Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Global Warming Lessons from Pope Urban VIII to Pope Francis?

December 31st, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Have you noticed that sometimes Vatican announcements are not leading the information procession but sweeping up after the secular media has its parade?  I find that troubling, as perhaps some secular hype and misdirection might be avoided with detailed written releases in advance, and Truth better served.  But that might also sell fewer newspapers,  shorten broadcasts, stem the celebrity tide and reduce the need for career Vatican spin-meisters.  The Synod in October was a prime example — hand out a release to the media that was not seen or voted on by the participants, then react to the media’s reaction, and spend weeks defending ill-advised wording, even excising words from the English release, and complain, complain about the secular media, which was being led by the nose to the fodder. Now it can be done all over again on the subject of so-called “global warming.”

Hence, there is still somewhat a dearth of information in true Catholic media (as opposed to spin correction media) on Pope Francis’ take on global warming, and his plans or aspirations to influence world opinion on the subject. Lack of clarity leaves plenty of void for speculative media to fill. (The days of true investigative reporting being lost, with freedom of the press in the U.S. now having little need for protection of the vacuous.)   By the time Vatican press releases and Zenit catch up on framing the issue, the rumors will still be rampant, out of control.  This has happened often enough that one might wonder if it is the actual publicity strategy of the ‘handlers’ in the Vatican Press Office.  So, what about ‘global warming’ in this morass of media blight?

This latest news churning was covered quickly by The New Republic, out front days ago on an anticipated March 2015 encyclical embracing global warming as real, and as such a threat that it requires the head of 1.2 billion Catholics to use the premier teaching vehicle of an encyclical and take the world stage on quite a controversial issue.  It is time for those under-catechized Catholics to be refreshed on the limits of papal authority on matters of faith and morals.  It is clear from Sacred Scripture that the human race is to be a good steward of creation.  But isn’t it disingenuous to argue that since God created man, every issue about life on earth impinges somehow on matters of faith or morals, and that therefore His vicar on earth can demand obedience of any issue at all?  What then would be the role of reason? of free will? Our attention to any papal pronouncements must be with due consideration and respect, but not all ruminating or postulating implies the obligation of obedience. Here is another link that might be of interest:  http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/12/vittorio-messori-doubts-on-twists-and.html#more

This is where Pope Urban VIII comes in, and where hopefully Pope Francis will reflect on the lessons to be learned.  Pope Urban VIII chose to align himself against the then emerging theory of helio-centricity (that the sun is the center of the universe) and instead to embrace, advocate and pursue through the ecclesiastical courts the theory of geo-centricity (that the earth is the center of the universe).  Galileo was a leading scapegoat of that — some would say — persecution, forced to renounce helio-centricity as untrue, i.e. abandoning his life’s work.  And it would appear that Pope Urban VIII had some better arguments for geo-centricity from Scripture than Pope Francis has for embracing, teaching and pursuing global warming.

Scientific conclusions must, above all, be based on Truth.   Science cares not for consensus, impression, opinion, politics or editorials.  Science only cares for Truth, and without Truth it isn’t science.  An encyclical can argue for caring for the environment, but if it is to claim global warming is a threat, it ought to be able to scientifically defend that global warming is real, and also extrapolate the threat. Otherwise, future generations will find a pope’s defense of global warming as ill-advised as a pope’s arguing for geo-centricity.  As Pope Urban VIII now knows, not everything bound on earth gets bound in heaven, when it flies in the face of Truth. And in the basic logic of Truth, inability to disprove a lie does not therefore make that lie truth.  (Current inability to disprove global warming — due to insufficient data — does not make global warming true.)

When I wrote a guest commentary last May for the Canandaigua Messenger, I was wondering why I was even spending time on it, seemingly so unrelated to many issues which interest me more.  But the bad science of all that I’d read on global warming claims was a thorn in the side that I couldn’t ignore.  Now, less than a year later I can see that work as preparation for what I could never have suspected at the time — a pope about to write an encyclical in support of global warming, and calling on those in his care to devote attention and energy to it (attention and energy being necessarily drawn away from other things).  In the very area of priorities, beginning with the greatest commandment and going to the Great Commission, where will alleged global warming fit on the priority of souls? Heretofore, I never dreamed of posting the “Cooling on Global Warming” essay on Cleansing Fire of all places; but, here it is:

Cooling on Global Warming Messenger Essay 5-8-14

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13 Responses to “Global Warming Lessons from Pope Urban VIII to Pope Francis?”

  1. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    What is upsetting is that the statements Holy Father are either being twisted to promote this Modernist hogwash, or he is purpousely stating accurately what is being reported in an attempt to confuse Catholics and to change doctrine.

    If he was misquoted, I would think that he would issue clarifications and then fire the people responsible for putting this stuff out in the media. But he is doing no sort of action.

    My sentiments concerning his recent conduct on the Synod for the Family makes me think he is unfortunately part of the problem and not the solution.

  2. avatar BigE says:

    So Diane….
    It sounds like from your 10 pts that if global warming was a true issue…..we’d either never know it (your pt #9) OR might possibly find out too late to effectively do anything about it (your pt #8).

