A few speculations about the encyclical

A few speculations about the encyclical June 16, 2015

“Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family.”
(Pope Francis Benedict XVI, Letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on the Occasion of the Seventh Symposium of the Religion, Science and the Environment Movement, September 1, 2007)

I haven’t read the purloined draft of the encyclical nor seen any commentary on it, though I have seen boocoo commentary from hysterical righties telling the pope to shut up, prophesying that the pope has opened the Church to demonic powers, declaring that the pope “hates the Church”, and warning that listening to climate change experts will lead (and you just knew this was coming, cuz it’s cyberspace) to “Nazism.”

Layered on that, of course, is lots of hilarious gloating from Lefties (like that wonderful Pope Action Hero movie trailer the other day, which I could watch again and again).  The basic subtext from the left, of course, is “The pope is on our side”: a subtext the right completely agrees with and is therefore in full bore panic mode about, filled with the terror that the pope is going to declare climate change the 13th article of the Creed, call for the Church to get with the times and start sterilizing and aborting as fast as possible, move the Vatican to an Occupy Tent City on Wall Street, and inaugurate the Rite of Gaia in which communion is replaced with a ritual doobie administered by a priestess of the Earth Mother.

Here’s what I think is actually going to happen, more or less: The pope is going to reiterate the Church’s teaching.

And that will, yet again, amaze and appall both Left and Right.

Why do I think this?  Because I know both the Church’s teaching and the pope’s job and absolutely nothing he has said makes me think he knows it less than I do.  Indeed, I have long had the impression that the successor of Peter knows his task pretty well–and far better than the hysterical Reactionaries who keep denouncing him as a menace to the Church.

So I think he will reiterate classic Catholic teaching which sees nature, both non-human and human, as a gift from God which it is our task, under grace, to tend and cultivate, not rape and despoil according to our fallen appetites, darkened intellect, and lawless will.

When it comes to non-human nature, this will conflict strongly with the agenda of the right and the right, knowing this, is already shouting him down in ways remarkably similar to the left. When it’s pelvic stuff the left tells the pope to shut up because what does he know about sex?  When it’s money stuff, the right shouts him down because what does he know about money (and the environment is all about the benjamins).

Nonetheless, historic Catholic teaching on our relationship with nature is that it is a sacramental gift from God and our task is to cooperate with the will of the Creator in using and beautifying it.  It is not simply ours for the taking with no regard for its created integrity and no regard for how misusing it will affect the common good.  This is not something our captains of industry want to hear, so there has been the crude push to shut Francis up from the dutiful servants of lawless industrial rapine in American Movement Conservatism.  It will be in this context that Francis will do what the Church always does when it comes to matters beyond its competence, such as science, whether reproductive or environmental: get input from the people with the relevant competencies in such fields as gynecology, environmental studies or climate change.  This is why Santorum’s demand that Francis listen to the scientists was so supremely silly.  He is listening to the scientists, a massive consensus of whom warn that climate change is real.  Listening to the experts when you yourself are not an expert is what is known as “prudence”.  It’s not infallible, of course.  The condemnation of Galileo was another occasion on which the Church listened to Consensus Science.  But then, condemnations of Galileo are pretty rare in the Church’s history.  Most of the time (and arguably even in the Galileo case) it’s generally a smart idea to listen to the experts even when they don’t have all the answers.

That said, I don’t think the encyclical will simply (and perhaps even primarily) be about climate change, but about the Big Picture of the interrelatedness of our relationship with the earth and with each other as sacramental creatures made in the image and likeness of God.

For that reason, I think that, in addition to talking about how you cannot treat non-human nature lawlessly without it slapping you back, I will not be a bit surprised if Francis talks the same way about the consequences of shredding human nature with our lawless will as well.  So the fabric of “human ecology” will enter into the discussion too, I reckon.  This will be bad news not only for the right (since it will extend the discussion to the lawless rapine directed at the workforce and the community by increasingly lawless capitalism), but for the left, which likewise holds that human nature is infinitely malleable to our will and that things like “man”, “woman”, “family” “human life”, “child” and “marriage” can be infinitely redefined and destroyed without consequences and that 57 million people can be killed as easily and simply as a righty thinks a rain forest can be obliterated with zero consequences.

In short, the pope will reiterate something that almost nobody in American culture–or Western culture–wants to hear: that nature, both human and non-human, is first and foremost God’s gift to us and is meant to be cultivated and made fruitful by cooperating with his will, not by lawlessly and selfishly asserting our own.  Each political party will, as is their custom, cannibalize the encyclical for the bits it likes and then denounce the rest while using the parts they have cannibalized to hit their opponents over the heads.

Me: I suggest that the first thing to do with the encyclical is to *receive* it–whole, not reading with a view to dissecting, shredding, and taking only the bits we lie.  Take it as what it is: an expression of the Church’s whole and integrated teaching.  Work against your fears and prejudices and itching need to force it into your favorite political ideology.  Let it instead force the shriveled parts of your thinking to revivify in union with the mind of Christ while it trims back the overgrown parts of your thinking to let in daylight.  Think it possible you may be wrong. Resist Pavlovian kneejerk responses to words and phrases you associate with the hated Them. Think it possible that Christ still has something new to say to us who pretty much know everything.

One of the curious features of the gospel is that it is continuously confronting us with things we already know, yet which are somehow brand new.  This is the paradox John sketches when he says, “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.” (1 Jn 2:7–8).   The encyclical will be like that, as all encyclicals are.  It’s not going to promulgate the Dogma of Climate Change.  But it is going to take climate change seriously and read the signs of the times (including the state of the environment according to our best science and the state of the human community according to our best analyses) and root a prudent response to that in the Church’s teaching.  That’s pretty much the job of the Magisterium.  We should try responding *after* we have listened, and our first response should not be a reckless search for reasons to shout “No!” but “Come let us reason together”.

Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old, making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock. Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.” (Lumen Gentium, no. 25)

 

"It's sarcasm. The charge was "king of the Jews". He had entered Jerusalem on an ..."

Some Reflections on the Crucifixion for ..."
"Thank you for this article. Can you explain why He is referred to as the ..."

Some Reflections on the Crucifixion for ..."
"It is great website, thanks for pointing it out."

Ignatius: A Brief Introduction to the ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Casiello

    Mark, I believe that you’re at your best when you write pieces like this. Well done.

    • chezami

      Thanks!

  • I didn’t get through the entire leaked text and am going to be on the road Thursday when it’s released. So far, there’s good and bad in it but exclusively the problems I’ve seen so far is over-reliance on a scientific consensus that is teetering on the edge of becoming invalidated scientifically. This is, at worst, imprudent, and a sign that the Pontifical Academy of Science needs to be more careful. In other words, probably small beer. The appropriate weasel words seem to be there so the Church can back out.

    The Holy Father has not gone all in and foolishly committed the Church to a contingent scientific truth. He does rely on the best science of the day, something that the Church also did a few decades ago in matters of psychological illness and lived to regret deeply. Hopefully one of the lessons learned from that fiasco is how to turn away faster from a scientific consensus that ends up changing. The climate change consensus is crumbling as actual temperature readings continue not to match predictions.

    • MT

      What? Temperatures are still rising, and NOAA even made a report recently saying that there was no so called pause in warming.

      Please link an actual scientific paper showing how there is no warming.

      • Dbom

        Lot’s of revisions of past data in the newest Noaa stuff

        http://www.examiner.com/article/how-noaa-rewrote-climate-data-to-hide-global-warming-pause

        Note well the prominent Scientists (Judith Curry etc) who aren’t merely Koch Funded Denialists but see something wrong with the current study.

        Basically, TMLUTAS has a point…

        BTW- wasn’t one of Mark’s favorite axioms about science and funding? Hmmm, any money in warm-mongering these days?

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        NOAA was widely criticised for the recent report, based On precisely the manipulation of data we’re discussing. They picked A point 15yrs previous and began lowering temps recorded before that date and raising temps recorded since that date, which creates A relative increase between now and then.

        On the other hand, it is widely accepted by the field that satellite temperature data is far more reliable, So why don’t you go see what NASA reports temperature has been globally for the last 18yrs.

      • You can only manipulate numbers so far before you can’t make all the different numbers agree with each other. The pause was first dismissed as just a blip, then not yet statistically significant, and then the moving goal posts song and dance got into full gear. All through that process there have been dozens of papers claiming that “the pause” isn’t real. They’ve all failed, but it took a bit of time for them to be debunked. I believe the paper you are referring to is Karl et al 2015 and can be found here:

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/06/05/science.aaa5632.full

        It was published in early June which makes it far too early to make definite conclusions about it either way but a number of the attempted debunkings look promising and it’s generated an unusual number of protests from voices generally quiet in the main debate because this paper also ruins their generally well accepted scientific papers.

