A bad encyclical by a bad pope–time to repair the ignorance

Here is Paul Driessen’s kind and respectfull treatment of what I would call stupid.

Pope Francis’s Laudato Si encyclical is often eloquent, always passionate, but too often encumbered by platitudes and simply erroneous thinking. The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. That’s why, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor.

On all of this he certainly has a lot of new friends in the United Nations, Big Green and Climate Crisis, Inc. It is tremendously disappointing that he seems unable to think these issues through, open his mind to and ideas, speak with scholars outside his closed circle, and promote policies that will actually help the poor – instead of condemning them to continued poverty, disease, despair and early death.

My article this week shows where I believe Pope Francis went wrong – and why free market capitalism and hydrocarbon energy remain the best way forward.

Thank you for posting it, quoting from it, and forwarding it to friends and colleagues.

Best regards,

Paul

An errant environmental encyclical

Pope Francis’ prescriptions will perpetuate poverty, disease, premature death in Third World

Paul Driessen

The Laudato Si encyclical on climate, sustainability and the environment prepared by and for Pope Francis is often eloquent, always passionate but often encumbered by platitudes, many of them erroneous.

“Man has slapped nature in the face,” and “nature never forgives,” the pontiff declares. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as in the last 200 years.” It isn’t possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society. “Each year thousands of species are being lost,” and “if we destroy creation, it will destroy us.”

The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. Therefore, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor, who must be given their “sacred rights” to labor, lodging and land (the Three L’s).

All of this suggests that, for the most part, Pope Francis probably welcomes statements by his new friends in the United Nations and its climate and sustainability alliance.

One top Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official bluntly says climate policy is no longer about environmental protection; instead, the next climate summit will negotiate “the distribution of the world’s resources.” UN climate chief Christiana Figueres goes even further. UN bureaucrats, she says, are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model.” [emphasis added]

However, statements by other prominent prophets of planetary demise hopefully give the pope pause.

Obama science advisor John Holdren and Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, in their Human Ecology book: “We need to de-develop the United States” and other developed countries, “to bring our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” We will then address the “ecologically feasible development of the underdeveloped countries.” [emphasis added]

Ehrlich again: “Giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” And most outrageous: The “instant death control” provided by DDT was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in poor countries; so they need to have a “death rate solution” imposed on them.

Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns do not stop with opposing DDT even as a powerful insect repellant to prevent malaria. They view humans (other than themselves) as consumers, polluters and “a plague upon the Earth” – never as creators, innovators or protectors. They oppose modern fertilizers and biotech foods that feed more people from less land, using less water. And of course they are viscerally against all forms and uses of hydrocarbon energy, which yields far more energy per acre than alternatives.

Reflect on all of this a moment. Unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats have given themselves the authority to upend the world economic order and redistribute its wealth and resources – with no evidence that any alternative they might have in mind will bring anything but worse poverty, inequality and death.

Moreover, beyond the dishonest, arrogant and callous attitudes reflected in these outrageous statements, there are countless basic realities that the encyclical and alarmist allies sweep under the rug.

We are trying today to feed, clothe, and provide electricity, jobs, homes, and better health and living standards to six billion more people than lived on our planet 200 years ago. Back then, reliance on human and animal muscle, wood and dung fires, windmills and water wheels, and primitive, backbreaking, dawn-to-dusk farming methods made life nasty, brutish and short for the vast majority of humans.

As a fascinating short video by Swedish physician and statistician Hans Rosling illustrates, human life expectancy and societal wealth has surged dramatically over these past 200 years. None of this would have been possible without the capitalism, scientific method and hydrocarbon energy that radical, shortsighted activists in the UN, EPA, Big Green, Inc. and Vatican now want to put in history’s dustbin.

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels – mostly coal – helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating, often lethal energy and economic poverty. However, 1.3 billion still do not have electricity. In India alone, more people than live in the USA still lack electricity; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 730 million (equal to Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung.

Hundreds of millions get horribly sick and 4-6 million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and unspoiled food.

Providing energy, food, homes and the Three L’s to middle class and impoverished families cannot happen without nuclear and hydrocarbon energy and numerous raw materials. Thankfully, we still have these resources in abundance, because “our ultimate resource” (our creative intellect) has enabled us to use “fracking” and other technologies to put Earth’s resources to productive use serving humanity.

