Category: EcoLinks

The discussion is certainly on-going among the 220 opinion leaders who attended and spoke at Acton’s December 3 Rome conference In Dialogue with Laudato Si’: Can Free Markets Help Us Care for Our Common Home?

The Institute’s Rome office had hoped that the “dialogue” would continue well past the conference itself – within the Vatican, its pontifical universities and mass media – after heated discussion erupted over what is magisterium and debatable opinion in encyclical letters. When discussing environmental issues treated by Francis in Laudato Si’,  questions focused especially on technical matters related to economics and the material sciences as well as calling into question the expert secular counsel the Vatican often seeks to inform itself in areas of prudential judgment.

One of the panelists invited to the debate, economist Philip Booth of England’s St Mary’s University and Institute of Economic Affairs, was particularly outspoken about the pope’s own criticism of the financial industry and so-called manipulation of global food prices. (more…)

Blog author: bwalker
Friday, October 2, 2015
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At Boston College, Turkson maps ‘Laudato Si’’ path to Paris climate agreement
Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

If Laudato Si’ offered a light on the path to a Paris climate agreement, the U.S. ought to be the one carrying the lantern, said the pope’s chief encyclical envoy Monday at Boston College.

Why a Popular Pope Is Willing to Be Unpopular
John Izzo, Huffington Post Canada

What most Americans and Canadians really should do is read the Pope’s encyclical. Rather than a political tirade, what they would discover is a thoughtful, measured and powerful homily on the dysfunctional and unsustainable relationship human beings have with the very planet that gave us life. From loss of biodiversity to the dire state of the oceans, the gross inequality that permeates the planet and yes, climate change, he calls us to consider the place we play in the creation whether or not we believe it be God created or a cosmic shot of good luck.

Levin: Pope Francis and Obama ‘Speak Down To Us’
Dispatch Times

“Despite Pope Francis’ progressive stance on climate change and economic equity, he has taken a back seat when it comes to reproductive health and women’s rights”, said Alexander Sanger, board member of the worldwide Planned Parenthood Federation for the Western Hemisphere Region, in a statement Friday. Timing, as they say, is everything.

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Blog author: bwalker
Thursday, October 1, 2015
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“God, or Nothing!”: Exclusive Interview with Cardinal Robert Sarah
Diane Montagna, Aleteia

If the Pope speaks about the economy or politics, it is not his field of expertise. He can offer his vision or opinion, but it’s not dogma. He can err. But what he says about Christ, about the Sacraments, about the faith must be considered as sure. If he speaks about the environment, the climate, the economy, immigrants, etc., he is working from information that may be correct, or mistaken, but [in these cases] he is speaking as Obama speaks, or another president. It doesn’t mean that what he says on the economy is dogma, something we need to follow. It’s an opinion.

Catholic school’s dilemma: Pope Francis vs oil dollars
Hailey Lee, CNBC

As Pope Francis advances his call to action against climate change and dependence on fossil fuels, some in the flock are faced with a dilemma. Many U.S. Catholic churches and institutions lease land out to oil and gas companies—and make good money doing it. County documents reveal that dioceses in Texas and Oklahoma have signed 235 leases in oil and gas since 2010, according to Reuters. The pope made a formal call to action in June, saying, “There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.”

For Heaven’s Sake
Roseann Hernandez, GoodTimes

The transformative power of the pope’s words has begun sinking in around Santa Cruz County, with the announcement that the Progressive Christian Forum will hold an event on Thursday, Oct. 1 to discuss the pope’s words and the message behind them.

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Blog author: bwalker
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
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The Energy Election
Joel Kotkin, Real Clear Politics

Blessed by Pope Francis, the drive to wipe out fossil fuels, notes activist Bill McKibben, now has “the wind in its sails.” Setting aside the bizarre alliance of the Roman Catholic Church with secularists such as McKibben, who favor severe limits of family size as an environmental imperative, this is a potentially transformational moment.

Vatican newspaper: analysis of recent Muslim statement on climate change
Catholic World News

Father Damian Howard, an English Jesuit, compares the declaration with Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ and writes that the declaration’s statement that “our planet has existed for billions of years” is noteworthy because this view is not universally accepted among Muslims.

On Climate Change, Listen to Pope Francis, Not Jeb Bush
John Nichols, The Nation

Before he chose to pursue the priesthood, the future pope trained as a chemical technician. Writers for the National Catholic Reporter reference “his training as a scientist” and point out that the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio “worked as a chemist prior to entering the seminary.”

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Blog author: bwalker
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
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Professors dialogue about the Pope’s encyclical
Courtney Becker, The Observer

“At the intersection of science and religion, you can’t just jump into any modern document and think that it can be taken entirely at face value,” [David Lodge, professor of biology and director of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative]said. “You want to think about how the scientific community … might react to such a document. The history of the interaction between Christianity and science has been, to say the least, a little fraught on occasion.”

