EcoLinks 06.12.15
Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 06.12.15

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.

Republicans’ leading climate denier tells the pope to butt out of climate debate
Suzanne Goldbenberg, The Guardian

“Everyone is going to ride the pope now. Isn’t that wonderful,” [Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)] said. “The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours.” A few moments later, Inhofe said: “I am not going to talk about the pope. Let him run his shop, and we’ll run ours.”

The Pope can lead the fight against climate change
Rosamund Urwin, London Evening Standard

As leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, he could do for climate change what he’s done for Cuba, venturing somewhere others were afraid to go. The people of Imirim — and the poor all over the world — need him.

Former NASA scientists warn Pope off climate change bandwagon
Steve Weatherbe, Life Site

But the authors respond that “good climate policy must recognize human exceptionalism, the God-given call for human persons to ‘have dominion’ in the natural world (Genesis 1:28), and the need to protect the poor from harm, including actions that hinder their ascent out of poverty.” They argue that not only has the heavy use of fossil fuels eliminated much of the world’s poverty over the past few centuries, but CO2, though often identified as a harmful byproduct, actually has a beneficial, greening effect by promoting plant—and crop—growth.

Biofuels are a culprit in world hunger, pope says
Ines San Martin, Crux

Pope Francis offered a preview of his hotly-anticipated eco-encyclical on Thursday, arguing that climate change is not the only threat and that the increasing use of alternative energy sources such as biofuels is also dangerous because it can cause food shortages that contribute to world hunger.

Before Francis, other popes expressed environmental worries
Nicole Winfield, The St. Augustine Record

First, no pope has dedicated an entire encyclical to ecological concerns. And no pope has cited the findings of the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change in a major document, as Francis is expected to do. Francis, history’s first Latin American pope, will also be bringing the point of view of the “Global South” to a social teaching document of the church, which is in itself new.

Pope condemns culture of waste, consumerism
Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

“Statistics on waste are very concerning: a third of food products end up under this heading,” the pope told members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in a June 11 audience. “It is unsettling to know that a good portion of agricultural products end up used for other purposes, maybe good, but that are not immediate needs of the hungry,” he said.

Catholic Climate Change: Pope Francis’s Ecology Encyclical
Evelyn Finger, Transatlantic Academy

Accordingly, the encyclical’s key proposition reads as left-wing: consumerism and capitalism are the causes of worldwide climate change, and the consequences first and foremost affect the lives of the poor in developing countries. The Pope is calling for an international alliance to protect the environment as well as those affected by climate change.

Ritter confirms role in Vatican encyclical on climate change
The Colorado Statesman

Following hard on the heels of last week’s sermon, in which the Pope labeled ideological, right-wing Christian fundamentalism as “an illness” that doesn’t serve Jesus Christ, the conservative Catholics who have dominated the Church for the past half-century must be reaching for their blood pressure medicines. Infallibility and the role of the Pope in the Church as the Vicar of Christ were far more congenial concepts when the Vatican’s message was one of pampering the powerful.

Key to climate deal lies outside the UN arena: analysts
Richard Ingham, Mariette Le Roux,

[The 195-nation UN Framework Convention on Climate Change]chief Christiana Figueres said “a very high-level political process that is underway in parallel, that is perhaps not physically evident here” was supporting what happened in the climate talks. She noted the June 7-8 G7 summit, which called for “decarbonisation” of the world economy this century, and an upcoming encyclical on climate change by Pope Francis, which Figueres predicted “is going to have a major impact”.

Top 8 Actions Surrounding Coal Divestment

Pressure is increasing from environmental groups, scientists concerned over global warming and investors, too. That’s particularly true considering the impending release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change later this month, expected to exhort meaningful global action later this year at the December climate conference in Paris, and the conference itself, the stated purpose of which is to adopt a new agreement on climate change that will provide a protocol for countries to reduce emissions.

Here’s what the US bishops expect from the Pope’s new encyclical
The Catholic World Report

Bishop Cantu criticized what he said is a “false linkage” between ecological problems and population growth. He rejected aggressive population control efforts in developing countries and noted that some ecological problems, like massive greenhouse gas production, are mainly produced by a “small portion” of the world’s population in advanced countries.

Pope knows we must address climate change
Samantha Allen, The Columbus Dispatch

Climate deniers in Congress are doing everything they can to block health and climate safeguards like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which sets the first-ever federal standards on carbon pollution from existing power plants. In fact, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told Pope Francis to “leave the science to the scientists.” But the pope, who once studied chemistry, is no stranger to science, nor are the 97 percent of climate scientists who agree that climate change is man-made and needs to be acted on now.

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. He was managing editor of The Heartland Institute's InfoTech & Telecom News from 2010-2012. Prior to that, he was manager of communications for the Mackinac Center's Property Rights Network. He also served from 2006-2011 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 five 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 Flint, Mich., with his wife Katherine.