EcoLinks 07.08.15
Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 07.08.15

In Calling on Government, the Pope Underestimates Power of the Market
Doug Bandow, Conservative HQ

Perhaps most disappointing is how the Pope seemingly views capitalism, and especially property rights, as enemies of a better, cleaner world. Yet most environmental problems reflect the absence of markets and property rights, the “externalities,” in economist-speak, which impact others.

“We Can No Longer Turn Our Backs On Mother Earth” – To Educators, Francis Teaches His Eco-cyclical
Rocco Palmo, Whispers in the Loggia

Nineteen days after his Eco-cyclical was published to no shortage of spin, hype and polarized contention, in his speech tonight to Ecuador’s community of teachers at the country’s pontifical university, the Pope made his first extensive remarks on Laudato Si’, becoming his definitive statement to date on the text.

Pope Francis, environmentalists, and economists on human stewardship of the Earth
Benjamin Zycher, American Enterprise Institute

In short: Francis makes clear his view that people are assets rather than liabilities, criticizing those who view “men and women and all their interventions as no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced and all forms of intervention prohibited” (¶60). And: “demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development” (¶50). That is a stance diametrically opposed to the dominant view within the mainstream environmental movement that global population growth is the central driver of environmental degradation and that, therefore, people are harmful on net, or at least on the margin. Accordingly, the encyclical is clear, even if Francis fails to recognize it, in its implicit support for the late Julian Simon’s view that human inventiveness and ingenuity — people — are the “ultimate resource,” expanding true resource availability and the wealth that increases both the social demand for environmental quality and the resources needed to achieve it.

The Pope Would Approve: Innovation At Loyola University Chicago Stems From Sustainability
Karis Hustad, Chicago Inno

Here in Chicago, one Catholic university not only heard the Pope’s call to action on climate change, but had already hit the ground running.”It’s in our wheelhouse, this idea of raising awareness on environmental issues and then calling for action,” said Nancy Tuchman, director of Loyola University Chicago’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability (IES). “It not only reinforces what we do, it has encouraged us to go farther.”

Well-known meteorologist criticizes Pope’s stance on climate change
Rich Rogers, WAGT

A well-regarded meteorologist and professor has publicly criticized a recent encyclical by Pope Francis which urges immediate actions to protect the Earth and people from the effects of climate change. Dr. William Gray is Emeritus Professor at Colorado State University and head of the university’s Tropical Meteorology Project. He is especially known for his annual forecasts for the Atlantic hurricane season. Since 2006, the primary authorship of the annual forecasts has been taken over by Dr. Philip Klotzbach, also of Colorado State University.

A cultural revolution on climate change is needed
Dorothy Turcotte, Grimsby Lincoln News

The fact of the matter is that we do need a cultural revolution, not one that involves fighting and dissension – we already have more than enough of that. What we need is a revolution in people’s thinking so that we get rid of the culture of greed and selfishness which seems to have invaded every aspect of life including business, industry, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and even, in some cases, religion. What we need is more real love and caring for our fellow man so that all can live comfortably together. Surely we can see that the present plunder of our natural environment, the excessive wealth of some CEOs compared to the poverty of “the common man”, and the present culture of racism and violence need to be put into perspective and adjusted in the practical world. Otherwise we’re doomed.

Philippine bishops to decide whether to establish climate change desk
Simone Orendain, Catholic News Service

“But at the same time (the issue) is … new in the sense that the pope opens very interesting perspectives in the care for creation, which we did not consider before,” said Archbishop Villegas, “for example, linking the cry of the earth with the cry of the poor.”

“Faith-based arguments that deal with climate change are a smokescreen that mask the real problem”
Paul Rosenberg, Salon

Katharine Hayhoe is one person who was particularly puzzled by evangelical objections to climate change. Hayhoe is both a climate scientist and an evangelical Christian herself, and, as a Canadian largely removed from the polarizations of American political culture, she saw nothing in her evangelical faith more compelling in relationship to global warming than a strong moral imperative to care for God’s creation. That all changed when she married an American, and then found out how differently he saw things.

As caucus season nears, bishop urges Iowans to keep climate change ‘on the front burner’
Anne Marie Cox, Catholic News Service

Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates encouraged Catholic Iowans to take advantage of the state’s first-in-the-nation role in the presidential electoral process to keep in mind the issue of caring for the environment as shared by Francis in his encyclical as they talk with those who seek to lead the United States.

Archbishop of Canterbury Concerned About Arctic Drilling
Sarah Kent, The Wall Street Journal

Archbishop Justin Welby, the leader of more 85 million Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world, didn’t speak about the most immediate foray being made into the Alaskan Arctic by Royal Dutch Shell PLC. But he mentioned some of the same arguments made by environmentalists who oppose Shell’s drilling campaign, which begins this month in the Chukchi Sea.

Pope Goes Green, Conservatives See Red and Boehner Stays Orange
Flora Nicholas, Huffington Post

In a short missive of 184 pages long, the Pope did not beat about the burning bush. In summary, he said: “I believe that climate change exists, it’s man made, it’s destroying our planet and anyone who thinks differently is a wind bag, so help me God!” The Pope’s statement came in the form of an encyclical — a special letter compiled by the best scientific, theological and scholarly minds in the whole world. Thus it is safe to assume that Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry played no part in writing it whatsoever.

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.