The Pope’s Misguided War On Fossil Fuels


It seems that Pope Francis has learned little since his 2015 papal encyclical calling on the world to fight climate change by limiting the use of modern technologies and fossil fuels.

At a recent Vatican meeting, he called many of the world’s leading oil company executives to the carpet. Francis told the executives they should shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources to fight “global warming.”

Pope Francis has myriad misguided beliefs about climate science, almost all of which he holds based on faith alone as if they were holy writ.

Even worse, his belief that society can transition from fossil fuels while reducing hunger and poverty is downright dangerous.

Despite the false claims of climate alarmists, fossil fuels have been a boon to the world.

They supply affordable and abundant power for lighting, transportation, refrigeration, clean water, modern agriculture (including food delivery, storage, and protection from early decay and pests), indoor air-conditioning and heating, cooking, and the multitude of other technologies upon which modern societies are based.

In attacking fossil fuels, Pope Francis is undermining the very resources and technologies most responsible for raising literally billions of people out of poverty.

Coal, natural gas, and oil remain vital to increasing lifespans, decreasing infant mortality, and helping humans generally flourish.

In his brilliant book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Alex Epstein wrote,

“Climate is no longer a major cause of death, thanks in large part to fossil fuels… Not only are we ignoring the big picture by making the fight against climate danger the fixation of our culture, we are ‘fighting’ climate change by opposing the weapon that has made it dozens of times less dangerous.

The popular climate discussion… looks at man as a destructive force for climate livability, one who makes the climate dangerous because we use fossil fuels. In fact, the truth is… we don’t take a safe climate and make it dangerous; we take a dangerous climate and make it safe.”

Pope Francis and many other world leaders ignore this important fact, putting the lives of the world’s most impoverished people at risk.

When espousing his energy doctrine, Pope Francis would do well to adopt the humility and intellectual honesty of William Alsup, the presiding judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In a case in which oil companies are being sued by Oakland and San Francisco for causing climate harm, Alsup indicated if he is to consider the potential climate harms caused by the use of oil and gas, he must also examine the huge benefits their use has delivered.

Alsup succinctly stated, “We need to weigh in the large benefits that have flowed from the use of fossil fuels. There have been huge benefits.”

Below are a few facts Pope Francis should take to heart before he declares a twenty-first-century crusade against fossil fuels.

In a tutorial prepared for Judge Alsup by Joe Bast, director, and Peter Ferrara, Senior Fellow with The Heartland Institute,  “The Social Benefit of Fossil Fuels,” they point out fossil fuels provided the energy that powered nearly all the technologies of the Industrial Revolution, as well as plastics, high-tech manufacturing, and mobile computer devices.

From 1850 to 2010, fossil fuels spurred a 550 percent increase in the world’s population, and they helped dramatically reduce poverty and hunger.

During this period, energy consumption increased fiftyfold and world per-capita energy consumption increased ninefold. Nearly all the world’s increased energy consumption came from fossil fuels.

Furthermore, fossil fuels are integral to mechanized farming (including gasoline- and diesel-powered tractors for planting, fertilizing, harvesting, storing, and for trucks to deliver crops to store shelves), irrigation systems, and in the creation of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that improve and expedite crop growth and prevent loss to weeds, insects, and other pests.

Ironically, the natural resources that environmentalists detest are actually responsible for the Green Revolution that saved billions of people from hunger during the twentieth century.

Besides increased food production and less global malnutrition, fossil fuels also allow for all the creature comforts that make life more enjoyable and improve health.

For example, air-conditioning is powered by electricity — primarily fueled by coal and natural gas. Pope Francis decried this technology in his papal encyclical, but air-conditioning has been an undeniable boon to public health everywhere it is widely used.

Air-conditioning prevents thousands of premature deaths from heat-related illnesses each year, saving millions of lives over the past several decades.

Refrigeration, also powered by fossil fuels, has kept food and medicine from spoiling, saving millions of additional lives.

Almost all home appliances and small devices rely on electricity, and the standard of living has vastly improved because of these devices.

Contra Francis, we can’t afford to have the air-conditioning, refrigeration, lighting, and other technologies in our homes, supermarkets, businesses, and hospitals work only when the wind blows or the sun shines.

Moreover, fossil fuels are important before, during, and after natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

They reduce the number of people ultimately injured or killed by powering the helicopters, boats, military, police, and utility vehicles sent to restore order and electricity after such devastating events.

They also power the vehicles and ambulances that evacuate people from disaster zones and the semi-trailer trucks that deliver water, food, blankets, and other relief supplies to those who remain.

When power lines go down in natural disasters, it is back-up generators, powered by diesel, natural gas, or liquid propane, not rooftop solar or wind turbines, that provide the electricity to apartment buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, and countless shelters.

Communication devices such as cell phones, computers, and radio equipment that keep people connected and informed on an everyday basis (especially during natural disasters) are all made from, manufactured with, and powered by oil and natural gas.

Fossil fuels have transformed communication and increased information access on a level unlike anything humanity has witnessed before.

A world without fossil fuels would be a much more brutal place. Until Pope Francis understands the vital role fossil fuels have and should continue to play around the world, he should stick to saving souls rather than pontificating over peoples’ energy choices.

