Thoughts on the papal encyclical on environment

Guest opinion by Joe Ronan


Laudato Si – A cry for the poor

Why is Pope Francis writing about climate change?  Because he cares for the poor, and wants us all to look at how we use the resources of the world.  His objective is to ask each of us to look at how we use the resources available to us, and how to be good stewards of creation.  Whether we consider ourselves as owners or tenants of this planet we are asked to use it’s bounty to the good of all, and to avoid laying it waste to the detriment of our brothers and sisters.

He looks at a number of ways in which the poor more than most suffer from environmental damage that man has control over.    The first thing he mentions (paragraph 20) is something well aired on these blogs: atmospheric pollutants affecting the poor, using as an example the breathing high levels of smoke from fuels used in heating and cooking.  He talks of pollution caused by transport and industry, soil, fertilizers and insecticides.  Then he mentions dangerous wastes and residues and the despoiling of landscapes.  Again, his concern is primarily for the people these affect, and secondarily for the ecosystem (though he stresses our responsibility for that too).

The climate comes in at paragraph 23 and here the leaked paragraphs that have had such wide coverage are reasonably accurate.  Climate is a common good, and science indicates that man is having some effect on this.  The language is sufficiently vague that I doubt he’ll end up in a Galileo scenario of pinning his colours to a sinking ship, but there is no doubt that the rather partial advisers he has had have coloured the thinking to a very large extent.   Paragraph 24 provides perhaps the most obvious slip up, when it suggests

“If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us”.

There is no inkling that the pause has been mentioned to the Vatican, or that Pope Francis is familiar with the now infamous twitter exchange where Naomi Oreskes is denying the pause to Doug MacNeal.

The biggest disappointment with this section is how poorly it is referenced. Not even the IPCC is mentioned.  Many of the statements should be backed up by source or attribution, but there is none. When the document moves into moral territory there are comprehensive references, so I see this as a real naivete on behalf of the drafters.

Climate change is called a global problem and “one of the principal challenges facing humanity” (25), not the greatest challenge as I’ve seen reported in some places.  The concern though is not for the planet per se but for the people, and particularly the poor.  That the poor are by their poverty more heavily affected by natural disasters, and by manmade damage to the environment is a concern that I think we can all get behind.  The letter also dwells on the related but separate issue of water resources, and the necessity of the provision of clean water.  The effects of dysentery and cholera, inadequate hygiene and many other factors are mentioned (29).

He looks at loss of biodiversity, and at some length on the quality of human life and societal breakdown.  (43 onwards).  This is definitely not a “climate change” encyclical, it deals with much wider questions.

Where the letter becomes really interesting is when it develops themes of how we approach the problems of inequality and systems of politics, economics and governance. Paragraph 129 seeks to promote an economy that favours production diversity and business creativity. I don’t see Jeb Bush having a problem with that!

“Business is a noble vocation (129) …directed to improving the world”.

There is throughout an antagonism to untrammelled markets, especially for global business that appear to ignore national rules and suit themselves. It does however recognise the impossibility of regulating for all possible events, and instead asks for the growth of inner morality – we should know when what we do will harm our fellow men, and we should know to avoid that without being policed.

I think many will read paragraph 182 with a rather different focus than may have been meant in it’s writing:

“[182] Forms of corruption that conceal the actual environmental impact of a given project, in exchange for favours usually produce specious agreements which fail to inform adequately and to allow for full debate.”

and again in 183

“…fully informed about projects and their different risks. Honesty and truth are needed in scientific and political decisions…”

184 continues the theme with “decisions must me made based on a comparison of the risks and benefits forseen for the various possible alternatives.”

Matt Ridley, and Bjorn Lomborg will enjoy that bit, and the following request for proper analysis of the costs and on whom they fall. There is acknowldgement that achieving a broad consensus on policy is not easy, but we are encouraged to have an honest and open debate so that “particular interests or ideologies will not predjudice the common good”.  I think we can all say ‘Amen’ to that.

There is a pretty strong attack on the way the banks were bailed out at the expense of the people, and a concern with the centralisation of financial and economic power (189).

The idea of a limit to growth is put forward, and here I think the document fails for lack of reference and a fallback to assertion.  The assumption is that there is a zero sum game, and I would not agree that history shows that to be the case.

Politics and economics with their blame passing and corruption are given a going over (198) but science is also said to be powerless if it loses its moral compass. (199).

Throughout the later sections the document is asking for dialogue; how do we protect nature, defend the poor and build networks of respect and fraternity.  Open and respectful dialogue is what we need not idealogical warfare.

I would encourage you all to read the final section, even those of you not of a religious inclination. It deals with releasing real humanity from within ourselves, and perhaps is the type of writing that reflects most closely Francis’ agenda – the best flourishing of the human person, and the building of a good society.    He recognises that the things that we do to ‘save the earth’ will not change the world, but will call forth from us each “a goodness that spreads”.

It is also a call to joy and completeness as humans, and a call to engage with those around us.

This is a flawed document in many ways: it has had input from a limited range of views, and on the technical side is badly referenced.  It paints complex issues in simplistic terms and ignores the whole history of how technological development has been of enormous benefit to mankind.

What it does succeed in doing however is to provoke each of us to consider inside ourselves how we relate to our fellow travelers on this planet.  Even though the letter is addressed to the whole world, it’s real target is you.   I recommend it to you all, flawed and incomplete as it is, as a look into our own minds, and invites us consider again at our common humanity.

Full document here:

222 thoughts on “Thoughts on the papal encyclical on environment

  1. Joe Ronan,
    I agree with your guest posting particularly with respect to Bjorn Lomborg. In combination with this assessment, have you any recommendations as to next steps by we skeptics, and anticipation of what the CAGW activists at the UN may do as a consequence of this encyclical?

    • Paul, The encyclical calls for proper debate and study of the options in detail. In the past the debate has been refused. I think there may be a chink in the armour with this one. Anyone who waves the document quoting the need to ‘do something’ cannot then refuse to debate the options as the document asks. We are all in different places when it comes to doing that, and we have to do what we can, but I think perhaps it may be easier from now on. I for one will be looking for opportunities to widen the debate.

      • A contrarion thought:
        The last thing we need is more “debate”, of any kind. What we need, right now, is action! What we need–desperately need–is for the Pope to demand, as a moral imperative, that those–especially our brazen-hypocrite, carbon-piggie betters–who are convinced that demon-carbon kills babies and kills polar bears to LEAD FROM THE FRONT AND BY INSPIRING PERSONAL EXAMPLE IN MATTERS OF CARBON FOOTPRINT REDUCTION!!! that they PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACH!!!
        In other words, the Pope needs to send the money-changers packing from the temple. Otherwise, I fear, this whole encyclical deal will take on the appearance of an agit-prop, ex cathedra, B. S drill and will make the Pope appear to be clueless-dolt useful-idiot, who doesn’t even know to use the long-spoon when he sups with certain Satanic hive-fucks. None of us want that, do we?
        And the Pope might even want to start his Savonarola-roll with an unremitting insistence, by all that is Holy, that that eco-confab that the hive’s greenwashed shot-callers have planned for Paris, later this year, be held as a carbon-free video-conference, so as to save us all from those tons and tons of CO2 that will otherwise be spewed by our betters–CO2 that is “pollution”, per the hive’s party-line.

      • The monastery must be a peaceful place, with no cares for the harsh reality that exists outside the walls. You might wish to return to it – otherwise you will be sadly disappointed as the Papal Encyclical is used, in tiny out of context quotes, to create even more poor and deepen the despair of poverty.

      • What the poor need are cheap, abundant and reliable energy. The Pope, indirectly and (hopefully) unwittingly, is denying them this. The AGW hoaxsters will use this encyclical to further their cause, and the Pope has made himself their useful idiot.

    • Hey Paul,
      I’ve quickly gone through some of what you wrote in the Carbon Trading post below – I’m a devout Catholic too, but you seem to be heavy into the spin-cycle right now. No, it’s not Catholic dogma and we don’t have to agree (I sure as Mordor don’t) – but, at best, Francis is obviously incredibly naïve – Matthew 10:16, baby. From the very beginning of his pontificate, Francis has never understood that every word he says or writes is going to be twisted around like a pretzel, unless he is very, very specific.
      Another JP II the Great – he ain’t. Of course, a major part of his problem is – he’s not Polish.

      • OK, be good stewards and care for the poor. Got it. I endorse it. But from that, absolutely nothing follows regarding climate change. He should not have mentioned Climate Change.

      • Correct, Theo – I thought he would come out with a plain vanilla – “be good stewards of the earth, care for the poor, etc, etc” – and never specifically mention climate change, much less (supposed) significant man-made climate change. That would have been fine. As soon as climate change is mentioned – regardless if Francis claimed man’s significant involvement in it or not – it immediately becomes a major propaganda tool for the CAGW lunatics. I believe, sadly, that this encyclical will become a millstone around the church’s neck for – well – forever. Francis is a good man but naïve. And even though it isn’t dogma it will be presented as such, we all know that.

      • Frodo,
        I am not so much into spin mode as I am trying to get a proper perspective.
        80% of what Francis is saying is spot on. That is all Motherhood and apple pie. The 20% that is in error is the part that I am competent to speak on. The science, politics and economics. I am not tangling with the pontiff on faith and morals since I am an ignoramus on those subjects. But CO2? I am as much an expert as His Holiness.
        There is no undoing the encyclical. So what do we do? Accept it? Ignore it? Refute it?
        Since it is not magisterial, I judge it to be geo-political-economic so I see an opportunity to exploit his words as such. In essence, we should declare what the encyclical means regardless of the author’s intent. Besides, that is what the left is already doing. I say it is an attack on Carbon Credits. Because it serves my interests in diminishing the UN’s influence. I say the encyclical puts the Vatican at odds with the UN. I hope a huge brawl breaks out and a “Tower of Babel” ensues.
        I am not passively assessing the situation, rather I am make assertions while I read the darn thing. Not quite spinning, but making hay as best I can. I accept that Francis is no JPII. Them’s the breaks.
        Frodo, help me out. I want to properly act on this encyclical. I want it to hurt the UN and serve to impoverish the Climate money scam. How to do this?

      • >> Frodo, help me out<<
        Got me, Pal. I’d depressed over it. It should not have been written, and will cause great damage to the Church’s reputation in the future, which it definitely does not need. The Church had been around for almost 2,000 years, will be around until the end of time, and it has survived much, much worse than this.
        The truth about CAGW movement – its laughably bogus science, and its true underlying goals- which have nothing to do with environmentalism – will, eventually, come out. This encyclical does not help matters. Francis was massively played by those who want the Church’s moral authority on their side in the Paris talks, and they got it – you know they will twist this to suit their needs, and the media will play along. At the very least, it should have been postponed until after Paris. Sigh.

