Knowledge by Description for choosing the gauge of wire to install based on the stated amperage needs of a given circuit and a table of wire sizes. But the electrician doesn’t stick around to see if it’s valid or not. He has no idea if the wire gauge chosen led to a fire in the future. And he certainly doesn’t discipline himself by installing progressively smaller wires until fires start breaking out; he simply trusts the Description he was given for his industry.
      And yet we don’t heckle electricians for worshipping his Holy Eminence, the Pope of Volta or believing the Current trends in Electricology. Because we too believe the Description. We Trust that some Authority has legitimately dealt with and published on these matters responsibly and from their own Acquaintance. And I daresay that we cannot, in life, rely solely on Acquaintance. Simply imagine a jury trial in which every accusation was vacated unless there was a continuous recording of the crime, from the perp’s violation through the collar by the police, and of his entire existence up and until he was presented before the jury in the courtroom.
      However, we can declare that it is not Science if there is no Acquaintance involved. But then this disposes of the idea that any theory at all is Science; for there is no Acquaintance possible until after it is tested. And, of course, most Scientists do not replicate all the experiments on which their own work relies. They too rely on Acquaintance heavily in their employment. And yet we do not broad brush every individual — even yourself — as a froth-mouthed, religious ignorant for relying on Knowledge by Acquaintance in various spheres of their life.

      • I am more than just fond of Russell, I am a second generation disciple of Russell — my mentor in philosophy at Duke was George Roberts, one of Russell’s students and the organizer of the last big Russell meeting that the philosophers of the age attended close to the end of his life. His “Problems in Philosophy” was a brilliant summary, and one that narrowly missed having the insight that later came to Richard Cox, E. T. Jaynes, Claude Shannon — probably because in 1912 he still was in the grip of an education that taught Platonic forms and axiomatic reasoning with axioms as self-evident truth rather than arbitrary propositions, although he and Whitehead made significant contributions over time to the downfall of that sort of reasoning system, the failure of Hilbert’s Grand Plan to axiomatize mathematics as a complete formal system even of the latter sort.
        The question we all face is this: We cannot know absolute truth about a world seen through the imperfect veil of our senses and understood with the finite and often broken reasoning power of our biological brains. All we can do as we seek to build a worldview/ontology is to build one that is in some mathematically defensible sense the best one to believe in, given the data of our (collective and individual) experience and evidence and our ability to iteratively refine or optimize our predictive model of it. There is just such a defensibly best model, or paradigm, for sorting out good beliefs from bad ones from ones that are “neutral” — possibly true but basically unknown if not unknowable, especially when the latter beliefs are special cases drawn from a near-infinite field of equally undecidable alternatives.
        It is this (reduced to as close to a one-line sound bite as I’ve been able to reduce it):

        It is best to believe that which we can least doubt, when we honestly try to doubt everything equally and very hard, given the evidence so far and the (Bayesian) network of consistent, evidence-so-far-supported best beliefs.

        Obviously this is a moving target as it must be, as many of our best beliefs at any given time are likely mistaken and historically have been. Given this fundamental epistemological rule, the Scientific Method is basically one of several optimization strategies for testing and improving our network of least-doubtable beliefs and sorting them out by how little we can doubt them.
        It also nicely embraces both positivism and falsificationism by getting rid of the troublesome end limits or epistemological constraints they try to impose concerning “meaning”. Since there is no real hope of an absolute knowledge of any truth beyond the ongoing empirical truth of your own sensory/sentient existence of “something”, all other knowledge is conditional and inferential (empirical) or conditional and formal (mathematical/logical) with a fairly strict barrier in between — formal conclusions on top of any given set of assumptions have no necessary force in the description of the inferred real world as all one gets is a scheme for determining the posterior probability of the assumptions using observed agreement with the real world. It automatically embraces the simple fact that lack of evidence is not evidence of lack at the same time that lack of evidence is a sound basis for systematically reducing a best-guess probability of lack, especially when supported by other consistent evidence supported best beliefs such that the observation would imply a contradiction with them.
        That’s why we don’t much believe in pink unicorns. It isn’t just that we’ve never observed one in the wild because they could just be rare or live someplace we haven’t looked yet (see “Black Swans”). It is that we don’t have any of the other evidence that might support such a belief. A fossil of an early unicorn in the evolutionary tree of the horse. Unexpressed horn genes that sometimes are expressed in horses. Reliable reports of historical observations as opposed to reports in outright fiction or probablye myth (so that they might have existed once but gone extinct or only survive on a small island we haven’t visited yet). Evidence of “magic” that would allow pink unicorns to vanish whenever we look for/at them. A good evolutionary reason for a unicorn to have a single horn in a hornless, antlerless family tree. If we discovered pink unicorns tomorrow, their existence would raise more questions with our existing beliefs than they answer regarding unicorns per se. This is not the case with black swans — we already fully understand that swans exist, swan color is mutatable, and that just as Grosse Pointe, Michigan is full of black squirrels that breed true surrounded by a general population of grey squirrels, the same is entirely possible for swans.
        The problem with this “maximally skeptical” basis for ontology-building is that it leaves little comfortable room for believing something without a strong, empirical, verifiable, consistent basis for the belief. You can “like” the idea of a magnetic monopole or orbital epicycles or Roman Paganism, but you cannot just promote any of these ideas to probable truth to best belief just because the ideas are appealing or consistent with (do not overtly contradict) other beliefs. The logical fallacies of plain old symbolic logic become conditional improbabilities in evidence supported belief systems — it isn’t that you can’t think up an explanation for why a masked man standing outside a jeweler’s broken window with a brick in his hand and his pockets full of jewels couldn’t be there legitimately, it is that there are so many more ways this situation could have arisen the obvious way — the guy is a thief who broke the window and is stealing the jewels. Unless or until there is evidence suggesting otherwise, this is evidence for the obvious interpretation as we expect exceptions to this explanation to require a lot of special circumstances and hence to be increasingly improbable. Jaynes (and Cox) both have lovely examples and explanations for his their writings.
        rgb

    • Two thoughts. First, “faith” is not supposed to be based in reason, but in basic truths. When “faith” changes with the winds of time, it ceases to be faith and becomes a popularity contest. The organization that he heads has chosen to move with the winds of time, thus he has left his faith behind.
      The second thought is based on the question “How can the Pope maintain a skeptical mind.” No one is expected to maintain a skeptical mind. I don’t have a “skeptical” mind and I doubt if you do. The requirement is to maintain an “open” mind. And if the Pope is to “hear” the words of God, which is supposedly what he does, he requires an open mind as well.
      When dealing with any subject, including climate, an open mind is required since, after all, all science is but theory, nothing settled. Though some theories are quite well supported by data, they are still theories, even though they can be used as if the were certainties for the most part.