        The title of the paper under dispute is “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus” which would have been entirely pointless if there were no hiatus, whether caused by data biases or as a real climate phenomenon. Writing a pro-hiatus paper is generally considered career poison. It’s the scientific phenomenon that nobody dares speak its name but everybody recognizes exists and it’s become very obvious. In other words, your demand for a paper is deploying the denial tactics from several years ago. The state of the art people in the field are well beyond that.

        It is in *this* state of scientific turmoil that Pope Francis has decided to weigh in. This is not a fundamental threat to the Church. I expect from what I have read so far in the leaked text that it will do some good in focusing the debate on how the environment and the poor. Combining the encyclical with Lomberg’s observation that cold kills more than heat and the Church ends up in a very interesting position.

        It looks like my fondest hopes were not realized though. The Holy Father did not ask the fundamental question he should have asked with respect to climate, what is the optimum climate for the poor and what should we do in order to get and stay there? A truly humane vision of climate would ask such questions and seek answers. It is in this area that we are missing important papers because to ask such questions would entirely shift the conversation and virtually eliminate the controversy that currently surrounds the issue.

        • MT

          Another fallacy, the so called hiatus was never a hiatus in warming, but the rate of warming. Sure the warming might have slowed down for a bit, but it didn’t stop which is the important thing.

          • I’ll let you go off and talk to yourself. If we were actually talking to each other, you would be addressing me saying “actual temperature readings continue not to match predictions” which is consistent with what is happening.

            What is the important thing is whether warming will hurt the poor, or indeed any people at all but the poor are most vulnerable. A certain amount of warming, in fact, helps the poor on balance by reducing cold deaths. This sort of focus is the difference between a Catholic concern for climate and the Gaia fetishism variety that only cares about temperature deltas.

            • MT

              When you say that the temperature aren’t matching, are you saying that it means no warming? Because the temperatures not being exact doesn’t mean that a trend a correctly predicted.

              You are really dense if you think warming is a net gain for the poor. Think of all those developing nations that will be facing food shortages from agriculture failures.

              • What I’m saying is that if a scientific theory’s predictions lead to real world results that exceeds the error bars, you toss the theory. That’s where we are today, with the “consensus” people desperately searching for adjustments so that the real world results haven’t quite gotten out of the error bars and they don’t have to toss the theory yet while they light joss sticks to Gaia hoping for a super El Nino to rescue their theory.

                It was arguable a couple of years ago. In 2015 it’s downright embarrassing and destructive for the profession of science. That is the sort of situation where a pope should show caution about picking sides on the science.

                Edit: As for your idea that warming must always be a net loss for the poor because of agriculture failures, you seem to be unaware that the first world pays farmers quite a bit of money not to grow food of various types. I hope you are aware that the poor die of cold every year and will continue (though in fewer numbers) even in the high estimates of anthropogenic global warming. So we can go through quite a bit of farming failure and actually net out better off as the subsidy spending goes down. As an aside, I think the agricultural yield arguments are bunk as CO2 is, itself, plant food and we don’t know enough to make the micro-climate estimates necessary to justify the overhyped argument

                • Jamesthelast

                  Now you’re using the false “CO2 is plant food” argument. Plants can’t survive when there are prolonged droughts and floods that are coming from climate change.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    And now you’re using the “droughts and floods ” scare tactics to deny that increases in CO2 enhances plant growth.

                    See, this is fun!

                    • Jamesthelast

                      Do you only view things in extremes? Of course it will help some plants, but will also make things worse for others. Sure the Upper Latitudes may do better, but the whole regions around the tropic are going to be pretty trashed. It’s not an equivocal “CO2 equals good/bad for all plants”, but rather the net result globally is bad.

                  • The Sahel disagrees with you.

                • Jamesthelast

                  The cold death thing is dumb. Most of the world’s poor are in the developing countries which are
                  located around the tropics, and don’t have to worry about the cold.

                  • What a bigoted statement.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      How? The countries that would have problems with the cold are also much more developed and better equipped to help out their poor. The developing nations aren’t, and it’s dumb to equalize them.

                    • Did you really just say that there are no poor, cold countries? You really are stuck on stupid. I also note how cold deaths due to green policies making energy expensive are morally off loaded to others.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      I did not, I said most aren’t. Learn to read.

                    • You made light of people dying of cold. Stop trying to weasel out of that. It does not matter one bit what the average economic status is in a country if you are dying of cold.

                    • MT

                      Do you not understand scale? The scale of poor people that will be harmed by the warming is much bigger than those by the cold. And you just called him anti-human again. You’re such a tool for the corporate propaganda machine.

                    • Look up the numbers. You are simply wrong.

                    • Cold kills. This has been the subject of study. Heat kills. This has also been studied. Heat waves drive a spike in mortality which is followed by a negative spike right after. Net effect is near zero. Cold waves also have a spike but do not have a negative spike afterwards. There is a real increase in mortality there.

                      Dismissing my concern for certain categories of dead as “corporate propaganda” is projection.

  • Dawg_em

    In the sixties and seventies we were told overpopulation would result in the deaths of millions, maybe more.
    Then it morphed into global cooling due to pollution keeping the sun out.
    When that didn’t happen, global warming became the new religion.
    After the faked data was hacked it once again changed and became “climate change”. (Imagine that, the climate changes.)
    Perhaps the most appropriate encyclical would be dealing with scientists who get paid to…find another reason to keep the cash cow flowing. Lies and distortions that cause an increase in taxation in order to fight a fraudulent crisis will only hurt the poorest among us. Seek ye the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.

  • HornOrSilk

    The real issue is that sin causes harm to the earth. Both the American left and the right have reasons to reject this.

  • Andy

    Fascinating – a quick Google search found that the climate change deniers are funded by the rather well off fossil fuel arena/business arena. However, that is not the issue – the issue is that we as humans have abused the planet – we have ransacked her resources, we have ignored the basic needs of all people, we have not been good stewards of the environment. We need to recognize that the bounty of the earth must be shared by all and not just the few; it must be protected by all and not just the few. We have as Mark states very clearly “abused the gift of God.”

    • Stu

      Fascinating – Many of those supporting the idea AGW are making money hand-over-fist in putting forth their technological solutions.

      The money goes both ways.

      • Andy

        Not denying you comment about making money from something – that is the American way and staunch conservatives should be proud of that ingenuity – my comment was more about the idea being promoted about “global warming/climate change” comes from folks with a more than vest d interest to say it doesn’t exist – rather like early studies about smoking.

        • Ken

          Exxon Mobile spent millions on “scientific studies” conducted by their own scientists to debunk Global Warming. I agree with Stu that the other side makes money off it as well but large multinational corporations have a huge invested interest in attacking Global Warming. It’s sad that so many conservatives just accept whatever they are fed by the right rather than listen to the church. Pope Francis cares for the souls of the world. Fox news and Rush not so much.

          • Stu

            Before you know it, Big Business will be making money off this as well. It’s inevitable.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              In fact, if early reports are accurate, Francis addresses carbon trading (the most likely avenue for eco speculation) head on.

              I’m a skeptic regarding ACC, but I also support a more humane approach to ecological stewardship, And so I welcome this new encyclical.

              • Stu

                If that remains, I bet that part will have many scratching their heads.

            • antigon

              That was the brilliant leftist Alexander Cockburn’s view about the whole climate change shebang.

          • Andy

            It, the making of money from “global warming/climate change” is at best an issue not to be proud of. Unfortunately it seems to me that the making of money has become the measure of success for all to many people – conservative and liberal alike.
            There are vested interests who work to debunk global warming/climate change” just as there are others who make a bundle by claiming they have the answer for overpopulation – if it exists. Money has become the god and economics had replaced the Pope.

            • Stu

              It’s the net effect of Calvinism.

              • Andy

                I wholeheartedly agree – although I am sue there are many who will disagree.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              And there are those who keep their grant money flowing by fudging data.

              You left that out. Both sides of the scientific issue at hand are beholden to those who hold their purse strings.

              • Andy

                I agree about grants, I hadn’t thought about them, thank you for reminding me – that is one reason why I trust little in the way of grant-driven research. The dance to the piper is also why I wish the church would examine its grant-relationships with the government and start to refuse them and use its own internal funds – would require that we give more, but it would relieve a lot of burdens I think.

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  Show me any of the research cited as settled science on this issue which wasn’t funded by grant.

        • Stu

          But here is the thing. Should we proud if folks are making money off of fear and potentially mistaken notions?

