Rumbling and Blundering about Papal Climate Change

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from Catholic Vote,

Last week the UK Guardian tried its best to deliver a lump of coal to Catholic skeptics of “climate change”.

For the liberal editors of the Guardian, apparently the only thing more important than saving the world from climate change is making sure some US Catholics get upset about it.

That’s why, even though the pope hasn’t published anything yet, it’s important to already use the mere possibility of this encyclical as an opportunity to bash some US Catholics and paint them as “angry” and reactionary.

The Guardian is careful to produce as many bogeymen as possible to be examples of powerful special interests bent on derailing the pope’s plans to help the poor — figures such as John Boehner, Rick Santorum and Cardinal George Pell.

It’s easier to get away with this sort of demagoguery in Europe because, besides bureaucracy, climate change is probably the most universal orthodoxy enforced on the continent. The Vatican’s participation in climate change fervor didn’t begin with Pope Francis. In 2007, for instance, Pope Benedict said: “Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family.”

Now, I would wager 99% of Catholics have no problem agreeing with preserving the environment and promoting sustainable development. All the controversy hinges on climate change, whether it is caused by human industrial carbon emissions, and if so, how to properly address it.

If the future of the human race comes down to the results of a UN meeting, we’re doomed. The UN is neither competent nor at all friendly to the interests of the Church. In fact, the UN is actively hostile to the positions and interventions of the Holy See on almost every issue from religious freedom to the meaning of marriage to the rights of the unborn — save for climate change. There would be great practical harm, I would argue, in legitimizing the UN and offering it the moral credibility of and association with the Church.

The UN is also, as I said, incompetent. Worse: it is actively counterproductive. To take just one glaring recent example, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just done a 180 on biofuels. For decades we have subsidized and pushed biofuels like ethanol. Now the IPCC is is saying that biofuels harm the environment and push up food prices.

Biofuels now join the long and deplorable list of government-sponsored megaprojects undertaken for supposedly green reasons which only resulted in the manipulation of markets and the exploitation of the poor. Time and time again, green interventions promoted by the UN and its participating governments have harmed the very people and environments they were supposed to help.

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Rumbling and Blundering about Papal Climate Change