Read more at American Thinker

137 thoughts on “The Pope’s Misguided War On Fossil Fuels

  1. Christianity is about helping the poor. Nothing has improved the lives of poor people more that Fossil fuels. He is completely misguided to betray the gifts given to us by God.

    • This Pope is all about the poor. I keep getting the feeling that he thinks there is a big payoff coming for the poor … who will always be with us

    • If they were gifts, we wouldn’t have to work, plan, capitalize production…
      You’ve got much the same issues as the pope (mysticism).

    • You misunderstand the Catholic church and the poor. It is all about making sure there is a maximum number of poor souls to save. That’s why they rail against birth control; because it stops people from having more children than they can feed.

    • Christianity is about getting to heaven. Helping the poor is a ‘sign’ of Christian caring.

    • Regarding the Pope and his views on sex and fertility Chico Marx (Marx Brothers) said it best:
      “He no play ‘da game…he no make ‘da rules.”

      • Apparently he wears swimming trunks in the bath as he doesn’t like to look down on the unemployed.

    • Why should he be telling people that?
      It’s not like the world is any where close to being over crowded.

      • I think that’s more to do with people having more children than they can afford (and living in poverty and/or mooching off of tax payers) rather than there being too many people.

      • We’re up to 3%. 70% water and 10% of the land is inhabited, ie 3% of the earth’s surface. Those folks who live in the city have little concept of this.

        • JimG1

          Sorry, but it looks like you are claiming that 70% of water is inhabited, as well as 10% of the land.

          Land is also being released to wilderness by more efficient farming and people moving into cities.

          • The ie, means that is, like in “equals” 3%. 70% of the earth is water, 30% is land, 10% of the land is populated ie 3% of the earth’s surface is populated. Did you get it that time?

          • JimG1

            I’m well aware what i.e. means, especially when it’s correctly punctuated.

            Your first ‘sentence’ reads “We’re up to 3%.” It is punctuated with a full stop, in other words, end of sentence.

            You then say “70% water and 10% of the land is inhabited,” which is punctuated by a comma, the implication should be obvious, even to you.

            You follow that with an unpunctuated ie, then, “3% of the earth’s surface.” Implying that 70% of the planets water and 10% of the land magically add up to 3%.

            You know what you are saying in your head, perhaps you might make it simple for we philistines to understand by expressing it succinctly when you commit it to electronic media.

          • Och ! Jock ! Them’s FIGHTING WORDS !
            The second last thing you need is a wee weazel up yore kilt mon !
            I’d apologise immediately if not sooner !!

          • Fly over “FlyOver” country at low altitude (light plane @ 8,000 feet, not airliner @35,000 feet ) to get an appreciation of just how UNCROWDED the US really is.

          • Not where I live, open spaces are being turned into housing developments. Even the stupid power company took 40 acres of open space and installed solar panels 🙁

        • Just a thought- how much of that 30% is actually habitable given mountains, deserts, Antartica, etc

      • You’re thinking is part of the problem. Sure we could place more people on the planet, but we do so at the expense of the rest of the residents. Very narrow thinking.

  2. The cowardice of the Holy Father on this topic is notable.
    Most oil is controlled by state owned entities.
    Many of those national entities are Moslem and/or socialist.
    He doesn’t dare call those Moslems and socialists in to be lectured with his false gospel and faux concern.
    Instead he picks on Westerners, who provide some of the best jobs in the world for millions of people.
    And whose compamies are held to high eorkplace standards.
    And his cowardly bullying message?
    It can be summed up as:
    “go kill yourself”.

  3. It’s not misguided if your PR consultants are saying you have to intermix messages with the bad, the good, and the controversial. Those would be sex claims in the news and abortion dictates. One must have some soft, no-consequence statements to mix in the pudding of public perception.

  4. I might respect the guys opinions if he dressed in humble robes and had the courage to walk the streets alone helping people.

    No wonder I despise religion.

    Need I say more.

    • Religion is a very broad term. Do you despise religion in each and all of its many and varying manifestations?

      Personally I find the alternative to the more benevolent forms of religion quite repelling. Are we really just animals with bigger brains, and without free will as claimed by Sam Harris in his book titled Free Will? Is it really true that after we die, it doesn’t make any difference at all to us personally whether we were very good and kind or very cruel and hurtful?

      That worldview seems very dehumanizing.

      • Ralph Dave Westfall

        “Religion is a very broad term. Do you despise religion in each and all of its many and varying manifestations?”

        Pretty much. Why would an extremest Buddhist devotee avoid stepping on ants, when every step he takes kills millions of microbes, but he considers himself a better person. Nothing but a public exhibition.

        “Is it really true that after we die, it doesn’t make any difference at all to us personally whether we were very good and kind or very cruel and hurtful?”

        Why does it take belief in an afterlife to humanise someone?

          • MarkW

            Doubtless they sit on their arses crushing the poor blighters, whilst wearing their masks. But it’s a good enough public exhibition.

            And whilst religions make money by purporting to suffer on behalf of mankind, the rest of we rational human beings deal with our personal demons in our own way. And we all have them.

            There is something deeply unsavoury about confession.

    • People who despise religion make a habit of trying to kill the leaders of religion.
      JP II barely survived an assignation attempt.