Little solar panels on huts, subsistence and organic farming, and bird-and-bat-butchering wind turbines have serious cost, reliability and sustainability problems of their own. If Pope Francis truly wants to help the poor, he cannot rely on these “alternatives” or on UN and Big Green ruling elite wannabes. Who are they to decide what is “ecologically feasible,” what living standards people will be “permitted” to enjoy, or how the world should “more fairly” share greater scarcity, poverty and energy deprivation?

We are all obligated to help protect our planet and its people – from real problems, not imaginary ones. Outside the computer modelers’ windows, in The Real World, we are not running out of energy and raw materials. (We’re just not allowed to develop and use them.) The only species going extinct have been birds on islands where humans introduced new predators – and raptors that have been wiped out by giant wind turbines across habitats in California and other locations. Nor are we encountering climate chaos.

No category 3-5 hurricane has struck the USA in a record 9-3/4 years. (Is that blessing due to CO2 and capitalism?) There has been no warming in 19 years, because the sun has gone quiet again. We have not been battered by droughts more frequent or extreme than what humanity experienced many times over the millennia, including those that afflicted biblical Egypt, the Mayas and Anasazi, and Dust Bowl America.

The scientific method brought centuries of planetary and human progress. It requires that we propose and test hypotheses that explain how nature works. If experimental evidence supports a hypothesis, we have a new rule that can guide further health and scientific advances. If the evidence contradicts the hypothesis, we must devise a new premise – or give up on further progress.

But with climate change, a politicized method has gained supremacy. Based on ideology, it ignores real-world evidence and fiercely defends its assumptions and proclamations. Laudato Si places the Catholic Church at risk of surrendering its role as a champion of science and human progress, and returning to the ignominious persecution of Galileo.

Nor does resort to sustainable development provide guidance. Sustainability is largely interchangeable with “dangerous manmade climate change” as a rallying cry for anti-hydrocarbon, wealth redistribution and economic transformation policies. It means whatever particular interests want it to mean and has become yet one more intolerant ideology in college and government circles.

Climate change and sustainability are critical moral issues. Denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy is not just wrong. It is immoral – and lethal.

It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to implement policies that pretend to protect the world’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate and other dangers decades from now – by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

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7 responses to “A bad encyclical by a bad pope–time to repair the ignorance

  1. The good Pope has aligned himself and the Catholic Church on the side of those who tried after WWII to forbid public knowledge that the force in the fountain of energy Copernicus found at the gravitational center of the solar system in 1543 was used to create, destroy, sustain and redeem atoms, lives and worlds in the solar system.

    • I.e., the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society betrayed their own countries and joined Stalin’s campaign to “save the world from nuclear annihilation” after formerly sovereign nations and national academies of science (NAS) were united into a worldwide “Orwellian Mininsty of Consensus Science (UN)Truths” on October 24, 1945.

      There is no other viable explanation for abruptly and falsely changing:

      1. The internal composition of the Sun from
      _ a.) Mostly iron (Fe) in 1945 to
      _ b.) Mostly hydrogen (H) in 1946 and

      2. The definition of nuclear stability in textbooks from
      _ c.) Lowest value of Aston’s nuclear packing fraction before WWII to
      _ d.) Highest value of Weizsacker’s average nuclear binding energy per nucleon after WWII.

      Both changes are falsehoods designed to hide the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms and stars: NEUTRON REPULSION

  2. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as in the last 200 years.” We could stop here. The massive deforestation that took place after the discovery of iron was HUGE.

  3. GT,

    Consider your statement is wrong just for a minute.

    1. Your comment is contradicted by the growth of forested land acreage in the last 100 plus years. Dramatic increases in forested land.
    We now have more standing forest in America than in 1860 by a bunch.

    2. GT, the reason for much more forest acreage is that we didn’t need the lumber for building like we did and we have other sources of fuel–first coal and kerosene, then petroleum products like natural gas, no longer is wood a major source of heating fuel. In the contstruction business, wood is not so important, metal bracing and beams replacing wood.

    In the old days gigantic wood beams were frequently the only way to build big buildings. Beams are now made of iron, same with beams and such, not cut wood.

    In the old days a lot of gigantic trees were cut down for the long beams they could make.

    • He claims we have never harmed the earth as much as we have in the past two hundred years. It was 1200 BC when iron was discovered and humans clear cut the planet to make charcoal for the heat necessary to produce iron, ie. we have ‘harmed’ the earth in the past.

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