          Put me in the “skeptic camp.” I’m skeptical of all involved and think we can make the case for good stewardship without predictions of the end of the World by those whose pockets are swelling.

          • Andy

            I agree with you about making the case for stewardship without looking for or speaking about the end of the world as we know it. I am not a skeptic, but not a believer either. I fear that we, mankind, has done much damage to the environment and we are reaping the results.
            I commented about making money because for many, and I do not think that it includes you, making money has become the ultimate end result for any and all activity. I agree that it is not something to be proud of.

            • Stu

              When I say “skeptic”, I mean a skeptic of both sides in this debate. I just know and question what both of them say equally.

          • MT

            Are you skeptical of gravity? Because climate science is pretty much as certain as gravity.

            • Stu

              I’m skeptical that we completely understand gravity just like I am skeptical that we completely understand the climate of the World. I’m skeptical of anyone who seems to think they have it ALL figured out.

              • MT

                We don’t have to have it all figured out. All we have to do is see how in the past, temperatures went up when CO2 levels shot up. It’s not that hard to see how the exact same thing is happening now.

                • Stu

                  Other than your assertion about the past is just speculation. All we know for sure is that the Earth’s climate has changed in the past. We don’t even know what “normal” is. So even if AGW is fact ( and it certainly could be) , for all we know it’s countering what would have naturallt been a cooloing period.

                  Again, let’s just promote conservation and good stewardship of the environment simply because it is the just and moral thing to do.

                  • Jamesthelast

                    Do some basic research please. We know from ice cores that higher CO2 levels match temperature rises in the past.

                    • Stu

                      The basic research is quite open about nothing being certain in that area of study. There are many other factors at play.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              Yes, actually. How can anyone with a basic understanding of the current state of physics not be a little skeptical of gravity? It’s was demonstrated questionable a century ago.

              You are such an unbelievable parody. For the record, I advocate a global abandoning of the industrial revolution and a return to agrarianis, so no friend of fossil fuels.

              But your settled scientific consensus is riddled with a history of falsifying data. From East Anglia’s hockey stick to NOAA adjusting temps up and down to create a pattern of warming in falsified data, the drive to please the men who award grants is at least as strong as the drive of those bought by oilmen.

              • MT

                Who said we have to abandon the Industrial Revolution? What we need to do is get away from combustion and power everything with electricity generated from renewables. We can do it with a WWII like effort.

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  I say we have to abandon the IR. It has had none but corrosive effects on every society it has touched.

                  Look, your ignorance and naivete are cute and charming, but I have work to do.

                  • MT

                    Original sin is what causing our problems, not the IR.

              • MT

                Do you really think the grants are worth as much as a single oil company? Those climate scientists would totally get way more money if they went to peddle lies from oil companies.

                And your other point is a non-sequitur. It’s doesn’t matter if the exact rise of the temperature isn’t exactly right, what matters is the trend, and the trend is that the planet is warming.

                • Last time I did a review of that one misbegotten oil stock in my portfolio many science grants would be larger than that. The trend over the last 18 years is for harmless warming, which the vast majority of deniers would grant in a heartbeat. Warming trends well within the margin of error are no justification for many of the measures we are already doing, much less going further.

                  • Jamesthelast

                    Yeah, your stock is exactly what an oil company would pay a scientist!

            • Nobody remotely sane in the “consensus” camp asserts this. The IPCC has confidence figures much lower.

      • MT

        It’s a non comparison. You are comparing a few people who will make some money to a massive global industry in fossil fuels that effectively has to be dismantled in order for us to continue living well. One side is making money from technology that will actually improve our lives, while the other is spending tons of money on lies in order to further their short term game no matter what the cost to everyone else is.

        • Stu

          Oh, please. Do your really believe that the business entities involved in AGW are lily white? Really?

          Al Gore has made his bank on this all while living high on hog.

          • MT

            So? The clean energy side has truth on it’s side while the other is lying.

            • Stu

              Not necessarily. Even real problems have snake oil salesmen who hype the issue.

            • Silly Interloper

              That is hysterical. The scandals of climate change advocates lying have been front page news several times in the last few years. But don’t let reality stop you from pointing fingers.

            • The proposition that clean energy has truth on its side is, to put it charitably, on that needs proof. Clean energy subsidies in Spain led to pretty large frauds:

              http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/465409/spanish_nighttime_solar_energy_fraud_unlikely_in_uk.html

              • Jamesthelast

                The problems with some company’s behevior doesn’t negate that clean energy is better than fossil fuels by not being hazardous.

                • The problem I have with clean tech is solely with subsidy wasting money and impoverishing us all. Along the way people die of the waste and that bothers me most of all.

                  • Jamesthelast

                    Yeah, saving us from cancer and poisoned water supplies is troublesome. And also having a source of energy that won’t run out in a couple centuries.

                    • Killing people is something I am against, in general. I do not care
                      the method that excess death is caused by. You seem to differ. I find that morally problematic.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      And it comes down to saying I want death. ok.

                    • If the shoe fits…

                      Seriously, there are zero public policy choices that move around trillions of dollars and don’t kill someone. The trick is to help more than you hurt and realize that there are no perfectly happy endings. If you aren’t checking to see how your preferred choices might kill some people, and looking for ways to minimize the number, you are irresponsibly juvenile.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      So you’re calling Popes Francis and Benedict irresponsibly juvenile than? Because they are saying we need clean energy.

                      I’m happy to know that as a guy who believes completely in the teachings of the Church, means that now I am apparently pro death.

                    • No.

                      A major theme of the current encyclical seems to be ensuring that environmentalism is human centered. I support that.

                    • MT

                      You just told that guy he is anti-human for supporting the same thing Pope Francis supports.

                    • He is not supporting what pope Francis is supporting. He is attempting to hijack it, as are you.

    • chezami

      Yes. I remember back when it was lefties who asserted that all science was simply the exertion of the will to power by a ruling class whose “narratives” could be deconstructed. Now it’s the Crazy Right that holds to this view, telling us that the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists is a conspiracy and only a brave band of oil company executives, scientists in their pay, FOX pundits, and talk radio jocks can save us from their nefarious plots.

      • Andy

        The never-ending cycle of “stupidity” – willful – aimed at promoting a world view that maintains power.

      • antigon

        Wait a second Mr. Ami, haven’t you been expressing quite heavy skepticism about those scientists for some years now? A certain religious fanaticism in their advocacy was the provocation, among others, as I recall.

        • chezami

          I have always expressed ignorance of the science for the very good reason that I am not a scientist. I have always granted the premise that there is climate change for the very good reason that change is what climate does. Beyond that, I have always left the matter in the hands of experts to hash out because what do I know? What has always interested me, and interests me here, is how the whole debate is conducted in the popular culture using the language of faith–by both sides. The screams of heresy now being emitted by the Francis-haters completely comport with that phenomenon.

          Part of my reason for wanting to hear what the pope has to say is that, unlike legions of combox wahoos, the pope actually understands the language of faith and where it leaves off and the language of science begins.

      • Silly Interloper

        I don’t care who is asserting what. As you know, I am neither liberal nor conservative and beholden to no party. I care what is truthful, and the climate change alarmists do not have truth on their side. They have been busted numerous times fudging the data, and they are not monolithically in agreement like the press and the political regimes would have you believe.

      • Silly Interloper

        By the way, my comments are not to be taken in light of the encyclical. My assumption is that it will shed the light of truth where it is competent, and that it will have the appropriate qualifiers to allow for rejection of any scientific view.

      • Silly Interloper

        One thing that amazes me, by the way, is how competent everyone expects all scientists to be. Think of any other profession you have ever been in, and consider the proportion of competent individuals vs. incompetent. Get the picture? Scientists are just jerks like the rest of us jerks, and their areas of expertise are comprehensible to any intelligent human being who gives it the time and effort to learn about them.

    • Silly Interloper

      I personally know a former NASA meteorologist who has nothing to do with fossil fuel. According to her the climate change alarmism is a bunch of horse sh*t. Not all “deniers” are owned by the fossil fuel industry, and to assume they all do by the results of a quick google is–to be kind–not especially intelligent or rigorous. The ridiculous public discussion about climate change is distracting from far more dangerous and tragic environmental issues, such as the toxins and hormones in our rivers. Climate change is the modern liberal’s equivalent of Nero fiddling while Rome burns. (Keep in mind that “liberalism” to me includes both the Left and the Right in the modern context.)

      • Andy

        My comment gad more to do with people citing articles in USA Today and the like where scientists are not cited. I don’t know enough science to understand climate change alarmism – I was thinking more about who pays for the research and the impact that has on findings. It is my belief that we have done so much damage to our environment ranging from attempting to make deserts green, California comes to mind, to discharge of hormones in our rivers and pumping them into animals – the list is endless. I hope that in the pipe’s Eco-friendly encyclical he addresses the damage to the environment overall.