      This is the equivalent of declaring that the president is wrong because he doesn’t walk the streets alone.

      • MarkW

        Presidents make declarations of war.

        Priests make declarations of peace.

        It’s easy to be a pacifist hippie. Far more courageous to bear arms in defence of your country, or ask others to do so.

        I know which I respect more.

        And were JPII not as prominent a public figure, in all his finery, with all his lavish accoutrements, perhaps he wouldn’t be considered a target.

        If he routed the catholic church, gave away the vatican and all its material wealth, donated its global property portfolio, and told priests to get an honest job (like carpentry) whilst performing their duties as priest’s, they just might be admired by the world.

        But no, surrendering the very thing the man they revere tells them to surrender is a step too far.

    • An analogy to what you propose would be for the CEO of a company spending his time on the manufacturing floor.
      Of course, then there would be nobody to set the goals for the company, set spending priorities for development, manufacturing, and marketing. Nobody to select talent for upper management. No one setting strategy for acquisition and spin-offs. I guess he could still be the face of the company, but he wouldn’t know what the company as a whole was doing, so why would anyone bother interviewing him? Why would anyone bother investing in his company?
      The Catholic Church is screwing up in a lot of ways, and this Mr. Watts’ blog post points out another good example of that. However, if Pope Francis abandoned the job he was selected to do, they’d have to get someone else to perform that job. In this case, it would be a good thing.

      • Kalifornia Kook

        Didn’t Jesus set goals, didn’t he manufacture? (he was a carpenter after all), didn’t he tour, lecture, administer to the sick, preach tolerance, and generate the enduring lesson of Christianity countless billions have learned. Can you name a CEO with a legacy as enduring as that?

        All on his own, whilst dressed in humble attire, living in modest dwellings?

        Many have invested in Jesus, with no promise of earthly returns. Name me a CEO who has achieved that.

        The Catholic church is, as you say, screwing up, merely by elevating a leader to a position of reverence.

        Why does the catholic church requires a pope when their real leader has left them all the religious information they could possibly need.

        Nothing but opportunism, Christianity needs no leadership. And judging by Jesus’s fate, God believed that as well.

        I don’t believe God appointed a pope to manage his earthly estate.

    • When the Bishop got the job, he walked the Rome streets as he used to do in Argentina. Someone warned him of the danger, and it stopped. Problem is then lot of other thing started. Somehow Dr. John Schnellnhuber got invited in likely by Cardinal Turkson, yet I cannot help thing of Mr. Blair’s conversion and Mr. Gore’s wish had something to do with it. Anyway its a toss up whether the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholemeu is greenier. Maybe they will heal the schism of 1054 by bringing back the Roman Gaia, mother earth. And the Queen’s very own Anglican branch lost Blair. The Henry VIII schism might be healed as collateral?

    • Will the Vatican stop using air conditioning in the hot Roman summer and stop heating in the winter? How about a horse-drawn Popemobile? Who will Francis have as a consultant now that PIK’s Schellnhuber is retiring?

  5. I am always surprised that the Pope and others want us to go back to pre-industrial technologies without thinking about all the benefits to mankind that have resulted from industrial technologies. I guess they want us to go back to the pre-industrial standard of living and shorter lives.

    • Remember that Rome was at its height when people were poor and didn’t know anything more than the Pope could get them to heaven if only they gave the Pope all that they owned. Indulgences built Rome and I bet the Pope’s don’t forget this.

  6. We’ve been here before. It is just a Pope who thinks this enviro-shit will help Catholic Church recruitment of young people.

    The off-the-peg communist solutions proposed by global warming alarmists also strikes a chord with his own political beliefs. He thinks that young people, swallowing one, will also agree with the other, and he wants Rome-Corp to be closely involved.

    From his point of view, it’s not even religion or politics, it’s marketing.

  7. Anything excluded from the 10 Commandments is fair game, like stealing from thy corporate entities and public revenues, killing science process and fact checking, and coveting thy neighbors news coverage.

  8. Let’s face it, climate change is a soft topic compared to negotiating with Chinese communists over appointing bishops.

    • ResourceGuy

      “Let’s face it, climate change is a soft topic.”


      There’s about as much evidence for it being catastrophic as there is for the existence of Jesus.

      • The scholars who have studied the non-Christian texts seem to agree that Jesusxwas an historical figure.
        There is much less to support catastrophic “climate change”.

        • hunter

          It’s a bit like climate change models.

          Look back in time using the bible as a reference (or any other holy text), then conclude ones indoctrinated beliefs were correct.

          Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people of faith, it’s those who abuse faith to enrich themselves that upset me.

          • Why limit yourself to only holy texts? There are other historical documents.
            The Jewish historian Josephus mentions Jesus twice.
            Also the problems that the followers of Jesus were causing the leadership in a number of towns is mentioned in these documents.

            If the contemporaries couldn’t prove that Jesus never existed, why should we doubt that he did?

            “I have nothing against people of faith”
            Your words frequently give the opposite impression.

          • MarkW

            I’m surprised at you. For such a usually inquiring scientific mind, you seem enthusiastic about a book of stories that has little more than a tenuous grip on reality.

            “If the contemporaries couldn’t prove that Jesus never existed, why should we doubt that he did?”

