EcoLinks 07.20.15
Acton Institute Powerblog

EcoLinks 07.20.15

Cardinal George Pell takes a swing at Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical
Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service

Until now, Pell had remained quiet on the contents of the encyclical, despite gaining a reputation in Australia as a climate change denier. In 2011, he clashed with the then-head of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, Greg Ayers, who said Pell was “misled” in his climate change views. Despite the cardinal’s criticism of the pope’s environmental stance, Pell noted the encyclical had been “very well received” and said Francis had “beautifully set out our obligations to future generations and our obligations to the environment.”

State Senate resolution praises papal encyclical on climate change
Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown is taking a copy of the resolution with him to the Vatican next week for an international conference on climate change and modern slavery. He’s scheduled to leave the state on Friday and deliver speeches on Tuesday and Wednesday. The resolution, SR 37, says the state’s leaders should “consider the implications of the papal encyclical and climate change in their policy and fiscal actions to prevent further environmental degradation.”

Francis is naïve on climate change
Bernard Donoughue and Peter Forster, Church Times

WE WOULD like to emphasise that we share the Pope’s deep desire to reduce poverty in our world, and we agree that the costs should fall more on the richer nations, and the rich within nations, than on those who are poor. Our basic concern is that the environmental, and especially the energy policies advocated in the encyclical are more likely to hinder than to advance this great cause. . . The discovery of new ways to release the energy stored in fossil fuels was integral to the Industrial Revolution on which modern Western society is based. Let us not forget that fossil fuels are nature’s primary, and very efficient, means of storing the energy of the sun. Burning them has everywhere diverted human beings from burning wood, killing whales and seals, and damming streams: there were therefore genuine environmental benefits to be gained from the switch to fossil fuels.

Faith in change on climate
Lauren Heaton, Yellow Springs News

Last month’s 184-page encyclical was several years in the making and included exhaustive scientific data as well as wide-ranging expert opinion from natural and social scientists, said Jablonski, who holds a Ph.D. in plant physiological ecology/global climate change from McGill University. The document isn’t the first to confirm that climate change is mostly caused by humans — reports such as the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and conclusions from dozens of scientific academies around the world agree that most of the earth’s warming trend is caused by human activity. But the Pope’s letter is a call to people of all nationalities and persuasions to demand a transformation in the way humans operate in this finite ecology on Earth.

Blessed Be the Poor? St. Francis, Asceticism, and Climate Change
Dan Turello, Huffington Post

Here is the problem–while poverty may sound appealing on a literary level, as a badge of authenticity, no one actually wants to be poor. What we do tend to want is more time to be in community, to enjoy our friends and family, and to appreciate nature–but on our terms, not on nature’s terms. Nature is brutal– that’s why over history we developed technology in the first place–to modulate it and protect us from its unpredictable forces.

How Religion and the Environment Mix — in a Good Way
American University

Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change marked an historic event, but as American University Philosophy and Religion Associate Prof. Evan Berry points out, Christianity’s ties with ecology are far from new. Berry, author of the new book, “Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism,” makes the case that Americans’ understanding of those ties is necessary to solving the problems of climate change. In an edited interview below, Berry discusses how Judeo-Christian theological concepts ignited Americans’ early passion for nature, and set the tone for many of the goals of today’s environmental movement.

The pope, climate change and the cultural dimensions of the Anthropocene
The Conversation

But one aspect of the letter becomes clear to anyone who reads it: it is impressively expansive, covering environmental science, economics, international politics, carbon credits, social equity, technology, consumerism, social media, theology, and much more. Getting to the root of our “ecological crisis,” Pope Francis calls for us to “promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature.” It’s a bold appeal to reevaluate our worldviews, values and spiritual beliefs.

Pope in Kansas political climate
Mary Clarkin, The Hutchinson News

Pope Francis is now in the middle of the race for 1st Congressional District of Kansas. A comment by U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler/Hutchinson, about the pope’s stance on climate change brought a terse defense from challenger Roger Marshall on Friday.

‘Crippling High Energy Costs’ Blamed For 720 UK Jobs Losses At Tata Steel
Dr. Benny Peiser, Canada Free Press

Two contrasting British takes on Pope Francis’ landmark environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” are the latest examples of how the pontiff’s call for a lower-carbon, lower-impact future has launched a global conversation about the role of religion in environmental policy talks. In a brief paper published yesterday by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a British climate change skeptic group, Church of England Bishop Peter Forster dismissed Francis’ encyclical as naive and overly simplified. “To us the encyclical is coloured too much by a hankering for a past world, prior to the Industrial Revolution,” the Bishop of Chester and [Lord Bernard Donoughue, a Labour] member of the British House of Lords wrote. While Forster is taking Francis on, a British Islamic group is praising the encyclical.

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.