      • Two thoughts. First, “faith” is not supposed to be based in reason, but in basic truths. When “faith” changes with the winds of time, it ceases to be faith and becomes a popularity contest.

        Ah, yes, but…
        OK then, how exactly do you assess what is a “basic truth” and what is not?
        That’s the rub.
        “Truth” refers to a particular relationship between a map — a mental construct, as it were — and the “territory” of the real world. The real world is truth, but our knowledge of truth is indirect and inferred on the basis of observation, because we are not given a “table of basic truths concerning the real world”.
        Here’s a parable I was taught by George Roberts. Suppose that you are Adam, and that you were just created and are lying around in the Garden of Eden and have not yet opened your eyes! What, precisely, could you tell a priori about the world you will see the instant that you do? We will assume for the sake of of this imperfect argument that you have a built in logical unit and some sort of symbolic language that can process any argument perfectly so that you are essentially super-intelligent in logic and reason, but that referents in your dictionary have absolutely no context and are for all practical purposes empty symbols.
        The correct, and I hope fairly obvious, answer is — nothing at all useful. Even if you have a dictionary that states that a tree is a kind of plant with a woody stalk and leaves and a certain range of sizes (etc) it is of no use to you because not one term in all of that has any external referent — you have no concept of scale, space, time, plants, wood, stalks or leaves, and when you examine those dictionary terms they refer to still other terms and ultimately everything comes around in a circle where leaves are things that grow on trees and growth is a change of size and size refers to space and you have no experience or concept of space. Indeed, it is difficult to see how you/Adam could think at all, as you would have nothing to think about and time itself is only known in terms of perceptual change and entropy.
        You could not know good, you could not know bad. You could not know other. Without some sort of sensory experience, it is doubtful you could even know self, as self somehow involves a point of view and hence seems as though it requires a view.
        George also had a smashing parable derived from Plato’s Cave. If you have never read the allegory, you should. This parable demonstrated that even after you open your eyes you are little better off. You now have a sensory stream, but you cannot ever be certain that the images and experience of your senses is an accurate reflection of the reality they supposedly represent. The point of the Cave is that the inhabitants never perceive of things as they really are, but only see their shadows, their projections on the walls of the cave. To the inhabitants, the shadows become their “reality”, but only the gods, with their gods’ eye views, can see what reality casts those shadows.
        Or can they? The gods themselves are in the exact same boat. What they perceive might still be nothing but shadows, projective views of reality or worse.
        “Or worse” is the basis for the Matrix movie series, which is tightly coupled to Plato’s Cave and to James Gunn’s master sci-fi tryptich, The Joy Makers (enormously strongly recommended). The tragic thing about shadows is there is no guarantee that the shadows we see correspond to any actual reality. They could all be ‘meta’ shadows, fiction, TV shows synthesized to produce the illusion of a shadow cast by the illusion of a reality and using only our senses we could not tell! Neo could only detect the Matrix with outside help, or when there was a glitch, something that is fundamentally inconsistent. And even then, the “reality” that was revealed was only a higher level Matrix that was itself an illusion, so the reality in the Matrix was a simulation in a simulation players playing World of Warcraft Deluxe inside a game of World of Warcraft Deluxe rendered at such exquisite precision that it could render a second-stage illusion of itself at exquisite precision.
        The rational conclusion (arrived at long, long ago by David Hume) is that there is no such thing as “basic truth”, something that can be known about the real world beyond any doubt, except perhaps Descartes’ empirical truth that we ourselves must exist at some level in order for our ongoing experiencing of something to be experienced. Everything beyond that one running empirical observation is contingent empirical inference, not logically provable “basic” truth.
        Hence everything you know is contingent, probably imperfect knowledge. Perhaps the maps you have built on the basis of your experience reflect the actual territory to some reasonable resolution and extent, and we of course assume and hope that this is the case because we have little practical alternative. If we are power units in the Matrix, we cannot get out and discover what reality is really like without outside help, not if the Matrix itself is glitch free. Under these circumstances, the sane thing to do is to do your best to make sense of your experience, by all means, and infer/deduce any number of contingent truths or probabilities and call their collective sum “knowledge”. But one should never be fooled into being certain that any part of your elaborate map reflects actual reality. Maybe it is just a map of Hogwarts, or a map of Middle Earth right out of Tolkien, and your “experience” of reality is just the result of your immersion in a “total reality” role playing game being played on truly powerful computers sometime in the simulated distant future of the simulated present. Or, more likely (perhaps) our experience of the Universe is just what it seems — experience of an objective, external Universe — but experience at a resolution and with such finite bounds and captured in such finite processing apparatus (our brains) that our beliefs concerning that objective reality are always both incomplete and rife with error.
        Hence the importance of believing what it is objectively best to believe, given the evidence. Hence the supreme importance in science to never ever accept your notion of “basic truth”. The history of science has been one of an unbroken rejection of “basic truth” after “basic truth”, all “changing with the winds of time” for excellent reasons as it turns out that those “truths” were all doubtable as soon as somebody actually tried to doubt them, and when people sought explicit logical, consistent, experiential support for them, it proved lacking.
        Real (probable) knowledge is constantly changing with the winds of time because it is built through a process of consistent iterative refinement, not by direct perception of basic truth. It is imperfect, and changes as our experience and evidence dictate. It is not, in fact, “truth”, it is simply the best beliefs that we have worked out, so far, that are consistent with each other and the sum totality of our experiential evidence and data.
        rgb

  4. Attempts to find a silver lining in the papal pronouncement is like picking corn out of shite. It is a setback for the realists of the world. As with science academies, we must endure and shake off such decrees, until the day, the scales fall off their eyes and the blind can once again… see. GK

    • I disagree.
      Who cares what the UN thinks about the climate. I care what the UN DOES in the name of global warming. The big hammer the UN has been swinging is the Carbon Credit “ploy”. Tax the rich based on consumption and give it to UN sanctioned “projects”. This encyclical undermines the entire UN financing scheme. That is a huge win. Are there problems with this letter? YUP. I say the problems are more the corn. …but I am still reading the thing….

      • They say optimism is contagious, however, I’m not feeling it. Thanks for the effort though. GK

  5. Not to be crude to the Catholics, but who else knows better about how absurd the sale of Indulgences are?

    • Beat me to it. As with Indulgences, Carbon Credits allow those with money to purchase their “do as I say, not as I do” lives with a patina of grace.

      • Heh, re: names for skeptics, someone brilliant thought up ‘Defier’ recently. I like ‘protestant’, but fear even in small caps it will be impossible to not misunderstand.
        =====================

  6. Unfortunately, even though it is good to see that there is no support for “carbon credits”, the lie that Carbon Dioxide is pollution is still supported.