      • The man (and that is all that he is or should be, even to Catholics) is a communist or at best a Bolivarian Socialist. He intrinsically believes that capitalism is evil and his supposed care for the environment is just a convenient excuse to beat that drum some more. His worry over CO2 impacts to the poor (last time I checked freezing and starvation were pretty bad for your health) demonstrate a fundamental ignorance of the real problems. How many premature deaths would he accept due to dung/wood burning to prevent the further greening and mild’ing of the Earth?
        As a long non-practicing Catholic I can honestly say this man doesn’t speak for me, and he is dead wrong on this issue along with many of his other positions.

  2. In general I am kindly disposed to the religious, and can live with all kinds of sincerely held beliefs, but in this case the Pope is speaking not for the religious but for the Institutional Church (as a state and an international bureaucracy). Remember that the prosecution of Galileo was not for what he said, but that he said it in public without Rome’s permission. By endorsing “climate change” as a cause it allows Rome to curry favor in Europe where it’s pew’s are empty. The leftist call for climate change to justify international wealth transfers helps him in Latin America where evangelical protestants are stealing souls away. To promise that a Rome will work with the local strongman to give money to the poor is pure Peronism.
    This is the great appeal of Climate change to many in that it provides the excuse for every other cause they hold dear (otherwise you would see a strong emphasis on nuclear energy in his missives).

    • good point – and it would have done him no good whatsoever to express an opposing view
      Still, I think he would have been wiser to avoid climate completely as he loses any appeal, beyond wealth redistribution, to the poor and vulnerable (who I am sure are all online right now reading his encyclical) /of course not

    • “By endorsing “climate change” as a cause it allows Rome to curry favor in Europe where it’s pew’s are empty.”
      It’s been my observation that for those most part, those who believe man causes climate change neither go to church nor believe in God. So this encyclical will not put anyone in the pews.

  3. I have no problem with the Pope calling for morality from within.
    It is the demands of Authorities from above to only those below that I have a problem with.
    If any of those who mandate their morality on others were obliged to live under those same standards, I think we would see a lot fewer demands.

  4. The Pope could invite us to consider our common humanity without denouncing carbon-dioxide at 0.0004 of the atmosphere as an existential menace. At present it provides an easy claim to moral authority, but more tax to Caesar in a degraded economy means fewer resources for the good works of the Church in the face of greater need, and the long-term judgement of history is likely to be harsh.

    • The Church lost whatever moral authority it gained fighting Communism by protecting and promoting paedophiles.

      • Sturgis – it didn’t. But convincing you of that is like convincing a Greenpeace member that CAGW isn’t true.

      • Sturgis,
        That extraordinary lie is a conversation stopper and is unsupported by the preponderance of very well known and well publicized facts.
        Child abuse is the worst in the domestic home. Next it is worse in daycares (private and public) and public schools. It is least of all worse amongst the clergy (all faiths) and the RC church ranks the lowest in occurrence statistically. So since your comment has no statistical or factual basis, and since you are off topic, we can only assume that you are a hate-mongering bomb thrower interested, not in the welfare of children rather your own satisfaction at being malevolent. When was the last time you went to a PTA meeting and raised the issue there?

      • Paul Westhaver June 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm

        That extraordinary lie is a conversation stopper and is unsupported by the preponderance of very well known and well publicized facts.
        Child abuse is the worst in the domestic home. Next it is worse in daycares (private and public) and public schools. It is least of all worse amongst the clergy (all faiths) and the RC church ranks the lowest in occurrence statistically.

        Look, I’m not fond of Sturgis either, but you are talking about two different things. Sturgis said something which is clearly true—as an organization, in many cases the Catholic Church actively concealed and sometimes even promoted pedophiles. The church hierarchy covered up the molesters’ crimes, often with no punishment for the men involved. In many cases they were merely moved by their superiors to someplace new where they could continue to molest a new set of unsuspecting children. This went up as high as the Bishops.
        In response, Paul, you claim Sturgis is lying, and you cite statistics of the prevalence of child abuse in the home and in daycares … and while your statistics may indeed be true, that has nothing to do with Sturgis’s claim that the Catholic Church, as an organization, covered up many crimes against children.
        I’m sorry, but the tragedy is that Sturgis’s accusation is not a lie of any kind. It is a sad, horrendous truth confirmed by indictments, trials, and convictions.

      • Hoplite and Pauk,
        Clearly your faith has blinded you to reality.
        The highest Church officials not only condoned child sex abuse but covered it up, moved the rapists around and promoted them and the criminal bishops would committed the coverup.
        It’s a matter of public record. It doesn’t matter how common child rape is in other places. The fact is that the Catholic Church as an institution and its officers as individuals were rapists and enablers for decades, along with physical abuse.
        Sorry, but that’s the fact. I admired John Paul II until I learned that so much of the coverup occurred on his watch.

      • “Who” for “would”.
        My school district no longer has a PTA, but any teacher found abusing a student here would be shot. In fact he’d be lucky to be shot.

      • Willis,
        Your opinion is extant from data reaching back to the 1940s. In the 1980s, the American Psychiatric Association.recommended a standard for care of the abusers that assumed curability through treatment and counseling. So the abusers were treated councilled and moved around, most often with the the recommendations of a shrink because it was considered a mental illness. By the 2000’s, the condition nearly exclusively associated with the few homosexuals, was deemed incurable by the very same APA. The treatment was isolation. Now the very same APA has said that pedophilia is just another sex preference, natural to the human species. In the 1950s it was dealt with privately in all segments of society.
        Be careful that you not judge the past with metrics of the present.. The detection, repulsiveness, remedy and occurrence are all variables that have all changed.
        The grandiose claim that Sturgis the Insincere Child protector Hooper is fake bluster. 16% of the children in the public school nearest him have been abused by a teacher and I have heard of no bodies piling up near him. What a BS-er.
        Further, in 2010 to 2015, 0.6% of priests has credible claims against them, whereas 3% of clergy in other faiths have been hiding and concealing abuse. AND most (>50%) abused Children are abused by a family members where the abuse is concealed for years. So don’t give me the canard of shock that it wasn’t the abuse it was the cover-up BS. There is coverup in greater percentages less than a block from Sturgis Hooper’s home.
        Slamming the RC Church near absent problems nowadays in a blog about climate is simple hate mongering. Particularly since the slam is devoid of facts and context. Willis, get your facts straight.

      • Paul,
        You know nothing of my school district.
        The fact is that the Catholic Church hierarchy protected and promoted those involved in serial child rape. That you don’t like that fact doesn’t change it.
        A few of the perps have been brought to justice. No one knows the full extent of the decades long child abuse, so comparing it to other institutions is pointless. I’ll stipulate that it does happen in some public schools. It seems to have when Hastert was a coach.
        But that’s not the point. If his school district had known about it, he would not have been transferred to a different school, as the Catholic Church continually did. For decades, at least.

      • I know everything about your dirty little school district. 16% of your students are sexually abused by teachers. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 8 boys in your school district are molested by teachers in your school at least once in the 12 years they attend.. And the board members (YOU) are covering it up.

      • Here you are criticizing the RC church and you yourself are a board member of a school that is covering up sex abuse by teachers. Where are the arrests? Where is the outrage. What a hypocrite.

      • Paul,
        If a teacher here were found guilty of abuse, he or she would not be moved to a different school, as the Church did with its paedophiles, but fired, tried and if convicted, sentenced.
        A few years ago a local police chief was accused of statutory rape of the 16 year old friend of his daughter. He was immediately taken to a jail in a different part of the state, not only because he was a cop, but because of the nature of his crime. His life was in danger.
        Just this year, a part-time teacher in a larger, nearby district got involved with a 17 year old girl. It took little time to find out, and he too was promptly moved.
        Don’t believe me if you don’t want to, but my school board would not behave like the Catholic bishops who foisted known rapists onto much younger school kids, usually boys, under their charge.

      • In the case of the 17 year-old girl, I meant the statutory rapist was moved out of town under custody, not moved to a different school. His career is over and he’ll do time.
        The age of consent here is 16 rather than 18 as in nearby states, but for those in positions of authority, it’s 18. In Canada, shockingly, it was until recently 14, but Fox News shamed the government into raising it to 16.

      • You are behaving worse than those who you criticize. Nothing to see! No abuse in your school, over which you are responsible. 25% of girls and 12% of the boys in your school are ALREADY being abused by teachers whom you employ. The cover-ups are especially bad in rural backwaters and especially by board members who have to answer to the public. What a creep. You must be turning a blind eye if you haven’t found them. Hypocite to the MAX. Not happening here.. Not happening here. It is happening there, under your watch.

      • Paul,
        Are you really saying that people in 70s didn’t think that sex between adult man and 9yo boy was a crime? There were no laws in the books against it or if it were it wasn’t enforced? That punishment for people caught doing it was move them to a new place where they could find new boys to have sex with?
        That people looked at pedophilia like they looked at drunk driving?
        So we shouldn’t judge them by modern standards, if we didn’t think it was a problem then?
        Is that really the route you choose to defend the church’s actions?
        I don’t care what was the preferred

      • [continued from pervious post]
        I don’t care what was preferred method of dealing with convicted sexual offenders then – they had to be convicted first.
        RC church did everything they could so pedophile priests stay unknown to authorities and not convicted of any misdeed.
        As a result you have priests who managed to destroy lives of hundreds of people each through their long and “fruitful” career, all thanks to RC church.

      • Paul,
        You could not possibly be more wrong or more blinded by faith.
        I know what goes on in our schools, which BTW aren’t dirty but remarkably clean.
        But let’s say that there has been an instance of abuse in a school in my district. The significant point is that in my district the suspected teacher would be immediately suspended and not be allowed to teach anywhere else. If convicted, he would go to prison.
        Compare and contrast that fact with what happened in Catholic schools and churches over at least decades. All the paedophiles’ supervisors clear up the chain of authority conspired to keep the rapists teaching by moving them on to new hunting grounds. Those complicit in the cover up were promoted.
        If you can’t see this glaring distinction, then there’s no hope for you. An institution that systematically engages in such immoral and illegal behavior for so long, until forced to face the music by the courts, forfeits all claim to any moral authority.

      • Udar,
        My point is: for every RC Cleric who harmed a child, 100 children were destroyed by a public school teacher. The moving around was an archaic prescription by malpracticing shrinks who today claim that attraction to children is an acceptable sex preference. All child rape is a crime.
        Sturgis (the schoolboard member) Hooper….clean up the sex abuse in your own school and stop protecting the creep teachers.