        • Silly Interloper

          It would be refreshing to see someone articulate moral and just stewardship rather than radical anti-human eco-worship. But it will be unfortunate if the final draft confuses it with the overly politicized and out-of-control nonsense of climate change alarmism.

          • Andy

            On a personal note – I do not think that over-population which seems to be a popular issue for many who support the global warming idea is the problem — I think that over-consumption and misuse of God’s gift is the problem. I hope the encyclical addresses those issues.

      • Jamesthelast

        Meteorologist is not climate scientist.

        • Please do give the necessary credentials to have credibility. That exercise always turns out amusing.

          • Jamesthelast

            Are you going to ask a non-Theologian why Mary is not the Mother of God and than take their word over the Church is wrong?

            • And now you are starting to realize that you have boxed yourself into a corner with no way out. I am waiting to hear your criteria for disqualifying meteorologists that does not also make a mockery of the 97% consensus meme.

              I am also laughing. Thank you for the comedy.

              • Jamesthelast

                I’m not saying meteorologists can’t be used. But rather taking the word of one guy outside of his field to discredit a whole other field is dumb.

                • I am still waiting for you to give a reasonable definition of who has credibility in climate science. I am also still laughing.

                  • Jamesthelast

                    Climate scientists. Climatology is not the same as meteorology. One studies trends and history on a global basis, the other looks at current conditions and tries to figure out short term probabilities in a small area.

                    • What is a climate scientist? Do you need to get a degree in that?

                    • Jamesthelast

                      Are you dumb? I just explained what a climate scientist is.

                    • No, you actually didn’t. Is Michael Mann a climate scientist by your definition? He does not have a degree in the field.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      How the heck did I not explain what the difference between Climatology and meteorology is?

                    • That explanation is useless for sorting for credibility. I am still waiting for a functional definition that does include the warmists, does not include skeptics, and does not eviscerate the consensus. I predict that you will fail at this. Surprise me.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      Credibility is established from getting papers through a peer-reviewed process. Not writing opt eds.

                      You don’t seem to get the point. Silly Interloper said because of a meteorologist told him climate science is wrong, he believes that to be so. He could perhaps read one of the 3% of papers that says man isn’t the cause and base his thought on that.

                    • Funny, you didn’t actually ask about the fellow’s paper record before you attacked the opinion. Even you don’t use your own criteria.

                      Incredible.

    • The skeptic press has been filled for years with sardonic comments about where’s their big oil/Koch/illuminati money. The big oil people have been retooling and creating green units so they survive and profit no matter who wins and they’ve been doing it for well over a decade. Their attempts at astroturfing stopped quite a long time ago.

      • Jamesthelast

        That’s not true, the Heritage Foundation and CATO institute are all funded by the Kochs and spread much misinformation.

        I agree that big fossil does probably have contingency plans for when the world finally goes green, but they are still pushing much of the denial.

        • Please point to an actual example. Heritage and CATO are two of the most prestigious institutions respected on the right. They would not be where astroturf efforts would center.

          • Jamesthelast

            An example of what? Their constant writings of climate change confusion? Just suggesting that man isn’t causing climate change and even if we are, it isn’t a big deal, is astroturfing.

            You do know that they are funded by the Koch bros right?

            • So anyone who disagrees on the magnitude of anthropogenic climate effects must be astroturfing. They cannot be expressing an honest opinion.

              Thank you for making your bad faith perfectly clear.

              • Jamesthelast

                They are funded by big oil and say man’s CO2 isn’t dangerous. How is that not astroturfing? You keep ignoring the funding.

                • Stop misusing specialist terminology in order to throw around accusations.

                  • Jamesthelast

                    Maybe I didn’t know exactly what the word means, your still avoiding the fact that those think-tanks that frequently dismiss the danger of climate change are in the oil/coal man’s pockets.

                    • You accuse and decline to provide evidence and I am the one avoiding the subject? Project much?

                    • Jamesthelast

                      What? Do I have to do all your research for you? Surely an open minded person would check the funding of highly influential political groups.

                      CATO was founded by the Koch bros. Heretiage recieves donations from them.

                      For Heritage, look here http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Koch_Family_Foundations#2013_.5B28.5D

                    • Please stop trying to shirk your responsibilities. You accuse, you supply the evidence, then its adequacy is properly judged. Even assuming that the Koch brothers are the Bond villains the Left tries to make them out to be, you have to demonstrate a bad act by CATO and Heritage to make your accusation stick that the money is corrupting.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      You just said they disagree on the magnitude of anthropogenic climate change, which means they don’t think it’s a problem. I then showed you that they are funded by oil giants like the Koch bros and yet you just can’t seem to put together that they are probably protecting the profit of their oil funders?

                    • Yes, I am rather reluctant to join your little lynch mob. You still haven’t supplied any evidence of a bad act.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      Isn’t it obvious that they attack the consensus?

                    • Attacking the consensus by itself does not count as a bad act.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      And what is a bad act by your definition?

                      Attacking the consensus while having oil money does look suspicious.

                    • Looks suspicious is the start, not the end. Providing an actual piece of output that doesn’t actually meet the normal standards of the profession along with a link so it can be read by others would at least be a colorable argument.

                    • MT

                      Yeah, groups with oil money that say oil CO2 isn’t much of a problem is totally honest!

                    • Might be corrupt but it’s simply not charitable to make accusations without any actual evidence and it’s certainly not ok to get on a high horse when asked for evidence.

                    • antigon

                      ‘you have to demonstrate a bad act by…Heritage to make your accusation stick that the money is corrupting.’
                      *
                      Does drum-banging for an invasion that gave us ISIS, an Iranian southern Iraq, & current US gov efforts backing no less than Al-Queda & their allies qualify?
                      *
                      Why yes, Lord Copper, I think it does!

                    • So the invasion of Iraq was a plot by big oil to discredit global warming.

                      Your ideas are interesting and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

                    • antigon

                      No, no, t’was of course but demonstrating the corruption that conquered Heritage (& so helped conquer Mosul), but your dodgy non-sequitur was fun anyway, so an upvote for you Mr. L.

          • antigon

            ‘Heritage and CATO are two of the most prestigious institutions respected on the right.’
            *
            As to Heritage, respected as prestigious by the neocon or perhaps better to say Trotskyite right, but not by anyone serious.

            • My point is that Heritage isn’t where you start an astro-turf campaign by big oil. That remains true even if your critique were true.

  • Baron Kaza

    I honestly believe you would defend Francis if he renounced the Holy Trinity….the man is a menace and ripping the Church from within…

    • chezami

      There’s that unhinged Reactionary hysteria. Thanks for demonstrating my point. What? No Nazis? You disappoint me!

  • Ken

    It’s fascinating to watch people who are so convinced that the world is divided into two camps, liberal and conservative, and cannot imagine anybody, even the Pope, might not view the world from this perspective. Perhaps, the Pope doesn’t care about the American political culture that is largely a creation of the media. Perhaps, Pope Francis is actually trying to lead the Church and this is something that we could learn from. I’m not sure about why or how Global Warming may be occurring but I’ll at least read the document with an open mind. Is that too much to ask of the church?

  • Bear Fact

    I don’t think concern for the planet is an issue devoid of moral content, as everything we eat, drink and breathe is in some way connected to it. (It always seems like the goods of this world become a hockey puck for the psychopaths of consumer materialism.) The real issue is: why does this seem even remotely controversial? It’s because the high ground of environmentalism has been staked out by those same psychopaths of consumer materialism. Get ready to pay a tax.

  • AquinasMan

    Forget the details of the encyclical. The power is in the perception of the act of even addressing the issue. It’s one thing to make competent observations AS the spiritual leader of THE WORLD. It’s another thing to throw in with scientists as if science informs faith. That’s completely backwards. This is like having an ecclesial “Year of Self Defense” because Smith and Wesson publishes data showing that the murder rate goes down where the community is armed to the teeth. Whether the data is correct or not — and that’s nowhere near decided — is irrelevant. This will be used to further marginalize the Church — WHATEVER IT SAYS — and “sustainability” will be the new “Pro-Choice” cudgel. I generally try to not criticize Bloggers, but Mark, this is total blindness on your part. The ramifications are staggering once this is officially published. Just staggering. He could be theologically on the money, and it won’t matter. It’s not a battle that needed to be engaged while the doctrinal underpinnings of the faith are being relentlessly attacked in the West.

