October 21, 2021
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Dark Shades of Papal Green

Dark Shades of Papal Green

There is a truism in science dating back several centuries that states the book of science is always open. Man-made global warming a.k.a. climate change, thanks to erstwhile President Barack Obama, is the first and the only scientific issue where the book has been not, only slammed shut but also locked and guarded from any revision, modification, or amendment. This unprecedented, closed book situation is totally against the basic tenets of scientific research and education. However, contrary to what climate change extremists suggest, climatological issue has not been decided.

Scientific inquiry has been corrupted and poisoned by thousands of government-oriented scientists who have sold their collective intellectual souls to the gods of ignorance, irrationality, and propaganda. At its man-made best, climate change is a hoax and should be relegated to the junk science trash bin. At worst, it is Marxist agitprop. Truth is no longer the scientific goal. An autocratic elite with its own agenda has used the rampant fear of the Apocalypse of imminent world destruction to herd the collective masses into a Luddite return to a way of living that lacks technology, comfort and a long lifespan. 

On the wings of their utopian dream of saving the planet, their plan can only result in a world enslaved in an Orwellian nightmare of violence, repression and poverty. Pope Francis has marched headlong into the bitter fray, apparently joining forces with the elites of unreason and ersatz science. With his encyclical, Laudato Si’, mi’ Signore, he has endangered, not only his own credibility but that of the Catholic Church as well. The pope has fused traditional conservation of nature and its wildlife with radical environmentalism. His thesis is that climate change is one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. The planet is warming and humans are the primary cause, particularly due to their use of fossil fuels, which cause greenhouse gases and deforestation for developmental purposes. He urges a global public policy to reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable sources of energy. The idea of the carbon footprint is a hoax that has been perpetrated on the world by governments and their bought-and-paid-for scientists through federal grants and programs! The planet has been naturally cooling for nearly 20 years now. 

The encyclical’s title, in English, Praise be to you, my Lord, is taken from a canticle by Saint Francis of Assisi which reminds us earth is likened to a sister. Our Sister, Mother Earth, it says, is now crying out because of the way we humans have harmed her. While the imagery of the 13th century mystic, who lived much of his life as a hermit in tune with nature more than with human beings, it tends to romanticize the gravity of what the pope is asking the world to sacrifice for an abstract principle that has excluded itself from true scientific inquiry and has morphed into a bona fide political movement with global ambitions.

Ross Douthat, an editor for The New York Times, writes that Laudato Si is a document aligned with the scientific consensus on climate that excoriates the modern scientific mind-set as, in effect, a 500-year mistake. Douthat bemoans the fact that Laudato calls for global action, even a new world political authority, that is sodden in frank contempt for the existing global leadership class. It’s a document that urges a rapid move away from fossil fuels while explicitly criticizing the leading avenue for doing so — a cap and trade regime — as too ‘quick and easy,’ too compromised by greed and self-interest, to allow for the radical change which present circumstances require.

Pope Francis’s predecessors attempted versions of his thinking when they urged Catholics to recognize environmental devastation as a manifestation of the individualism the church has long condemned, while inviting secular readers to consider religious alternatives to our present way of life. But according to Douthat its urgency, sweep, and apocalyptic flavor may make Laudato Si’ more immediately influential, more likely to make both audiences think anew.

While Pope Francis gets A’s for his compassion, humility and energy, he deserves an F for his economic analysis. He ignores what markets and finance have historically done to provide cleaner air, water, and greater food and water security for millions of people the world over, including the poor. It is a fact that the conservation of the environment is far much worse when no one is responsible for their own property and when they can’t plan for their own future by way of insurance or commodity futures. Capitalism has helped more people escape poverty on a global scale than a myriad of federal programs.

It is usually autocratic governments, such as socialist ones that keep their masses mired in the slavery of poverty, ignorance, and disease. Americans need only look to their inner cities where most have been run by Democratic administrations for generations. In those communities, poverty, crime and sub-standard educations have de facto enslaved their people. The failures of Detroit, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles cannot be attributed as the handicraft of capitalism.

The Pope’s thinking tends to characterize free markets as unregulated, which is simply untrue. It also seems to blame markets for so many social ills which may perhaps in the case of developing countries reflect that they don’t have free markets, according to Samuel Gregg, in The Washington Examiner. By eliminating productive businesses with their millions of global jobs the world’s poor will increase and millions will starve to death. If resource constraints are really as severe as the pope implies, and technological solutions as limited in power, it isn’t entirely clear how the planet can sustain the steadily growing population the Catholic vision of marriage and fecundity stresses.

This all begs the salient questions as how Pope Francis has come to think this way and who briefed him that this was the Catholic position to take. Michigan writer Catherine Snow attempted to answer these questions, shortly after the Pope’s controversial encyclical was promulgated in 2015, in her article, Unholy Alliance: Who is advising Pope Francis on global warming? She began by describing him as Smiling, lovable, Pope Francis says and does the darndest things. Wildly popular, this Argentine pontiff provides the common touch that for millions, and not just Catholics, offers a welcome and very public picture of how the world’s most influential religious leader can live, pray, and lead as a humble pastor.

