Pope Issues Rare Encyclical On Climate Change That Demands Action To Curtail Carbon Emissions To Save Humanity

120px-Pope_Francis_in_March_2013_(cropped)earth-screensaver_largeAs widely rumored, Pope Francis has issued a historic papal encyclical that agrees with the vast majority of scientists that global warming is real, largely caused by mankind, and threatens the very future of humanity. He has called for emergency action to curtail carbon emissions by reducing fossil fuels and developing renewables.

220px-AlfedPalmersmokestacksThe Pope denounced the massive levels of pollution that are making the Earth into “an immense pile of filth”. He criticized deniers and said that “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.” He acknowledged other contributors to global warming but insisted: ““It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.”

The papal encyclical sent to 5,000 Catholic bishops worldwide seeks to mobilize the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and is viewed as one of the significant new voices for action both in terms of its political and religious impact.

He stated “A number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.” He insisted that without extreme measures “this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us.” To achieve such emergency measures, he called for drastic reductions in fossil fuels and the rapid development of renewable energy sources.

He further suggested that special interests and greed are driving the campaign against recognition of the problem and measures needed to address it.

It will be interesting how the papal announcement changes the political landscape, particularly with conservative Catholics and other Christians. The Obama Administration has been in the forefront of seeking global action, a position that I agree with (even though I do not agree with some of its unilateral actions). The Administration will have to convince skeptics in Congress and this Papal encyclical will certainly help, though I doubt it will dramatically change the political position in Congress.

134 thoughts on “Pope Issues Rare Encyclical On Climate Change That Demands Action To Curtail Carbon Emissions To Save Humanity”

  1. Darren,
    “The entry of politics into environmental health hampers meaningful discussion of the matter.”

    Succinct and well said. I agree. And, man, doesn’t that seem to be the case with just about anything of importance?!

  2. Mike A,
    I like that last line of the excerpt that Squeeky linked to, too.

    “It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.”

  3. “Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter
    1, June 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Well, if you had, it would only have been a venereal sin, not a mortal one. I think??? Oh, I’m not sure, so I guess you were better safe than sorry.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter”

    I read this blog every day and have only emerged to express my continued enjoyment of Squeeky’s ‘superficial’ sense of humor : )

  4. Barkindog

    What impresses me most about the Jesuits is that they have a General whose identity is secret. One notable General of long ago was Aramis, one of the Three Musketeers. Of course after they die, sometimes, the secret is revealed. This can all be proven if you read carefully ‘Vicomte de Bragleonne’ or ‘Ten Years After’, by Alexander Dumas.

  5. Daren

    You are correct. The scenario would go like this. The king, benevolent dictator, or elected representative would demand reports from the royal wizard, the most reputed scientists, and/or statistics, scientific reports, and other proofs. Then action would be taken. For some mysterious reason the wizards, the scientists, the statistics, and preponderance of proof all point to man playing a considerable part in global warming through pollution and yet the extremely small group of experts that dispute this are the only ones the status quo refers to. Go figure.

  6. Jesuits taught me HOW to think. Not what to think. I also was taught by Holy Cross Fathers and found them right up there as well.

  7. Darren, Amen. And when you get politics AND religion involved in discussing the environment it is a cluster coitus.

  8. This is the best Pope which has ever come to the Pope throne. I will withdraw any criticism of him that I have made in the past and drop the humor. The Jesuit order produces intelligent educated priests and brothers who teach much and don’t hardly preach. In a prior life I attended a Jesuit university. The Jesuits held about 1/20th of the professor jobs. The ones that taught courses which I took were excellent. A Jesuit who taught World Religion was incredible and quite objective. World travels in my life were greatly enhanced by what I had learned about Lord Bhudda from a Jesuit. Philosophy, English, American History were all great courses taught by Jesuit brothers or priests. And I was an atheist. Of course that was a prior life as a human. Now I am an 8th Day Dog Adventist.

  9. Squeek, When people jump on you I tell them you are an iconoclast and free thinker. SWM was disparaging you on gay issues. She was incredulous that both you and I love Camille Paglia. Thanks for the link to your old blog. You are one of the brightest and most unique people I have encountered on the interwebs.

    On the subject of climate. As I said, global warming is the secular religion for progressives. And they, who are so derisive of the fundamentalist, evangelical, Christians; practice a fundamentalist, evangelical, speaking in tongues, rolling in the aisles form of the Church of the Environment. Someone like me, a Unitarian environmental wise is a sinner in their eyes.

    Dr. Patrick Moore was a co-founder of Greenpeace and a global warming skeptic. He speaks eloquently @ how Greenpeace became radicalized and turned into a fundamentalist religion after the end of the Viet Nam War. Those radicals were looking for a new cause and they formed a Church of the Environment, taking over the Greenpeace organization he formed.

    It is heartening for me to see you and MikeA having a substantive discussion. The trolls who try and create division are getting headaches seeing that.

