Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 06.24.15

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The problem with Pope Francis’ encyclical is that nature is nasty: Spengler
David P. Goldman, Spengler

The trouble with natural theology (the notion that nature itself points us to an understanding of the divine) is that nature herself is a nasty piece of work. When St. Francis of Assisi and his namesake, the reigning Pope, laud nature as “mother” and “sister,” they open a can of theological worms. Nature is no sister of mine. Christians like to view things in terms of teleology–their ultimate goal–and the teleology of the world we know is to be destroyed in a fireball.

What Do We Do When the Pope Gets It Wrong?
John Zmirak, The Stream

No less a defender of Catholic truth than Barack Obama has made it clear: Pope Francis threw “the full moral authority of his position” behind the need to abandon fossil fuels, junk our unjust and exploitative free market system, and massively redistribute wealth via globalist institutions. These heroic measures are essential to save the earth and cushion the impact of switching to solar, thermal or hamster-treadmill power for poor countries worldwide.

Pope Francis vs. Wall Street
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington Post

For Pope Francis, the market and the economy must be bound by rules that serve “basic and inalienable rights.” At the center of these is work: “We were created with a vocation to work.” Work is the setting for “rich personal growth . . . creativity, planning for the future, developing our talents, living out our values . . . giving glory to God.” Therefore, priority should be given to “the goal of access to steady employment for everyone, no matter the limited interests of business and dubious economic reasoning.”

Pope Francis’ climate-change encyclical: If only Galileo could see it
Sarah Mosko, The Los Angeles Times

If successful, this pope’s encyclical will more than make up for the harm the Catholic Church caused in the past by its intransigent denial of the science proving that the Earth is not the center of the universe. Too bad Galileo isn’t here to see the church take the lead this time.

White House Spokesman Unaware That Pope Also Condemned Abortion in Much-Praised Climate Encyclical
The Blaze

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he was not aware that Pope Francis said in his climate change encyclical that it’s “incompatible” to be concerned about protecting the environment while also being pro-abortion.Asked Monday whether it was safe to assume that the White House strongly disagrees with that portion of the encyclical, Earnest told TheBlaze, “I didn’t actually see that portion of it, so why don’t we take a look and I’ll get you a reaction.”

How Pope Francis’s Climate Encyclical Is Disrupting American Politics
Carl Pope, EcoWatch

It is more a gale than a fresh breeze when the most ground-breaking Pope since John XXIII links poverty and climate, in a way which leaves the far-right sputtering—(just as it was a powerful symbol when a daughter of the Church, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, broke with President Obama on trade citing climate concerns).

US Catholic Leader Explains What He Thinks the Pope’s Climate Change Encyclical Adds To The Debate
Katie Lapotin, IJReview

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of the Catholic church in Washington, D.C., defended Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical on “Fox News Sunday,” saying that his papal decree adds a “moral dimension” to the debate.

Will These Five High Profile Catholics Head For Confession Over Pope’s Climate Encyclical?
Graham Readfearn, Desmogblog

The Roman Catholic Church did some catching up last week with a clear and definitive statement calling for decisive action on global greenhouse gas emissions.

Alabama climatologist Dr. John Christy questions Pope’s take on climate change: guest opinion
Dr. John R. Christy, All Alabama.com

Frankly, I’m puzzled by this encyclical. The language it uses to describe our current world is frightening, “The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits.” According to the document, we are “witnessing a disturbing warming … an increase in extreme weather events.”

Our health depends on climate change action and a cleaner economy
Mary Kay Henry, The Hill

There’s a little boy in my hometown of Detroit who may not know about the pope’s encyclical on climate change, or today’s White House summit on climate and public health, but he is all too familiar with the issues. He feels them in his lungs.

Cardinal Takes Your Host to the Woodshed on the Pope’s Encyclical
Rush Limbaugh

I’m really beginning to wonder if this whole thing wasn’t put together by a committee that may have, essentially, just hijacked the Vatican by this. I mean, that’s what the left does. They move in, they corrupt things. Just have to see.