    Peace…

    • Dan13

      Love your neighbor is a pretty important doctrine of our faith. Scientists believe 1) humans influence climate change and 2) there will be dispropriately more harm done to the world’s poor as a result of climate change. Prudence strongly suggests that we accept the scientists’ findings. Our Carholic faith then demands that we try to reverse or mitigate these trends–through morally acceptable means of course–in order to aid our brothers and sisters, that is, love them, throughout the world.

      • AquinasMan

        None of this is remotely proven. That’s not an act of prudence to accept it. The data has been proven to be grossly manipulated, and once the dishonesty was uncovered, the terminology was switched from “global warming” to “climate change”, because, you know, that yacht isn’t going to name itself.

        Every single encyclical, at its base is about loving God and/or loving God through loving neighbor. This is just about as imprudent an undertaking as we could have engaged in. My opinion. Your mileage may vary.

        • Stu

          And that is risk of hitching your wagon to something like AGW. If it is discredited, then the whole encyclical will be so. Good stewardship of the environment can stand on its own. Let’s see how the strong the lash-up really is.

          • Paul

            If the encyclical is done correctly, it won’t directly hitch the wagon to AGW, but will indicate that we must give deference to genuine scientific inquiry in our analysis of human action and its effect upon God’s creation (which include humans).

            • Stu

              Yup. Let’s see how he does.

            • From my bad google machine translation of the leaked text, the Pope has done exactly this tilting but not committing the Church to the AGW current consensus.

        • MT

          Do you really believe that the whole international science community is in a bigger conspiracy to fool everyone one climate change than the massive fossil fuel industry that has big profits at stake?

          Because what you are effectively saying is that no scientific group is trustworthy as there’s no reason to believe that some how climate science is crocked and medical science isn’t.

          • AquinasMan

            Put no trust in princes — be they fossil fuel industrialists or climatologists. I’m not exonerating or waxing rhapsodic on the beauty of a factory pouring black smoke into the atmosphere; I’m also not carving out an idol in the shape of Al Gore.

            Without clear-cut, unassailable evidence, I find this whole odyssey to be what they call in sports an “unforced error”. I sincerely hope I am embarrassingly wrong about this.

            • MT

              I’m not sure what a fool like Al Gore has to do with the green house effect existing. We don’t say the Church is wrong because it’s member are sinful, why would we say the same for science? I’m not really sure how accepting a scientific truth is putting trust in princes. Why else did God give us minds and a world that is perfectly suited for figuring out this stuff?

              The science for climate change is very clear cut that it is happening and is our fault. I challenge you too look for actually scientific research that proves that is the case. You won’t because there isn’t any.

              • The greenhouse effect is mostly accepted. It’s the shape of the curve and the nature of the feedback loops where things start to get controversial.

          • The international science community is engaged in a conspiracy called specialization of knowledge with professional courtesy and has been for centuries. You don’t need more than that. The vast majority of scientists aren’t hand checking the results except very sporadically and they are just as vulnerable to the self delusion of trusting authorities as the rest of us. The fact that some of the anti-side people are loons doesn’t help.

            • Jamesthelast

              Specialization of knowledge means ignorance of the whole picture, not that the Specialists don’t know their own stuff.

              • The “97% consensus” relies heavily on non-specialists. Specialization requires it. Professional courtesy’s role is largely in not aggressively checking the specialists’ math.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            If you don’t think medical science is crocked, you haven’t been paying attention.

          • antigon

            Dear MT:
            *
            Maybe more trustworthy than the massively ridiculous apostasy of the clericalists in decades recent, but given the potency of fashion, arguably not by much. The greedheads too, of course, as to another side of that counterfeit coin.

      • Craig Roberts

        Got it…saving souls is out…saving the planet is in.

        • Alma Peregrina

          You didn’t get it, because no one said “saving souls is out”. But you false dichotomy sugests that you didn’t want to get it in the first place.

          • Craig Roberts

            Got it…faith in scientists is in…faith in Jesus is out.

            • MT

              Do you have no ability to read? No where did Dan say faith in Jesus is out.

              • Craig Roberts

                It’s implied eco-idolator. “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Rev 21:1

                • JM1001

                  Hmm. It is true that Revelation speaks of a “new earth,” but I fail to see how that negates our moral responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation (which includes earth). Indeed, Revelation also says this:

                  “The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:17-18, emphasis mine)

                  • Craig Roberts

                    Good one! And don’t forget: “But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,…” 2 Tim 2:23-24
                    I guess you win.

                    • antigon

                      Excellent quotations Mr. Roberts, & we may hope you repeat them often to thyself, as penance for failing to apply them back when you were defending torture & the glories of letting others turn the middle east into Peoria.

                    • Craig Roberts

                      Repeat this ‘often to thyself’, ”O wada goo Siam.”

                    • antigon

                      ‘O wada goo Siam.’
                      *
                      Dear Mr. Roberts:
                      *
                      O dear. After penitentially invoking those Biblical quotations against thy former public nonsense, it appears with this quote that you’re retreating to thy intellectual acumen of yore.

                    • Craig Roberts

                      ‘thy’? ‘yore’? ‘thyself’? Where are you from? 1678?

                    • antigon

                      Dear Mr. Roberts:
                      *
                      While understandably so, methinks thou art avoiding the main subject of thy most piously selective hypocrisies.
                      *
                      PS: Mr. Ami above notes that ‘I loves me my colloquialisms,’ but perhaps we can all agree that pleasure should not be his alone.

                    • Craig Roberts

                      Good on ya mate! You want to talk like Shakespear’s butler, have at it. As to the ‘main subject’, have you read some of the document we are discussing? Does it not sound like the ramblings of a two-bit poly-sci professor?

                      As a Catholic, I would find it much easier to explain to the common man that the eucharist is the real presence of our Lord, than that the pope has produced a profound document of deep spirituality. Mainly because the first is true and the latter a lie.

                    • antigon

                      Dear Mr. Roberts:
                      *
                      Ok. And haven’t yet read it, while remaining dismayed & uneasy about the current pontiff’s clericalist comrades & proclivities that, among other things, very much looks like an effort to replace the Faith with a kind rotary club quite of the world, rather than but in it.
                      *
                      My complaint with you, tho, is your failure to apply those excellent Biblical quotations above to the neocon enterprise which – so far – has given us ISIS, an Iranian southern Iraq, & recent alliances with no less than Al-Queda & their sponsors.
                      *
                      The enterprise for which, in modern & plain English, you chose to bang drums rather than quote Scripture as I recall.

                    • Craig Roberts

                      “…the neocon enterprise which – so far – has given us ISIS…”

                      Sorry. You lost me. I had no idea that I gave you ISIS.

                      “modern & plain English”
                      Really? I’m lost again. I guess words just aren’t my thing.

                    • antigon

                      ‘I guess words just aren’t my thing.’
                      *
                      Nor honesty, apparently. Nor Scripture, save to employ it like that famous angel as an ideological bludgeon rather than for the purposes intended.
                      *
                      Really, Craig, get rid of that blinding beam.

                    • Craig Roberts

                      Honesty? You want HONESTY? Then…’honestly’…tell us about how this encylical will enrich the Church and be a beacon of hope for generations to come.

                      “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;

                      be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’

                      Make the heart of this people calloused;

                      make their ears dull

                      and close their eyes.

                      Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

                      hear with their ears,

                      understand with their hearts,

                      and turn and be healed.”

                    • antigon

                      Actually, Craig, t’was hoping for some intellectual honesty from you. But t’would appear ideological abuse of Scripture is all you’ve got.
                      *
                      Nonetheless, since it was Isaiah you chose to abuse this time, I have to admit ‘The Assyrian shall be the rod of My wrath’ has always intrigued.

              • Craig Roberts

                “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Mat 6:34
                I guess Jesus didn’t know about global warming.

                • Alma Peregrina

                  “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
                  Mat 16:18

                  • Craig Roberts

                    The Church will indeed prevail. It’s this earth that is passing away (Rev 21:1)

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      Exactly what the Holy Father is trying to convey. Thank you for proving His Holiness’ point.

                    • Craig Roberts

                      “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the (scientific prophets of doom)!”

            • Alma Peregrina

              Hum… you’re trying to embarass yourself?

              • Craig Roberts

                “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Rom 1:16
                I guess St. Paul didn’t realize that SCIENCE! would supplant the gospel one day.

                • Alma Peregrina

                  I guess you didn’t understand that you replied with a false dichotomy to my comment about you establishing false dichotomies.

                  But please, do go ahead being childish like that and scoring points against strawmen and quoting the Bible against the Holy Father, like the Devil did with Jesus in the desert.

                  You’re not helping your cause, you’re just making a fool of yourself. So I’ll let you keep on with the good work of wrecking your own side of the debate.

