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The Pope’s Climate Confusion

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In The American Spectator today, Ross Kaminsky critiques the economics behind Laudato Si’ and suggests that the pontiff’s ideas may do more harm than good.

Let’s be clear: The pope is no fan of capitalism, of the rich countries of the northern hemisphere, or of economic rationality. His desire to help the poor of the world is undoubtedly sincere but his policy inclinations are so poorly informed — both in terms of science and economics — that if implemented they would harm the very people he cares most about. Beyond economics, however, even the morality of Francis’s siren calls for particular international actions is questionable.

Kaminsky also cites Acton’s Director of Research, Samuel Gregg to explain why Pope Francis’s idea of an “ecological debt” has been discredited.

In short, it is difficult to take seriously pronouncements regarding either public policy or the morality of human interaction with our environment when the discussion is premised on information that even a modestly well-informed student of the subject knows to be false, indeed knows to be nothing more than easily disproved propaganda.

So where is the pope going with this? The first clue is in his own writing: “A true ‘ecological debt’ exists, particularly between the global north and south [an economic construct which Samuel Gregg explains was long ago discredited], connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.” (51)

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Ann Marie Jakubowski

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