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Monday, June 22, 2015

Laudato Si' accepts man-made climate change as a fact. But Is It?

Working my way through the climate portion of the encyclical I agreed with many of the problems the pope articulates with regard to pollution, the need for pure water, the destruction of the rain forest and wetlands, etc. However, the underlying assumption that global warming/climate change is directly linked (or even exists) to anthropogenic, i.e., man made, activity is questionable. Here's a little of the section involved. Note the claim of a "very solid scientific consensus:
23....A very solid scientific consensus (my emphasis) indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.... 
25. Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited....
But is there, in fact, a "solid scientific consensus" that mankind is causing a rise in CO2 emissions and that CO2 is responsible for changes in the climate that are going to devastate the planet? Certainly there is solid REPORTING of a consensus. But does it actually exist? Or is it really a deliberate effort from the global warming cheerleaders to outscream the "deniers" (name-calling is always a tactic that raises my eyebrow) and prevent any scientific questioning of the party line?

First of all the "consensus."

Apparently "the consensus" comes from a 2013 study that examined almost 12,000 peer-reviewed papers on climate change from the scientific literature.The study was performed by climate change activists who promote the theory. Where did they get the 97% figure? Not from the unbiased results of the study. It showed that 66% of the articles' authors took no position at all, either for or against, global warming. Of the 34% that took a position, 97.1% supported global warming. And that's how the cheerleaders reported it, simply making those who deny or question the global warming theory disappear. Poof! (Source)

Many of the articles supporting man-made climate change come from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) which clearly has an agenda and is critical of all scientists who disagree.

That political views and opinions about climate change consensus affect the views of scientists was confirmed in a survey by the American Meteorological Society in 2013. (They surveyed all who had email addresses and over 25% responded.) They found that political ideology and opinions about consensus affected the views of their members. In other words, studying the data was not necessarily the principle measure of the scientists' views on whether climate change is real.

In America alone 31,000 scientists (over 9000 with PhDs) have signed a petition to the government disputing global warming. Qualifications required of the signers are here. Many actually work in environmental and meteorological areas. They fear the results of global warming policy will hurt the poor especially in technologically underdeveloped nations.

One other disturbing fact: It appears the Vatican has silenced the voices of those who question anthropogenic climate change. At the Vatican climate summit in April sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, promotion of global warming was clearly on the agenda. With U.N. reps as prominent participants, discordant voices were deliberately excluded. That strategy is reminiscent of the Pontifical Academy's meeting on evolution in 2009 when scientists supporting Intelligent Design Theory were also excluded from participation. No boat-rockers welcome.

Yesterday's Washington Post described the efforts of global warming skeptics to be heard at the April meeting of the Academy, but, in the end, they were excluded leading to an alternate conference a stone' throw from St. Peter's sponsored by The Heartland Institute. The scientists there hoped to have an impact on the final report, but in the end did not see any evidence of it:
We all want the poor to live better lives, but we just don't think the solution to that is to restrict the use of fossil fuels, because we don't think CO2 is causing a climate crisis....So if that''s our message in a sentence, that message was not reflected in the encyclical.
Talk about an understatement!

So...Is there really a "solid scientific consensus" on global warming, or are those scientists who dispute it simply gagged and persecuted like scientists who explore Intelligent Design? Is there a consensus or just the perception of a consensus fueled by liberals using the green movement to enrich themselves (Think Al Gore.) and redistribute income?

It would be interesting to see a Ben Stein documentary on the question like the one he did on evolution, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.  And don't forget, an encyclical is not a doctrine of the Church and can only be unreservedly trusted when it corresponds to the unchanging teachings over the millennia like Humanae Vitae on marriage and sexuality. (To be continued....)


Catholic in Brooklyn said...

"And don't forget, an encyclical is not a doctrine of the Church and can only be unreservedly trusted when it corresponds to the unchanging teachings over the millennia like Humanae Vitae on marriage and sexuality."


This is from (

"This authority (of the papal encyclicals) is undoubtedly great. It is, in a sense, sovereign... It is the teaching of the supreme pastor and teacher of the Church. Hence the faithful have a strict obligation to receive this teaching with an infinite respect. A man must not be content simply not to contradict it openly and in a more or less scandalous fashion. An internal mental assent is demanded. It should be received as the teaching sovereignly authorized within the Church..