            Good grief……Now we should believe in AGW because, whilst no one can prove it exists, we should still believe it does.

            The name Jesus could have been a colloquial, generic term for troublemaker for all we know. There might have been dozens of Jesus’s, there is no evidence there wasn’t, so by your definition, we should accept that.

            Perhaps I should have qualified myself when I said “I have nothing against people of faith”. I have nothing against people of faith providing they don’t abuse their faith.

            By all accounts, Jesus remained a humble man to his death. He lived, true to his beliefs.

            And as one who doesn’t believe in God, Jesus or the Virgin Mary, I trust that should I ever be judged by them, they would judge me on my beliefs and my conviction of the humanity of man, not my disbelief of them.

          • Cannot agree more.
            The early Catholic church specifically supported changing biblical interpretations as science and evidence emerged.

    • ResourceGuy

      Three subjects I should never discuss.

      1. Religion
      2. The royal family
      3. Scottish independence

      I think I’ll quit whilst I’m ahead on this one.

        • Tom

          Effing crimson!

          And I love the idea of independence but the reality is, Scotland is about to go bankrupt, once again because of the SNP mad dash for renewable energy, and England will have to bail them out, once again.

          The concept of independence when they had the vote was appalling, the country couldn’t afford it. But try telling that to a bunch of woad daubed, Saltire waving, Buckfast swilling Jocks, whipped into a nationalistic frenzy by a bunch of communist politicians.

          That self serving, publicity seeking B’stard Salmond and his poisoned pixie flunky have a lot to answer for!

      • Points 1 and 2 are moot – the Queen is the head of a Church. Point 3 is also moot – independence from a Theocracy , separation of Church and State ,is laudable,

  9. This man’s continued tendency to argue for Progressive political solutions to man’s spiritual problems contradicts the very first premise of the belief system he’s charged with leading.

    Sir, you have no credibility in my humble opinion.

  10. Nobody promised the Catholic Church that any given pope would be any good. As far as damage control is concerned, I’m okay with his focus being on CAGW instead of more important aspects…

  11. Just another CAGW proselytizer. One has to wonder what the poor of the world think of his CAGW stance. I can’t believe CAGW is even a passing blip on their radar.

  12. I think we’re going to have to start watching for signs of sainthood in climate science. This would involve cases of recorded miracles by the nominees. Qualifying miracles could include tree ring findings that no one else sees, data adjustments that show miracle warming, and early hurricane predictions of coastal property damage to save the children. It could be a joint ceremony for St. Gore, St. Mann, and St. Hansen. The Nobel Committee could help do the research…….. when they get out of jail.

    • First nomination for climate sainthood: Thomas R. Karl, for skillful manipulation of data sets to make the “facts” fit the narrative . . . accomplished without having to do even five rosaries for penance.

  13. Bergoglio was raised under Peron, and tends towards Liberation Theology, a mostly Latin American heresy that tries to merge Christianity and Marxism. A person who believes in one impossible thing tends to believe in others, like environmentalism.

    • Yet Colombia, easily the most Catholic country in SA, just voted down by huge margins the candidate most closely aping the Pope’s ideology.
      It seems that even in the birthplace of magical realism that people can tell that a former narco-terrorist thug is still a vicious killer even if he now preaches a phony peace plan.

      • hunter

        “even in the birthplace of magical realism”

        Columbia? Really?

        I must have missed something in Sunday school.

        • hotscot,
          “Magical realism” is the name for a literary style used by Colombian writer and winner of the Nobel prize in literature, Gabriel García Márquez.
          The irony that increasingly both the Catholic church and the “climate change” consensus rely on a perverted version of the beautiful literary style is sad.

    • “…and tends towards Liberation Theology, a mostly Latin American heresy that tries to merge Christianity and Marxism.”

      Yup. Enough said.

  14. I don’t mean for this to sound as harsh as this, but I think the complexity of energy policy and the challenges therein far dwarf the challenges of controlling pedophilia within a church hierarchy. The Pope might be more credible if he were more successful dealing with problems within his own sphere.

    Best case for the Pope, he sounds as glib and naïve amount energy challenges as I do as regards pedophilia. (But I am not acting as a world leader here.)

  15. To understand this Pope, you must first realize he is a Jesuit, and then know what that means within the Roman Catholic Church. Francis is the first member of the Jesuit order to ever become a Pope. Understanding that significance informs on why Francis is apparently also a Socialist.

    For 500 hundred years the Jesuits in the New World were about accumulating wealth, ostensibly to re-distribute it to the poor. The Jesuits for many centuries were better educated and also seen as elitists within the church. But history shows many Jesuits during colonial times led opulent lifestyles in direct contradiction to their vows of poverty. The hypocrisy of the Jesuits of those times parallels very well with today’s Elitist Liberals calling for “climate sacrifices” that most assuredly do not include themselves.

    Pope Francis most certainly conforms to many of these historical Jesuit stereotypes.

    • joelobryan

      You mean there’s been a Pope that didn’t enjoy the trappings of the Catholic Church hierarchy?

      I was a cop in Glasgow in the 70’s/80’s. We were frequently entertained by priest’s with copious amounts of booze in their lavish houses. But only because we were Protestants and it didn’t matter if they revealed their seedy side to us, but the moment a Catholic cop joined us they changed like a light switch.