      • Paul,
        If there were any, it would be immediately cleaned up, unlike in Catholic schools. Because our officials are ever vigilant, unlike the worse than looking the other way in the Catholic system, our schools are as safe as can be.
        The rot in the Catholic system started in seminaries. The Church was always short of priests and teachers because of its insistence on “celibacy”. So it couldn’t afford to get rid of its bad apples, unlike other private and public schools.
        The moving around was specifically to protect the rapists, contrary to your fantasy. Before commenting on what the Church hierarchy did, you ought to study the trials arising from this systematic child abuse. The convictions have cost the Church dearly.
        You won’t try to find the truth because you wouldn’t like it and clearly can’t handle it.

      • Paul,
        You say
        My point is: for every RC Cleric who harmed a child, 100 children were destroyed by a public school teacher. The moving around was an archaic prescription by malpracticing shrinks …
        Two things
        1. You are missing my point that prescription you talking about was treatment for convicted pedophiles, not recommendation to hide them from the law
        2. The data regarding your 100x incidence of sexual abuse schools is simply incredible and absolutely makes no sense. My search of available reports all show that while public schools have higher rate of sex abuse, it’s maybe 1.3-1.5x, not 100x. The rate of abuse by priests is about 4%, by teachers is 6%.
        Don’t you think that the claim of 82% of sexual harassment simply makes no sense? Don’t you think that 25% on average is impossible? Without spending too much time on it , I can see some glaring issues that put your claims into serious doubt. For example, The catholic league report cites Washington Post survey but gives very different percentage ranges than other reports that cite same survey. I am sorry but I refuse to believe that one in every 4 women in USA was raped while in school.
        Again, as many people already said, the problem for the church was not the crime committed by individual priests, it was the coverup done by church.

      • Udar,
        The 100X figure is a fact. Charol ShakeShaft a noted academic conducted several studies, one for the NY public schools, wherein she determined the scale of the sex abuse problem in the schools. 1 in 4 females were a victims of sex assault (not rape) by a school employee once in 12 years of public school. 1 in 8 for boys.
        It is staggering!
        Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there are many times more teachers than priests and pedos go to where the kids are….schools. So the combination of opportunity, sheer numbers and protection by unions make it a huge problem.
        I in no way am defending pedo clerics. I simply want to illustrate proportion and the actual seat of the problem. BTW, most sex assaults occur in the victims home perpetrated by family members.

      • Sturgis Hooper…
        You say…
        June 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm
        It appears that for Paul, a “fact” is whatever makes the Church look less bad and secular society worse than in reality.
        I say….I am absolutely sure that is how it appears in your mind.

      • Udar,
        I really don’t think that you are truly interested in this subject and it is difficult for me to stay with this here, in a climate blog, but if your need to know the real stats and facts, it is very well known and very public and I can point you there. I didn’t author any of the work, I just know the work and I have read them.
        Presumably you came here to discuss the ill-fated encyclical on climate and this particular thread was derailed somewhat, intentionally by SturgisHooper an infamous catholic basher.
        Either way I will entertain serious inquiry, and dialogue, but guaranteed Stugis Hooper simply cannot help himself.
        So if there is some doubt or question I will thoughtfully answer.

      • Paul,
        I thought you didn’t consider Wiki a valid source?
        Have you ever asked a girl who went to an ordinary, suburban or rural public school if she and her friends were sexually abused by their teachers?
        The falsehoods which you asserted as facts in the Galileo affair, simply are not, so my statement is objectively true, both within my mind and in reality.

      • Paul,
        I can buy 100x in absolute sense, because there are about 100x more students in public schools. But that number is immaterial, as rate is what we are interested in.
        And I call bull*t on 1 in 4 or 1 in 8 number – none of the men I know claimed to have sex with teacher in school, and I know lot more than 8 🙂 (I’m kidding here, but numbers just don’f look credible if I look at the sources and dig into them)
        But you seem to avoid the simple issue that many people stated already – it is not the abuse but active coverup that people hate.

      • Udar,
        With trepidation I suggest this well done summary:
        Also there are 5,000,000 teachers in the US
        60,000 priests (I think)
        83:1 in absolute numbers alone.
        Then the incidence per capita…slightly more frequently amongst teachers…see the detailed report. Shakeshaft at Hofstra is really beyond reproach. She is a good woman.
        net effect 100:1
        Think about the scale of it!
        If somebody is upset about the abuse by RC clerics, then they really ought to be upset at what is going on in our secular schools.

      • Udar,
        Also, I forgot to mention, there is a terminology issue. Some priests were defrocked for rape, but others for inappropriate sexual conversation etc. Some relationships were with adult males. So in the Shakeshaft study she includes touching, exhibitionism and luring. Not just rape. Apples to apples so to speak.

      • Paul Westhaver, you have accused Sturgis Hooper (and the school board on which he serves) of covering up student sexual abuse by the teachers the board employs. Do you have evidence to back up that charge, or are you simply applying the general statistics you have cited to this specific case?

    • Besides, since when do scientists and governments in the west listen to religious leaders? When they tell them what they want to hear? Was there any reference to God? Jesus? This guy sounds like a communist.
      If he had opposing views to CAGW, he would be dismissed as old and irrelevant.

  5. No amount of lipstick will save this pig from the Vatican. Yeah – it is climate – the climate of the world’s worst and most corrupt leaders in the third world. That’s the issue that has condemned the third world into poverty. Moreover, here at home – here’s a newsflash pope – finding a job is the only way out of poverty in my neck of the woods. And no – the eco crowd aren’t gonna provide that job for me, the evil western economy will and have. Yeah – this garbage from a Vatican not long out of money laundering schemes themselves. Clean up your own act Pope.

    • I think “the first world” is doing a bang-up job laying the groundwork to inflict poverty on its middle class and working poor folk with regulatory fiat and Malthusian economics as baseline.
      The third world at least is used to being Banana Republics-we’re gonna need training.

    • Anthony Watts – I hope this disgraceful post by Sturgis is removed if your website is to retain its respectability. Please delete it and admonish the intellectually retarded clown that wrote it.
      Sturgis – you’re a disgrace – shame on you. Your opinion here will never have any value for me ever again. Effing Idiot.

      • Free speech is well regarded here. Very few things are deleted.
        That is unfortunate for Sturgis Hooper who has overstated his case using indelicate language.

      • You know them by what they do. All I read by Sturgis was unrestrained anti-catholic mindless rage. So much for “reason”.

      • Hoplite,
        Francis is an embodiment of evil. Fine with me if you don’t agree.
        It’s not rage or even anti-Catholicism. I’m glad there are parochial schools, as long as the kids there aren’t raped and their rapists promoted.
        It’s just that Francis is such an ignorant hypocrite, further tarnishing his already blemished lack of moral authority.

  6. ‘this century may well witness extraordinary climate change’
    so his only advise could be
    give god what is god’s and give climate change what is climate change’s.
    Regards – Hans
    and all extraordinarities lie in the Hands of God.

  7. The Pope should stick to matters of the church and keep his nose out of things non religious.
    For example, there is still a serious problem with priests and paedophilia within his church that I believe should have his full time attention until it is resolved.

    • Ralph
      Could you tell us a bit more about the problem? If you mean that there are cases of priests or bishops acting some decades ago which still need to be dealt with in some way then you may have a point. If you mean that child abuse by priests is still going on on a large scale then you had better come up with some data to support that assertion. In 2010, for example, there were only eight cases in the USA of accusations of a sexual nature against Catholic priests.
      As to saying that the Pope should concentrate on that problem alone it’s rather like saying a Government should concentrate on fixing, say, inflation and ignore all other problems like crime, poor education, bad health, etc, etc.
      As to things being non-religious you seem to have a rather narrow idea of what ‘religion’ and, specifically, Christianity, is concerned with. Remember that Jesus taught us that the second great Commandment is to love our neighbour.

      • Most of the priests of any religion practice pedophilia, especially sleeping with other men. From Catholics to Orthodoxs, the same…

      • Is some of the bashing the Catholic church at this website being done to discredit this website?

  8. “If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us”.
    I am sure the Pope means well in his message . He seems to be a very sincere person , It may be his advisors who are not telling him the complete climate science picture and the other probable natural trend for the future that is equally as valid as doom and gloom.
    It seems that the constant alarmist strategy for misleading the public is to blame on man all extreme climate events , even if they are only slightly bigger than the one they have personal recollection of. They claim that the extra rainfall, floods, storms, heat waves, cold waves, hurricanes, sea level changes, snowfall, etc., are all due to man induced global warming or climate change. Now they are proposing to alter even the most recent climate figures already accepted by the rest of the world in order to do away with the pause in global temperature increases. This not because they have better data but because we are changing the statistical assumptions that are purely arbitrary.
    Yet according to the US government’s own climate data, the observable data does not support this claim. Why not? Very simple, there is little global warming happening since 2005 for Global , Northern Hemisphere, and North American land areas during the last 10 years and for North America possibly as far back as 1998. Global and Northern Hemisphere land areas annual temperature anomalies show a flat or slightly negative or cooling trend of -0.02 C /decade and -0.05/ C/decade respectively since 2005 according to NOAA own Climate at A Glance data. Also their data shows that since 2005, for 34 out of 48 states or 70 % in Contiguous US states, the trend of annual temperature anomalies is declining at -0.69F/decade . The figure is -0.48 F/decade since 1998 .Only 8 Pacific coast states, including the Northwest, West and Southwest and 6 Northeast states show warming. A similar pattern appears in Canada where 7 out of 11 climate regions show declining annual temperature departures since 1998; one is flat and 3 show warming from the 1961-1990 base. In other words 70 % of North American climate regions are not experiencing global warming but cooling. Only the Pacific and Atlantic coastal regions and parts of the High Arctic regions show warming in North America and this is because they are being moderated by the oceans or ENSO events. Even in the Canadian far north including Tundra, Fiords and Mountains there has been a 6 C degree drop in temperatures since 2010.

  9. I always consider our common humanity … and as such I find logical and clear thought to be an uncommon feature among humanity … this document affirms to me that the Pope puts his robes on one leg at a time, and with difficulty … he’s just like us … possibly more ignorant than the average … but a frail and fallible human none the less … but one whose hubris has allowed him to think he is godlike in his knowledge … that that my friend is a sin …

    • Yes, I see it as his global positioning / power grab (from his media “position”, which is GIANT – global access & distribution), and because it’s not just ignorance, I see it as political (because it has been thought thru & “worth the price”). Overall, not good re: his credibility & his sincerity – because, ultimately, it’s not sincere. Not good.

  10. Then the Pope should be telling all the world to stop having so many kids, it is straining the earth, use birth control, slow down, go easy, one child policy.

    • John Boles, can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. The statement is so obviously false, so Malthusian, so ChiCom, that I can’t believe that anyone would believe it in this day and age. Even John Lennon contradicted Dick Cavett on this point back in the 70s.
      With NYC population density, everyone one earth could live in the state of Texas.

  11. How does the ‘necessarily skyrocketing’ of worldwide energy prices help the poor? That is means with which we reach the papal end. I’m in dark on this one. As are, and still will be, most of the world’s poor.