    • Indeed, the “but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require”
      Is nothing less then a call to ignore market based approach and use central authority to dictate.

      • Yes, sort of like saying, I don’t support selling rifles to our enemy, instead let’s sell them rocket launchers. I amend my original comment. There is nothing “good” about this section.

      • The Pope is essentially a Communist and a tyrant at heart. It will be interesting how the abortion or gay marriage issues will be reconciled with the far-left, at the Vatican. At the same time that the absence of evidence of AGW is resulting in more strident calls for wind and solar, Germany is moving back to coal to save their economy. Also, the richer and more modern the nation the cleaner it is (America vs. China).
        How is the Pope and the far-let going to convince Africans that they should reject electrical power and embrace more dung burning to survive?

      • pyeatte ,
        I would not try to help them solve the dilemma you brought up, rather. illustrate that there is a dilemma created by the UN’s scheme which only yields more poverty, waste and pollution for the 3rd world. That dilemma will undermine consensus on a remedy. That should be the goal.

    • …and prior to today, the carbon credit scheme was the only game in town. We need to work on the false notion that CO2 is a pollutant, and Francis has a BSc is Chemistry so he understands the photosynthesis/krebs cycle and underlying reaction kinetics. It is worth advancing the idea that increased CO2 increases the productivity of agriculture in poor countries. Do you think? He is all about helping the poor and hungry.

      • I do not know if the Pope knows C3 or C4 photosynthetic carbon cycles. I hope that he was exposed to some inorganic and organic chemistry and this incredibly important bridge between them that provides all food for the planet.
        Ongoing work to enhance C4 cycles in C3 plants has extraordinary prospects for increasing the biosphere, “sequestering” CO2 and using it to produce abundant foods (first focusing now on rice)while economizing on nitrogen and H2O. There is nothing but good news in this biochemistry for humanity, the globe, and his concern for the poor.
        These are real carbon credits – not some fake economy – that perhaps can trump model madness. I hope that pursuing this reality could help and I believe in providing good and solid information rather than judging by who can be loudest.
        http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/155/1/56.full

      • Bubba Cow,
        I agree with your “real carbon credits”. As for Francis, I can only presume his undergrad gave him something that still remains.

      • Too much is being made of his “chemical technician’s diploma.” He received it from a technical secondary school which, as I understand it, is equivalent to our high schools. Basically, he was qualified to be a lab technician. He does NOT have a BS in Chemistry. After getting that diploma, he worked as a lab technician, bar bouncer, and janitor before he began his studies at seminary.

      • The “smart money” all over the world actually knows this, not just the Pope. You don’t need an advanced degree in chemistry to figure it out from readily available sources. And you can be sure those (like this blog) are being read, because NO ONE with any sense is going to sink their money into a venture in which they’ll lose.
        BTW, I always start lifting up the “Cui bono?” rock any time I hear a lot of rich people wringing their hands about the 3rd-world poor. Ditto for whites wringing their hands about “racism.” Never known ’em to give a sincere rat’s, sorry. This whole lie-by-99%-omission whopper is REALLY just all about certain funds transfers, and the public have been carefully and masterfully crafted into Useful Idiots who’ll support that “to save the planet.”
        BTW, what source of shared-universe fantasy belief system trumps the Pope for staying power? AGW’s one of the more plausible things HE believes in, scientifically speaking! 😉

      • TeaPartyGeezer,
        I was using scientific American’s account of his credentials where they actually say he had a Masters Degree so the BSc would be in place at the very least. There seems to be a debate about it. I don’t think the Vatican is going to rush to correct the record. In any event, even a chem tech has rudimentary understanding of stoiciometry, PH, reactions and basic chemical processes. Enough to know, generally, about the carbon cycle.

  7. @kim J
    Recognizes bought absolution.

    Indeed. The Catholic church has a lot of previous when it comes to getting out of sin by paying. The Pope obviously wants to avoid another Martin Luther.
    However, the whole process of confession/absolution and penances seem pretty close to being a ‘ploy’ which lets Catholics keep sinning…..

      • I disagree, indulgences were about the first thing that came to with the Pope’s opposition to carbon credits. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the matter of Luther and indulgences were on the Pope’s mind as well (D.G. may have meant that the Vatican learns from its mistakes).

      • He’s not off topic; the old practice of buying indulgences is basically what we are all talking about with carbon credits. It’s all dressed up in a fancy new set of clothes, but it’s the same old snake underneath.
        Now I agree that it’s offbase to criticize the process of confession and absolution, because that is about a very personal contrition for very personal actions. It brings about humility and leads people to reflect on how they live their own lives, which is something every person is better off doing. Their is a huge difference between that and indulgences/carbon credits, which both basically involve a wealthy person paying a fee (that means nothing to them) in exchange for a sense of moral superiority over others, no matter what they have actually done. That practice was *always* a perversion of Christian doctrine, which was one of Luther’s main themes.
        What I wish this Pope would have said, cleanly, was “hey y’all, ya know that indulgence/credit thing, we tried that about 500 years ago. We were a lot stronger then than you are now, and it STILL worked out real badly for us. So take from an organization that’s been there, Just Don’t Do It.”

      • Re: Absolution, I have a quarrel.
        In the long run, man’s pitiful little aliquot of fossil CO2 is going to be recognized for the great boon to humanity and to Gaia, biome and all, that it is. Our recharging of the carbon cycle, our mild and beneficial warming, our wonderfully providential greening, and the immense boost to the society and comfort of man is the opposite of something for which we need absolution.
        It’s all backwards, evilly so.
        =============

  8. LOL at HeyBip – you really need to do a better job of hiding that white sheet and hood

  9. well now that’s a breath of fresh air….
    The epicenter of “hope springs eternal”….
    …is preaching doom and gloom
    snark/

  10. This site – it appears – tries to maintain credibility – but then allows anything with the word “Catholic” in it to be overrun by Know Nothings.
    Explain the logic in that.

    • opinions are like…., including mine, yours, and others (and I didn’t get involved in this discussion). Anything can be written/spoken and be misconstrued or taken out of context to suit a preference. Everyone just has to deal with it and not become a psychotic..

  11. I thought he would have been behind this scheme as carbon offsets are just the 21st century’s version of Indulgences.

  12. … one can’t be certain he is advocating for reduced population …

    Actually he leaves no doubt. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-blasts-abortion-population-control-in-new-encyclical-10491/

    Vatican City, Jun 18, 2015 / 04:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his new encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis slams attacks against human life such as abortion, embryonic experimentation and population control – saying that respect for creation and human dignity go hand in hand.

  13. As many of us in the UK know, the Roman Catholic Church is infested with child molesters so I can only suggest that they get their own house in order first before they start issuing this kind of nonsense.

    • So any Police Department should cease from enforcing the law if they employ any Peach Officers that have received a parking ticket?