Ultimately, however, this assent is not the same as the one demanded in the formal act of faith. Strictly speaking, it is possible that this teaching (proposed in the encyclical letter) is subject to error. There are a thousand reasons to believe that it is not. It has probably never been (erroneous), and it is normally certain that it will never be. But, absolutely speaking, it could be, because God does not guarantee it as He guarantees the teaching formulated by way of definition’."

I am amazed at how people approach the words of Pope Francis not looking to see if he is correct, but looking in every way they can to prove him wrong.

Talk about Cafeteria Catholics.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

From Catholic Culture -- Definition of an Encyclical

"A papal document treating of matters related to the general welfare of the Church, sent by the Pope to the bishops. Used especially in modern times to express the mind of the Pope to the people. Although of themselves not infallible documents, encyclicals may (and generally do) contain pronouncements on faith and morals that are de facto infallible because they express the ordinary teaching of the Church. In any case, the faithful are to give the papal encyclicals their interior assent and external respect as statements of the Vicar of Christ. (Etym. Latin encyclicus; Greek enkyklios, circular, general.)"

I assent to everything in the document that is true and in accordance with the teachings of the Church. I withhold assent where I believe the document is in error and politically inspired. The pope is not an scientist or expert on climate. There was no reason to include this questionable science on global warming in the document.

It is seriously troubling that the person credited with contributing to the climate change portion of the encyclical is an atheist and climate change extremist.

I think the Lord gave us a brain to use it. There have been many times in history when popes have been less than heroically saintly (to say the least). I don't think blind adherence to what is not necessarily divinely inspired is required by the Church.

I haven't commented on everything in the encyclical because I'm still reading it, but the climate change opinion is just that, an opinion. The fact the opinion is expressed by the Holy Father doesn't make it less an opinion vs. an infallible teaching.

Catholic in Brooklyn said...

So in other words, if it doesn't agree with what you already believe, you don't have to accept the Holy Father's teaching. That is exactly the reasoning of those who rejected Humanae Vitae and anything else the Pope says that they don't like. That is known as Cafeteria Catholicism. Liberals aren't the only ones guilty of this.

Anonymous said...

There can be no consensus in science. Something is either a provable fact or it's not. If you can't get to the point where provable fact speaks to the truth of the matter, you don't 'settle' anything - especially by saying 'most' scientists think this so-called global warming is caused by man. First of all there is NO warming. Second there have been huge fluctuations in temperature since Adam and Eve were thrust out of Paradise. Third, a pope is supposed to show us where we err and lead us to holiness. Anything else is to be left to laymen to organize just how we do those things: love God, love neighbour. Pretty simple. Barbara

Django said...

Contrary to popular assumptions, the Church rebuked Galileo, not for teaching the heliocentric theory, but for venturing into the realm of theology (and being pretty antagonistic to his pope).

Now we have a pope who appears to be venturing into the realm of science, rather than theology.

Not a good trend.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Mary/Catholic in Brooklyn,

you are an expert at twisting words and meaning. Humanae Vitae was completely consistent with Catholic doctrine and with previous encyclicals like Casti Connubii of Pius XI. There wasn't any politically correct jargon in those encyclicals or opinions masquerading as facts.

There is nothing cafeteria style in questioning a non-doctrinal papal opinion. Is air conditioning immoral? I'll bet you have one running right now at your house. You must be a cafeteria Catholic.

I'm not responding to any more of your comments posted on this thread. You are acting like a troll. Definition: To deliberately post derogatory or inflammatory comments to a community forum, chat room, newsgroup and/or a blog in order to bait other users into responding.

Phil Dunton said...

Notice how silent Michael Voris has been on the encyclical (unless I missed it). If he's not commenting, it is because he can't figure out a way to not implicate the person who authored it.

Phil Dunton said...

Oh my, there is a Vortex released on June 18 and I just listened to it. Michael Voris still won't connect the dots. In sum, he praises Pope Francis for the good parts of the encyclical. He chalks up the bad parts of the encyclical to bad advisors who took advantage of a "good and loving" pontiff. That is exactly what I expected from Voris and there has not been a peep out of him on the subject since 18 June.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Well, whatever criticism of prelates we make must always be respectful. I've been told Mike Voris has connections to Opus Dei and I think that is part of their charism as well. I just continue to speak the truth as I see it and pray that, if I'm wrong, my eyes will be opened.

Let's pray for the Holy Father. God allowed him to fill the chair of Peter at this time in history and that is not an accident. As Fr. Hardon often said, "Nothing just happens." There is a purpose in what the Church is suffering. Perhaps it is purification through suffering. Let's continue to pray -- and a little fasting wouldn't hurt either.