  12. The Catholic church (and all others) never seems to fare well when it digresses from topics on which it can claim some moral authority to topics on which it has no authority at all. Those include economics, industrialization and its side effects (pollution), and climate. Frances was poorly advised by the likes of Schellnhuber, and the resulting encyclical is ill advised. As climate ‘science’ collapses, the net result will be to further weaken the Vatican’s moral authority.

    • Yup, the Catholic Church was the main driving force behind getting Europe out of the dark ages and initiating Western Civilization – its clergy and members defined the scientific method, the Church founded the modern University system, and well as concept of modern hospitals, etc
      It certainly should involved with science – Gregor Mendel, Georges Lemaître, etc, it does a huge amount of valid scientific research – as Lemaître said there should be no conflict between religion and science – but putting supposed “science” in a papal encyclical – as a Catholic myself – I don’t get it…
      JPII (The Great) wrote an awesome encyclical on human suffering (basically a Bible study on Colossians 1:24 and other good stuff – fantastic) that will be cherished for as long as humanity is around. Francis wrote a encyclical that will be a black eye on the Church for perhaps just as long

      • Not to denigrate legitimate achievements of the Church, but it was also, according to Gibbon, responsible for the Dark Ages.
        Nor did it define the scientific method. Perhaps you’re thinking of Roger Bacon, in which case, you’re wrong. Francis Bacon, yes, but he was probably an atheist, although nominally Anglican.
        But the Church today is, as I’ve pointed out, a disgrace, made more disgraceful by the latest bishop of Rome.

      • ok, last post to you in this thread, I ‘m leaving soon..
        Bacon was born in 1214. The Protestant reformation started in 1517. He must have lived to a ripe old age to have been an Anglican.
        From wiki:
        “…’but about 1256 he became a friar in the Franciscan Order, and no longer held a teaching post. After 1260, his activities were restricted by a Franciscan statute prohibiting friars from publishing books or pamphlets without prior approval.” So , yeah – he got some restrictions during his life, but he was definitely a Catholic
        Anyway, I’m done for now.

      • No, I misunderstood but not intentionally. I need to respond ‘cause I am interested in accuracy, and more than willing to admit my mistakes. The two Bacons in your post above did not register when I quickly went through your post, for some reason – perhaps I focus too much on the nastiness in your posts and don’t see all the rest – my bad
        You are right – Roger Bacon – close but no cigar
        “Roger Bacon, OFM (/ˈbeɪkən/; c. 1214 – June 1292?; scholastic accolade Doctor Mirabilis, meaning “wonderful teacher”), was an English philosopher and Franciscan friar who placed considerable emphasis on the study of nature through empirical methods. He is sometimes credited (mainly since the nineteenth century) as one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method inspired by Aristotle and later Arabic scholars such as the Muslim scientist Alhazen.[2] However, more recent re-evaluations emphasise that he was essentially a medieval thinker, with much of his “experimental” knowledge obtained from books, in the scholastic tradition.[3] A survey of how Bacon’s work was received over the centuries found that it often reflected the concerns and controversies that were central to his readers.[4]”
        Francis Bacon is definitely in the right time period – sorry about that. I stand corrected. And, You are also right, while Roger gets some credit, Francis appears to be the much better choice

  13. Hey, here you have a man who dresses in a skirt and lives his life as a lie. What do you expect him to say?

    • What lie is he living? What you got against ‘skirts’ anyway? They are men’s attire in many parts of the world – get out a bit more.

    • I thought it was a robe or, to denigrate, a dress. The mental image of him in a skirt is not appealing (to me). But I can’t speak for aesthetic appeal that others may see in that image.

  14. 4. In 1971, eight years after Pacem in Terris, Blessed Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity:
    The Pope cherry picks what he calls “unchecked human activity’. Reproduction is a human activity, yet he chooses to blame consumption by the wealthy for the plight of the poor.
    The Church is one of the wealthiest organizations on earth. It should practice what it preaches. The Church should use its wealth to fill the collection plate BEFORE passing it around, and let the poor take what they need. Instead, the Church promotes poverty throughout the world through its policies, then seeks to blame the wealthy for the results.
    In Canada, the average age is 40. In Brazil it is 15. [Is] it really so hard to see why people with an average age of 40 are wealthier than people with an average age of 15? To suggest that the environment of Canada is somehow more degraded than Brazil because Canadians are wealthier than Brazilians is a complete nonsense and an insult to intelligence.
    Canada has one of the cleanest environments on earth because we are wealthy and can afford to clean things up. Right now we are in the mist of a massive project to cleanup one of the largest oil spoils on the face of the planet.
    Millions of years ago as the Rockies were formed, Nature [created] billions of gallons of oil on the sands of Alberta, contaminating thousands and thousands of acres of wilderness. Canada is now taking the lead and cleaning up the mess Mother Nature left behind.

  15. Climate change is a HUGE problem. What can we do to prevent two miles of ice over Chicago? It will be hard on agriculture and a big impediment to travel.

    • This is really why climatology is important, because glaciation is inevitable. However, not for prevention, but for mitigation. Fusion would come in handy at that point. Weren’t you working on that?
      Maybe a big dome over Chicago?

  16. I am deeply sorry to see the Pope so ill-advised, particularly because he seemed to start out his Papacy so well, and my guess is that he is a caring and decent human being … but I guess you don’t wear the funny hat and the ruby slippers for too long before hubris raises its ugly head and you start thinking that because you are Pope you’re suddenly competent to advise the total and complete demolition and re-design of the world’s energy system.
    In particular, despite his claimed (and presumably real) concern for the poor, he has signed on to a belief system that is already doing incalculable damage to the poor. This is the belief that it is moral to “fight climate change” (whatever that means) by opposing the use of fossil fuels. He says:

    The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system.


    Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms, simply making efforts to reduce some of the negative impacts of climate change. However, many of these symptoms indicate that such effects will continue to worsen if we continue with current models of production and consumption. There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy. Worldwide there is minimal access to clean and renewable energy. There is still a need to develop adequate storage technologies. Some countries have made considerable progress, although it is far from constituting a significant proportion. Investments have also been made in means of production and transportation which consume less energy and require fewer raw materials, as well as in methods of construction and renovating buildings which improve their energy efficiency. But these good practices are still far from widespread.

    Now let me set aside the bizarre claim that some unspecified “symptoms” indicate that the “effects will continue to worsen” unless we do exactly what the Pope suggests. I didn’t know that “symptoms” could do that. But then I have no earthly (or heavenly) clue what “symptoms” he’s talking about, since just about every bad thing has been claimed to be a symptom of “climate change”.
    But bizarre claims aside, the Pope fails to notice that all of his you-beaut whiz-bang “solutions” to a problem which has not been demonstrated to exist have one thing in common. They all DRIVE UP THE PRICE THE POOR PAY FOR ENERGY. This is the most destructive, regressive tax imaginable.
    So in an ultimate irony, the man who claims to speak for the poor is actually backing policies that are currently sentencing the poor to short, brutal, pain-filled lives … see for example the World Bank ban on funding for coal-fired power plants in India. No way to tell how much misery and pain and death that decision has cost, but it’s not small. I don’t mind the Pope being anti-science. I do mind him shafting the poor.
    I’m sorry, but all the good intentions in the world don’t justify paving that particular road to Hell.

    • Willis – he doesn’t wear ruby slippers and has broken with tradition in that regard (and that’s been in the media often enough). Minor point but you’re a details man.

      • My bad, no ruby slippers, got it. And to be clear, I do think the Catholics are incredibly fortunate that he is Pope. He’s the best they’ve had in quite a while.
        Having said that, for him to “pontificate”, to use a most apt word, on climate science is a step way too far. As MCourtney pointed out, there was much more in the document, and there was no need for him step into the morass … and stepping in on the side of impoverishing the poor, as he has done, is difficult to either understand or excuse. It’s not like the moral dimensions of the effect of high energy prices on the poor are unknown or unknowable, heck, there’s even a book out there called “The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels”.
        So yeah, his failure in that regard is deep …

    • His policies are wrong on climate change. They don’t pay and wouldn’t even if the science was right.
      But the moral arguments were interesting. There was far more in there than climate change. Lots about the dehumanising effect of badly planned urban dwellings and the elevation of market forces to a moral good – both of which he objected to on interesting grounds.
      It’s worth reading the encyclical in full.
      You may not agree with it (I’m no Catholic) but it is novel and well-reasoned on the moral arguments.

      • MCourteney,
        Thank you for that comment, especially as it comes from a non-Catholic. It was kind of you to be kind, if you see what I mean. I totally agree with your first two sentences. And you are quite right to point out that there is far more in the Encyclical than just climate change. For example, the word ‘climate’ is used 16 times. The word ‘pollution;’ is used 27 times. I congratulate you for having read the document. Unlike the BBC correspondent who referred to it as an Encyclical on climate change. It is a pity that the tone of your comment is not copied by everybody who comments here. (And I mean tone, not content. There are ways of disagreeing without being disagreeable.)

  17. propaganda machine in the evening news already running, the sworn staff beaming with rightness.
    Guest opinion by Joe Ronan –
    next try in appeasement. Your’s never learn.
    hybris is the way to fail.

  18. Nothing more than the church attempting to gain more control over its’ (rapidly dwindling) flock by playing the “me too” game with the weather. With all the emphasis this Pope has put on helping the poor the about face and clear misunderstanding of what’s at stake for those poor is discouraging.

    • You may be right about the flock dwindling in the USA and Europe but you are well wide of the mark when it comes to the world as a whole. The numbers are booming in Africa and Asia.

      • No he isn’t. Numbers of believers don’t matter (well, not to us atheists – we think you are all batsh*t crazy, anyway), but the percentage of believers is declining. That will mean far more to you than it does to me, as I said. I don’t care if the number is 99% or 1%.
        Asians and Africans are more inclined to be spiritual and believe all kinds of craziness.

      • Alba commented : “You may be right about the flock dwindling in the USA and Europe but you are well wide of the mark when it comes to the world as a whole. The numbers are booming in Africa and Asia.”
        You are right…..I stand corrected. Learn something new every day.

  19. Anthony Watts – I think a critical analysis of the Pope’s encyclical is fully in order and I have issues with it myself. However, you should not allow your website to be hijacked by anti-Catholic bigots to spew all their hatred and bile about the Catholic Church and its leader. Sturgis Hooper needs to be banned from here as he is dragging the site down into the gutter.

    • Hoplite relax.
      Look around you and look at each country and region where the RC church is the major feature in life. Then compare how that country does on the economy and human development scale compared to those where the influence of the RC church is minimal.
      Let us know what you see.

      • China…India…Saudi Arabia…Afghanistan…Russia…Syria…I am up to about 3 billion people there and hardly (some) a Catholic Among them.

