Pope Francis’s Climate Encyclical: Help Poor People by Dismantling Industrial Civilization

by Myron Ebell on June 19, 2015

Probably a big carbon footprint

Probably a big carbon footprint

The Vatican released Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si’, on 18th June.  It is, in general, scientifically ill-informed, economically illiterate, intellectually incoherent, and morally obtuse.  It is also theologically suspect, and large parts of it are leftist drivel, albeit couched in the vocabulary of Catholic social teaching.

It has been reported that Vatican officials in the global warming debate want to make sure they do not put the Roman Catholic Church on the wrong side of science, as in the condemnation of Galileo in 1633 for believing that the Earth revolved around the Sun.  Laudato Si’ fails to get the science right (see paragrahps 2026), and although the Vatican can no longer prosecute heretics, Francis has no hesitation condemning those who oppose the alleged global warming consensus (see, for example, paragraph 54).

The encyclical is a diatribe against modern industrial civilization.  In this, it should be compared to the 1864 encyclical of Pius IX, Quanta cura, and its attached Syllabus of Errors, which constitute a much more impressive diatribe against modern intellectual culture.  Francis believes the industrialized economies are wrecking God’s creation by digging far too much stuff (coal, oil, natural gas) up.  The current level of resource consumption is exhausting and polluting the Earth.

On the other hand, he thinks that the wealthy industrialized countries are doing far too little to help the poor in the unindustrialized Third World.  Paragraphs 48-52 discuss the ills caused by global inequality.  But Francis does not emphasize the need for the rich to share their wealth with the poor.  That is because Francis’s thinking on these issues, as he makes clear in paragraphs 10-12, is based on the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).  It isn’t until paragraph 82 that the Pope mentions the name of Jesus.

Saint Francis took a vow of poverty, tried to live as simply as Jesus had lived, and founded the first orders of mendicant friars.  This is the Pope’s starting point, but he fails to notice that his namesake had wealthy parents who didn’t require his care when they became old and sick, didn’t have children who needed to be fed, clothed, and educated, and relied for his sustenance on alms from wealthy people in a wealthy society.

Thus the Pope wants to address inequality and at the same time save the world from global warming by reducing the wealth of the wealthy countries through de-industrializing, overcoming the “technological paradigm,” and giving up our consumer “throwaway” culture.  In other words, we can save the world by leveling down.

The influence of Liberation Theology on the Pope’s thinking is obvious.  Liberation Theology was strongest in Latin America, and its heyday was from the 1950s to the 1980s.  Gustavo Gutierrez, one of its leading exponents, claimed that Saint Francis of Assisi should be the patron saint of Liberation Theology.  Recently, a former general in Romania’s secret police during the Communist era said that the Soviet KGB created, directed, and funded the Liberation Theology movement.

Although Pope Francis thinks we must consume much less in order to save the global environment, he states emphatically that population control is not part of the solution.  This seems like a glaring intellectual inconsistency, but Francis also makes clear that his ideal is a pastoral society of peasants who live in harmony with the land and don’t disturb “mother earth.”  Thus, world population can continue to increase as long as we are all poor.  In paragraph 114, Francis protests: “Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but….”  To borrow a line, the Pope doth protest too much, methinks.

Frederick Colbourne June 19, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Yes, you put your finger on the main point. This encyclical was written by an Argentine archbishop, a crony of the Pope, and represents his elitist anti-humanist view of mankind. (The doctrines of the Fall and Original Sin and Redemption are all featured.)

The non-Christians of the world are to be regulated by Catholic doctrine that is shared by Protestants and Orthodox religious communities.

As a non-Christian, I have my own views of the Pope’s encyclical, but respect for my Christian friends keeps me from expressing these views frankly. Fortunately you have done so.

Tom Harris June 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm

I found the Encyclical difficult to read (and stay awake) because it mixes in so much motherhood type things (protecting animals and nature and helping the poor) with so much truly silly things about “carbon dioxide pollution,” as he erroneously labeled CO2. My expectation is that this letter will seriously damage the Catholic Church’s credibility going forward.

Moira C. Egan June 20, 2015 at 1:39 pm

If the farmer next door were trying to scrabble together a living and did not have modern farm equipment but depended on hand tools, how would it help him out if I were to abandon my equipment and resort to using a hoe and scythe? That is essentially what the eco-radicals want; the industrialized nations to give up our technology, and the developing nations to struggle on in their same ‘sustainable’ way. We’ll all be equally poor and equally starving in such a scenario. Or equally dead.

James June 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Your right. This encyclical is a mess.

porpose June 20, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Pope Francis – he be Luddite.

Colin Henderson June 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm

How about Dope Francis.

Tom June 21, 2015 at 6:00 am

A pachomama acolyte, maybe?

ian June 20, 2015 at 2:43 pm

So, I guess the pope would be happier if we were all poor and living in filth. Yep, that would be equalization. That diatribe is the stupidest document I ever read. And, i am a Catholoic. …sickening greenpeace ecocrap now being preached by religion.

Adrian Vance June 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Mr. Bell is quite correct. The facts are very simple:

CO2 is a “trace gas” in air, insignificant by definition. It absorbs 1/7th as much IR, heat energy, from sunlight as water vapor which has 188 times as many molecules capturing 1200 times as much heat making 99.8% of all “global warming.” CO2 does only 0.2% of it. For this we should destroy our economy?