      • The local police department doesn’t have “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” as part of their foundation document.

      • Perhaps I missed it then: The Pope is calling for good Catholics everywhere to lob bits of masonry at their governing authorities for not sending public monies to corrupt governments in Africa?

      • Addenda: The Biblical argument you want to go after here is Beams and Motes in eyes. “You hypocrite!” and all that rot. And to be sure, if the Vatican — one of the rich governments — is not sending funds to corrupt third-world governments for solar power generation? You have a point. Likewise, if the Vatican — one of the rich governments — is not installing solar panels on cathedral roofs? You have a point.

    • Can you supply proof that the RC church is infested with child molesters?
      The scandal that unfolded in the U.S. hit Protestant denominations as well. These denominations were shaken by this and their clergy along with it.
      Coming from a mixed religion family, I know that clergy from both experienced much sorrow from the whole rotten affair.
      And this should have been handled in a better way.
      Can’t see how this is related to the climate change discussion anyway and is a distraction from the issues at hand.

      • Barbara
        Far be it from me to do your searching for you but:-
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10407559
        I only mentioned the RC church because this article is about some rubbish that that the Pope came out with. If it had been about the recent nonsense spouted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, I’d have mentioned them instead.
        And no, it’s not a distraction. Neil (above) nails it. When they are beyond reproach, which they should be as they are allegedly God’s representatives on earth (not forgetting papal infallibility of course), then and only then can they start on the shortcomings of others. Until then, I repeat, ‘get their own house in order first before they start issuing this kind of nonsense’.

      • Barbara,
        Here are the real statistics.
        http://www.catholicleague.org/sexual-abuse-in-social-context-catholic-clergy-and-other-professionals/
        The worst place for a child to be in terms of abuse, statistically speaking, is their own home. Next worse is Daycare and school. At the bottom of the list is the RC Church. A child is 100X more likely to be abused in a public school by a teacher that by a cleric in the RC Church. Where is the protest? Mr Green Genes is not interested in the Climate debate or facts in general. He is hater, and a conversation stopper, who tossed in his ill-conceived clumsy notion for the consumption by the ignorant.

      • Paul
        There there dear. Say 3 Hail Marys, or pray for my soul or something.
        As for me, I hate no-one and nothing. Hate is time consuming and negative. It’s just that I have no time for peddlers of lies, whether they spout off about how the world is going to end either because I don’t have an imaginary friend or because I like a good fire in the winter.

    • The Catholic Church today = A Greenpeace department with somewhat nicer manners and bell towers 🙂

    • I believe the term used (in paragraph 1) is, “our Sister, Mother Earth”:

      “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

  14. Based on what is happening in Europe today, perhaps the Pope should open Vatican City to all the refugees from the south side of the Mediterranean and put them to work on “Green Projects” that support his science. And I don’t mean that sarcastically. Just “practice what you preach.” Seems simple.

  15. The Vatican employs scientists. It may be that the conclusion they or perhaps trusted adviser(s) reached agrees with the “consensus”, but the Pope disagrees with the latter’s solution. That is to say, the Pope may agree with the “consensus” that there is a “wicked problem”, but he opposes the wicked solution proposed to resolve it.

    • Tim,
      As I mentioned earlier, the UN and the Vatican have very divergent views. You correctly point out a main friction point that ought to be exploited. I agree with you. The Vatican will have no part in population control by artificial means. I would highlight his involvement and make the Vatican aware that they are advancing the interests of the UN and natural enemies of the Church. I would inform the public of this fact.
      Very good cleavage point. A divided house cannot stand.

  16. It would be appropriate if this were nailed to NOAA’s door at this time.
    “95 Theses: Desputation of the power of CO2 to cause havoc, the efficacy of tax funded studies to alter earth’s climate, and of the primacy of the Pope on matters of science.”
    Then simply cite the vast majority of studies and datasets that have conclusively refuted CAGW.

    • And for good measure, cite the horrific results that have occurred whenever Communism was tried as a solution for any problems.

      • Friedman nailed Donhue’s ridiculous claims to the wall.
        Sadly, no left-winger can be persuaded by facts and reason. If they could, they wouldn’t have become left-wingers in the first place. You can see Donahue’s embarrassment at having lost utterly, but he still *chooses* to deny reality.

  17. He’s framing the climate change issue as an “urgent moral issue”. I agree. The Climate Liars pushing the whole anti-carbon, anti-democratic, and anti-human Warmist ideology need to be held accountable for the damage they have done.

    • Before today, the UN IPCC context of the issue was “settled.” Now we have a “conversation” at least. Bruce, it is up to us to push that conversation in the correct direction. You can help. Keep pushing.

    • JaneHM June 18, 2015 at 8:41 am

      It was warmer when Jesus lived.

      Ah, well done, Jane. Best laugh of the thread so far.
      w.

    • Not only when, but where. It is warmer where Jusus lived then compared to where The Pope lives now.

  18. I admire and respect Pope Francis. It appears he truly cares more about people than dogma and church administration.
    The Pope or any other religious leader cannot however possibly alter the cult of CAGW.
    The Pope and the Catholic church have no knowledge or interest concerning the absolute failure of the general circulation models that were created to support the cult of CAGW (planet resists forcing changes rather than amplifies forcing changes, there has been no warming for eighteen years, the warming in the last 30 years has been in high latitude regions not in the equatorial region, there has been almost no tropical tropospheric warming, there is now observational evidence of cooling both poles, and so on), no knowledge concerning cyclic climate change in the paleo record (1500 year periodicity with a beat plus minus 400 years, both poles) that correlates with past solar cycle changes, the current abrupt solar cycle change, engineering and cost issues related to the green scams, the Pope has no knowledge concerning climategate type shenanigans, and so on.
    Observations – significant in your face global cooling will end the climate wars in a spectacular manner – not what the Pope or any other person did or did not say.
    There are now quarter by quarter new observational changes that support the assertion that the planet is cooling and that the solar cycle has been interrupted. There is now cooling of both poles, record sea ice in the Antarctic all months of the year, and now sudden cooling of the Greenland ice sheet. The Pacific Ocean is starting to cool following the cooling trend in the Atlantic.
    http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2015/anomnight.6.18.2015.gif
    What is currently happening to the sun and the earth’s climate has happened before. There are an unbelievable number of scientific theories, policy, and political issues that are going to change due to what is currently happening the sun.

      • Recent data shows what looks like cooling waters closing in on the ongoing el-nino event (which is well into the moderate category right now). It’s possible that it will end up having very little effect on global temperatures.
        Also, the issue with these articles on the Catholic Church is that some throw the entire Christian faith into the exact same basket, one look at the conservative churches who actually follow scripture word-for-word (which states that Christ’s death has relieved us of the need to have earthly priests and makes no mention of needing other clergy positions, not to mention debunking the whole idea of a pope acting as man’s bridge to God) would prove you wrong.

