Papal Encyclical on “Climate Change”: Some Thoughts

From the guys in the know.


One opinion:

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

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

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

I can see how Pope Francis might view things like slave labour and the Third World’s inability to keep up with First World economic powerhouses as evils that have negative effects on the environment. Needless to say, Pope Francis is not a scientific scholar as Copernicus or Gregor Mendel were. Joe Ronan, who wrote this article, makes it a point to note the Pope’s lack of scholarship and referencing, as well as trust on biased advisors, as the enormous blemish on this encyclical.


If these is bright spot in all of this, Pope Francis calls carbon credit trading “a ploy“:

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


In case people were worried about “population control“:

For Pope Francis, caring about the environment goes hand in hand with taking a strong stand against abortion. “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion,” the encyclical says. “How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?”

Francis suggests that efforts to slow population growth are misguided and a distraction from the underlying cause of the world’s environmental crisis—the hoarding of the Earth’s resources by the rich and powerful. “To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues,” the encyclical says.

So there’s that.


Marc Morano from Climate Depot is not optimistic.


  • Observer

    Pope Francis reads from the Gospels of Karl……. Marx.

    • SMC_BC


      • just a thought

        When someone calls for “…the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State…”
        I.e., “spread the wealth around,” which means he’s a socialist. He may not be a revolutionary socialist, but a socialist none the less.

        Google “Pope Francis” with “social justice” to see how often he’s employed that term. Now, realize that it is a code word for “I’m a Communist”

        • SMC_BC

          I don’t care what some crackpot has to say about the pope. Catholic social teaching follows the principle of subsidiarity. If you don’t understand it it’s explained here:

          • just a thought

            Thanks for strengthening my argument. The pope, by endorsing the state as the redistributor of wealth, he is advocating for exactly the opposite of what was defined in YOUR LINK ( see first paragraph there).

            One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of subsidiarity. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by smaller and simpler organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.

            You do realize that the quote I gave above about the state doing the redistributing was from an official vatican statement, don’t you? I repeat, the pope is telling us to do exactly the opposite of what “Subsidiarity” demands, and with which I would agree.

          • just a thought

            (in case it was not clear, I meant that I strongly agree with “The Principle Of Subsidiarity,” not the pope’s desired World Welfare State.)

          • SMC_BC

            It’s clear now that you did not read the encyclical.

            BTW, Toronto Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein wrote an interesting article about the encyclical.

          • just a thought

            I’ve read enough to know that he thinks humans are responsible for “climate change,” and we must boldly act to stop it. Well, we aren’t, and we can’t. Anyone who thinks so is an ignoramus and a fool.

        • Throwing this out there: while Pope Francis has said some questionable things, keep in mind who filters out this stuff. How many times has the popular press lauded his pro-life or pro-family stances? This poorly-researched encyclical resembles the popular press’ crappy understanding of climate science. THAT is why they trumpet it now. If Pope Francis were to denounce the encyclical, both the popular press and his detractors would be in a tizzy.

  • Dana Garcia

    Today Robert Murray, a CEO of a coal business, appeared on a Fox Business show to discuss energy poverty and how coal is an inexpensive source of electricity and heat. He made a good case that the pope is misguided.

    • just a thought

      Yep. The pope can talk all he wants about eliminating poverty, but when what he advocates doing will drive them from poverty to grinding poverty or worse, I have no respect for him whatever. He is as morally bankrupt as all the other corrupt Western “leaders.”

      Thanks for the video.

  • just a thought

    I think it’s very important that world leaders, however ill informed, should express their opinions on critical matters, even if acting on their recommendations leads to suffering on a massive scale. And the more ill informed they are and catastrophic their leadership is, the better. Otherwise, what would historians have to write about?

  • SMC_BC
  • Brett_McS

    It would be nice – and appropriate – if the last thing the AGW scammers clutch at before sinking out of sight is the writings of the head of the Catholic Church. Because nothing says serious science like clinging to the pronouncements of religious authorities.

    • just a thought

      And nothing says credible religion like embracing science fraud.

    • It is a religious (at best) article. Because it resembles their poor research, the popular press echoes it.

  • just a thought

    If the pope knew the science, he would express his concern for the poor by saying, “Burn More Coal, Oil and Gas!” Here’s why.

  • DMB

    Sad really when John Paul II was in charge he stood against Communism/Socialism. Now Francis embraces it.

  • just a thought

    CO2 has NEVER made temps go up before, even when more than 10x the concentration of today.
    Note that the highest the world temp ever got was 25 deg C, with two possible very brief exceptions. There never was, and never will be any “runaway” greenhouse effect.

    Notice that the CO2 concentrations today are low, very low. They are so low that if they were to be cut in half, plants would die. Then there would be no oxygen, and all animal life would die. Cutting CO2 would be really really stupid, if we could actually do it.

    For a more complete picture see the source of the above link, which is here.

    Furthermore, CO2 also has no effect on hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding or drought.

    AGW, and it’s new incarnation, “Climate Change” is a scam of biblical proportions, and anyone who climbs onto it’s bandwagon is a charlatan.