Red-Blue America: What should Americans have learned from Pope Francis?
Ben Boychuk, Duluth News Tribune

Pope Francis isn’t a politician, an economist or a climatologist. He is first and foremost a priest and a pastor of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. Americans, Catholic and Protestant alike, forget that too easily.
True, Pope Francis discusses politics, economics and the climate in confounding ways. He really doesn’t understand the way free markets work. He’s listening to some highly misguided people about global warming. And as his visit with Fidel Castro showed, Francis isn’t as outspoken in the face of tyranny as was his predecessor, Saint Pope John Paul II. But Francis is neither anti-American nor a Marxist. Some conservatives sound like fools when they accuse the pontiff of being something he’s not.

College professor will speak about Pope Francis at Wallingford Public Library
Mary Ellen Godin, Record-Journal

Francis has been criticized by those who deny the established science of human-caused climate change. Other critics have denounced the letter as akin to communism and anti-technology. Some conservative Roman Catholics view the encyclical as an interference with secular politics. “He’s not anti-science,” Bourgeois said. “Nobody is proposing we go back to the Stone Age; we can’t treat capital markets and technology as though they are going to solve all of our problems.”

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Blog author: bwalker
Monday, September 28, 2015
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Jeb Bush on Pope Francis’s Calls to Fight Climate Change: “He’s Not a Scientist”
Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair

Bush dismissed the Pope’s words. “Put aside Pope Francis on the subject of any political conversation,” he said, before turning the subject back on his true nemesis, Barack Obama. “I oppose the president’s policy as it relates to climate change because it will destroy the ability to re-industrialize the country, to allow for people to get higher wage jobs, for people to rise up.”


U.N. chief: Listen to Pope Francis on climate action
Ban Ki-moon, CNN

Pope Francis, in his recent encyclical, clearly articulated that climate change is a moral issue, and one of the principal challenges facing humanity. He rightly cited the solid scientific consensus showing significant warming of the climate system, with most global warming in recent decades mainly a result of human activity. And he has emphasized the critical need to support the poorest and most vulnerable members of our human family from a crisis they did least to cause, but from which they suffer most.

Pope Francis Gives Catholics Permission To Be More Vocal About What They Already Know To Be True
Jeremy Deaton, ClimateProgress

When it comes to global warming, Pope Francis is meeting American Catholics where they are. An analysis from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication conducted before the release of the pope’s encyclical found American Catholics are more likely than the general public to think climate change is happening. And, while fewer than half of non-Catholic Christians in the U.S. are worried about climate change, nearly two-thirds of American Catholics are concerned about the problem.American Catholics are also more likely to understand the scientific consensus around climate change and to support pro-climate policy than the American public at large. Hispanic Catholics are particularly likely to favor action to address climate change.

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Blog author: bwalker
Friday, September 25, 2015
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Pope Francis tells Congress: Be Courageous, Do Something about Climate Change
Zoe Schlanger, Newsweek

In his address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress Thursday morning, Pope Francis minced no words when it came to climate change. Referencing his recent influential encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, the pope called on the United States to make a “courageous and responsible effort” to “avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.”

Pope’s climate push hits wall in Congress
Andrew Restuccia and Darren Goode, Politico

“There is no doubt that all of us are called to be good stewards of the environment,” said presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “The dispute is what the science and evidence demonstrate. That ultimately is a debate that should be had in the halls of Congress based on facts and based on evidence.”

As a scientist, is the pope dodging the biggest contributor to climate change?
Nsikan Akpan, PBS

Yet the Pope’s policy stops short of addressing a major contributor to man-made climate change: population control. “Every person that we add to the planet increases the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere, so population growth is one of the great drivers of climate change, said Stanford University conservation biologist Paul Ehrlich. “If we keep the population growing, it seems highly likely that the climate problem will get totally out of control.”

A Social Scientist, a Climate Change Physicist, and Pope Francis Walk Into a Bar…
Francie Diep, Pacific Standard

The journal, which normally publishes physics and geology studies on global warming, is doing something unusual this week: It’s released a series of essays by social scientists analyzing and critiquing Pope Francis’ so-called “climate change encyclical.” The encyclical, formally titled “Laudato Si,” was released in June. In the text, Francis urges Catholics to act quickly on climate change out of a moral obligation to care for the Earth and the world’s poor, who are expected to bear the brunt of a warmer world’s ill effects. During his visit to the United States this week, Francis has re-iterated many of the encyclical’s points, saying things like, “It seems clear to me, also, that climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to a future generation.”

Pope Francis Starts U.S. Visit Addressing Climate Change
Brian Kahn, Climate Central

The remarks kick off a six-day visit to the U.S. — Pope Francis’s first time here — that includes speeches in front of a joint session of Congress and the United Nations General Assembly and highlight a continuing commitment to make climate change a central issue of his papacy.

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