William McGurn claims that Laudato Si’ adopts the environmentalists’ logic, if not their full conclusions, in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. He critiques the encyclical’s “bleak” tone and economic pronouncements:
Put it this way. If you were a parent whose family was languishing in soul-crushing poverty in some desperate part of Africa, you’d hear two messages today:
The economist and entrepreneur will tell you that there is no nation so poor that its people cannot lift up themselves if they have the freedom to take advantage of modern technology and participate in the global marketplace. In the process, their neighbors will also be enriched and the environment improved.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis suggests that the impoverished in the developing world can never have better lives or a cleaner environment until the West imposes a much-reduced standard of living on itself.
Which offers the more hopeful and human way forward?
Read the full text of his article here.