International Scientific Society Responds to Pope Francis’ Encyclical
American Geophysical Union, PR Newswire

We were also pleased to see the level to which scientists were consulted in the development of the encyclical. All too often, opinions on climate change are informed more by political and social rhetoric than they are by legitimate scientific research. The state of climate research in the U.S and around globe is very strong – but in the U.S., the level of support is declining and will diminish our ability to use such expertise in our decision making. If we can reverse this trend, then science can continue to help the U.S. and the world have access to the knowledge needed to protect our collective health and welfare. We urge our nation’s leaders to accept that investments in scientific research are investments in our future.”

Conservative Media Who Complained Of “War On Christianity” Now Slamming Pope On Climate Change
Denise Robbins & Kate Sarna, MediaMatters for America

Conservative media have long alleged that progressives are waging a “war on Christianity” in the United States. Now many of these same media figures are waging their own war on the man who leads the world’s largest Christian denomination, the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis, for addressing the urgent issue of climate change.

The Post-Partisan Fallacy: Is the Republican Party Incapable of Addressing Climate Change?
Stephen Lacey, The Energy Collective

After Pope Francis issued his strongly worded encyclical on climate change and the environment, many wondered how it would influence skeptical conservatives. It didn’t take long to get an answer. “I don’t think we should politicize our faith,” said Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, who brushed off climate change as an inherently political issue.

UCC environmental leaders laud Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change
Emily Schapppacher, United Church of Christ

In what United Church of Christ environmental activists are lauding “a milestone moment,” Pope Francis stressed an urgency for protecting Planet Earth in his encyclical on climate change, titled Laudato Si or “Praised Be: On the Care of the Common Home.” On June 28, the Rev. Meighan Pritchard, the UCC’s minister for environmental justice, invites UCC congregations everywhere to ring their bells at noon local time to show their support for Laudato Si and its call to environmental action.

Laudato si: U of T’s Stephen Scharper explains Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical
Jelena Damjanovic, University of Toronto

But I think it is important to point out that this is an appeal for inclusive dialogue; it is not simply a pugnacious debate between “sides.” It is rather a critical conversation the pope wants to help foster, and the hope is that the media and respondents see it as such, and not simply as a political climate fight. It is an invitation to rethink our entire relationship, social, economic, ecological, and moral, with a planet and many impoverished persons in crisis.

ICLEI lauds Pope Francis’ call for action on climate change and sustainable development
ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability

Recalling that the existing bottom-up contributions of national governments are far below the level of ambition to prevent the global climate change crisis, ICLEI notes that the encyclical complements the global efforts to unite all actors of the society in an inclusive and ambitious new global climate regime to be finalized at Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, where every single contribution on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change should be incentivized, acknowledged and accounted for.

Bruce Edward Walker has more than 30 years’ writing and editing experience in a variety of publishing areas, including reference books, newspapers, magazines, media relations and corporate speeches. Much of this material involved research on water rights, land use, alternative-technology vehicles and other environmental issues, but Walker has also written extensively on nonscientific subjects, having produced six titles in Wiley Publishing’s CliffsNotes series, including study guides for "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest." He has also authored more than 100 critical biographies of authors and musicians for Gale Research's Contemporary Literary Criticism and Contemporary Musicians reference-book series. Most recently, he was managing editor of The Heartland Institute's InfoTech & Telecom News. Prior to that, he was manager of communications for the Mackinac Center's Property Rights Network. He also served from 2006-2007 as editor of Michigan Science, a quarterly Mackinac Center publication. Walker has served as an adjunct professor of literature and academic writing at University of Detroit Mercy. For the past three years, he has authored a weekly column for the mid-Michigan Morning Sun newspaper. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University. He is the father of two daughters and currently lives in Midland, Mich., with his wife Katherine.

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