Comments on the Pope’s Encyclical

Pope Francis’s new encyclical embraces the United Nation’s political orthodoxy on climate change even though observational evidence shows the UN’s claims and prognostications diverge widely from reality.

Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina), according to Wikipedia, worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He seems to have little scientific training and has been ill-advised on the subject of climate change.

Last April, the Vatican held a conference on climate change from which climate realists were banned. (See one example from the Washington Post.) However, the Heartland Institute sent a delegation to Rome and held its own parallel event while the Vatican conference was in session. (read more).

Some comments on the encyclical from Heartland:

“Sad to say, despite Pope Francis’s best intentions, the policies he recommends to mitigate global warming would make it far more difficult to overcome poverty. And, ironically, by prolonging and even spreading poverty, those policies would put more of the natural environment at risk.

“People worried about putting food on the table, clothes on the back, and a roof over the head can’t afford to care or do much about air, water, and solid waste pollution. Gathering enough twigs and branches to cook tonight’s measly meal and heat a miserable hut take precedence over any concerns about deforestation, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss.

“Wealth enables people to afford better environmental stewardship. Pope Francis should champion economic development as a solution both to poverty and to environmental degradation. Unfortunately, at least as regards climate change, the leaked draft of the new encyclical does the opposite.”


Myron Ebel, commenting on the encyclical for, is not so kind, “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…The encyclical is a diatribe against modern industrial civilization.” (read article).

That criticism is mild compared to an article at NoTricksZone which claims that the encyclical breaks four of the 10 commandments (read article).

Emma Green, writing in The Atlantic, says that the Pope is “declaring a new enemy for the Catholic Church: modern capitalism.” She goes on to note: ” Fifty years ago, around the time of the Second Vatican Council, Church leaders quietly declared a very different economic enemy: communism. But Pope Francis’s communitarian, populist message shows just how far the Church has shifted in five decades….(read article).

Aerospace engineer and solar physicist, Dr. Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon writes “As a scientist, I am not simply disappointed by the issue of encyclical named Laudato Si’ (Praised Be) from the office of the Pope, but I am highly disgusted because of the blatant misuse of science and the scientific method of inquiry as part of the excuse to prevent social injustice and wrong-doing.” (read article). Dr. Soon was one of the major targets of Raul Grijalva’s inquisition of climate skeptics (see: Raul Grijalva on witch hunt for climate skeptics.)

Patrick Michaels of the CATO Institute writes in the Daily Caller, “Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ is, in parts, passionately and beautifully written. And it really is about recycling — of old, tired, and discredited ideas. Much of it reads like the disproven doomsday predictions that have been churned out since the early days of the environmental movement…Since the turn of the 20th century, life expectancy has doubled in the developed world, per capita income has grown elevenfold, and wealth as been democratized far beyond the wildest opium dreams of Karl Marx. This happened in energy-driven free market economies, not the command-and-control world that Francis envisions. Crucially, the developed world brought into existence by overcoming energy poverty is largely immune to the vagaries of weather and climate. Poor countries are not.” (read article)

John Mclean writes in Quadrant, “No doubt inspired by the loftiest motives, Pope Francis appears poised to emblazon a document of blithering climate-change nonsense with the authority and endorsement of the Vatican seal. If only he had taken a moment to remind himself of those warnings about false prophets…….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.” (read article).

Finally, Dr. Tim Ball writes of the irony of the recent encyclical:

“Spanish-born American Philosopher George Santayana famously said, ‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ The recent Papal Encyclical announced the Catholic Church’s decision to join the scientific claims that humans are causing global warming and denounce climate scientists who oppose the claim. It came almost exactly 400 years after Galileo was denounced to the Roman Inquisition in the spring of 1615. The Catholic Church only acknowledged the errors of their actions, their last and most negative brush with science, when they forgave Galileo in 1992. Pope John Paul said labeling Galileo a heretic and confining him to life imprisonment was an error. It only took 377 years for the Church to catch up with reality. No doubt Galileo is delighted, assuming he made it to heaven….Now history repeats itself because the latest conflict between science and the Church involves the Sun, or more accurately, exclusion of consideration of the Sun as the primary cause of climate change.” (read article).

P.S. Reuters reports that Pope Francis, speaking to a group of young people in Turin, Italy, condemned weapons manufacturers. In the same talk the Pope commented on the Holocaust by saying, “The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?” Rather conflicting statements don’t you think?

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

Climate change in perspective

The past is getting cooler

Climate and Communism