Pope Fran­cis and cli­mate pol­i­tics

How the pon­tiff ar­gues that op­pos­ing the Paris Treaty stems from profit seek­ing

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By E. Calvin Beis­ner E. Calvin Beis­ner is founder and na­tional spokesman of The Corn­wall Al­liance for the Stew­ard­ship of Cre­ation.

Reuters re­ports, “Pope Fran­cis urged na­tional lead­ers on Mon­day to im­ple­ment global environmental agree­ments with­out de­lay, a mes­sage that looked to be squarely aimed at U.S. Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump. “Ad­dress­ing a group of sci­en­tists that in­cluded the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist Stephen Hawk­ing, the pope gave his strong­est speech on the en­vi­ron­ment since the elec­tion of Trump, who has threat­ened to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change.

‘The ‘dis­trac­tion’ or de­lay in im­ple­ment­ing global agree­ments on the en­vi­ron­ment shows that pol­i­tics has be­come sub­mis­sive to a tech­nol­ogy and econ­omy which seek profit above all else,’ Fran­cis said.”

So the pope thinks op­po­si­tion to the Paris Treaty stems from profit seek­ing?

How about all the bil­lions in prof­its sought by re­new­able en­ergy cor­po­ra­tions like wind tur­bine mak­ers Gen­eral Elec­tric and Siemens or so­lar panel mak­ers First So­lar and So­lar City, whose prod­ucts can’t com­pete eco­nom­i­cally with fos­sil fu­els or nu­clear with­out mas­sive gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies and man­dates?

How about the bil­lions of tax­pay­ers show­ered on Solyn­dra and sim­i­lar now­bankrupt re­new­able en­ergy com­pa­nies?

How about all the bil­lions of tax­pay­ers’ dol­lars show­ered on the cli­mate-change re­search com­plex to fund its con­tin­ued mod­el­ing that has achieved the mag­nif­i­cent ad­vance in sci­en­tific knowl­edge since 1978 of nar­row­ing the es­ti­mate of the warm­ing ef­fect of dou­bled at­mo­spheric CO2 from 1.5–4.5 C to 1.5–4.5 C? (Yes, you read that right — no nar­row­ing achieved. Scores of bil­lions spent over 38 years and no ad­vance in what we re­ally need to know.)

How about all the prof­its sought by car­bon traders who ex­pect to amass bil­lions trad­ing per­mits whose eco­nomic value rests on noth­ing but em­pir­i­cally fal­si­fied cli­mate mod­els that project 2 to 3 times the warm­ing ac­tu­ally ob­served?

All this isn’t even to men­tion the anti-cap­i­tal­is­tic men­tal­ity ap­par­ent in the pope’s im­plicit con­dem­na­tion of profit seek­ing. “But he only con­demns seek­ing profit “above all else,” you say? Sorry, that doesn’t ring true to Fran­cis’ past. De­spite the fact cap­i­tal­ism has lifted whole so­ci­eties out of poverty while so­cial­ism has only trapped them in or re­turned them to poverty, Fran­cis has been com­mit­ted to Lib­er­a­tion The­ol­ogy — a Latin Amer­i­can vari­ant of Marx­ism learned by Latin Amer­i­can priests while study­ing mostly in Marx­ist-dom­i­nated French sem­i­nar­ies—since early in his priest­hood.

One can’t help won­der­ing if his em­brace of cli­mate alarmism rests on pol­i­tics rather than sci­ence. That wouldn’t be unique to him, as for­mer U.N. Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Chris­tiana Figueres said as much last year.

Cer­tainly the ab­sence of any hard sci­ence in the four para­graphs on cli­mate change in Fran­cis’ en­cycli­cal Laudato

Si’ sug­gests sci­ence didn’t much fac­tor into his opin­ion. That’s why hun­dreds of sci­en­tists — in­clud­ing cli­mate sci­en­tists — signed the Corn­wall Al­liance’s Open Let­ter to Pope Fran­cis on Cli­mate Change, and were joined by econ­o­mists, the­olo­gians and ethi­cists.

If pol­i­tics has be­come sub­mis­sive to a tech­nol­ogy and econ­omy that seeks profit above all else, the tech­nol­ogy is that of re­new­able en­ergy, which is sub­si­dized 60 (wind) to 400 (so­lar) times as much per megawatthour of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated as fos­sil fu­els. How else do you ex­plain gov­ern­ments’ will­ing­ness to sign onto a cli­mate treaty im­ple­men­ta­tion of which will cost $70–$140 tril­lion by cen­tury’s end while, on the IPCC’s own as­sump­tions, re­duc­ing global av­er­age tem­per­a­ture by no more than 0.17 C.

Per­haps Pope Fran­cis, who pur­ports to care so much about the world’s poor, should con­sider how much more that money could achieve to lift peo­ple out of poverty if spent on things like water pu­rifi­ca­tion, sewage san­i­ta­tion, nu­tri­tion sup­ple­ments, in­fec­tious dis­ease con­trol, and health care.

Mean­while, Pres­i­dent-elect Trump, at whom the pon­tiff was preach­ing, should stick to his guns. He should an­nounce that be­cause Pres­i­dent Obama never sub­mit­ted the Paris treaty to the Se­nate for rat­i­fi­ca­tion, which the Con­sti­tu­tion re­quires for the United States to be bound by any treaty, the U.S. is not a party to the treaty. Then, on the day he’s in­au­gu­rated, he should sub­mit the treaty to the Se­nate, where it will die the ig­no­min­ious death it de­serves.

One can’t help won­der­ing if his em­brace of cli­mate alarmism rests on pol­i­tics rather than sci­ence.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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