The Pope goes all in on environmental issues

Pope Francis published his encyclical Laudato Si  (“praise to you,” from the first words of the document), fully embracing the environmentalist cause.  It warns of global warming, says man is responsible, and calls for sweeping changes to save the earth.  It also, as we will blog tomorrow, makes some sweeping theological changes that constitute a major change in Western Christianity.

You can read the entire document in English here.  After the jump is a news account.  Then I want to pose some questions for our discussion. [Read more...]

Environmentalism as a fundamentalist religion

We have blogged about the National Association of Scholars’ study Sustaintability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism.  In a review of that document, George Will explains the sense in which this particular kind of environmentalism is, in fact, a fundamentalism. [Read more...]

Are Russian oil companies funding environmentalists?

A newspaper is reporting that Russian oil companies connected to Vladimir Putin are funding some American environmentalist groups that are trying to stop the practice of fracking.  Russia is, of course, not particularly interested in saving the American environment, but, like Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich country has an interest in cutting the growth in American oil production due to this kind of technology. [Read more...]

Eco-imperialism

Japan, where people enjoy a good cut of whale, is pushing back against international anti-whaling rules, which are allegedly nothing more than “eco-imperialism.”  According to the Japanese, it would be as if people in India who believe cattle are sacred would impose punishments on nations that eat beef.

Notice how the various sensitivities we are supposed to have–honoring cultural relativism, respecting the environment, not oppressing anyone, being tolerant of eveyone’s practices and beliefs–can be set against each other.  Can you think of other examples? [Read more...]

Human ecology

A useful concept and a clarifying name from Pope Francis:  People worry about the state of the natural environment, he observed.  But they also need to worry about the social environment.  Family breakdown, rampant immorality, and materialistic hedonism damage what he calls the “human ecology.”  [Read more...]

Obama enacts carbon restrictions despite Congress

Congress has refused to pass legislation restricting carbon emissions, so President Obama is doing it on his own.  He has decreed what is being called a “war on coal”:

The Obama administration took aim at the coal industry on Monday by mandating a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions at fossil fuel-burning power plants by 2030 — despite claims the regulation will cost nearly a quarter-million jobs a year and force plants across the country to close. [Read more...]


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