      • Paul
        Thanks for that. Tried to keep it open rather then defining it too much. Perhaps you do not want to see what is staring everyone in the face in that regard. If I would have said in the West then there would have been another comment of some sort. Or for that matter have to clarify what I mean with the West. Can’t see the point mentioning the RC church in relation to countries where it has never had a foothold.
        I am more thinking about southern Europe versus the north. South/central America versus the North.
        Spain, Portugal, Italy are very much the poor cousins of those in the north that abandoned RC as the major faith long ago. France is still a mess and is not likely to change soon. Ireland could only do it by offering huge tax advantages to international companies and prosperity bought like that may not stay that long.
        Once the north decided to change away from RC things progressed.
        The US and Canada never had a majority of RC perhaps the reason why it prospered quickly. The RC church did not get in the way.
        I grew up in an area where 3 main streams vied for membership. The RC church did it by promoting breeding without education, keeping them dumb kept them going to church on Sunday. Sadly that led to only more poverty for those that followed. They do the same in South America and southern Europe. Literacy alone does not bring prosperity when competing with a highly educated neighbour country.
        Philippines is another example.
        The RC church is not interested in progress of their people. Francis may be but the religion as it is (was?) is not. Despite having billions invested in property and the weapons industry they do not give much of that to their flock to educate them and by that to set them on the road to prosperity. Once they prosper they leave the church all too often.
        And yet those that have been RC for generations are in general a happy mob and don’t take the church all that serious. It is there for support but not many take the words as gospel. (Until the priest comes for a visit and tells you that it is time for another child.) No one does Carnival like South America. The Anglicans, Lutheran and Calvinists and all its offshoots of north and north west Europe and those of similar belief in the US and Canada are a dour lot in comparison. But they certainly believe in progress in an economic and development sense.
        If there is an over population issue then the RC church certainly has done it’s bit to get to that point.
        Perhaps it should be: be dour and prosper or have fun and pauper.

    • Our esteemed host, Antony Watts, has done a magnificent job in keeping this forum a place of learning and discovery. Sometimes emotions create a pressure to respond with-out adding any value. ( Sturgis – you’re a disgrace – shame on you. Your opinion here will never have any value for me ever again. Effing Idiot.) We have all been guilty.
      When all our faculties are focused, it has always been that it matters not who speaks, but what is said.

      • I’ve come to the conclusion that Sturgis Hooper is unable to consider this topic rationally because of personal rage.
        I don’t know him. Thus I can’t assume he is blinded on every subject in the same way. And I have no right to speculate on what has happened to him personally to make him so angry.
        So I’ll ignore him on this and show respect to him elsewhere.
        That’s as compassionate as I can honestly be over the internet.

      • I am considering it rationally.
        The evidence is that this document is just another instance of the corruption of an organized criminal enterprise.
        Given Argentina’s Falklands War-era deep involvement in the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, which involved not only financial corruption but murders, including probably of a pope, the choice of Francis shows how far the rot has spread.

    • Francis is a disgrace. His Church is a disgrace, a lie, a sewer of corruption and child rape, a protection racket and if those facts get me banned, so be it.

      • Do you d*ny the facts of child rape and cover-up?
        You’re not a skeptic but take it on blind faith that the Church is not, as it has repeatedly been found, guilty of corruption (eg Banco Ambrosiano) and child abuse, to put it mildly.
        Or have all the convictions been in error?

      • They are less frequent and less prevalent than in the public schools. Child sex abuse is 100X more likely in a public Schools. The public school just down the street from you is covering it up today and covering 100X more cases. Do something superman. All talk.

      • Paul,
        As a school board member, I do more than talk.
        I live in the rural Inter-Mountain West. My public school is small. I know all the teachers, some very well.
        It’s hard to fire them now that they are unionized. I’d rather do away with public schools but we’re stuck with them for now.
        You are free to imagine that we don’t know what happens in this little town, but we do. Not long ago a stepfather here was abusing his stepdaughter. He met with an accident.

    • Hoplite, hold up there. Some of us are not just bigotted about about Catholics! I view religious belief as mental illness, so I’m intolerant of whichever branch of the belief tree you sit on.

  20. “His [the Pope’s] objective is to look at how we use the resources available to us, and how to be good stewards of creation.”
    Frankly, I’m inspired by this sentiment and after due reflection have finally sworn off multiple castles, mansions, and private Caribbean islands; rejected boldly private-jet travel, first-class commercial jet travel, yachts, and travel by convoys of bullet-proof limousines; eschewed henceforth a private-jet jet-set life-style in the shared company of the glitzy rich and famous; and have resolved to attend all future eco-confabs only through carbon-free video-conferencing. So it works for me.
    One little nagging thought remains, though, in regards to my new-found, Pope-inspired commitment to Gaia. It seems that the Pope, when he meets with the world’s most gluttonous carbon-piggies, to discuss how to even further reduce the material quality-of-life of us coolie-trash peon-nobodies, never takes the opportunity to call out and publicly shame the hive-nomenklatura’s own brazen, CO2-spew hypocrisy–and I mean by name, of course. He never demands of our betters that they “be good stewards of creation”, that they LEAD FROM THE FRONT AND BY INSPIRING PERSONAL EXAMPLE IN MATTERS OF CARBON FOOTPRINT REDUCTION!!!, that they PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACH!!!
    Rather, what seems to be envisioned by the Pope is a sort of an anti-Savonarola, neo-feudal world where the Pontiff comfortably hob-nobs with our church-indulged, conspicuously-consuming, “vanities”-obsessed, obscenely-materialistic betters, even as the “Holy Father” employs his good offices to assist our betters’ grasping efforts to rip-off the widow’s last mite via carbon-taxes and consign the hoi-polloi’s modest amenities to their Malthusian, population-control bonfires. I mean, like, it’s almost as if the Pope might be seeking to restore the church to those glory days it enjoyed in the medieval era–an era when groaning, penurious serfs knew their place.

    • In truth, he should ride a white mule like in the Middle Ages and not use any heating in winter but instead, be a proper holy man and live without human comforts which is what all those saints did since the founding of the Church.
      This means no jets, not Popemobiles, no luxuries, imported food, modern technology, etc. Back to the good old days!

    • Very Possible that his thought process considered that imposing a UN NWO would lead to sustainable development by reducing the standard of living for the western developed economies. Since this would place a new large population in misery, the Church would expand.
      My reasoning is that the major reason people flocked to any religion in the past is that their lives were so miserable that a source of hope would be attractive.

  21. The benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere are directly observed.
    1. by satellites as surface greening of large areas of central africa. This is beyond dispute.
    2. by measured increases in agricultural yields where other parameters are controlled.
    3. by laboratory research in many areas, such as plant physiology.
    Photosynthesis is well studied from many perspectives. Ask anyone who knows anything about plant physiology if they think that plants will benefit by higher atmospheric CO2. This benefit is occurring now and is iron clad fact. Declining real world CO2 levels have been limiting plant growth for millions of years, which has caused directly observed evolutionary structures withing plants that imporve their ability to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. Trees are entirely made of CO2 from the air, H2O from the roots along with minerals that make up maybe 1 percent of tree mass.

  22. So the guy who is going on about the atmospheric pollution suffered by the poor – whilst the films of him show him swinging a gold smoking bucket around – not cooking on it as that would be at least useful – but for show . So get all the poor people into your church and smoke their lungs even more . !!!!!!!

  23. The RC church has always been the handmaiden of TPTB, since the Council of Nicae 787 AD, ever since Constantine instituted RC as official state religion ~ 300 AD. This is the supreme diplomat survivor, the RC 1700 year old business, proving that, whoever wins, globalists or humans, the Vatican, Country, City State, Religion & corrupt home of untold riches & un-numbered paedophiles will survive.
    John Doran.

    • Time for a change, isn’t it? So give that man a chance. To me he seems to be a man who deserves it.

    • This will likely fall on deaf ears, but I suggest you read – in total, not pulled-out-of-context snippets – everything early Christian church leaders wrote from the time of the disciples on. Perhaps start first with the letters to the various churches by Bishop Ignatius of Antioch (of the Holy Hand Grenade) while he was being led to Rome to be torn apart by wild beasts for his faith – Ignatius was taught by the Apostle John himself – and go from there. The early Church of the first 4 centuries was 100% Catholic, and it was councils of Catholic Bishops who gave us the canon of the Bible at the end of the 4th century.
      Not that you would likely care about all this…

      • I was brought up RC, Frodo, had a paedophile uncle who was a RC priest, a total disgrace of a human? being, & you’re quite right: I have zero interest in digging into the fables of RC history while I have job enough on my hands keeping up with the realities behind all the BS being pumped out now.

      • Sorry to hear that. Yes, your uncle was a disgrace. Though, that has zero to do with whether or not the Catholic Church is what it claims it is. I know of a number of great priests myself, none of whom were pedophiles, all of whom live holy, sacrificial lives. One, a friend of mine, gave up a medical practice to become a priest when he felt the calling. Though, none of that is really relevant to whether the church is what it claims it is. Have a great day!

      • Wrong.
        There were various Christianities in the first four centuries of he religion. Catholicism was backed by the Empire and took over its structure. The early competitors were eventually declared “heretical”.
        The barbarian invaders tended to be Arian Christians, for instance.
        Church councils did indeed select which books to include in the Catholic Bible, but there were other bibles as well, with other books. Before the Dead Sea Scrolls, the only full test of the Book of Enoch came from the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible.

      • The church was backed by the empire in the first centuries? Tell that to those who were used as human torches in the gardens of Roman nobles. Tell that to the Bishops who showed up at Nicea in 325 with one of their eyes gouged out (as just one example of what they went through) after being tortured for their faith – yeah, that’s where the Arian issue was decided – before the canon of the Bible was decided. They were Catholics. And yeah, there were Arians still around after the issue was decided at Nicea, I am not saying there weren’t always heretics. But from the beginning, was the Catholic Church, starting with those like Ignatious and Polycarp who were instructed by the apostle John himself.
        Were there those in the first centuries who disagreed with Catholic teaching? – sure. For example, there were those that denied either the humanity or the divinity of Christ – and who also denied the Catholic teaching of what the Eucharist was. But, of those that fully accepted both Christ’s humanity and divinity – i.e., the current understanding of almost the entirety of Chrstianity today – 100% agreement on what the Blessed Sacrament was (the constant teaching of the CC) – no exceptions.
        Anyway, it’s pretty useless to argue with you. Your one of those that simply needs prayer, and hopefully the Big Kahuna will eventually soften your heart, have a great day!

      • Frodo,
        I didn’t say the Empire backed the Church in the first three centuries AD, only after it became the official religion of the Empire in the 4th century. Then it took over the imperial structure, with its hierarchy of bishops (from the Greek via Latin for “overseer”).
        Gibbon blames the decline and fall of the Roman Empire on its replacing paganism with Catholicism, and made such a good case that it still stands.
        About 150 years after this replacement, Rome fell to Arian Christian “barbarians”, the revenge of the heretics.