    • “The Pacific Ocean is starting to cool following the cooling trend in the Atlantic”.
      Really, pray tell. I’m all ears.

  19. For those who care to hear it, there is a single principle that unites all the “mish-mash”. Perhaps what is a confusing mish-mash in the Pope’s statement is instead a shrewd perception that all of those 70’s 80’s 90’s and new millenium scientific and market fads – all based in science by the way, have all been high-jacked, have all been used to disenfranchise large segments of humanity, most especially the poor. Whille highlighting ideals (the Market and Socialism, Climate Alarmists and Skeptics all claim to be defending and empowering the ‘common man’/poor) the Pope refuses to endorse any of their self-serving policies, instead the Pope subtly challenges Science to prove that there is benefit for the common man/the poor. It is this principle of benefit for the poor, empowering the poor, providing quality of life that unites the statement -and while I am not catholic, I am left thinking it is the only sane voice in elite-filled room.

    • I think that single tread is the test of sincerity of the all the chatter at the UN. What is the precise analysis of how the poor are going to be relived? I believe it is through the use of cheap energy, coal, nuke, hydro. I have not done the analysis but I accept Bjorn Lomborg’s opinion. You are right in my view. Maybe this little letter is a virus that will infect all the assumptions about the goals of green movement.

    • Unfortunately, Les, the Pope has signed on to the War on the Poor, which is also known as the War on Carbon. Everything that the Pope and others are doing to fight the use of fossil fuels is driving their price up, which HURTS THE POOR THE MOST OF ANYONE. The wealthy don’t feel the pinch at the pumps if gas prices go up … that would be the poor.
      So while he talks a goodly amount about compassion for the poor, it’s hard to square that with his active support for anti-fossil-fuel policies that are already sentencing the poor to lives of even greater poverty, illness, and death.
      And when a man’s words disagree with his actions, I know which one I go with … don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s doing it out of malice. I’m not accusing him of bad intent or of deception.
      I think he’s doing it out of ignorance … which unfortunately is often both much more destructive and much harder to oppose.
      w.

  20. If the objective is to greatly reduce carbon emissions, for whatever number of reasons that goal might be be pursued, cap and trade schemes won’t get the job done. Their true purpose is to keep government bureaucrats busy and to line the pockets of those who help keep government bureaucrats busy.
    The only way carbon emissions can be greatly reduced in the near to mid-term future is for governments to put a price on carbon, acting in one of two ways, either through a legislated non-neutral carbon tax, or through a framework of stiff carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated carbon tax.

      • kim: “Aren’t you glad there is no need?”

        Kim, speaking from the perspective of someone who has spent 35 years in nuclear construction and operations, a stillborn Nuclear Renaissance cannot be revived here in America unless the US Government puts a price on carbon which is high enough to make new-build gas-fired power generation less competitive in comparison with new-build nuclear generation.
        That’s motivation enough for me to support levying a price on carbon, as I would prefer not to see the US covered with fracking wells from one end of the country to the other. Admittedly, others may have a somewhat different perspective on the need to put a price on carbon. .

      • sturgishooper: ….. Given the regulatory climate, so to speak, no amount of carbon tax can encourage more nuclear plants. Only regime change can do that.

        The high costs of nuclear construction are inherent in the need to do an excellent job at everything you do from the very first day of the project. The public demands this level of commitment on the part of any utility which initiates a nuclear construction project, and this means the up front capital costs of a nuclear project are significantly higher than those for a gas-fired project.
        With its adoption of the Combined Operating License (COL), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has gone as far as public opinion will allow it to go in simplifying and streamlining its oversight functions. In overseeing and supporting new construction projects, the NRC cannot do things much differently than the way they are doing things today without risking the viability of the US nuclear industry.as a whole.
        For those regions of the United States which support nuclear power — primarily the Midwest and the Southeast — by far the greatest barrier to an expansion of nuclear construction is competition from natural gas.
        When natural gas prices were a lot higher than they are today, the total lifecycle cost of nuclear was lower, and so there was an incentive to trade the higher upfront capital costs of nuclear for lower total lifecycle costs.
        The fracking boom has erased nuclear’s lifecycle cost advantage, which is why the four new reactors now under construction in the Carolinas will likely be the last large reactors built in this country for a very long time to come. (Unless of course the US Government intervenes in the energy market place to artificially raise the price of natural gas.)

      • Beta,
        Natural gas is also a threat to coal-fired power.
        IMO if nuclear power is uneconomical on its own merits, rather than via the heavy hand of regulation on the scale, then I guess I’ll have to abandon my long-standing support for atomic energy.
        I cannot under any circumstances support a carbon tax.
        If the subsidies accorded wind and solar power were applied to nuclear power, then I might support an alternative to fossil fuels.

      • This is a good discussion of a new perspective for me. By ‘no need’, though, I meant that man’s warming will be small and beneficial, and I also worry that future cooling is more likely than future warming…..and will be much more devastating.
        ===============

      • Kim, speaking from the perspective of someone who has spent 35 years in nuclear construction and operations, a stillborn Nuclear Renaissance cannot be revived here in America unless the US Government puts a price on carbon which is high enough to make new-build gas-fired power generation less competitive in comparison with new-build nuclear generation.