      They couldn’t possibly reveal themselves as foul mouthed drunks to their flock.

      • Those Scottish Catholic Priests were certainly not Jesuits.
        The Jesuits of the distant past had a military arm. The reason? Part of the Secret Oath Jesuits take to become higher ordered Priest within the Society of Jesuits is called:

        IUSTUM, NECAR, REGES, IMPIOS or, “It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical kings, governments, or rulers.”

        A Jesuit priest is sworn to cut the throats of and disembowel Protestant Kings and Queens and their heretical governments.

        Don’t believe me? Go research the history of the Jesuits yourself for an eye-opening education to understand why Pope Francis is doing so many of the things he does. He is a dissembler.

        • joelobryan

          Whoa!……I have no reason to doubt you.

          In fact after a night in their company, I often woke up feeling like I’d been disembowelled. And my throat felt really bad as well.

          However “Those Scottish Catholic Priests were certainly not Jesuits.” is guesswork. And it would be guesswork on my part to contend otherwise.

        • The Jesuits of Ignatius Loyola, a mercenary, were 3 times excommunicated and 3 times forgiven. The founder had a vision on the battlefield, went to Venice, begged at the front door of the richest man on earth, the Doge, was given the job of educating his kid. Just this week for the first time ever a Vatican emissary attends Bilderberg – the Daily Mail did an expose. Roughly the same thing as the Doge’s Committee. Considering the fact that Venice commanded the Viking invasion of catholic Scotland and Ireland because of Charlemagne’s success (advisor Alcuin of Northumberland, educated in Ireland), bankrolled the Crusades, one gets just a sampling of the sheer evil running through european culture. Shakespeare, Catholic, 7 times at the Vatican, knew about the Venetian “Party”, the takeover of the monarchy. Situate the Jesuits in this.
          By the way there are Viking Runes on the lions guarding the Doge’s palace. Never mind Piazza Marco’s Mark with wings looking east to Babylon.

  16. How can the Pope believe that mankind is capable of destroying his god’s creations? If his god wants us all to suffer global warming it is going to happen no matter what we humans do. If not, well………….

    • God gave mastery of creation to man, and gave man free will. Yes, mankind can screw up the planet and God will allow it. That said, it won’t be CAGW.

      • God giving mankind free will is the second biggest lie of all time. No god would allow his creation to be destroyed by anything.

        • Tom

          back in the early 70’s I asked asked my Geography teacher whether he believed God controlled mankind.

          He said he believed God put man on earth and left us to get on with it.

          We all frequently create things and let them wither, why wouldn’t God be the same?

          Just because we are his creation doesn’t mean to say he cares, that’s a human image of a God from Marvel movies in my opinion.

          • That certainly is one belief. But not the belief of the Pope and his followers so it is not relevant. If the Pope believes in his religion he would not be doing what he is doing. But my sense is that, like all fascists, it is about him being in charge and in control of all the rest of us.

          • Tom

            For a scientific man you are unusually assumptive about what the pope believes, and what he’s doing.

            Your last sentence is, I believe, accurate, judging by past performance of the catholic church.

          • I was brought up Catholic, was even a chief altar boy (I used to say head altar boy but that has some very bad connotations now a days). I know what the Catholic doctrine is and the Pope obviously does not really believe it or he wouldn’t get involved in the global warming scheme.

  17. The growing despair of young people in Italy and Greece is not about climate change or fossil fuels. It’s about EU design and hegemony of the elders.

  18. No luck with science. The Pope goes anti-science with Galileo and gets it wrong. It goes pro-science with climate scientists and gets it wrong. Clearly the Papal infallibility in dogma is compensated by absolute fallibility in science. He would do better leaving those things to others.

  19. The untimely call of Pope Francis to avert “disastrous climate changes” stems from the misuse of Principle 15 of UN 1992 Rio Declaration. Principle 15 states: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.” Regulatory agencies, like the EPA, interpret Principle 15 to mean that a one percent probability of an environmental threat is sufficient to warrant a response to the perceived threat. This interpretation allows policymakers to take actions to mitigate a perceived threat without compelling scientific evidence that the threat exists. The cost-effective part of the Principle is usually ignored.

    The process that environmentalists use to identify long-term climate threats is fatally flawed. Predictions of long-term temperatures have large uncertainties that are not included in their analyses. A technical correct analysis of risk must consider the entire probability distribution of possible events, not just an extreme low-probability, high consequence warming event. Environmentalists have ignored entirely in their analyses the low-probability, high consequence cooling event and all the possibilities in between the high and the low predictions.

    The adverse consequences of a warming earth are no greater than the adverse consequences of a cooling earth. Policies appropriate for the warming case would be diametrically opposite to those appropriate for the cooling case, e.g., in the high case, the amount of CO2 might be reduced in the atmosphere to lower temperatures; in the low case, ice sheets might be covered with carbon black to accelerate melting and increase temperatures. Under these realities, promulgating environmental regulations with too little information could exacerbate a threat instead of reducing it. The likely damage from acting on the wrong premise, a warming or a cooling planet, nullifies arguments for either action until the science is right.

    The call to avert “disastrous climate changes” has no relevance until the range of uncertainty of the threat has been narrowed sufficiently so that the actions to mitigate the threat are appropriate for the entire range of the predicted long-term temperatures. It makes no sense to fight until we know the adversary.