      • There were 10 disciples other than Paul and Judas, who went to various corners of the known world and founded churches. The Roman Catholic Church is also known as the Paulian church. There are 15 million Coptic Church followers in Egypt alone, and the Roman Church was in competition with the Byzantium. So the Christian “tradition” is not all about the Roman Catholic Church which became a state religion of the Roman Empire. There were over twenty gospels in circulation at the end of the fourth century, and the bible reproduces only four. We in the West hear little about the other churches and think the RC church is the only one. The latest Pope is only one figurehead of Christianity and his utterings on things temporal are not all that relevant to Christ’s teachings. This Pope is leaning towards communistic ideas in keeping with his South American experience, unfortunately.

      • Ok, I said I quit but I did think some about this off-line…
        I can’t speak to your claims w/r/t Gibbon – I really do not know anything about that, and I don’t want to take the time to research from scratch, this is taking too much time already
        As to you assertion that the Catholic hierarchy was established in the 4th century – no. From the earliest writings we have – for example Bishop Ignatius in approx 107 – just a few examples in Ignatius’ writings (not exhaustive):
        “Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church that has found mercy in the greatness of the Most High Father and in Jesus Christ, his only son; to the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of him that has willed everything which is; to the Church which also holds the presidency in the place of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and because you hold the presidency of love, named after Christ and named after the Father; here therefore do I salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father. —Letter to the Romans, Intro”
        “You have envied no one; but others you have taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instruction may remain in force. —Letter to the Romans, Ch 3”
        And please note – No – Ignatius was not going to mention the Bishop of Rome by name, or any other distinguishing characteristics. In the first few centuries, becoming the Bishop of Rome was, with some lucky exceptions – a death sentence.
        To the Ephesians:
        “It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself.”
        To the Magnesians:
        “Let nothing exist among you that may divide you; but be united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.
        As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and
        and presbyters”
        Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ch 8
        “See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. —Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ch 8”
        Already by Ignatius’ time – approx 107 AD, we have a hierarchy in place, which is quite astounding, when you think about it
        And after thinking a bit, I realize we are coming from two different places – I don’t understand you and vice-versa. What I mean is:
        If most people who call themselves Christians – with a few exceptions (Mormons, JWs, etc) went back to the first centuries, they could pick out who were the Christians and who the heretics. BUT – a modern day Catholic would feel much, much more at home in early services. The service centered around the Eucharist, with the Eucharist having the(constant) Catholic teaching it has now. Infants were baptized. Sins were confessed orally, with very severe penances – much more severe than today. Prayers to saints (including Mary) were found on catacomb walls. The hierarchy was already in place, with strict allegiance to it. No weekly scripture studies, of course – most people could not read anyway, printing press a long time away – but various texts , a number of them orthodox but not part of the final canon were read in church – really Mass (just like the scriptures are today).
        The Christians were Catholics. And yeah, there were heretics that called themselves Christians, but they were so far gone that both Catholics and Protestants would recognize them today as such
        There were no Baptists, for example. No “say the words and once-saved-always-saved” . The rapture (basically invented by John Nelson Darby in the 1800) was not acknowledged. I could go on, but you get the point – that Church was Catholic
        And – to my separated brothers and sisters – many of you are much better Christians than I am – I am in awe of many of you . But – as John Henry Newman said after his own conversion to Catholicism – “To be deep in History is to cease being Protestant”
        Ok, now I’m done

      • Frodo,
        Thanks for your long reply.
        Actually, I do understand you. You’re just wrong about the Early Church. It was not anything like any Christianity today. It was strange, to put it mildly.
        During its first decades, the Church expected Christ to return promptly. Unlike today, the Church was not “family friendly”. You were supposed to give away your riches, abandon your family, and, ideally, quit reproducing. Paul said it was better to marry than to burn, but better yet was celibacy, not just for priests (which didn’t yet exist), but lay people.
        There were female “priests”. To prove their devoutness, believing men would sleep with virgins without touching them. Castration was also common. This was the church of the martyrs, bizarre by our standards but effective in attracting converts among women and slaves.
        When it became clear that Christ wasn’t coming back any time soon, a new organization was called for. It was at this time, in the 2nd and 3rd century that the fake Pauline letters were composed, for instance calling on women to be subservient.
        Bishops, like the suspected forger Polycarp, did emerge in the 2nd century to administer churches (which often met in houses or catacombs), but they did not yet have the kind of authority that began with the doctrine of apostolic succession.
        What happened after the establishment of the Catholic version of Christianity as as the official Roman religion was the take over by Catholic bishops of the imperial provincial administration. Orthodoxy as determined in the 4th century councils was enforced by the state, until the barbarian invasions brought heretical Christians into power.
        The Catholic Church eventually triumphed over the heretical creeds. A key event was the switch by the Frankish kings from Arianism to Catholicism.

  24. This Pope has no moral authority until he fully exposes the Catholic Churches cover up of it’s child abuse sex industry. He could start by excommunicating Cardinal Mahoney. He also has no business lecturing people about science or climate change. The Catholic Church has a terrible record regarding science and what does this guy know? An article that resonates with me (a former catholic):

    • ‘The Catholic Church has a terrible record regarding science ‘
      Really? Tell us more. (Please don’t start on the Galileo meme that’s just like the 97% Cook one).
      BTW ever heard of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences? You’d be surprised at how many eminent scientists have been members of it over the years. But you’d have to get over the handicap of your anti-Catholic bias first as it is blinding you with regard to the truth about the Church.

      • I have a hard time relating to a church that covers up child sex abuse. I also have a hard time with Cardinals that hide documents of crimes from authorities all the while reassigning abuses priests to other parishes only to have the crime spree repeated. Perhaps you don’t find child rape offensive? I certainly do.

  25. My first thoughts were that the undeterminedness on certain issues, namely science, climate change, the economy and technical matters is due to biased advisors. But he obviously cares for the poor with remarkable impetus. I suppose that man has the right attitude in taking care of the well-being and the contentedness. That means to me a down-to-earth pastoral care. Not too bad, actually. And a lot better than the weird attitude of certain politicians.

  26. Pope Commie the First calls the economic system of liberty, where all exchanges and arrangements are voluntary, “a vision of ‘might is right’.”
    Just like Marx, who called liberty slavery: “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains,” because of that bad bad thing called free enterprise.
    This pope is an EVIL man. He looks at the world and calls it “an immense pile of filth.” And what is he talking about? Atmospheric CO2! The beginning of the food chain for all life on earth, which is at close to the lowest level in the history of the planet and hovers near the minimum necessary for life to exist.
    A vile and ignorant COMMUNIST, a liberty-hating piece of moral trash. At a time when Christians are facing genocide throughout the Islamic world this pathetic far-left moron goes all in for thoroughly falsified phony-science because it offers him a chance to express his inner Fidel Castro and hate on liberty!

  27. And pray tell, how do we achieve the Pope’s goals without creating a totalitarian world government with certain elites in charge other people’s freedoms?
    Elites who decide which economic activities are “morally good” and which are not. Who decide how wealth is “distributed”.
    Elites who presumably possess infinite wisdom and impeccable morality. Who are motivated only by pure altruism.
    Good luck with that.

  28. All you fellows are very saintly. The Pope is good, he cares, he moralizes. Oh the planet, oh the poor, oh the evironment. Too many words.
    But more importantly who is going to run the show of redemption. The UN? The church?The Chinese?The Arabs? The Jews. The Africans. Who?
    For the show has to be run. Otherwise it is just saintly hot air which it is now.
    In addition it has been tried before. Unbeknown to many of you. Most recently the fascists and communists. Didn’t work too well.

    • Indeed, I’m wondering if he’s been listening to the wrong boss altogether. One that offers an easy way, that offers popularity, that allows him to divert from addressing issues such as the persecution of Christians and the failings of his own organization, one that whispers in his ear that this will bring money and political power. Indeed, if there is a greater God then He will very likely not be very pleased at all. Bad forecasts ahead I’m afraid?

  29. Our chief religious idiot, the Archburke of Canterbury, is no better. As a friend wrote:-
    Hilarious, that here we have two men who wear dresses, spend their time talking to their imaginary friend for a living, suddenly have the knowledge and authority to pronounce on …

    • I know, but come on, don’t you find the whole thing really funny? I genuinely do! All dressed up in their frocks, swinging a smoking kettle about, mumbling Latin, and talking complete and utter bollocks as though it’s true! I wouldn’t say it’s Python funny, but it is genuinely amusing. Shame about the kids though, eh?

  30. He believes in a man called God who is watching down on us, why did you expect any scientific sources about his claims on climate change?

      • And there’s the basic problem of people: they can’t tell fact from fiction: they think their beliefs are truths – so they lie, thoughtlessly and without compunction or hesitation.
        There is no evidence for any “god”. You could do as Frodo suggests, and read everything written by Catholics in the last 1,000 years, or you could try thinking and looking for yourself. Either way, there is no evidence for any “god”.

  31. Realistically, folks? This Encyclical will be reported on the news tonight as a 15-second sound-bite. Which will be processed by “the public” as, “Oh, the Pope says we should stop Global Warming.” Since practically no one knows anything about “global warming,” and it’s currently running about #37 in the polls listing Americans’ political concerns, I guarantee you by the time John Q. Public pops his 2nd beer this will be completely forgotten. Lady GaGa’s buns, not so much!

  32. I see that the Pope has issued an encyclical on gerbil warming. It seems that gerbils are very popular in Argentina and he was under the impression that the world was not adequately informed on gerbil barbecuing techniques. It seems that he really does know a lot about cooking gerbils. Unfortunately, due to some errors in translation, his advice to use smokeless charcoal when barbecuing in warm weather has somehow been misreported to be something about a low carbon climate reduces overheating! It just goes to show that Spanish and Italian are really quite different languages after all!
    \sarc off

  33. “He looks at a number of ways in which the poor more than most suffer from environmental damage that man has control over.”
    BS – The poor in Africa suffer from lack of electricity, clean water, sewage remediation, hot and cold running water, and indoor plumbing. The Pope is screwing the poor by not advocating for cheap energy via fossil fuels.

  34. What about population? If the human population were approaching 2 billion rather than 9 billion there wouldn’t be a problem. Rather than proscribing birth control the Catholic Church should be promoting birth control.

  35. Perhaps there are a few good points from the Pope and his advisers , but we must remember Goklany’s work plus Lomborg and the OXford Union on extreme events or natural disasters. Over the last century the death toll per 100,000 from these events have dropped at least 97% around the planet.
    When will WUWT update a post showing the difference in all the CAGW ICONS since 1950? Just about everything has improved or shown zip change.
    Like SLR, Polar bears, extreme events, droughts, floods, coral reefs, polar ice, Greenland, big rise in staple crops, etc.