        But this is precisely the problem with government involvement in the energy market. You personally have, or had, a personal stake in a particular kind of energy generation. Unfortunately, it isn’t the cheapest one available, and there are extrinsic long term risks and disincentives on top of the economics (true as you point out for fracking and gas as well). Therefore you welcome an external constraint which artificially hikes the costs of competing energy resources to the advantage of your personal favorite kind.
        You are basically willing to spend my money, to spend everybody’s money because everybody pays a higher price for electrical energy and since electrical energy is used in making and delivering all goods and services that aren’t provided out of a log cabin in the woods off the grid, your extra price is purely inflationary and rebounds through the entire economy. Not just in the US. Everybody on the planet gets a little bit poorer. For rich ol’ you, and rich ol’ me, an extra penny or two per kw-hr won’t break the bank, although it might provide rich ol’ me with the incentive to bite the bullet and put a 5 KW solar system on top of my roof and stop paying for even the nuclear power currently being delivered to my receptacles from Sherron-Harris, but for the poor, especially the poor in poor countries, the really poor, it can be a disaster. And we can’t really have nuclear power in most poor (and quite a few midding rich) countries or everybody and their cousin would have nuclear bombs within five or ten years and if there is anything more frightening than every single country in (say) Africa, or South America, or Southeast Asia, equipped with a dozen or so nukes I don’t know what it is. 99% of the regimes could be responsible, but it only takes one to trigger a local, possibly global, Armageddon.
        Now, you might argue that if we built a lot of nuclear power plants in the long run it would make coal cheaper as demand for coal in countries with large artificial costs attached to coal drops. In that case we could end up exporting CHEAPER coal to those countries, but of course all this means is that we don’t stop burning coal at all, and besides, the Green lobby you have to partner with to get your artificial trade barrier in place through the political system are going to work just as hard to prevent the export of coal because they want it left in the ground, not exported to Argentina or to Zambia or to Burma or to India. Those same Green partners — so far — idiotically oppose nuclear with the same fervor that they oppose coal. They visualize a return to a Jeffersonian society with no centralized delivery of power at all, with everybody living “off the grid”, with cities collapsing and a return to rural existence. And in their mind’s eye, when this happens there are a lot fewer people, although they generally elide from their imaginations the process whereby we go from 7 billion living humans to (say) 1 to 2 billion in a single (their!) generation. Nobody wants to wait.
        Personally, I have little problem with any of this, as long as the participants, especially the scientific participants, in the political debate are honest. If you want to see nuclear power advanced for what you perceive of as the greater good, don’t lobby for cap and trade in an unholy alliance with Green interests that directly oppose your proposal. Try to convince the American people to directly incentivize the construction of nuclear plants with tax breaks, with direct subsidies, etc. Try to convince them to pay the extra cost of power (if any, relative to coal) straight up. If you are a scientist and think burning coal is wasteful of a long-term valuable resource (I am, and I do) don’t “agree” with bad global warming science to try to fool the American people into agreeing with you. Have the courage to advance your point of view with complete honesty, and if the American people, considering their own best interests, hear your argument and disagree with you don’t ally yourself with a group that is diametrically opposed to your proposal to get your way indirectly.
        Of course, none of this will ever happen because America has lost the core idealism that once motivated at least some politicians into a genuinely self-disinterested, honest, public service. Honesty is out of style, it is “politically unrealistic”. Don’t say “the science that suggests the possibility of catastrophic global warming is highly uncertain, and empirically the evidence is mixed”, point to every hurricane or heat wave or extreme weather event that happens anywhere in the world is positive evidence that the apocalypse looms. Since extreme weather events happen literally every day, somewhere on the globe, you’ll never run out of ammunition, and it is easy to shout down anyone that simply plots the frequency of extreme events against time and shows that there is no significant trend. Nobody understands statistics — they understand pictures of Hurricane Sandy. They weren’t alive when other equally damaging storms occurred back before most of the East Coast was built up when it was presumably much cooler, and they don’t understand probability either.
        What is really scary, though, is the ongoing process of data adjustment to match the dialectic of the politics, ensuring that the political story matches the scientific story whether the scientific story likes it or not. It smacks of “Nazi Science” in WWII and this, more than any other single thing, will come back to haunt us if nature refuses to cooperate with the story in the long run.
        A very wise man once pointed out that you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. And the American people don’t like to be made fools, especially by scientists who are supposed to be objective, and honest if they choose to engage in any political debate. Scientists are people, can vote, and have every right to support political causes, but if they choose to support them with lies or with bad science presented with their “scientific authority” then they risk the respect people hold for all scientists.
        I resent that. Most scientists are, in fact, quite honest. A lot of scientists who work in climate science are honest. But honest or dishonest, by giving up the writing of the summary for policy makers into the hands of the manifestly dishonest, people who substitute confidence as in confidence game for confidence as in axiomatically defensible applications of statistics in science into the report, they become dishonest by proxy. “We were not Nazis, we were just Germans. We hated the Nazis. But what could we do?”
        Right.
        rgb

      • rgbatduke: …… But this is precisely the problem with government involvement in the energy market. You personally have, or had, a personal stake in a particular kind of energy generation. Unfortunately, it isn’t the cheapest one available, and there are extrinsic long term risks and disincentives on top of the economics (true as you point out for fracking and gas as well). Therefore you welcome an external constraint which artificially hikes the costs of competing energy resources to the advantage of your personal favorite kind. ….. (yada yada yada …)
        Khwarizmi (more succinctly): Let’s make hydrocarbons artificially expensive so my favorite industry can compete!

        rgbatduke, moving way from fossil fuels and towards a combination of nuclear and the renewables is strictly a public policy decision. It is not a decision the energy marketplace would naturally make of its own accord in the absence of active government intervention to reshape the marketplace for whatever purposes government may have in redirecting normal market forces.
        Many economists make the valid point that the most effective and economically efficient approach to encouraging a near-term transition away from fossil fuels would be for government to put a stiff price on carbon.
        Repeating what I said in response to WUWT reader ‘Khwarizmi’ below, President Obama’s goal of a 28% reduction in GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050 cannot be met unless the US Government puts a stiff price on carbon and unless the nation’s electric utilities make a substantial commitment to nuclear power. Since nuclear power could not expand as rapidly as would be needed to replace most of the nation’s fossil fuel power generation by 2050, a combination of energy conservation measures and adoption of the renewables would be necessary to make up the difference.
        Higher prices for energy are necessary both to promote energy conservation measures and to pay the cost premium for incentivizing an accelerated adoption of nuclear power plus the renewables.
        If President Obama isn’t using the authority he already has in his hands to directly and indirectly raise the price of all carbon fuels, then he isn’t truly serious about achieving a 28% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050. Here is a strategy for how President Obama and the EPA could legally and constitutionally raise the price of all carbon fuels without asking for new legislation from the US Congress:
        1) Make full use of the Clean Air Act to its maximum legal authority, using the 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon as the EPA’s regulatory basis.
        2) Set a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for carbon pollution at either 400 ppm CO2 equivalent, or at some larger concentration which is consistent with some specified acceptable rise in global mean temperature between 2015 and 2100.
        3) Develop a regulatory framework for carbon pollution which directly constrains emissions of GHGs and which imposes a corresponding system of EPA-administered carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated carbon tax.
        4) Design the EPA’s regulatory framework so as to equitably distribute the economic and social burdens of making the necessary GHG reductions as evenly and as fairly as possible among all classes of GHG emitters.
        5) Assign all revenues collected through the EPA’s system of carbon pollution fines to the individual states, thus giving each state a strong incentive to voluntarily adopt the EPA’s standardized GHG regulatory framework.
        The basic point to be made here is this: A clear pathway towards achieving the President’s ambitious GHG reduction goals currently exists, one which is legal and constitutional and which does not require another word of new legislation from the US Congress to be implemented — but one which the Obama Administration has chosen not to pursue.
        Those in the green press and in the environmental community who are raising vocal concerns that effective near-term action isn’t being taken in reducing America’s GHG emissions should be pointing their finger of blame at President Obama rather than at the so-called climate change deniers. He and he alone has the necessary legal authority and the necessary regulatory tools needed to make those near-term GHG reductions happen. If he doesn’t do it, it won’t be done.

