Posts tagged with: environment

Blog author: bwalker
Monday, June 15, 2015

Italian magazine publishes leaked version of pope’s eco-encyclical

An Italian magazine on Monday published what it claims to be a leaked copy of Pope Francis’ highly anticipated encyclical on the environment, including papal backing for the idea that human beings are primarily responsible for climate change, but the Vatican warned the document is a draft and should not be considered official.

How the Pope Could Turn U.S. Climate Politics Upside Down
Eric Roston, BloombergBusiness

Pope Francis sees it as an issue intrinsic to morality, social justice, and theology. Papal statements on the environment go back at least to 1971. Pope John Paul II spoke of “human ecology” and the sacred earth throughout his pontificate, from the late ’70s until his death in 2005.

Will the Papal Encyclical Bring the ‘Francis Effect’ to the Climate Debates?
Jim Wallis, Huffington Post

As we have seen with other issues, including women’s rights, gay rights, and poverty, Francis is intent not on upending Catholic Church doctrine but on changing Church emphasis and tone. He seeks to transition the image of the Church from dogmatic and infallible to humble and present in the world’s pain, suffering, and challenges.


Speaking on The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV on Friday, Rev. Robert Sirico addressed questions regarding the new papal encyclical, Laudato Si’, which reportedly will be released this week.

Sirico commented on Pope Francis’ tendency to speak “off the cuff,” saying this may be exploited by the press or others who simply want to push their own agenda regarding the environment and climate change. Sirico also expressed trepidation regarding the pontiff’s plan to address a joint session of Congress during his U.S. visit in September.

Had I been asked, and I wasn’t, on whether the Pope should address the joint session of Congress, I would’ve said no,” Sirico said.

Why? Because it lends a whole political atmosphere to whatever he’s going to be saying to the Congress.

There’s no way the Pope is going to come out of that chamber without people putting a political spin on it whether to the right or the left,” Sirico said.

The Pope is visiting us not as the head of Vatican City State, not as a politician, not as a monarch, but as a pastor, as a bishop.”

Blog author: bwalker
Friday, June 12, 2015

Liberal Clergy Lobby Vatican Ahead of Pope’s U.S. Visit
Aisha Bhoori, TIME

“The Gospel is political,” said [former undocumented immigrant from California, Father Jesus Nieto-Ruiz]. “We cannot distinguish and say, ‘Okay, the Gospel must explain theocracy,’ and then let the politicians run our lives with no principles whatsoever. Pope Francis is really incarnating for us the meaning of the Gospel. He’s inviting us to get involved in politics, even when politics is dirty.”

Why Climate Change is Not a Prudential Judgment
David Cloutier, Commonweal

When the encyclical drops, we will hear plenty of commentary on prudential judgment; it is important to clarify what this term means. It is not properly applied to scientific knowledge of the sort that show climate change. Scientific knowledge cannot by definition be a matter of prudential judgment, since it is about “what is” and not about “what is to be done.”

Why the climate is such a hot topic for Pope Francis
CBS News

Anxiety has so gripped American conservatives over Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on the environment that you might think a pope had never before blamed fossil fuels for global warming. Or accused energy companies of hoarding the Earth’s resources at the expense of the poor. Or urged the rich to consume less and share more.

U.N.: Pope’s encyclical may have ‘major impact’ on climate talks

“Pope Francis is personally committed to this issue like no other pope before him,” Christiana Figueres told a news conference at June 1-11 talks on a deal to combat climate change due to be agreed in Paris in December.


Blog author: bwalker
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pope’s new encyclical will provoke backlash, says Peruvian archbishop
Catholic Herald

Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, told Catholic News Service: “(The encyclical) will have many critics, because they want to continue setting rules of the game in which money takes first place. We have to be prepared for those kinds of attacks.”

Protecting the Whole of Creation
La Civiltà Cattolica

In many societies, from the 1970s to the beginning of the 1990s, awareness of ecological threats grew consistently and progressively. Saint John Paul II was the first pope to talk about the consequences of industrial growth, massive urban concentrations and vastly increased energy needs.

Martyred American nun could be the patron saint of the pope’s eco-encyclical
John L. Allen Jr, Crux

On Thursday, however, Francis provided an indirect clue that there’s another strong candidate as the patron, someone much closer in time though not yet formally declared a saint: Sister Dorothy Stang, an American missionary nun assassinated in Brazil in 2005 for defending the Amazon rainforest and the rights of poor farmers.


Blog author: bwalker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Video: Catholicism and the challenge of ecology
Catholic News Service

7 Things to Expect from Pope Francis’ Upcoming Encyclical
Ryan Mayer, Catholic Vote

“Environmentalists” and other neo-pagans are already claiming the encyclical as proof that Pope Francis is the radical lefty they hope and think he is, while those more wary of eco-extremism and enviro-politics are already playing the part of apologists, carefully explaining what does and does not fall under the competence of the teaching office of the Successor to Peter. A lot of minds are already made up…and all we know for sure is the title.

Pope Francis and Climate Change
Kim Haines-Eitzen, Huffington Post

Pope Francis is about to release an encyclical on climate change and the anticipation has been mixed: some foresee an environmental rallying cry to Catholics everywhere. Others find it a reprehensible caving to politics and theories. But church history makes one thing clear: if he uses language that calls for a reconsideration of the human-environment relationship, he will be standing in a long tradition of “creation care.”