  36. Why does the encyclical remind me of this old joke?
    After watching sales falling off for three straight months at Kentucky Fried
    Chicken, the Colonel calls up the Pope and asks for a favor.
    The Pope says, “What can I do? “The Colonel says, “I need you to change the
    daily prayer from, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘Give us this day
    our daily chicken’. If you do it, I’ll donate 10 Million Dollars to the
    The Pope replies, “I am sorry. That is the Lord’s prayer and I can not change
    the words.” So the Colonel hangs up.
    After another month of dismal sales, the Colonel panics, and calls again.
    “Listen Holy Father. I really need your help. I’ll donate $50 million dollars
    if you change the words of the daily prayer from ‘Give us this day our daily
    bread’ to ‘Give us this day our daily chicken.’”
    And the Pope responds, “It is very tempting, Colonel Sanders. The church
    could do a lot of good with that much money. It would help us to support many
    charities. But, again, I must decline. It is the Lord’s prayer, and I can’t
    change the words.”
    So the Colonel gives up again. After two more months of terrible sales, the
    Colonel gets desperate. “This is my final offer, your Holiness. If you change
    the words of the daily prayer from, ‘Give us our daily bread to ‘Give us this
    day our daily chicken’ I will donate $100 million to the Vatican.”
    The Pope replies, “Let me get back to you .”
    So the next day, the Pope calls together all of his bishops and he says, “I
    have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that KFC is
    going to donate $100 million to the Vatican.”
    The bishops rejoice at the news.Then one asks about the bad news. The Pope
    replies, “The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread account.”

  37. Rush Limbaugh quotes Nancy Pelosi today:
    Pelosi says“This planet is God’s creation and we have a moral responsibility to preserve it.”
    Now the left is saying that 1 ) there is a God and 2) the earth is his creation. Maybe the Pope is a genious. He is taking out the American left and the UN in one feld swoop, nave to chops. The tower of Babel commeth.

    • Paul,
      Wish he were a conservative genius, but he’s neither. He is the American Left, in its even more communistic Latin version. The only fell swoop I see is a leftwing palace coup in the Holy See, with the ouster/abdication of a more moderate pope. Hope I’m wrong.
      He harks back to the bad old days of Liberation Theology and “dialogue” between Marxists and Christians (not just Catholics).
      Two of the few good uses to which the Vatican’s Banco Ambrosiano slush fund was put were funding Solidarity and the Contras. The Argentine military dictatorship, not so much.

    • The “left” has been telling lies for so long, even they don’t know what to believe anymore.

    • It seems to me that Nancy Pelosi only cares about God when it’s convenient. I recall in June, 2013, in response to Michele Bachmann’s reaction to the DOMA ruling that “Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted.”, Nancy Pelosi responded, with an air of cold indifference… “Who cares?”.

  38. A rabbi, a priest and a Mullah go into a bar. The bartender says,”What is this, a joke?”

  39. I could have added above that the two instrumental warming periods before 1950 show a similar rate to 1975 to 1998. That’s according to Phil Jones’s BBC interview in 2010. So where is this impact from increased co2 emissions?????

  40. Regardless of your point of view on this issue, isn’t it ironic that the leader of a Church that routinely certifies miracles in the cause of sainthood uses science to espouse a particular side of a controversy. Perhaps someday when this Pope is up for canonization we can pray for him to go big and reduce greenhouse gases instead of a small medical miracle.

  41. His Holiness can call it his Encyclical if he wants to, but it’ll always be the Popemobile to me.

  42. I have a problem with a guy in a robe who lives in a castle telling me to be pious. Maybe its the 2,000 years of poverty club-beaten into my ancestors heads. Or maybe its just the false sincerity of religious leaders who can’t seem to practice what they preach.

  43. but science is also said to be powerless if it loses its moral compass.
    Science is not about being right or wrong. It is about getting it right or wrong. The power derived comes from that and that alone.

  44. Phew! Reading all the above cpmments, it’s hard to see where exactly the thread went off track. It’s like the TV show, the Big Bang Theory, it’s hard to see at what point it went awry, but you just knew it always would.

  45. CO2 at 0.04 parts per hundred is not a poison on the planet. Arrhenius didn’t study C02 concentrations this low. Stephan-Botltzman “black body” is not a correct model of the earth.
    It’s reminiscent of the joke about scientists trying to handicap a horse race: “Consider a sphere.”
    The fact is during the last Ice Age’s maximum, a lot of today’s “temperate zone” was not human-habitable.
    The idea of an “average global temperature” is a lunatic proposition. First off, if the current average is 14.6, compared to LA 17.6, and a 3 degree C increase will take the global average to Los Angeles-San Diego, what’s wrong with that, especially if most of the warning will occur in the Canadian-Siberian region?
    Glaciers will retreat to uncover old-growth forests that grew before glaciers killed them.
    Here is what all the anti-fossil fuel spokespersons say:
    Al Gore: I only ride across the world in fossil-fuel jets, because I HAVE to in order to stop the monstrosity of what I am doing.
    Christina Figuras: I HATE traveling in jets, but I HAVE to spread the message that what I am doing is terrible.
    Barack Obama: I HATE traveling in Air Force One to play golf in Florida and Palm Springs, and sending Michelle and her mom, and our kids to Aspen, Africa and Europe on AF 2, because we all really HATE creating excess CO2, but we have to, in order to have fun vacations. We really HATE sending our dogs on Marine One helicopter to Martha’s Vineyard, when there was plenty of room on our 747.
    Leonardo Dicaprio: I HATE riding in a private jet from LA to NYC to give a speech at the UN. I HATE renting a maga-fuel-burning yacht to host a mega-party in Brazil.
    RK Puchauri: I hate riding first class in fossil fuel burning jets. All this corrupting fossil-fuel burning jet-riding made me to be sexual predator. Before being named to be IPCC chair, and being forced to ride fossil-fuel-burning jets, I was a decent guy.
    And fossil-fuel-jet-traveling made me insane, as it caused me to to go to Kinkos and send 2000 Nobel Certificate photocopies with their names on the to a lot of people with a letter, “You won this Nobel Peace Prize.” and they put “Nobel Prize Recipient” on their CVs. Not that they had received a Nobel Medal, or even 1/2000 shaving of it, or a 1/2000 share of the $750,000 monetary half-prize. I decided that I could name my own Nobel Prizes. And a lot of third-rate scientists who didn’t understand how Nobel Prizes work, accepted their “Prize”.
    I blame it on jet lag, and fossil fuels, that caused me to discredit a lot of people, including Michael Mann, who filed a lawsuit claiming that Mark Steyn libeled a “Nobel Prize recipient”, which was a completely false statement. It was not a fraudulent statement, because Dr. Mann was not informed enough to know that I wasn’t qualified to issue Nobel Awards.
    (sarc, nobody ever said the foregoing.)

  46. With the Pope calling for a “Cultural Revolution” I am reminded of another time when elites called for such a thing. Think Madame Mao and the Gang of Four and the Red Guards and public humiliation sessions for non-believers.

  47. I’m rapt that the Pope has pontificated on climate and come to the decisions he has.
    The Pope throwing his lot in with the warmists will tilt the balance of religion-based debaters and do-gooding nutters to that side. Chuck in the one-world fantasists and snouts-in-the-troughers and what an ugly alliance is made. The warmists are now going to have to work extra hard to convince the decision makers, especially those outside the Bible belt, that their arguments are rooted in solid science. And, as they aren’t, they’ll be easier to defeat.
    Had the Pope come out and declared the warmists’ case to be wildly overstated, realists would have been back to where we were ten years ago, having to dissociate ourselves from religious fundamentalists each time we entered a debate, pretty much from the kick-off.
    I have no trouble with people of faith joining in the debate, of course. It’s faith being as a position of authority, a situation which the Pope can’t avoid, that I find distasteful. I’d rather people of that ilk were on the other side.

  48. So much for science!
    Because this comes from a religious leader, everyone is handling it with white gloves, wondering what’s there for them they’ll like or not: debate, conversation, what does Lomborg think… How about asking the pope about astrophysics next and debate the sex of angels for a while? Bottom line: the Cause supposedly scientific minds exposed their inability to prove their theory by dangling a religious figure in order to shut down science is a priceless acknowledgement of failure. Resorting to such kind of moral hijacking exposes a deep rooted corruption of the CAGW agenda and its enablers. White glove handling such a declaration of war by the Cause is beyond misreading the determination of eco totalitarians.

  49. If the pope realy cares for the poor, then why not gove them some of his gold and silver? I have been in a catholic church in Peru adorned with 13 tonnes of silver with filthy starving beggars outside on the steps.

    • When my dad and grandad were flying around the Arctic in the 1930s, Catholic priests would rip the gullible NW Territory Indians off by telling them they had prayed for them all year, so they owed the Church Arctic fox hides. So much for the poor of the earth.
      Nothing has changed. Still a rip-off protection racket after all these centuries.

  50. Lost opportunity. A chance to unite wasted in enhanced polarisation by political expediency, do goodiness, and ‘consensual’ skience that denies the trendless interval of the last 19 years.
    “The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system.”
    The so called ‘model of development’ is not a ‘model’. It is reality, history and the foreseeable future. To call it a model is to suggest it may be replaced by another ‘better’, ‘moral’, ‘efficient’, (choose your political or religious adjective) model. To date,there is no such model or model based on science that does not shackle the poor further and impoverish those blessed with greater prosperity.

  51. In these type of times where it seems the whole world has gone mad it’s not hard to understand why some older burly dudes just decided to disappear and live off the grid. I have known a couple giys like that. I imagine they havent read the latest pope mein kampf or the ipcc assessment.

  52. Y’know what? Who cares WHAT the deluded think, and what nonsense they get up to. The bottom line is we can all sleep a lot better than they do, knowing “the Planet” is the same as it ever was, in no trouble whatsoever, and human “thought” on any level has a shelf-life of around 60 years, max, more to the point an attention span of less than 15 minutes. In terms of geologic time, what is THAT? 😉

  53. Can’t we just pray that the climate doesn’t change?
    God is Almighty, or are we to believe Carbon Dioxide is more powerful.

  54. Joe Ronan: Before I get started, may I suggest that you learn the difference between “its” (the possessive form of “it”) and “it’s” the contraction of “it” and “is”. As soon as I see the misuse of these important words (after all, didn’t impeached President Clinton muse at length on the meaning of “is”?) I begin to nod off.