                  • Craig Roberts

                    “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…” 1Cor 1:27

      • Scientists believe that any economic prediction beyond ten years is nothing more than a joke. The bad part about global warming is mostly occurring in the out years well beyond our prediction horizon. The short term effects are a mixed bag, but in no way have the predictions of climate refugees and other bad effects from anthropogenic (man caused) changes been borne out.

        We gain nothing by increasing cold deaths in the UK this year in order to delay warming in 2100 by two weeks but that’s what we’re doing. There are a lot of things that we can do today that save lives, things we aren’t doing for lack of resources. Prudence dictates that we should deploy our resources to maximize the number of lives saved. We aren’t doing that when we spend on global warming except in very limited circumstances.

    • I agree that the details of the encyclical are less important that the act of the pope addressing the issue. Even more, I would say that his attitude, that of embracing and encouraging something as “wordly” and “modern” as the ecological ethos (and exposing himself to the comtempt of the counter-cultural christians which always know better than the world, and which regard all those things as flags that belong to the enemies)… that might be the core magisterial act of this encyclical. And that alone makes me happy.

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        So you don’t care about the planet, just sticking it to those you regarding as ideological enemies? Telling, And not in that good way we all like.

        • Neil

          Ultimately, in God’s plan of salvation, no, the planet doesn’t matter. Only grace through faith will save you, not hybrid cars or green energy. Worship God, this earth is merely a created thing.

          • MT

            No one is saying we have to be “green” for salvation, that’s silly. Of course while the material world is not our permanent home, that doesn’t mean we can just commit suicide by trashing it.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            You know, Neil, you’re a horse’s ass, and a stumbling block to salvation.

            • Neil

              Romanism is the real stumbling block to salvation, as once again evidenced by Francis’s endorsement of Warmism.

              God, in his infinite all powerful sovereignty, has decided to lead you into the error of Romanism. I pray that in his plan he will lead you out and into the truth of the Reformed Faith. If his will is otherwise, you will be forever enslaved to a corrupted, deficient form of Christianity .

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                See, the reason you are a stumbling block to salvation is that, seeing how you comport yourself, among strangers no less, it tests even the basic faith that God loves each and every human being, individually. I mean, I can fathom Him grudgingly including you in the human family, but not much more. And I ask “Why God, why create something so abhorrent? ”

                And then I remember Christianity is a religion, not of answers, but of mysteries.

              • Silly Interloper

                Careful Neil. If you are taking the position that one human being’s misguided endorsement is evidence against a religion, all Christianity is done. Any endorsement Francis gives of Warmism is outside the competency of the papacy and is not at all evidence against the Church that Jesus Christ established.

        • You could guess that I was glad that the pope was (in my estimation) embracing what is good in the modern sensibilities (and hence showing that affirmations like “the Church herself knows how richly she has profited by the history and development of humanity” are more than big empty words), and doing that in spite of the opposition of many (in my estimation) fervent but misguided catholics – and, by doing so, help us all to be better catholics.
          You can also, of course, opt for the most malevolent reading of my comments, and assume that my feelings have the meanest motivations. That, also, can be telling.

    • I think that the truth matters. I agree with you that this encyclical will be used as you say, but that you’re wrong to criticize Pope Francis for doing it because the Church would be criticized with an eye to marginalization if it didn’t publish such an encyclical. The enemies of the Church never stop their attacks no matter what the Church does. The Church might as well be active and fight instead of going into the fetal position.

      Pope Francis is employing a sophisticated strategy of bold action that draws people out of their trench warfare slogfests and into unfamiliar terrain of lightning maneuver. This is good for the Church and good for the world. He’s not perfect, but he *is* audacious and is getting people to *think* which is really the best you can hope for from a Jesuit.

      • Silly Interloper

        I don’t think it is wrong to question the wisdom or the circumstances of publishing an encyclical and to examine the potential effects. After all, there was once an encyclical (I forget which one and which pope) that a pope was forced to write upon pain of death to change doctrine. It was written in such a way that the intended doctrinal change wasn’t actually articulated, though apparently his oppressors didn’t realize it. The Holy Spirit protects the Church infallibly from the shenanigans of the human popes, but that doesn’t make the shenanigans not shenanigans. (Infallibility doesn’t empower the pope–it protects us from the pope.)

        • Since I, personally, am doing a little questioning myself, I certainly agree with your point on the legitimacy of questioning. I’m defending Pope Francis where I think he’s right and staking out my own opinions for doing better next time where I think he’s wrong. This makes my treatment of him the same as the previous popes in my adult lifetime. It also makes me defend him more than I thought I would be doing.

  • Neil

    The twisting and turning, hemming and hawing you perform in a sad attempt to justify Francis’s pronouncements of leftist dogma is downright jesuitical.

    That the Roman Church is now endorsing a leftist cargo cult fraud like the so-called Global Warming and promoting envirowackoism is another sign that it long ago left the true Faith.

    Fossil fuels are a gift of the Almighty, and are intended to be dug up and used to the glory of God, not left in the ground. Read the Parable of the Talents.

    Read scripture, pray and ask for forgiveness from Christ Jesus before the Roman Church leads you into Warmism, which will serve as a means for Satan to deliever you into the religion of Gaia, one of the “Synagogues of Satan” scripture warns us about.

    • Stu

      “Roman Church”

      (snicker)

      • Neil

        Instead of snickering, reflect on how easily the Roman system of salvation can easily lead one from merely corrupted Christianity (i.e. Romanism) into something actually pagan/satanic like Gaia worship. It’s not hard to figure out-one system of works-salvation doesn’t satisfy so you move on to the next, trying to fill the hole in your heart that only God alone can.

        Warmism even has its own system of indulgences (carbon credits). No wonder Francis is into it.

        • Stu

          I snicker because you humor me.

          Dude, the apologetic battle with fundamentalists was fought and won some time ago. I too once had your beliefs. Some study and history led me home to the Truth.

          But you have to want it.

          • Neil

            I am not a fundie. I am a believer in the Reformed Faith.

            • Stu

              Reformed by whose standard?

              • Neil

                By the standards of God as revealed in Holy Scripture, encapsulated in the Westminster Confession, which thoroughly refutes by clear logical argument the Council of Trent and all its corrupt works.

                • Stu

                  Who determines the “standards of God as revelaed in Holy Scripture, encapsulated in the Westminster Confession” when there is some disagreement between you and some other guy in the “Reformed Faith?”

                  • Joseph

                    Silly Protestants… but it’s fun to put them in that hamster wheel.

            • Mike Petrik

              Oh, that explains it. We believe in Jesus’s faith.

    • MT

      lol, good job denying truth.

      • Craig Roberts

        Is Jesus the truth? He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” and “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”

  • Peggy

    So long as there’s no matter of faith or doctrine tied up in this silliness, let Francis have his fun, I guess.

    Now, I am going to be stupid and stubborn about logic, facts, science. Yes, there is much fraud and manipulation supporting AGW (climate change) theories from M Mann, East Anglia and NOAA.

    Further, parties on board with the AGW agenda, EPA and Bjorn Lomborg for 2, have studies out that indicate, even if we cut CO2 output by radical measures over the next century or so, we could not move the climate (ave temps) down by more than 1 degree Celsius. For the US that’s $700 TRILLION over 90 years for a 1 degree improvement in the situation. And the US is not the problematic CO2 emitter.

    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=3ede3e93-813f-4449-97e6-0d6eb54fbc9e

    Let’s take things to the logical conclusion, then. If we CANNOT change the climate by more than 1 degree over an almost 100 year period with radical cuts in energy use etc, then we probably are NOT causing the problem in the first place.

    Take some time to allow that logic to sink into your heads.

    I’m not providing all links as I’ve done so before. This is the conclusion I’ve reached after much research and a similar debate here last week.

    One more thing. What does this have to do w/Third World poverty to the point that the First World owes it $ b/c of climate impact? Huh? Oh, watch out for the population control folks who want Third World pop reduced. And I guess the AGW movement doesn’t want these folks to ever enjoy indoor plumbing or electricity. That’s not very nice or caring for the poor, or pro-life.

    I know. How can logic withstand this era of “mass delusion.” (See The Federalist web site if you want to know more on that.)

    • HornOrSilk

      Morality is a part of the papal charism.

      • Peggy

        yes, wisely using the resources God gave us is good and moral and Catholic teaching. But signing off on a particular solution that has so many holes in it is not really wise in my view.

        • HornOrSilk

          He can protest against various actions which are causing the problem. Your claims really undermine his ability to be a moral guide, similar to those who say he is not a doctor, so he can’t speak against abortion.