      • — UPDATED REPLACEMENT FOR A COMMENT NOW IN MODERATION —

        rgbatduke: …… But this is precisely the problem with government involvement in the energy market. You personally have, or had, a personal stake in a particular kind of energy generation. Unfortunately, it isn’t the cheapest one available, and there are extrinsic long term risks and disincentives on top of the economics (true as you point out for fracking and gas as well). Therefore you welcome an external constraint which artificially hikes the costs of competing energy resources to the advantage of your personal favorite kind. ……..)
        Khwarizmi (more succinctly): Let’s make hydrocarbons artificially expensive so my favorite industry can compete!

        Mr. Rgbatduke, moving way from fossil fuels and towards a combination of nuclear and the renewables is strictly a public policy decision. It is not a decision the energy marketplace would naturally make of its own accord in the absence of active government intervention to reshape the marketplace for whatever purposes government may have in redirecting normal market forces.
        Many economists make the valid point that the most effective and economically efficient approach to encouraging a near-term transition away from fossil fuels would be for government to put a stiff price on carbon.
        Repeating what I said in response to WUWT reader ‘Khwarizmi’ below, President Obama’s goal of a 28% reduction in GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050 cannot be met unless the US Government puts a stiff price on carbon and unless the nation’s electric utilities make a substantial commitment to nuclear power. Since nuclear power could not expand as rapidly as would be needed to replace most of the nation’s fossil fuel power generation by 2050, a combination of energy conservation measures and adoption of the renewables would be necessary to make up the difference.
        Higher prices for energy are necessary both to promote energy conservation measures and to pay the cost premium for incentivizing an accelerated adoption of nuclear power plus the renewables.
        If President Obama isn’t using the authority he already has in his hands to directly and indirectly raise the price of all carbon fuels, then he isn’t truly serious about achieving a 28% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050. Here is a strategy for how President Obama and the EPA could legally and constitutionally raise the price of all carbon fuels without asking for new legislation from the US Congress:
        1) Make full use of the Clean Air Act to its maximum legal authority, using the 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon as the EPA’s regulatory basis.
        2) Set a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for carbon pollution at either 400 ppm CO2 equivalent, or at some higher concentration which is consistent with some specified acceptable rise in global mean temperature between 2015 and 2100.
        3) Develop a regulatory framework for carbon pollution which directly constrains emissions of GHGs and which imposes a corresponding system of EPA-administered carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated carbon tax.
        4) Design the EPA’s regulatory framework so as to equitably distribute the economic and social burdens of making the necessary GHG reductions as evenly and as fairly as possible among all classes of GHG emitters.
        5) Assign all revenues collected through the EPA’s system of carbon pollution fines to the individual states, thus giving each state a strong incentive to voluntarily adopt the EPA’s standardized GHG regulatory framework.
        The basic point to be made here is this: A clear pathway towards achieving the President’s ambitious GHG reduction goals currently exists, one which is legal and constitutional and which does not require another word of new legislation from the US Congress to be implemented — but one which the Obama Administration has chosen not to pursue.
        Those in the green press and in the environmental community who are raising vocal concerns that effective near-term action isn’t being taken in reducing America’s GHG emissions should be pointing their finger of blame at President Obama rather than at climate science critics. He and he alone has the necessary legal authority and the necessary regulatory tools needed to make those near-term GHG reductions happen. If he doesn’t do it, it won’t be done.

      • Beta Blocker June 19, 2015 at 9:04 am

        Many economists make the valid point that the most effective and economically efficient approach to encouraging a near-term transition away from fossil fuels would be for government to put a stiff price on carbon.

        Yes, and many people here (including Robert Brown just above) make the more valid point that doing so would shaft the poor. So I fail to see why you mention that path unless you support it for unknown reasons.
        I fear I don’t understand your willingness to throw the poor to the wolves, but I’m sure you explain it to yourself somehow … so how about explaining to the rest of us why the lives of people without money seem to mean nothing to you?
        w.

      • Willis E.: …. I fear I don’t understand your willingness to throw the poor to the wolves, but I’m sure you explain it to yourself somehow … so how about explaining to the rest of us why the lives of people without money seem to mean nothing to you? w.

        Willis, every time you decide to purchase one product or commodity in lieu of buying some other product or commodity — or if you decide to completely stop buying some product or some commodity which you are currently buying now — there are winners and losers as a direct consequence of your decision.
        In theory, a competitive free marketplace will produce greater numbers of winners than losers at the end of the day, or at the end of the year, or at the end of the decade.
        But regardless of how efficiently that free market works, the economic losers who lost as a consequence of your personal decision to buy a Stihl chain saw rather than a Husqvarna chain saw will still be losers. Similarly, there will be economic winners and losers if you decide not to replace your chain saw every ten years and decide to purchase a plane ticket to Honolulu instead.
        Honestly Willis, are you greatly concerned about the welfare of those people who manufactured a brand of chainsaw you did not choose to purchase because you liked a different brand better?
        President Obama is selling a public policy decision to reduce America’s GHG emissions 28% by 2025 and 80% by 2050. He obviously believes America can afford to pay for this kind of public policy decision. That decision will produce economic winners as well as economic losers, depending upon which brand of energy production method he chooses to favor. (Right now, President Obama favors natural gas over coal, neither of which is a carbon free energy resource.)
        OK …. at the end of the day — or at the end of the year, or at the end of the decade — will there be more economic winners as a result of President Obama’s public policy decision than there will be economic losers? Moreover, will there be more economic winners than losers if the energy marketplace chooses nuclear power over the renewables as its preferred means for achieving President Obama’s ambitious GHG reduction goals?
        Whatever estimates of the resulting employment gains and losses one might come up with, the fact remains that President Obama’s goal of reducing America’s GHG emissions 28% by 2025 and 80% by 2050 cannot be achieved unless the US Government actively intervenes in the energy marketplace to raise the price of all carbon fuels. Taking any other approach is a guarantee of failure.

  21. Of COURSE it is a “ploy”. Al Gore was going to make a bazillion dollars. Kyoto was to be the impetus for a massive CO2 trading scheme that Enron was going to build an exchange for and manage. And over time, it would result in shortages in electrical power which would have resulted in more activity on the electric power exchanges that Enron was running.
    If you are a politician the recipe is simple: Invest in SomeCo then lobby hard for some regulation that will greatly benefit SomeCo and make a killing. Federal politicians are 100% exempt from insider trading regulations. Until THAT changes, nothing else will.