Faithful Catholics will focus on the weight of the environmental assertions and claims that fill this nearly 200-page document. As Snow says, the questions will begin with those who have been enlisted to promote ‘Laudato Si’, some of whom are decidedly on the wrong side of Catholic teaching. She starts with economist Jeffrey Sachs, a prominent supporter of abortion and population control, who was invited to speak at a conference on climate change at the Vatican. The Investor’s Business Daily chimed in on Snow’s thinking when it when it published, [The] Vatican has been infiltrated by followers of a radical green movement that is, at its core, anti-Christian, anti-people, anti-poor, and anti-development. The basic tenets of Catholicism ¬ – the sanctity of human life and the value of all souls – are detested by the modern pagan environmentalists who worship the created, but not the creator… Big Green believes too many human beings are the basic global problem. People, according to this view, are resource destroyers. Climate change, they say, is due to overpopulation of Mother Earth. The image of Mother Earth evokes memories of Gaia the pagan god of earth, whom Al Gore deified in his ridiculous book, The Earth in the Balance in 1992. In the book, Gore preaches repentance for our environmental sins through a union with Gaia, in the same way Christians are taught a spiritual union with Jesus Christ.

Snow then raises the question if it bothers anyone else, for instance, that Pope Francis – or the curial officials advising him – have chosen as his only lay adviser on the subject of climate change, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber? Schellnhuber, a German scientist, came up with the two degrees Centigrade temperature limit and is known for his radical ideas on climate change. That is, we must limit any increase in global warming to two degrees or humanity faces unavoidable catastrophe. In 2009, Schellnhuber claimed that the sustainability of the Earth is fewer than one billion people. Today, the world population stands at 7.2 billion. As the director of Germany’s Potsdam Institute, which has been crafting data, Schellnhuber used the 2-degree trigger to frighten German politicians into adopting radical climate policies. These fears, which frightened teens, such Sweden’s Greta Thunberg to death, are now universal. This progressive elite has been empowered to enact draconian population controls in the not-to-distant future.

Schellnhuber’s many erroneous predictions are based on yet to be validated, computer-generated models, which all portend doomsday scenarios. In reality, satellite data confirms there has been no notable warming for the past 20 years. Sea ice is on the rise. Crop production is increasing. Polar bears are thriving once again. Hurricane numbers are down. Sea level rise has declined for the past decade. All of the catastrophes Schellnhuber predicted are not happening.

Schellnhuber is also the director of the WBGU, the German Advisory council on Global Change. The council is made up of nine scientists. Their primary task is to advise policymakers in Germany and worldwide on how we should deal with climate change. Their 446-page Master Plan for The Great Transformation of Global Society, was designed to fast-track Germany, and the world, into sustainability and an almost carbon-free society by 2050. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the German equivalent of The Washington Post, has been highly critical of Schellnhuber and writes that one of the fundamental aims of the WBGU was changing Germany’s constitutional law. FAZ easily parried his protests of a failed democracy in Germany, by saying that the WBGU failed to trick their way past democracy.  Snow concludes that Pope Francis, it seems, has been badly misinformed and led astray by advisers such as Schellnhuber

This is a very sad time for all Catholics around the world because the pope has sided with the Neo-Malthusians, who erroneously believe that the world’s resources are finite and that an almighty government can somehow steer seven billion people into a prosperous future, relying solely on its ability to manage, coerce and harness all the means of production. For the Pope to seriously support the virtual elimination of capitalism from the earth, which he tacitly does by joining forces and adopting the left’s rhetoric—he runs the risk of putting the Church deeply in league with the Green Left, which advocates policies that might have been more at home with the likes of Adolph Hitler, Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong and Hugo Chavez.

Throughout Laudato Pope Francis’ internal logic is systemically flawed. He ignores the basic nature of the environmental movement he has sided with. Progressivism was founded on eugenics. When applied to man-made threats, the solution resides in the purging of billions of people with from the planet. Beware of the use of the term sustainability because it is a code word for massive population control. Sustainability can only be achieved through the systematic embedment of population control by any means, including abortion and infanticide. Euthanasia, starting with physician-assisted suicide is the next menace on the thanatological horizon. 

I write this with a heavy heart because the Pope’s encyclical seems to undermine virtually everything I was taught to believe during my 22-years of Catholic school education from 1st grade through a doctorate in American History. Laudato also undermines the 30 years I have spent in defending human life in the womb because the linchpin to the Green Environmentalism is the elimination 85% of the world’s population through abortion, euthanasia, passive starvation, and eventually wars. I believe Pope Francis has unwisely chosen to throw his lot and that of his universal Church into this green vortex, which can only serve to tarnish his papacy and undermine the teachings of the Church. Past and future encyclicals will not receive the respect, which they are normally due. They will fall freely into the category of papal opinions that have little or no sway on how the faithful lives. 

Many others in the Church are concerned with the direction Pope Francis is taking us. Daniel Mahoney reported in the February 24, 2020 issue of The National Review that the pope has embarked on a new Christianity that has paid insufficient attention to eternal questions. The Church has become more secular, obsessed with political and social matters far beyond their competence. Kazakh bishop Athanasius Schneider writes in his book, Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph over the Darkness of the Age, the pope attends regularly to secular issues, such as climate change…in an exaggerated manner…His frenzied activism crowds out concerns the faithful have about the life of the soul and the supernatural realities of grace, prayer and penance. God help us and the Catholic Church if this is all true.

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Written by
William Borst