    The elephant in the room not addressed in this discussion is an answer to this question: Will any steps taken by mankind have a significant effect on future climate?

  20. Pope Francis needs to re-read the Gospels, especially that passage where Jesus said that the wise virgins (bridesmaids) had oil in their lamps to greet the bridegroom at night, while the foolish virgins did not. Does Pope Francis want us to be foolish?

    The late Pope John Paul II burned thousands of gallons of jet fuel flying all over the world spreading the Church’s teachings, and weighed in on many issues, but he never said a peep about global warming, even though he was Pope until 2005. He was wise enough not to criticize the technology that enabled him to travel around the world spreading the message of the Church!

    • Steven Zell

      Am I correct in my recollection that Jesus threw a major strop in a moneylenders building?

      So what’s the catholic church doing but taking money from parishioners in the form of donations, then handing out that money in loans, with the recipients religious compliance demanded as equity?

      The vatican city, a temple devoted to material wealth, certainly not religious wealth.

      • So all those hospitals, orphanages, schools and soup kitchens operated by the Catholic Church are just figments of my imagination?

        • MarkW

          Whilst the Pope reclines on his gold trimmed bed and his minion priests go about their daily duties, returning to their comfortable homes in the evening after a day’s toil.

          And the price for those orphanages, schools and soup kitchens?

          Religious compliance. Religious dependence.

          No such thing as a free lunch.

    • When discussing the Pope and his position on the climate alarmist narrative, another set of Biblical passages which I would suggest the Pope re-read are those that speak of false prophets:

      Matthew 24:11 English Standard Version (ESV)
      “11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.”

      2 Timothy 4:3 English Standard Version (ESV)
      “3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,…”.

      To say there are no false prophets in the climate alarmism movement today is a real stretch.
      I haven’t kept a count or list of the number of false prophesies that have already been made by climate alarmists, but to say that these Biblical passages have no relevancy to them would be quite a joke.

      One does not even have to be a Christian to realize and understand this.

  21. Just before the pope started his apparent support of AGW activism, there was a very visible, front-burner, media campaign about dealing with pedophile priests. The campaign all but disappeared when the pope paid supportive-lip-service to AGW.

    • Willard

      “The campaign all but disappeared”

      Not quite:

      16 August 2017 – Australia’s worst paedophile priest, Gerald Francis Ridsdale, abused at least 65 children over 30 years.

      29 JUNE 2017 – Cardinal George Pell has become the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the Catholic Church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal.

      Saturday 24 Feb 2018 – Paedophile priest Ifor Whittaker, formerly Colin Pritchard jailed for a second time for abusing young children.

      11 APR 2018 – Paedophile priest Father Paul Moore jailed for abusing young boys at Irvine school and Magnum leisure centre.

      However, I accept your point that AGW is now being used as a distraction tactic.

      • HotScot,

        Of course, any abuse, sexual or otherwise, of children or anybody else is a terrible crime. Especially when it involves sexual abuse of young children. And even more especially when it involves ministers of religion. And you are absolutely correct to point out that the media’s reporting of cases of sexual abuse by ministers of religion is as strong now as it has ever been. I would just like to offer a few comments on the four cases you link to.
        Firstly, in the case of Ifor Whittaker I would point out that he was a Church of England vicar, not a Catholic priest.
        Secondly, in the case of Cardinal Pell all we have at the moment are unproven accusations. It will be up to the court to decide if they believe that there is enough evidence to convict Cardinal Pell.
        Thirdly, in the case of Ridsdale, he has been in prison since 1994 so his crimes took place over 24 years ago. That does not lessen his crimes but it should affect the way that people refer to the Church as it is today.
        Fourthly, the allegations against Moore were first raised in 1996 so the same point applies to him as it does to Ridsdale.
        As for your last sentence, if I interpret it correctly it is, of course, totally without substantiation.

        • Alba

          You misunderstand me, and the point I responded to. I wasn’t questioning anyone’s guilt or innocence, I was illustrating that the campaign has not “disappeared”.

          My last sentence is of course personal opinion, one also held by Willard who made it in the first place.

          Political diversionary tactics are, by their nature, and necessity, covert. Willard is wise enough to have recognised it in my opinion, however, you are not obliged to concur.

  22. Please give the guy a break, give a break to pope Francis…
    At this point it seems that pope Francis doing anything by the book.


    • Latitude

      Maybe I am wrong, but in religion and the position that pope Francis holds at this moment in time, is not as simply as you try to put it.

      Is not an attempt to distract, is an attempt to mend and bring light in to the matter…if I am not wrong.

      Dealing with the pedophilia within the catholic structure requires the papal excommunication power engaged…

      That is at this time, from my point of understanding, as very hard to properly be executed by pope Francis…even when considering that pope Francis can try to get through it by its Bishop’s position… which will at that point contradict his pope position…!as

      Complicated, I know, but that is how I see it.

      Is not actually a move to distract… as it seems so simply being put in your comment… if I happen to not have misunderstood your point made.


  23. The only job Jesus gave his followers was to preach the gospel, nothing else, Mark 16:15. He did not say to meddle in the affairs of the world.