Blog author: bwalker
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Is the Pope a communist?
Ed Stourton, BBC News

He does, however, seem to enjoy provoking people. He will soon publish an encyclical expected to deal with climate change, and a priest who has been briefed on the contents told us “If some people think that he’s a Marxist (now), wait and see what he says on the environment!”

Retired NASA Scientists Take on Pope
Cliff Kincaid, Canada Free Press

With the papal encyclical on climate change scheduled for a June 18 release, the liberal media can be expected to portray the Vatican document as a major step forward for the United Nations agenda of controlling and taxing the use of natural resources by governments and people. But a group of retired NASA scientists is taking on the pope directly, armed with the expertise that has come through decades of planning U.S. space missions and dealing with the most complex and difficult issues of climate science.

UN climate talks stall despite G7 push on carbon
Mariette Le Roux,

Nations remain deeply divided on several underlying issues, key among them such basics as apportioning responsibility between rich and poor for emissions cuts.

Climate encyclical expected to send strong moral message to the world
Barbara Fraser, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on ecology and climate is expected to send a strong moral message — one message that could make some readers uncomfortable, some observers say.”The encyclical will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people’s life and health,” Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, told Catholic News Service.


overpopulation1In 1865, W. Stanley Jevons predicted that with coal reserves of 90 billion tons, England would run out within 100 years. Today, the country has between three trillion and 23 trillion ton, enough to last Britain for centuries.

In 1914, the Bureau of Mines fretted that with a total future production limit of 5.7 billion barrels, the U.S. only had about a ten-year supply of oil. Today, a hundred years later, we’re estimated to have 36 billion barrels left in the ground.

In 1968, Paul Ehrlich predicted that because of an inability to produce enough food, hundreds of millions of people would starve in the 1970s. Instead, the population has doubled—from 3.5 to 7 billion—and the number of famine victims from 1970-2015 combined is less than in the 1960s.

Each time experts predicted a decline in natural resources would be detrimental to population growth. And each time history proved the experts wrong.

Yet despite this history, modern scientists are still more pessimistic about population growth than the general public, according to a pair of 2014 Pew Research Center surveys.

Blog author: bwalker
Thursday, June 4, 2015

President of Vatican Academy Attacks Climate Change Skeptic
Austin Ruse, Breitbart

In a rare display of diplomatic indecorum, Margaret Archer, the president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, has lashed out at the author of a recent essay, accusing him of hate speech and moral depravity for questioning the Academy’s position on climate change.

Pope’s Encyclical on Ecology to Be Released June 18
Deborah Castellano Lubov, Zenit

“To avoid confusion over the date of publication of the long-awaited encyclical of Pope Francis, the confirmed date of publication will be next Thursday, June 18, 2015,” the statement noted, adding, “Next week further details about the encylical will be made public in the daily bulletin of the Holy See.”

Investing Like Exxon
Jeff Siegel, Energy & Capital

It’s not as if the more than 1 billion Catholics in the world are going to stop driving their cars just because the Pope is railing against climate change.

Why Rick Santorum doesn’t want Pope Francis talking about climate change
Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor

“It is not the business of the church to stray from the field of faith and morals and wander into the playground that is science,” Christopher Monckton, a devout Catholic who has long played a lead role in the climate skeptic movement and an advisor to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said at the conference. “Stand back and listen to both sides. And do not take sides in politics.”

Our religious shareholder activist buddies in As You Sow and the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility can welcome Neil Young in their ill-advised battle against genetically modified organisms. Seems ol’ Shakey – as Young is known to his friends, family and hardcore fans – has released a song that could’ve been written from all the GMO falsehoods and scare tactics spread by AYS and ICCR, including:

More than 60 percent of all processed foods available today contain GE ingredients such as soy, corn, or canola; and because in the U.S. there is no mandate that GE food be labeled, most consumers are most likely unknowingly consuming them. ICCR members call on food and beverage companies to apply the precautionary approach in decision making until such time as science can rule out any harmful side-effects and further advocate for the consumers’ right to know through proper labeling of GMO ingredients in all products. Moreover, seed and chemical companies are asked to monitor and disclose potential health effects, particularly unknown allergenic effects; environmental impacts of GMOs; and respect for and adherence to seed saving rights of traditional agricultural communities. – ICCR

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals that have had their DNA modified by laboratory processes to have specific characteristics. When the first genetically modified (GM, also known as genetically engineered, GE) crops were introduced, the biotechnology industry claimed they would increase crop yields, decrease pesticide use, improve nutrition, and more. However, in the fifteen years since GMOs were first commercialized, they have delivered negligible benefits and raised significant environmental, public health, and food security concerns. (more…)

Vatican PopeIn anticipation of the new papal encyclical on the environment (reportedly due out this month, and titled Laudato si’ [Praised Be You]), the press is seeking a way to make sense out of information “floating around” concerning the contents of the encyclical. At this point, no one really knows what the encyclical will say, although there are educated guesses. (See Fr. Robert Sirico’s discussion on the encyclical here.)

Peter Smith at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did a “round-up” of various Vatican watchers, officials and teachers, asking for opinions on this environmental encyclical. Included in this group was Kishore Jayabalan, director of Istituto Acton (Acton’s Rome office.) Jayabalan told Smith that:

… he hopes the pope emphasizes “our freedom and responsibility in caring for God’s creation” and the poor. (more…)