  10. The entry of politics into environmental health hampers meaningful discussion of the matter.

  11. Squeeky:

    That last quote beautifully captures the Jesuit ideals of material detachment (the real meaning of the vow of poverty) and humility (the real meaning of the vow of obedience). Had it not been for the third vow (chastity), my own path might have been quite different. LOL.

  12. @NickS

    There is a desire on the part of the “Elite” to do like royalty did in the old days—own everything and get a piece of the action on everything that moved, without doing any real work. If possible, Goldman Sachs would charge people for the very air that they breathe. Or as in Bolivia, (which the Pope mentioned the water stuff) to capture the water supply. Or patent trolls.

    To the extent that there was “le droit de seigner”, the lord wouldn’t actually deflower the virgin bride (Were there really such things???), just charge a fee to not deflower them.

    If you are interested, I did a post on this on my old Squeekonomics blog:


    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  13. Squeek, I think the Pope maybe sees carbon credits just as the Catholic Indulgences were back in the day. Because that is EXACTLY what they are. Global Warming is the great progressive secular religion. There is original sin, preachers, sin, salvation, indulgences, the entire scenario. Michael Crichton gave a great speech on the topic.

  14. OK, sooo I have finished reading though it, and I am very impressed. It was well-written, and cogent. It was not just about AGW, but the environment as a whole, and humanity’s relationship to the planet. He seems to operate from a hierarchy-ordered society in much the same way that William Blackstone, did. From God, down to the planet, and to people. Which I think people have re-accept, or we will just screw ourselves, and the planet, to boot.


    222. Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption. We need to take up an ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the conviction that “less is more”. A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfilment. Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack. This implies avoiding the dynamic of dominion and the mere accumulation of pleasures.

    223. Such sobriety, when lived freely and consciously, is liberating. It is not a lesser life or one lived with less intensity. On the contrary, it is a way of living life to the full. In reality, those who enjoy more and live better each moment are those who have given up dipping here and there, always on the look-out for what they do not have. They experience what it means to appreciate each person and each thing, learning familiarity with the simplest things and how to enjoy them. So they are able to shed unsatisfied needs, reducing their obsessiveness and weariness. Even living on little, they can live a lot, above all when they cultivate other pleasures and find satisfaction in fraternal encounters, in service, in developing their gifts, in music and art, in contact with nature, in prayer. Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer.

    224. Sobriety and humility were not favourably regarded in the last century. And yet, when there is a general breakdown in the exercise of a certain virtue in personal and social life, it ends up causing a number of imbalances, including environmental ones. That is why it is no longer enough to speak only of the integrity of ecosystems. We have to dare to speak of the integrity of human life, of the need to promote and unify all the great values. Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  15. Squeeky:

    Carbon credits are a ploy in a broad sense, but no more than depletion allowances. I view the carbon credit market as a potentially useful program to ease the transition from carbon-based energy sources.

  16. Yes, he does have an obligation, given his title and his standing in the world, to specifically denounce those crimes, especially as they affect his fellow Christians. Too bad the point is lost on you.

    No, bim bam boom, the point isn’t lost on me. As a man of peace and goodwill, he mght be inclined to stand up for all who are in any way harmed by the malevolence of others. He has no obligation to put catholics or christians first. What a silly idea.


  17. @Mike Appleton

    You don’t think he meant that phrase for me, do you??? 🙂

    Anyway, I am busy reading through the Encyclical, and the Pope must have read some of my comments, because he said something which I have said before, to wit:

    171. The strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.

    Amen, Pope! Preach on! Because that is why I think some people (like Al Gore) are into this AGW stuff, because they can scam some more money off it.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  18. There are a billion Catholics? This religious leader of, at best, 1/7 or the population wants to rule the world by melding politics and theology against the latest artificial “common enemy,” anthropogenic “global warming”? His presumption is that government in America and elsewhere is a theocracy.

    Somewhere I heard of the “separation of church and state” and that the Founders did not brand America a theocracy.

    It would seem appropriate for this narcissistic and egotistical religious leader to reverently, deferentially and quietly stick to religion and avoid politics. He would seem to have his hands full justifying his relationship with his new BFF’s, the “global warming” liberal allies, who kill babies by the multi-millions and disciplining his employees who repeatedly and persistently molest young children (destroying lives), sometimes in the very sanctuaries of the Catholic Church, to the level of causing bankruptcy for many of its “affiliates” or dioceses.

    Human fantasies, artifices and delusions never cease to amaze.

  19. Nick … I could care less about what Obama thinks. He’s hopeless. I am offended by what this pontiff thinks….apparently he’s also hopeless. This one would shake hands with the Devil and grin. I am highly amused by those who suggest that Catholics cannot think for themselves….no matter what some Quasi-Marxist Argentine Italian in the Vatican might think….or not think, which is what I suspect is his problem. Papal infallibility is dogma, as someone said earlier. I don’t do dogma. This guy is the result of the corrupt church bureaucracy I have cited before…hardly a leader of the people….but he knows on which side his bread is buttered…and reacts accordingly. He speaks about money and lucre but misses the lust for it under his own nose. Blind or stupid, which is it?

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