  3. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    All I know is that Greenland was discovered by the Vikings around 1000 AD. It was named Greenland because of it’s valleys that supported farming. Today, those valleys are covered with ice. It seems that there is a natural cycle of cooling and warming that has caused climate change. But most of todays clime change enthusiasts do not take this natural cycle into consideration. To them this is all the fault of industrialization.

  4. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Big E wrote: “So Diane….It sounds like from your 10 pts that if global warming was a true issue…..we’d either never know it (your pt #9) OR might possibly find out too late to effectively do anything about it (your pt #8).”

    I used the word “unlikely” rather than never, given the multiplicity of variables and the difficulty of separating the variables in a controlled experiment. The longer all the necessary data are collected (and there isn’t even agreement on what those data should be) over a long enough period of time, we’ll know more than we do now. From a practical point of view, I don’t see that happening in our lifetimes. But after hundreds of years of diligently and consistently tracking the data, we will know more than we do now. If we are tracking the wrong things, it will just delay the “aha!” And data are subject to manipulation by those who will profit from the project, and subject to interruption which skews measuring cyclic data. Consider the virtual shut-down of the space program. As a nation, as a people, we lack the persistence and perseverance to stick with a program without playing with the economics or changing the direction, or redirecting resources. That kind of disruption could ruin decades of data collection. And then there is the matter of trust, which is so badly eroded in these times. For example, I have been told (although I have no proof) that as part of the government shutdown as many as half of the data collection points for temperature were shut down. I was also told these were mostly the ones at higher altitudes, where direct impact on people was less likely, which were more expensive to maintain. Well, if data points from the coldest areas are dropped, the average of the remaining points is going to be higher, right? So it will look like average temperature is going up. That would be an artifact, not a trend to higher temperatures. Anyway, to answer your part of the question, I don’t think global warming can be proven without centuries of data, and highly complex multivariate analysis. Moreover, if we act like coal plants are the “cause” of global warming, we might put all the effort into something not proven, and which will later be seen as wasting efforts better spent elsewhere.

    The second part of your question, about item #8 would be purely speculative. How late is too late? It appears that the people suffering the most are in the countries being given a pass on environmental reform. As I will clarify below, I am not against protecting and caring for the environment; I am against bad science speculating on causal connections without proof. Say “clean up the environment; give people clean water; be proactive in health care for risks linked to environmental factors” and I am with you. But say “global warming is real” and it is due to US coal plants, and it is going to destroy the world unless humans intervene, and I’m not with you, or anyone who speaks on authority but without facts. We should expect more from our leaders.

  5. avatar gaudium says:

    The incessantly repeated mantra WAS, “Global Warming, Global Warming, Global Warming.” Global warming deniers were compared to flat earth theorists, laughed at, and mocked. Now the same folks will practically snap at you if you say global warming and say, “Climate change!” Aren’t they essentially admitting that they were wrong?

  6. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Here is an excellent article, IMO, from Rachel Lu in Crisis Magazine on “Climate Change” and
    Pope Francis. Nicely seasoned with dry humor as well. http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/dont-lose-sleep-climate-change-encyclical

    Examples: “After the recent, literally scandalous debates over divorce and family issues, it might be a relief to see the Holy Father devoting his energies to environmental concerns, rather than stirring up doubt and division over central doctrinal or moral questions.”

    “…when it comes to climate change, none of the controversial questions are of the sort that the Holy Father could definitively answer anyway.”

    Enjoy

  7. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Richard Thomas: “My sentiments concerning his recent conduct on the Synod for the Family makes me think he is unfortunately part of the problem and not the solution.”

    I would suggest that you read the recent interview with His Holiness in the current issue of “America” Magazine.

  8. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Raymond. I am confused. I read the interview and it seemed appropriate and in conformance with Catholic teaching. But my stance is that by allowing the Cardinal Kaspers in the recent Family Synod to expouse what was said, he promoted confusion among the many uneducated Catholics concerning divorce and remarriage and placed in them a false hope of having the Church’s position changed, just like what happened with the contraception issue.

  9. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Is it possible that sanity might still prevail with respect to the global warming encyclical debacle, which is perhaps the greatest threat to Catholic credibility since Pope Urban VIII’s assertion that the earth is the center of the universe? In spite of Fr. Lombardi’s allegations that the “environmental” encyclical is already in translation and soon to be released, rumor has surfaced inside the Vatican that Pope Francis might well be considering scrubbing the draft? (The trouble is that the variation from British to American usage of the English language is ambiguous. Scrub can either mean deep-six the draft (drop it, eliminate it) or scrub to clean it up (revise, edit, change.) We should keep praying that truth will triumph. Meanwhile, thanks to my TLM friend M. for this lead: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/15/pope-allegedly-halts-publication-of-eco-encyclical-amid-controversy/

    One reference in the article which I found particularly interesting is the link to an open letter http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/04/27/climate-change-skeptics-write-open-letter-urging-pope-francis-to-rethink-global-warming/ from 90 thought leaders urging Pope Francis not to go ahead with his encyclical plans. It is interesting that they did not argue primarily from the point of bad science, but from the point of the disastrous impact such global warming opposition strategy would have on the poorest of the world. Perhaps Pope Francis will take it to heart?

    Another interesting point in the first link is the claim that an Argentinian Bishop is Pope Francis’ ghost writer. That sounds like a dangerous breach, especially if the one doing the writing isn’t protected by the Holy Spirit.


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