          • Peggy

            He’s buying into a falsehood based on manipulated data and shutting down alternative views. This is a political and economic agenda he’s signing onto, not just expressing concern for God’s creation.

            • HornOrSilk

              You are buying the falsehood, of misrepresentation of the data and into an agenda which serves against the morality of the Catholic Church.

              • Peggy

                I wouldn’t say that either side serves the Church. The EPA’s own data indicate that it would cost the US $700 TRILLION over 90 years to reduce the ave temp by ONLY 1 degree Celsius. Think of all the economic ruin…not just large corporations, but their hundreds of thousands of employees, the many small businesses that can’t absorb the costs, and the households that would have to pay astronomical utility bills and higher costs for all goods. Also, consider then that the third world cannot develop, cannot have electricity or any factories so as not to have more CO2 emitted. So, all of that for NOTHING.

                There are many better ways to help the poor, if that is the goal–which sounds like the primary concern of Francis.

    • MT

      “Let’s take things to the logical conclusion, then. If we CANNOT change
      the climate by more than 1 degree over an almost 100 year period with
      radical cuts in energy use etc, then we probably are NOT causing the
      problem in the first place.”
      That’s actually a false conclusion. You’re forgetting how CO2 stays for a long time, meaning that what’s been released already is too much for removing all of it to prevent disaster right away.

      • Peggy

        There are scientists who have asserted there is no imminent disaster. Al Gore’s movie is not going to come to pass. We can’t change the climate by stopping CO2 output. In any case, the CO2 emission increases are coming from India and China. The US has pretty tight regs as it is. Economic disaster is what we must avert.

        And, you know what? If we can’t “fix” whatever past problem we have allegedly caused, then perhaps this is how things end. Perhaps this is God’s plan for moving on to the next phase…eternal life..whatever that might be…final judgment… We are to be ready. We can go to confession. That’s the most important thing we can do. That’s what the Church should be talking to us about…preparing our souls for God’s plans for us….

        • MT

          I don’t know what you are reading, most climate scientists are saying the IPCC is actually downplaying how bad things will get. And stop using Al Gore, he’s not a scientist, it’s like using Pope Alexander VI to show how the Papacy is all wrong.

          India and China are going to have to stop increasing emissions, and they know it.

          But we can fix it, if we stop all CO2 emissions now, we won’t have totally catastrophe in the future.

          What you are saying makes no sense. Literally your saying that because I can’t stop a rock that we dropped from a hill, it means that I can’t have possibly have dropped it.

          Your last paragraph is kind of crazy. Of course we must be ready to meet God as that is our goal, to be in Heaven. But the end should be coming from God only and not preventable human stupidity.

          • Joseph

            Problem is, you can’t separate the politicised AGW agenda from Banco de Algore. He, and his cronies, are at ground zero of the AGW debate because this is a well that will produce a perpetual source of income based on something completely arbitrary. They are holding hands together, they are fudging the numbers together. So, yep, if you buy the AGW argument that is proposed in popular science, you buy the Al Gore action figure.
            .
            The Pope’s encyclical is *not* going to shower praise on those people and their junk science. Even in the leak he’s criticising the Carbon Credit scheme and pointing out how it will actually do more harm. He will discuss how humans, by wrecking the environment, are offending God and the temporal consequences of that are manifesting themselves in damaging effects from the environment we’re destroying. Not popular language for the right or the left.

          • Peggy

            MT: If you believe in AGW, yes, I guess I’d agree w/your last para. I don’t. I don’t think it’s all Algore. He’s not been at the front for a while.

            I have read several NASA scientists, Bjorn Lomborg, Roy Spencer, EPA study on cost and AGW amelioration, among others. I’ve read leaked emails from East Anglia about the fraud they engaged in as well as about the need to suppress contradictory information. I have read scientists who’ve critiqued M Mann’s hockey stick. I can’t recall those names at the moment. Among other works. Some of these scientists are not outright deniers, but they’re being shut down around the world (eg, Lomborg) b/c they are not with the agenda. There is not consensus. There’s bullying and shutting down opposition.

            • MT

              Yeah, a handful of scientists vs. the 97% consensus. No dissenters are being shut down, the only reason there seems to be a lack of dissent is because to dissent is to deny reality.

              What is it with people these days anyway? One group denies the reality of science, the other denies the reality of human nature and sexuality. It’s all crazy.

              • Peggy

                The 97% represents percent of articles published, not percent of scientists. Access to academic journals can be controlled. There is much effort to deny publication and legitimacy, to “deniers.” (eg, No uni in Australia will host a Bjorn Lomborg think tank b/c of his views on AGW.)

                Source for 97%. This is a pro-AGW site:
                http://skepticalscience.com/97-percent-consensus-cook-et-al-2013.html

                • Jamesthelast

                  Yeah, articles published by climate scientists. Who cares what computer engineers and what not have to say? Are you going to ask an atheist why heaven and hell are real?

                  The reason no dissent is “allowed” to be published is because there actually aren’t any papers that take in all the indicators of a warming planet and conclude that humans are not the cause. It likes complaining that no one is allowed to publish a paper on how germ theory isn’t real, or how geocentrism is reality.

    • MT

      Also, being environmentally sound doesn’t require population control.

      • Peggy

        I don’t agree with calls for pop control, but that is what’s being called for by the AGWers.

        • MT

          That’s exactly why we should all be happy that the Pope is getting into this issue. Because climate change is a real problem that (hopefully sooner than later) the world is going to take collective action on. The world needs to be remind of the proper care of human dignity.

          • Peggy

            It is NOT a REAL problem. Data have been manipulated and some have been outright fraudulent.

            • Jamesthelast

              Now you’re using the “it’s all a big conspiracy fallacy” without considering that the fossil fuel companies that have much to lose are probably the ones lying. Why would a bunch of scientists work to tell the world something no one wants to hear, for less money than they could get from fossil fuel companies to tell us that everything is going to be alright?

        • Joseph

          Even in the leak, he’s in opposition to the nutbars you’re speaking of. I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Marthe Lépine

      It’s not “matters of faith and doctrine”, but “matters of faith and moral”, and there is a moral aspect to everything we, human beings created by God, do, including decisions about the use or misuse of creation…

      • Peggy

        I know that is the usual expression. I did not say morals b/c there are indeed legitimate moral issues with being good stewards of God’s creation. I don’t think anything about this silly AGW/climate change agenda should become like anything close to doctrine.

    • Joseph

      Even in the leak he criticises the Carbon Credit scheme and, by proxy, Banco de Algore. So, no, he’s not supporting the quacks or zealots with a financially beneficial dog in the fight here… in other words, he’s not writing an encyclical that is going to be entirely pleasing to the leftist nutbars. It’s going to rub the righties and the lefties the wrong way.

      • Peggy

        Yes, I am aware Francis is not supporting the carbon credits aspect. That is one good thing.

  • MT

    Bravo, a great article Mark.

  • ManyMoreSpices

    I’m a Climate Change Denier or Global Warming Crypto-Nazi or whatever the fashionable epithet is. I won’t get deep into the weeds on my views here, nor have I any interest in debating substance at this point.

    My concern about this encyclical is that it may stake out testable positions that will turn out to be scientifically false. Imagine, for example, if this encyclical came out a decade ago, and followed scientific consensus then: whoopsie-daisy! Perhaps the Holy Spirit protected Benedict from issuing an encyclical then, predicting more Atlantic hurricanes, and ending up with egg on his face. Francis will have gone to his reward by the time that his predictions are confirmed or disproved, but the damage he may do to the persuasive authority of the Church long after he’s gone may be huge. If individual scientists are wrong about Climate Change, their names will be forgotten. If the Church backs the wrong horse, we’ll have a new Galileo for the Church’s enemies to beat us over the head with for the next half-millennium at least.

    I still welcome this encyclical, however, because it’s important that the Church have a voice in the Climate Change discussions. The Church cannot abandon the field to those whose solutions might mitigate the damage done, but do so through evil means. I’d rather have the Church sign on to an ultimately false scientific hypothesis and ensure that population control isn’t part of the solution than have the Church stand idly by while the developed world imposes immoral solutions to the perceived problem.

    • Craig Roberts

      “Repent and believe the BAD news!”

      • Na

        presuming someone needs to repent is a microaggression

        • Craig Roberts

          HA!…oh wait…were you serious?…I’m not the denier! I’m not the crypto-nazi anti-progress conservative rightie!…….NOOOOOOOO!!!

    • kenofken

      “My concern about this encyclical is that it may stake out testable positions that will turn out to be scientifically false….”