    • Have you ever read the Sermon on the Mount? And the Bible is littered with references to looking after the poor.
      But it seems as if it is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Some people say that the Church shouldn’t interfere in the affairs of the world and others complain when they think that it hasn’t interfered enough.
      What does Mark say in 16:15?
      He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
      Where in that does it say, ‘Have nothing to do with the affairs of the world’?

    • Now there’s an intelligent, measured and well-considered statement for you. But the interesting question is: What kind of a person would make that kind of a statement?

  24. The Pope will never really be accepted by the left as long as he does not accept abortion or gay marriage. Though he has urged the church to be more loving of the folks involved, these activities are still considered grave offenses in the eyes of the church and Pope. Not so AGW. These worldly pronunciations on his part carry no church authority, merely opinion on his part.

    • JimG1

      Contraception. We could start there instead of moving straight on to abortion, which is frequently a result of not allowing birth control.

      Meanwhile, virtually every catholic I know uses contraception. They just won’t confess it to their priest.

      And if Donald Trump proposed marriage to Kim Jong Un in the interests of world love and peace, would the pope object?

      • You can add contraception to the list but I find it interesting that you know the sexual habits of your catholic friends as well as what they say in the confessional. Aetheism and agnosticism frequently are tied to pride and rebellion by the religious pros but I think they are more a function of the inability to accept that someone might know more than we do about something, like religion or God, for that matter. But then isn’t that skepticism at the bottom line?

        • JimG1

          My first wife was a catholic, and I was a policeman. Discussions are brutally frank amongst the police (at least in the UK), not that discussing the use of condoms is particularly revealing of sexual activity. We might buy a pack of three for a pal when we bought ourselves cigarettes.

          Confessional was a standing joke, even my wife laughed hysterically at the lies she told just to avoid saying a few hail Mary’s.

          And with the greatest of respect, I think the rest of your post, up until the last sentence, is a load of pretentious bollocks.

          I agree with your last sentence wholeheartedly.

          • Pretty much what I would expect. But admitting that one does not know everything and thereby adopting a religious point of view one can agree with to whatever dgree is less “pretentious” than thinking that one knows more than everyone else and is not therefore duped into compliance as all those religious folks seem to be.

        • Forgive me father for I have sinned. I burned a gallon of gasoline today so I could drive to work and back to feed my family and provide them shelter and clothing to protect them from the elements.

          I washed my face and hands with water made hot by natural gas. I used soap produced from petrochemicals and I kept perishable food cold in my refrigerator powered by electricity from coal before transforming that food into a life sustaining meal by cooking it.

  25. Unfortunately, the pope is a deeply flawed man. His world view is one of an Argentinian leftist. He reminds me of the 6 corrupt popes who were in Martin Luthers era. Completely misguided and living in a bubble.
    Hopefully other Christian leaders will step in and right the ship. The last time we had such stupid popes we had the reformation wars followed by the inquisition.

  26. History is clear on this: the Pope should spend his time policing the Catholic clergy rather than policing fossil fuel providers.

  27. Developing countries would benefit from transfer payments made to them under the Paris Accord. So cardinals from those countries probably lobbied Francis to become an advocate for the Paris Accord. This is the likeliest “forcing” behind his activism, not his personal share-the-wealth attitudes.

    Perhaps Benedict was lobbied to become an activist and he declined ….

  28. I wouldn’t have wanted to be one of the executives who was summoned to the Pope’s office to hear his lecture! What could you possibly say in response? You can’t contradict the Pope to his face and lose a few billion Catholic customers!

  29. Surely the Catholic Church is has a vested interest in keeping the poor poor and uneducated, and producing babies and in their place for women as primitive cultures do, and religions prefer. The last thing reliogions want is the poor to get the cheap plentiful energy that will take them out of that condition and into a educated future. They loose their relevance to modern life, hence their power, their followers, and the income they bring. Prima face, controlling religion is the enemy of social equality and justice, irrelevant in the 21st Century, but hanging on at the expense of the yet to be liberated poor.

    • I find this comment to be profoundly incorrect, insofar as it regards christianity in general, and Catholicism specifically. I’m not Catholic, but can defend their efforts in many places as the exact opposite of what you describe. Furthermore, whether you prefer to acknowledge it or not, much of the western world has Christendom to thank for our mores and values and general equality of worth.

      Honestly, this comment expresses a seriois misunderstanding of religion and their “vested interests”.



      • ripshin

        Your response to Brian RL Catt was underwhelming.

        Brian articulated a number of very specific points and all you did was say you could defend their (presumably Catholic) efforts, but you didn’t even make an attempt to actually do so.

        To simply claim a comment expresses a “serious misunderstanding of religion” without any rebuttal is the same as having said nothing.

    • He appears to be assimilated into the Church of Omnipotent Greenhouse In Carbon. A pawn of the devil, so to speak.

  30. Mr Burnett, I’d like to share a poem which a church bishop told me was “incoherent with the principal of climate change”…

    An Ode to the Church
    On Fighting Climate Change

    Bureaucrats and Global Planners
    Speak in agitated manners,
    Predicating great disaster:
    “Climate change we now must master!”

    Human guilt and blame beseeching:
    “Children, shame we should be teaching!
    Man has sinned by overreaching
    Fragile Gaia’s limit!”

