Charles Battig keeps up the effort. He was on the panel on Human Effects research at the Heartland Climate meeting in DC.
Anesthesiologist and electrical engineer makes for someone who can speak to human physiology and human effects of environment and economcs.
Pope’s encyclical melting under scrutiny
Much like a summertime icy treat, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and a multitude of social justice issues is melting away under the heat of rational examination and scientific analysis.
A Jesuit high school graduate, I remember the fathers’ catechism lessons which teach that the pope is infallible only in matters of faith and morals. Even a pope’s private theological opinions are not infallible. In all other pronouncements, he is expressing his personal opinion, or his vision for Vatican and Church policy.
Francis’ recent encyclical included comments on climate change that are based on consensus views, not validated science. His moral weight alone does not make them unqualified sound science, as the Galileo affair should remind him and us. Fossil fuels are God’s gifts to mankind, and remain the most cost-effective, high-density energy sources. Continuing scientific and engineering design improvements have made fossil fuel-powered electric generating plants, on balance, the most efficient power sources with the smallest environmental footprints, both literally and figuratively.
As poorer societies gain more wealth through the economics of capitalism and inexpensive energy, they can better care for their environment while lowering their population growth. This has been the lesson of history. Depriving them of inexpensive and reliable fossil-fuel energy keeps them mired in poverty, and denies them the chance to fulfill their aspirations and the pope’s expressed wishes for them. We all are carbon-based life forms; carbon pollution is political oxymoron. Carbon dioxide keeps both us and the Earth’s plant life alive. This pope’s encyclical fails the heat of critical thinking.
Charles G. Battig.