There is no “greenhouse effect” in an atmosphere. A greenhouse has a solid, clear cover that traps heat. The atmosphere does not trap heat as gas molecules cannot form surfaces to work as greenhouses. Molecules must be in contact, as in liquids and solids to form surfaces.

The Medieval Warming from 800 AD to 1300 AD Micheal Mann erased for his “hockey stick” was several Fahrenheit degrees warmer than anything “global warmers” fear. It was 500 years of world peace and abundance, the longest in history.

Vostock Ice Core data analysis show CO2 increases follow temperature by 800 years 19 times in 450,000 years. Thus temperature change is cause and CO2 change is effect. This alone refutes the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

Methane is called “a greenhouse gas 20 to 500 times more potent than CO2,” by Heidi Cullen and Jim Hansen, but it is not per the energy absorption chart at the American Meteorological Society. It has an absorption profile very similar to nitrogen which is classified “transparent” to IR, heat waves and is only present to 18 ppm. “Green vegans” blame methane in cow flatulence for global warming in their war against eating meat.

Carbon combustion generates 80% of our energy. Control and taxing of carbon would give the elected ruling class more power and money than anything since the Magna Carta of 1215 AD.

Most scientists and science educators work for tax supported institutions. They are eager to help government raise more money for them and they love being seen as “saving the planet.”

Google “Two Minute Conservative” for clarity.

JeffT June 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm

The poor could be fed for many years if the Catholic leviathan would sell of all its Worldly assets. Included would be all the gold plated adornments of its massive churches. Whatever holdings the Church, et al, have should be liquidated. How fancy does a church have to be to spread the word of the Lord, anyway? http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/financial-scandals-the-hidden-wealth-of-the-catholic-church-a-700513.html

Paul June 21, 2015 at 3:55 am

Of course we can all rest assured that his holiness will give up living his lavish life in the Vatican, his string of servants, as well as the rather expensive gold trinkets, ornaments and paraphernalia that seems to adorn his life.
I’m sure that he will give all this up and lead a simple life in sync with mother earth, barely causing any polluting filth…….

The arrogance of the world’s “haves” in telling the less fortunate “have nots” how to live their lives never ceases to amaze me.

Mervyn June 21, 2015 at 4:09 am

As a Catholic, I am utterly embarrassed and ashamed by what this Pope has done. It is astounding that he has allowed himself and the Church to be used by those who preach the ideology of environmentalism. The Pope has conveniently ignored the warnings in the Bible:

“…many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many.” – Matthew 24:11

“…there will be false teachers among you … Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” — 2 Peter 2:3

“…false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect…” – Matthew 24:24

Politicians are elected. And so is the Pope.

ExCatholic June 21, 2015 at 11:26 am

As a Bible believing 75 yr old former Catholic I have come to the conclusion long ago the Vatican is one of the most evil organizations extant. Sir Thomas More was a hero of mine until I discovered he persecuted Protestants. This is the man who purportedly said, “I think evil of no man, I do evil of no man, I wish evil of no man”. Yeah, right. Pius XII supported Hitler because he was more afraid of the Reds. Francis has made so many statements contradicting not only the Bible in general but also the very words of Jesus. He is also the last pope in Catholic prophecy (St Malachy) who will oversee the destruction of the Catholic Church. I have been non-denom for some years now and feel the better for it. Wake up, folks

btruth June 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Puppet Pope Franciss is a Black Jesuit, which is a satanic “Order/Brotherhood.” The Vatican City, is a satanic stronghold, for the WHORE OF BABYLON (aka USAcorp!) The NWO is rising to full power, out in the open & MULTIPLE false flags & God’s Judgement upon this world are on it’s way! Even so, we have hope in Jesus Christ! Shalom

Timothius June 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Come on people…use your God given common sense. We have 7 billion people which is expected to grow by another 2 billion by 2050 and then level off. We are stewards of the planet because God has committed His creation to our care. The world is strife with tension. We need to explore new ways for our human family…yes…all of us are children of God. If one member of our family hurts then we should be concerned. Half of our family lives in physical poverty…the other half in spiritual poverty. Perhaps we should be wise and explore new ways…less we die. Thank you Jesus for a wise leader in this old corrupt world.

Steve June 21, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Francis is supposed to be the last pope according to St. Malachy. He’s so opposite in beliefs of any other pope in history, I can certainly believe he’s the last. He’s bound determined that global warming exists and it’s man made. I don’t see any proof it exists. Global warming is now a religion to folks on the left.

Albert June 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Sell the Vatican’s art, treasures, land and HELP THE POOR.

wilbert June 21, 2015 at 9:59 pm

What happen to ..” what does he know ? he is not even a scientist”

Janjo June 21, 2015 at 10:15 pm

This ‘pope’ is evil. This man is evil. This globalist is evil.

Bill June 21, 2015 at 10:49 pm

Il Pape, sell the 5 trillion in art and treasures you have squirreled away in the evil Vatican and feed the poor, God says sell all you have and give it to the poor since your so concerned with the poor and follow him, try doing that Il Pape it will make you a better person.

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