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EcoLinks 09.21.15

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Pope Francis Should Stop Washing His Robes
Joy Pullman, The Federalist

I’m not sure who Pope Francis’s religious advisors are, but it seems they’ve forgotten the Gospel isn’t directly aimed at helping the poor or averting supposed environmental disasters. The Gospel is centrally about saving our eternal souls, about addressing spiritual—not material—poverty. Yes, the material world is broken because of sin, and it will be restored after the Last Day, but that’s an effect, and not the focus of scripture. What’s primary is our souls, not our pocketbooks.

If Pope Francis Wants to Help the Poor, He Should Embrace Capitalism
Stephanie Slade, Reason

But it’s not just that I fear the pope is weakening public support for the economic freedom that increases standards of living while minimizing poverty. It’s also that when Pope Francis slanders the “magical” thinking of people who trust markets more than government, he’s reinforcing the already widespread idea that libertarianism and religion aren’t compatible. As a churchgoing, Christ-loving Catholic, I feel duty-bound to push back against that notion. It’s not the case that Rome demands fidelity on matters of economic policy—or that everything a pope teaches must be accepted by the faithful as correct.

Pope Francis’ fact-free flamboyance
George Will, The Washington Post

Supporters of Francis have bought newspaper and broadcast advertisements to disseminate some of his woolly sentiments that have the intellectual tone of fortune cookies. One example: “People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.” The Vatican’s majesty does not disguise the vacuity of this. Is Francis intimating that environmental damage is irreversible? He neglects what technology has accomplished regarding London’s air (see Page 1 of Dickens’s “Bleak House”) and other matters.


House Republican Plans to Boycott Pope Francis’s Speech Over Climate Change
Clare Foran, National Journal

In an op-ed on the con­ser­vat­ive site Town­hall.com, the Ari­zona Re­pub­lic­an ap­pears very much con­cerned that Fran­cis will urge ac­tion to fight cli­mate change when he be­comes the first pope to speak dir­ectly to a joint ses­sion of Con­gress. The pontiff is an out­spoken ad­voc­ate of ac­tion to com­bat man-made cli­mate change, a stand that does not sit well with Gos­ar, a skep­tic of the sci­entif­ic con­sensus that hu­man activ­ity is the primary driver of dan­ger­ous glob­al warm­ing.

Why I Am Boycotting Pope Francis’ Address to Congress
Paul Gosar, Townhall

An opportunity to urgently challenge governments to properly address the persecution and execution of Christians and religious minorities; to address the heinous and senseless murders committed by ISIS and other terrorist organizations. An opportunity to address the enslavement, belittlement, rape and desecration of Christian women and children; to address the condoned, subsidized, intentionally planned genocide of unborn children by Planned Parenthood and society; and finally, an opportunity for His Holiness to refocus our priorities on right from wrong.

10 Republicans to introduce climate change resolution
John Siciliano, Washington Examiner

A group of 10 Republican lawmakers are planning to introduce a resolution acknowledging climate change as manmade ahead of the pope’s visit to Washington next week.

Pope Francis and the New Roman Empire
Elizabeth Diaz, Time

After dispensing with the formalities, the Cardinal took out a letter from Pope Francis to Obama. Ortega informed the Americans that he had delivered the same message days earlier in person to Cuban President Raúl Castro. And then Ortega began to read the Pope’s words out loud. Francis expressed his support for diplomatic talks the U.S. and Cuba had secretly been pursuing in an effort to end a half-century of hostility. He encouraged the two nations to resolve the issue of prisoners, a key sticking point in negotiations. And he offered the Vatican’s assistance to help the two countries overcome their decades of distrust and confrontation.

Climate vulnerability linked to religion, study indicates
Patsy McGarry, The Irish Times

Vulnerability to climate change tends to be greatest in parts of the world where religion is most important, new research has established. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, it found that traditional beliefs and ecological knowledge rooted in an ancestral spirit-world system continues to influence day-to-day lives, particularly in rural communities.

‘All of creation is a gift of God’: Faith leaders call for fracking ban
Wallace McKlevey, The Patriot-News

A group of religious leaders have called upon Gov. Tom Wolf to institute a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, citing Pope Francis’ recent encyclical about climate change.

Conservative Group Blasts the Pope: “Paganism” Has “Entered the Church”
Jeremy Schulman, Mother Jones

A leading group of climate change skeptics is concerned that paganism is creeping into the Catholic Church. That was the message delivered by Gene Koprowski, director of marketing at the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, at a press conference in Philadelphia Thursday.

Is the pope changing minds on climate change? Survey says: meh.
David Roberts, Vox

Pope Francis’s entry into the contentious debate over climate change was welcomed by many climate hawks as a “gamechanger.” For months, people whose own minds were not changed by the pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si, have been confidently claiming that many other people’s will be. I’ve yet to actually hear from, or even hear about, an actual human being whose mind was thus changed.

For One Texas Nun, Pope Francis’ Environmental Message is Personal
John Brecher and Matthew DeLuca, NBC News

Among those faithful whose care for the environment predates the pope’s landmark encyclical on the subject, which was released in June, is Texas nun Sister Elizabeth Riebschlaeger. The 79-year-old member of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word gives tours of oil and gas industry fracking activities in south Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale region, warning of potential impacts on the health of the local people and their land.


Group Fasting to Bring Attention to Climate Change Ahead of Pope’s Visit
Kris Ankarlo, CBS DC

Patrick Carolan is going hungry under a tent in McPherson Square. But his hunger is by choice. Carolan is halfway through a hunger fast ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to Washington. He and six others are fasting in downtown D.C. as other religious leaders join in from different spots around the globe. The fast is being organized by the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

Pope gets pushback on environment
Justin Catanoso, The News & Observer

It’s not just the 1,600 direct jobs at stake; La Oroya’s entire economy – shops, restaurants, suppliers, hotels – hinges on the smelting plant. Like Winston-Salem in the 1980s, where signs proclaimed “Pride in Tobacco,” residents here are proud of their plant despite the ravaging impact on their health and their community. The plant is prominently displayed on the city seal.

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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.

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