  55. right on cue:
    18 June: WaPo: Karen Tumulty: Republican presidential hopefuls on the hot seat, thanks to Pope Francis
    (Michelle Boorstein and Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report)
    For more than half a century, Catholic politicians in the United States have regularly been put in awkward positions on the question of how closely they would — or should — follow the dictates of the Vatican.
    Until recently, Democrats usually were the ones to feel the most heat. But now it is the turn of Republicans, thanks to Pope Francis, the charismatic and activist pontiff who is set to visit the United States in September…
    Catholic politicians face a balancing act, given the popularity of a pope who had an approval rating of 86 percent among U.S. Catholics and 64 percent among Americans overall in a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center…
    16 June: Pew Research: Jocelyn Kiley: Ideological divide over global warming as wide as ever
    Even so, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that there has been a significant uptick over the past two years in the share of Americans who say global warming is a very serious problem. Currently, 46% say that global warming is a very serious problem, up 13 percentage points from the spring of 2013.
    Partisanship and ideology remain some of the strongest factors underlying attitudes about whether Earth is warming, our survey finds. Today, roughly nine-in-ten liberal Democrats (92%) say that there is solid evidence Earth’s average temperature is rising, and 76% attribute this rise mostly to human activity. Very few liberal Democrats (5%) say there is not solid evidence of warming. A clear 83% majority of conservative and moderate Democrats also say Earth is warming, but just 55% say this is the result of human activity.
    By contrast, just 38% of conservative Republicans say that there is solid evidence of global warming. Reflecting a divide within the GOP, conservative Republicans stand out as the only ideological group in which a majority (56%) says that there is not solid evidence of a rise in the earth’s temperature (a 61% majority of moderate and liberal Republicans say Earth is warming)…

  56. The pope’s message goes back to the old global warming, not climate change – bad strategy, when there is a cooling trend underway.

  57. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    Well, I need to read what the Pope wrote for myself, rather than take others’ word for it.
    In the meantime, this particularly article is evenhanded and well quoted.
    I do think the statements regarding climate will prove embarrassing, perhaps even regrettable and possibly even harmful.
    Even older than the church, Primum non nocere: “First, do no harm.”
    Anything that increases energy costs and food costs, including converting corn to motor-fuel is immoral, sinful, harmful to people, especially the poorest of us.
    I assert boldly that burning edible food for fuel is sin. It is immoral. I will go so far as to say it is a crime against humanity. It increases the cost of energy, increases the cost of food, and reduces the availability of food. What could be more harmful to the poorest two-thirds of our population?
    The fact is that actions taken in the name of saving the global climate, and actions taken in the coerced (referring to subsidies funded by taxes) support of alternative energy sources, are causing measurable harm today, right now.
    No harm done today can ever be construed to justify a possible lessening of harm in some distant future.
    We will do what we must.
    Today, for our generation, for our children and grandchildren today, we should do all we can to improve all proven energy sources, especially nuclear, but also coal, oil, and natural gas. We have a moral imperative to increase availability of fuel and power production and to decrease the cost by all means of efficiency gains and economy of scale.
    More energy, not less. That will accomplish the Pope’s stated goal of assisting the poorest of us.

  58. “Laudato Si – A cry for the poor”
    We really should cry for the poor if the Pope gets his way on fossil fuels. Immediately beginning to replace them with alternative energy sources that have proven to be expensive, inefficient, and unreliable will make energy too expensive for the poor to afford.

  59. I see comments here and elsewhere referring to this encyclical as an ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter) pronouncement. However, this encyclical letter to the churches is issued ex magisterium ordinarium. Thus only the most general statements derive from the magisterium
    This encyclical binds Catholics to obey its strictures and to believe the traditional dogmas mentioned, such as the Fall and Original Sin etc for which the claim to infallibility applies.
    This encyclical does not command belief in specific secular means to achieve the moral objectives. I am referring to several specific things mentioned in the encyclical like markets, carbon pricing, international government etc.
    In my opinion these specifics would not have been included if the Vatican institutions had been involved in drafting the encyclical. However, this encyclical was not drafted by Vatican institutions nor properly vetted by Vatican experts in science, economics and politics, which goes a long way to explain what comes across to some readers as thinly disguised rants, albeit in low key.
    My understanding is that the main flaws in this encyclical arise because it was drafted by a long-standing crony of the Pope. The result is that the Pope has made a huge blunder by aligning himself on one side of what is becoming a worldwide controversy about policy and practices for protection of the environment.
    Issuing an encyclical on the moral duty to protect the environment is consistent with the role of the Pope, but if you read the reference provided. you will see that modern Popes usually rely on the combined wisdom of the Vatican Curia and its institutions. This Pope and his successors will regret having circumvented this process.

  60. I see comments here and elsewhere referring to this encyclical as an ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter) pronouncement. However, this encyclical letter to the churches is issued ex magisterium ordinarium. Thus only the most general statements derive from the magisterium
    This encyclical binds Catholics to obey its strictures and to believe the traditional dogmas mentioned, such as the Fall and Original Sin etc for which the claim to infallibility applies.
    This encyclical does not command belief in specific secular means to achieve the moral objectives. I am referring to several specific things mentioned in the encyclical like markets, carbon pricing, international government etc.
    In my opinion these specifics would not have been included if the Vatican institutions had been involved in drafting the encyclical. However, this encyclical was not drafted by Vatican institutions nor properly vetted by Vatican experts in science, economics and politics, which goes a long way to explain what comes across to some readers as thinly disguised rants, albeit in low key.
    My understanding is that the main flaws in this encyclical arise because it was drafted by a long-standing crony of the Pope. The result is that the Pope has made a huge blunder by aligning himself on one side of what is becoming a worldwide controversy about policy and practices for protection of the environment.
    Issuing an encyclical on the moral duty to protect the environment is consistent with the role of the Pope, but if you read the reference provided. you will see that modern Popes usually rely on the combined wisdom of the Vatican Curia and its institutions. This Pope and his successors will regret having circumvented this process.

  61. There are a few portions of the encyclical that will be ignored by the MSM and the Left: The first being the Pope’s scathing rebuke of abortion and population control. Pope Francis rightly asserts that one cannot be pro-abortion and be an environmentalist. Secondly, he rightly pointed out the misery Family Planning policies have wrought on the poor. It is too bad that he didn’t mention the plunging fertility rates in the Developed Nations. In Russia, Italy, and Japan the populations are already falling, and Germany the population will begin to fall in the next few years. The UN is now projecting that the global population will peak sometime around 2050-2060
    I wasn’t surprised by the the Pope’s take on “Climate”. As the author pointed out, it was poorly footnoted. But, it was also very imprecise (Is it Climate Change or is it Global Warming?), full of straw-men, and vague attributions. At times I think the Pope tried to visit too many subjects, as the encyclical came close to being incomprehensible. I think the Pope would have been better to stick with the environment and leave the climate business to others.

  62. As one would expect there is much that can be applauded in Laudato Si but if man really is affecting climate detrimentally much of this is due to overpopulation. The nearest that the Pope gets to this is:
    “To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption. Besides, we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and “whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor”. Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life.”
    A pity that he could not bring himself to admit that over population in part due to Catholic (and Islamic) restrictions as to the use of birth control contributes more to the consumption and erosion of the planet’s resources than does a possible increase of 1C or even 2C in global temperatures.
    If I may be permitted another grumble (way off thread), the Pope writes:
    “The natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone. If we make something our own, it is only to administer it for the good of all. If we do not, we burden our consciences with the weight of having denied the existence of others. That is why the New Zealand bishops asked what the commandment “Thou shall not kill” means when “twenty percent of the world’s population consumes resources at a rate that robs the poor nations and future generations of what they need to survive”.”
    New Zealand is a long way from Rome and perhaps the study of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek does not flourish in the Antipodes but one would have expected Bishops to know that the commandment, as inscribed on the walls on at least one of the City of London’s oldest churches, is “Thou shalt not murder”. The mistranslated “kill” is a relatively modern corruption.

    • “New Zealand is a long way from Rome and perhaps the study of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek does not flourish in the Antipodes . . .”
      No “perhaps” about it. Most study in the antipodes is concentrated on race form (there are 65 racecourses for a population of four million) and fishing methods (the whole country is coastal). Down here, the churches are empty but bayside launching ramps are chocka. The joint is running just the way we like it.

  63. I do not know why anyone is even talking about this. The pope??? In the 21st century?? Fuckit. I seriously don’t give a shit.

  64. The pope is just doing what Catholicism has always done historically: When a separate religion is perceived as a competitive threat (in this case, the pagan Cult of Gaia) it co-opts the competitor in whatever ways it can in order to bring the heretics and pagans back into the fold. By so doing, the church can then redirect the some of the wealth flowing to the competing religion back toward the church.

  65. Is StinkSmogress now hiring trolls to infest these threads?
    Don’t tell me that there are really that many Know Nothing about this site’s regular readers.

  66. Thank you, Mr. Ronan, for your fair-minded approach to this pope’s letter. I am looking forward to reading it. I would observe that most of us have been badly misled by the punditry and the political operatives who were so eager to tell us what the pope was going to say before he even said it. There is so much more than climate change in the encyclical, that one could be excused for saying that it’s not really “about climate change”. According to one article I read on the Catholic News Agency site, it’s fundamentally about humans as created beings (i.e., God’s creatures) who have been entrusted with the care of all of the other created things, and who need to live within the limits of what God has given, and do it in a way that does not systematically left vast numbers of people behind. I translate this as respect for one’s self as gift, love of and care for others as gift, and use and care of the Earth as gift. As you say at the end, it sounds like an earnest invitation to reflect on ourselves and how we will account for how well we have used God’s gifts.

  67. From the book, “Windswept House” by Fr. Malachi Martin from ’96: “My thought and the Holy Father’s thought coincide perfectly,” Gorbachev offered with polished political grace. “The world environmental crisis is the real basis for our new ecumenism.”
    Gorbachev is the founder of the Green Cross organization. The book itself was a warning of the approach of a new world order, global governance and socialism which would be followed by apocalyptic events. He suggested that environmentalism would be a means by which the Church would merge with the upcoming new world order. When asked in a 1997 interview, he said the start of such events was less than 20 years away. The book is what he called faction, written to read like fiction with names changed, and only fictionalized enough to turn it into a readable story. His earlier book, “Keys of This Blood”, was written in non-fiction format and contained much of the same warnings.
    Fr. Martin was a Vatican priest with multiple PhD’s and who was a professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
    Before he died, he was working on what he considered his most important upcoming book, “Primacy: How the Institutional Roman Catholic Church became a Creature of the New World Order.”
    From the back cover synopsis of “Windswept House”: “The Cold War has ended. With a scope and daring not possible until now, an unlikely international alliance of top-level political, financial, and religious interests sees the way clear at last to its ultimate goal: the establishment of a single global society. Utopia. These are men with nothing in common but immense power and a towering ambition for still more. With world unity and prosperity as their slogan–and with betrayal, scandal, and murder as their ready weapons–they have the means and the will to capture as their own the perfect global machinery for their plans: the oldest, wiliest, and most stable political chancery in the world–the Vatican.”

Comments are closed.