    Beware: this bold apostasy
    Spins prophesy from vanity!
    The firmaments will never be
    Controlled by mortal hands.
    So, use this world, as best you can,
    To take care of your fellow man
    And leave Earth’s destiny to God’s great plan!

    This Universe is God’s, alone
    Commanding elements He owns.
    Perplexes any man’s control,
    Yet, still provides for every soul!

  31. We have had bad Popes before – unfortunately this one has no humility. He is uneducated and simply trails the zeitgeist like a lonely puppy. May the Good Lord have Mercy on His suffering Church. When we lose our way – the Divine seems to leave us to our own devices – that’s how we get nincompoops like OlBlame-0 and Pope Francis. God says “Forget Me? – How about I forget Thee – for a while?”

  32. Pope Francis has most of the characteristics of a Marxist. But is he a Harpo or a Groucho?

    “Why is it that so many prominent environmental campaigners turn out to be such scumbags, sleazebags, hypocrites or frauds?”

    Easy to understand:

    The self-styled “Progressives”, the US Democrats, the Canadian Liberals and NDP, the Socialist and Green Parties worldwide are pawns of the extreme left and have been so since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Here is some history:

    “Surprisingly enough the second event that caused the environmental movement to veer to the left was the fall of the Berlin Wall. Suddenly the international peace movement had a lot less to do. Pro-Soviet groups in the West were discredited. Many of their members moved into the environmental movement bringing with them their eco-Marxism and pro-Sandinista sentiments.”
    Source: “The Rise of Eco-Extremism”, by Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace (1994).

    Many of these imbeciles don’t even know it, but they are following a covert Marxist agenda intended to damage our economies, cloaked in phony green rhetoric.

    Marxism made simple:

    The Groucho Marxists are the leaders – they want power for its own sake at any cost, and typically are sociopaths or psychopaths. The great killers of recent history, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot. etc. were of this odious ilk – first they get power, then they implement their crazy schemes that do not work and too often kill everyone who opposes them.

    The Harpo Marxists are the followers – the “sheeple” – these are people of less-than-average intelligence who are easily duped and follow the Groucho’s until it is too late, their rights are lost and their society destroyed. They are attracted to simplistic concepts that “feel good” but rarely “do good”.

    George Carlin said: “You know how stupid the average person is, right? Well, half of them are stupider than that!”

    One can easily identify many members of these two groups in the global warming debate – and none of them are ”climate skeptics”.

    Need more evidence? Read the quotations at

    Just a few examples:

    “The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society,
    which is nature’s proper steward and society’s only hope.”
    – David Brower,
    founder of Friends of the Earth
    “If we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of
    saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
    an ecologically sound society under socialism.
    I don’t think it is possible under capitalism”
    – Judi Bari,
    principal organiser of Earth First!
    “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
    industrialized civilizations collapse?
    Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
    – Maurice Strong,
    founder of the UN Environment Programme
    “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the
    United States. De-development means bringing our
    economic system into line with the realities of
    ecology and the world resource situation.”
    – Paul Ehrlich,
    Professor of Population Studies

  33. A Global Energy Primer for Pope Francis

    Fossil fuels still provide 85% of Global Primary Energy, whereas Hydro is 7% and Nuclear has dropped to 4%. This “Conventional Power Generation“ totals 96%, and Renewables have increased to 4%.

    Despite tens of trillions of dollars in squandered subsidies, Renewables still provide only 4% of global primary energy, and CO2 emissions have INCREASED in the countries that have introduced the most Renewables. This is because Renewables are not green and do not produce much useful (dispatchable) energy. Renewables are too intermittent and require almost 100% spinning reserve (backup) of Conventional Power Generation to fill-in when the wind does not blow or the Sun does not shine.

    This “4% Renewables” would drop to near-zero if our idiot politicians did not force renewables into the grid ahead of useful, dispatchable power – this is another huge hidden subsidy for Renewables. Grid-connected wind and solar power are harmful, because they drive up energy costs AND also seriously destabilize the grid. South Australia has experienced two long outages caused by wind power.

    In Alberta, our imbecilic politicians are phasing out our coal plants, and replacing them with natural gas-fired units. While gas-fired power plants are much better than wind power, our energy prices are going to increase sharply and become more volatile in the future, because gas prices are at historic lows and will almost certainly increase.

    The NDP’s argument against Alberta coal is “air pollution” – but ALL our coal-fired plants have pollutions controls and all air pollutants from all these coal plants equal ~1/1000 of the air pollution we experience each year from forest fires. All we have to do is prevent ONE forest fire, and we can keep our coal plants and keep our electrical power costs very low.

    The NDP also believe that CO2, essential for all plant and crop growth, is a pollutant. It is not, and it is not causing dangerous global warming. That falsehood is popular among the uneducated and green extremists. The only measurable impact of increased atmospheric CO2 is significantly increased plant and crop yields.

  34. Religious “leaders” operate more on belief and less on rational thought. Once a position is taken, it’s harder to back down, which is why they should be slow to take hard positions.

  35. “Francis told the executives they should shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources to fight “global warming.””

    Pope dream.

  36. He might be misguided on climate change but he is definitely a liar when he said Islam is a religion of peace.

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