EcoLinks 07.02.15
Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 07.02.15

Pope got some wrong, a little right
Doug Bandow, National View

The Vatican’s new papal encyclical on the environment is a highly political discussion of the theology of the environment. Pope Francis mixes heartfelt concern for ecology with an often limited or confused understanding of the problem of pollution and the meaning of markets. Despite his commitment to environmental values, the pope acknowledges that “this rediscovery of nature can never be at the cost of the freedom and responsibility of human beings.” Nevertheless, humanity’s obligation for the environment is complex and the pope discusses ecological values in the context of economic development and care for the poor.

What Pope Francis gets right–and wrong–about climate change
W. David Montgomery, Fox News

The poor in wealthy countries, however, will suffer additionally from the efforts Pope Francis proposes to limit emissions, as the price of energy rises against their small and sometimes shrinking incomes. This will be particularly true in the United States if regulations like the Environmental Protection Agency’s draconian new rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants are implemented, because they effectively knock out use of the least costly sources of electricity.

St. Francis of Assisi: The Inspiration for the Pope’s Encyclical On Climate Change
Kit Kennedy, National Resources Defense Council

Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical on climate change has rightly received broad attention worldwide for its forceful message that action on climate change is necessary to protect the world’s poor. But little has been written about the important Medieval Church figure who provides both the title and much of the inspiration for the Encyclical (which is a papal letter to Catholics and all people of goodwill worldwide). That is St. Francis of Assisi, the 12th century friar and preacher whose name and style Pope Francis adopted when he became Pontiff. St. Francis’ song “Canticle of the Creatures,” praising God for the beauty of nature, provides the title of the Encyclical – “Laudato Si” – meaning “praised be to you” in St. Francis’ native Umbrian. And St. Francis is also the direct source for much of the Encyclical’s spirit and message.

The Best And Worst Media Interviews With Climate-Denying Presidential Candidate
Kevin Kalhoefer, Media Matters

CNN’s Jake Tapper has offered an instructive example of how to address presidential candidates’ climate denial during his interviews with real estate mogul Donald Trump and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). On the June 28 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Tapper responded to Trump’s declaration that he is “not a huge believer in the global warming phenomenon” by telling Trump that “the overwhelming majority of scientists say it’s real and it’s man-made.”

Iowa Catholic leaders to pressure 2016 field to heed Francis’ teachings on climate, economics
Thomas Beaumont and Rachel Zoll, Associated Press

Roman Catholic leaders in Iowa will call for candidates for president to follow the teachings of Pope Francis, and focus as much on the environment and income inequality in 2016 as they have in past elections on opposing gay marriage and abortion.

Aspen Ideas Festival hot topics are campaign spending, climate change
Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post

One of the best things to happen: Pope Francis’ recent encyclical declaring humans have a moral responsibility to fight climate change.”That’s going to resonate with people,” said Mark Tercek, president of the Nature Conservancy. “Even hard-core business people want to be inspired in a spiritual way.”

Vatican enlists ‘Secular Jewish feminist’ Naomi Klein To Fight Climate Change

Klein urged financiers to divest from fossil fuel companies and made the case for supporting local agriculture and community-run renewable energy projects.Governments need to implement policies to reach 100 percent renewable energy in 2-3 decades, rather than by the end of the century, she said.

FABC holding South East Asia climate change meeting
Vatican Radio

Climate change is the theme of a two-day South East Asian regional meeting starting on Thursday ‎in the Philippine capital, Manila, organized by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). ‎The July 2-3 meeting at the Pope Pius XII Pastoral Center, Manila, is being organized by the Climate ‎Change Desk (CCD) and the Office of Human Development (OHD) of FABC in cooperation with ‎Misereor. Representatives from the Indonesian and the Philippines Episcopal commissions for Justice ‎and Peace/Development and those who are involved in the mitigation and adaptation of climate change ‎measures are taking part in the meeting, which will also include discussions on Pope Francis’ encyclical ‎‎‘Laudato Si” on ecology. The Manila seminar aims to promote a collective Asian Church’s response on ‎climate change and to establish a Climate Change Desk in every Episcopal Conference in Asia.

Everyone has to help on climate change

In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis, as a world leader, calls not only economists, legislators, theologians and politicians to take action, but all of us as well. This encyclical gives us hope that by working together we can have a healthier, wholesome environment for ourselves and our children’s future.

New Yorker Writer: ‘Rational Thought’ Is On the Rise, and That’s Bad News For Conservatives
Tom Johnson, MRC NewsBusters

Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change. Last week’s Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage. California’s new mandatory-vaccination law. What all these have in common, according to New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter, isn’t merely that they’re correct, but that they’re manifestations of “rational thought.”

Pope Francis: Shifting the Politics of Climate Change in the U.S.
Michelle Parker, Australian Institute of International Affairs

Much has been made of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change, which was delivered a few weeks ago to mixed receptions. In light of the upcoming 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, it is worth considering the encyclical’s implications for America’s longstanding partisan divide over climate change. The environment has been a subsidiary issue in past Presidential elections; even Obama, a well-known advocate for the environment, hardly acknowledged the issue during his 2012 campaign. But could the weight of the Pope’s word be a game changer this time around? Given the Papal Encyclical’s place as one of the Church’s most authoritative teaching documents to the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, the question certainly warrants deliberation.

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.