      That’s the whole risk and reward of the scientific enterprise and what makes it such a valuable tool for advancing knowledge. Science doesn’t purport to make any eternal, complete and unassailable pronouncements on anything. It’s theories are tentative working models which are always vulnerable to being proven wrong or incomplete. Of course scientists as humans will sometimes cling to their ideas out of egoism or ideology, but over the long haul, data talks and everything else walks. The Church discredited itself with the Galileo affair not because it backed the wrong science, but because it ham-handedly suppressed good science for theological and political reasons and continued that suppression for centuries after they were shown to be wrong.

      The Church won’t be held in disrepute if it formulates positions based on the best scientific data of the day. It will lose credibility if it subscribes to the pseudoscience of climate change denialism.

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        The Church didn’t suppress good science. Are you even aware of the actual argument of the time? Galileo had no evidence for his position, because the evidence at that time was on Bacon’s side.

        There was a window in the 19th and very early 20th centuries when the evidence supported Galileo. But before the middle of the 20the, it was apparent both positions were inadequate to describe reality.

        Stick with drumcircles and white power and leave science to the grownups.

  • ManyMoreSpices

    When it’s pelvic stuff the left tells the pope to shut up because what does he know about sex? When it’s money stuff, the right shouts him down because what does he know about money

    Not perfectly comparable. Paul VI didn’t explain that contraception was wrong because it interfered with the natural process by which the Stork deposits infants on doorsteps. The science in Humanae Vitae is unassailable. When the Pope makes specific claims about the causes of global poverty or global warming, he’s not necessarily correct.

  • Excellent post. It would have been perfect had you not misspelled beau coup. Otherwise, no arguments from me on this score.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Actually, it should be “beaucoup” in one word…

      • merci beaucoup

        • I think it was a deliberate misspelling. But it is a wrong misspelling, since beaucoup is pronounced boh-coo, not boo-coo. N’est-ce pas?

          Or maybe Mark intended a deliberate mispronunciation too?

          Let’s face it, he’s way too subtle for us.

          • He’s even more clever than you think. The American (slang) version originated in the South and there it was mispronounced as “boo coo” and as far as I know, Mark has never spent much time in the South.

            • cmfe

              Anglicized as a slang term, it had currency during the 30’s and 40’s. Watch old Warner Bros. gangster movies or listen to my very Yankee dad for examples of it’s use.

              • Peggy

                I wasn’t going to join this topic, as fun as it looks.

                Here in St Louis, streets and such are named after one of the French founders, Chouteau, of course. The locals pronounce the name “Show-toe” (the English words we know). My sister, who also speaks French w/me, informed me when I pronounced the street “Shoe-toe” (say the English words I spelled) as one would in French!

                • ManyMoreSpices

                  I bet you don’t call it “SAN-loo-EE,” though.

                  • Peggy

                    Nope. I might say “Sahn Loo-ee” though! ;^D

                    A female columnist new in town started calling the city The Lou some years ago. I objected as it was a homonym to “the loo” and thus rather insulting!

                    And as a further aside, for some reasons, the public schools now use the term “homophone” instead of homonym. ?

                    • ManyMoreSpices

                      I suspect that’s because homophones and homonyms are, in many cases, different things.

                      “Lou” and “Loo” are homophones. They are not homonyms.

                    • Peggy

                      I beg to differ, cordially, of course. Homonyms was the term I learned growing up to refer to words that had the same sound, whether they were spelled the same or not. Homophones are apparently a subset, where the spelling is different, but the pronunciation the same.

                      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/homonym

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Homonyms (same name) are always spelled the same, but can be pronounced differently.

                      Homophones (same sound ) always sound the same but can be spelled differently.

                      There are some words, such as bear, which are both homophonic and homonymic.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              I have never heard a southerner mispronounced beaucoup. We have Louisiana, remember?

              • Because of the French influence in Louisiana, you might expect correct pronunciation. That changed when it arrived in GA and Ala. LaFayette, Georgia is pronounced “luh FAY ut”.

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  I think it’s closer to la-FET, but I grant your point, although I have still always heard boCOO, not BOOcoo, which sounds Yankee to my ears.

    • chezami

      I loves me my colloquialisms.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    You must like to fish, Mark, as you certainly opened a big can of worms. 🙂

  • ivan_the_mad

    I speculate that this encyclical will accomplish the same as other papal encyclicals. It will examine a difficult issue through the lens of timeless teaching, and provide sound guidance to the faithful. It will be a beacon of sanity in an insane world.

    oremus pro pontifice etc

    • Sadly, because “it will examine a difficult issue through the lens of timeless teaching, and provide sound guidance to the faithful”, it will be rejected by many.

      • ivan_the_mad

        You say will be, but has been may be the better tense. There is, I think, much “intellectual pride or exaggerated reliance on one’s own insight”.

    • Craig Roberts

      Said the ‘mad’ man.

    • The problem with papal encyclicals such as this one is when they don’t get the science right, the theology leads astray as even correct timeless principles applied to a world that doesn’t actually exist are not going to yield the correct path

      • Willard

        I’m curious to know what papal encyclicals in the past got the science wrong?

        • Vix Pervenit is the last one I ever ran across. It addressed usury without the Pope of the day consulting experts in economics and doesn’t address the time value of money, a concept that had been first written about by Catholics at the school of Salamanca some time prior. Of course, you have to accept that economics is a science for my point to work and if we differ on that issue, I won’t fight.

          • You say Pope Benedict XIV did not consult experts in economics when writing Vix Pervenit. Haven’t we been assured that Pope Francis has consulted experts in climate science?

            • The important continuity is Pope Benedict XIV got a pretty important point of economics wrong, that people prefer money today instead of money tomorrow and thus his point about equivalency in lending ends up badly stated. The theology is fine. The poor economics means that people have been misled on the issue, up to and including today.

              There is little functional difference between a pope who does not consult a relevant set of experts and a pope who consults the relevant experts and is steered wrong. In both cases the resulting encyclical will have problems. I don’t put much blame on Pope Francis. He’s in a tough spot with regards to his curia. It’s a little much to expect him to red team the Papal Academy of Science. That sort of innovation and sticking your neck out in a bureaucracy is extraordinary. Yet it could have happened and people did try to give him alternative views.

              • Ken

                I think you have it backwards. People prefer money now rather than in the future. The value of the payment could decrease in value and the person receiving the money could invest it how they would want to. That’s a simple economic principal. One of the reasons it so hard to get people to save for retirement.

                • We agree on the economic principle. Sorry if I was not clear.

                  • Ken

                    Rereading your comment I see what you meant. Thanks for clarifying.

            • JEANNIEMAC2

              It depends on the experts he consulted. At a recent Vatican attendance a Catholic homosexual group was given a place of honor. Unfortunately, it was the wrong homosexual group that Pope Francis chose. It was “Dignity” a homosexual group demanding dignity as homosexuals. “Courage”, on the other hand, is a Catholic homosexual group who have chosen to remain chaste. Sometimes it appears that Pope Francis is over doing it with the St. Francis image.

  • Kim
  • Dwight A. Lindley III

    Amen, Mark!

  • Athanasius2

    I read the Italian draft. I was happy to see the technology section was based on Guardini, not Leonardo Boff, as his disciples have been publicly claiming (and I know for an absolute fact that those who actually WERE asked to contribute research for encyclicals CANNOT trumpet that fact publicly). The Bible section was good; the theology of creation parts were heavily indebted to Benedict XVI and John Paul II (there are a ton of footnotes related to them as well as to the Catechism, etc. so yes, we are in the tradition!).

    I do not know if the final version (which some people have seen, but I am not one of them, though I know one who did) will contain everything this one did, but to my mind there was way, way to much detail on conferences in Stockholm, Rio, etc. etc.
    Just my opinion….

  • Sue Korlan

    As for me, I believe that there is a quick and simple solution to global warming which we may soon be suffering through if we and the rest of the world don’t get our collective act together and learn to treat everyone with respect. It’s called nuclear winter.

  • Casey Voce

    A very important comment: “boocoo” should be spelled “buku”. It was brought over by vets in Vietnam. From the Frence “Beaucoup”.
    You can no continue with life feeling all edified and stuff.

    • D.T. McCameron

      I’ve just been spelling it the French way? Surely we’ve been pardoning our French since before the 60s?

  • DaGeek

    Francis is joining in league with those whose solution to global warming involves abortion and contraception. And it appears to many of us that this “problem” was conjured up in order to justify such “solutions” (oh yeah, and to bring an end to free market capitalism and introduce state planning in all things economic and environmental). Those whose eyes are opened see the godlessness in the entire movement, and we are dismayed that our Holy Father has swallowed the hook.

    • Andy

      And your proof for this is what?

      • Jamesthelast

        Because Fox told me so

  • antigon