  22. His Holiness is smarter than you may think, when it comes to carbon credit trading:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/04/mafia-caught-laundering-1-7b-through-renewables/
    Italian police have seized assets worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) from a Sicilian renewable energy developer in the biggest ever seizure of mafia-linked assets.
    The assets, including 43 wind and solar energy companies, 98 properties and 66 bank accounts, belonged to Vito Nicastri, a 57-year-old businessman dubbed the “Lord of the Wind” for his prominent role in the business.
    “This is a sector in which money can easily be laundered,” Arturo de Felice, head of Italy’s anti-mafia agency, told local media. “Operating in a grey area helped him build up his business over the years.”
    The anti-mafia agency in a statement said it was the biggest seizure of mafia-linked assets.

  23. At 165 he writes: “Until greater progress is made in developing widely accessible sources of renewable energy, it is legitimate to choose the lesser of two evils or to find short-term solutions.”

    • I didn’t understand that one, Jeff. Which “two evils” is he talking about?
      w.

    • What else can you be if you give lip service to asking the world to help the poor while also demanding that the world stop using fossil fuels “without delay.” He has to know that replacing fossil fuels with expensive, inefficient, and unreliable alternatives will only drive up the cost of energy, which will hurt the poor most of all.
      The Pope also calls on businesses to put people and jobs first before profits. That sounds good until you ask yourself how a business can maintain jobs or hire anyone new without profits. Asking people to consume less also sounds good until you realize that recessions begin when people panic and cut back on spending. Then businesses have to cut jobs to compensate for fewer sales. Which is better, unequal prosperity, or abject but equal poverty?

  24. “He is against materialism and consumption…”

    While I have many fine Catholic friends, I find it somewhat difficult to believe the above quote – especially after seeing many travel programs through and about the Vatican City and noting the extreme sumptousness of those “humble digs.”

  25. I notice at least one of stormtrooper’s comments were deleted in the newer post.
    There are several here that should be sent to /dev/null for the sake of this site’s diminishing credibility.

  26. The Pope also put the kibosh on fossil fuels and air conditioning:

    We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.
    People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.

    The Pope can have my air conditioning after prying it from my very pleasantly cooled fingers…

  27. Betablocker…
    ========================
    Kim, speaking from the perspective of someone who has spent 35 years in nuclear construction and operations, a stillborn Nuclear Renaissance cannot be revived here in America unless the US Government puts a price on carbon which is high enough to make new-build gas-fired power generation less competitive in comparison with new-build nuclear generation.
    That’s motivation enough for me to support levying a price on carbon, as I would prefer not to see the US covered with fracking wells from one end of the country to the other. Admittedly, others may have a somewhat different perspective on the need to put a price on carbon.

    ========================
    Let’s make hydrocarbons artificially expensive so my favorite industry can compete!
    At least you’re honest. 🙂

    • Khwarizmi: Let’s make hydrocarbons artificially expensive so my favorite industry can compete!

      President Obama’s goal of a 28% reduction in GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050 cannot be met unless the US Government puts a stiff price on carbon and unless the nation’s electric utilities make a substantial commitment to nuclear power.
      Since nuclear power could not expand as rapidly as would be needed to replace most of the nation’s fossil fuel power generation by 2050, a combination of energy conservation measures and adoption of the renewables would be necessary to make up the difference. Higher prices for energy are necessary both to promote energy conservation measures and to pay the cost premium for incentivizing an accelerated adoption of nuclear power plus the renewables.
      If President Obama isn’t using the authority he already has in his hands to directly and indirectly raise the price of all carbon fuels, then he isn’t truly serious about achieving a 28% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050.

  28. for some reason, the Reuters page for the following has the headline only!
    Edenhofer second guesses the Pope and the EU won’t be happy!
    18 June: Eyewitness News South Africa: Reuters: Pope: Emissions trading can undermine climate efforts
    ***Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a consultant to the Vatican in the run-up to the encyclical, said the pope’s comments should not be seen as an outright rejection of emissions trading.
    “The pope is more or less asking scientists to check if this is an instrument which will provide a solution,” he told Reuters.
    Edenhofer speculated that the issue was included in response to concerns from Latin America…
    “I assume it has been mentioned because many people in Latin America are quite suspicious about this market-based instrument,” Edenhofer said…
    ***The European Commission declined to comment but the International Emissions Trading Association said the pope’s view on carbon trading was “out of step” with the views of most economists and analysts.
    The European Union operates the biggest emissions trading scheme in the world…
    http://ewn.co.za/2015/06/18/Pope-Emissions-trading-can-undermine-climate-efforts

  29. “Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.”
    But mostly just another way for the money-shufflers to rip off the rest of us without providing anything useful in return.

  30. However, if anyone IS interested in buying some carbon credits then please feel free to contact me ASAP.
    For a minimal downpayment (plus VAT, GST and various city, county, state and federal taxes) you will receive a fully certified certificate from one of my rather respectable and probably legitimate agents based in Lagos (The Zurich of Nigeria, as we call it!).
    Roll up! Roll up!
    Numbers are strictly limited. Maximum $100,000 purchase per person. Time limited. Get in quick.

  31. The Australian MSM are all over the Pope’s climate encyclical like a rash clmaining it to be a “stern warning”. Trouble is Abbott isn’t paying too much attention, it seems, to it, but Turnbull is. Now that is a worry. Turnbull maybe planning a leadership challenge for the next election, which may be called early. That would be a disaster for Australia.

  32. No, not “all”, but the moderation needs to be stronger. For whatever reason – I can think of some benign and otherwise – any post even mentioning “Catholic” brings out these absurdly off-topic rants that belong in a Jack Chick tract.

  33. John Tetzel, a Dominican monk in Germany in the 16th century and a contemporary of Luther, was an aggressive marketer of indulgences for which he used this sales pitch:
    “There is no sin so great that indulgences cannot remit. And even if one should, which is doubtless impossible, ravish (rape) the holy Virgin, Mother of God, let him pay, only let his pay well for an indulgence, and all shall be forgiven him! Ye priests, ye nobles, ye wives, ye maidens, and you young men, hearken to your departed parents and friends who cry to you from the bottomless depths. ‘We are enduring a horrible torment’, they scream, ‘a small alms from you would deliver us. You can give it now if you will’. Thus they cry to you from purgatory. The very moment that the money clinks against the bottom of the chest, the soul escapes from purgatory and flies free to heaven. Now just pay off, 0 senseless people! Almost like the beasts who do not comprehend the grace so richly offered. This day heaven is on all sides of you. Do you now refuse to enter? When do you intend to come in? This day you may redeem many souls.”
    It was reaction against such religious corruption and abuse that motivated Luther’s reformation.
    We are at a similar moment when the cynical manipulative use of pseudoscientific AGW scare stories for financial and political gain, need to be resisted by a reformation of the scientific establishment and an alternative movement set up with a transparent and honest ethos, an alternative to catholic (small c) environmentalism.

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