The Pope is reducing the sacred deposit of faith to the status of any other vulgar end-of-times cult, from Seventh Day Adventurists to Hale Bopp necronauts. He will have a lot of explaining to do, unless the encyclical has the paradoxical effect of causing all of the usual suspects to actually check their math, because if this guy believes it, something must be wrong.
Remember the atheist maniac we linked to yesterday? There are plenty more where he came from, and if he is intellectually consistent -- I know, a tall order -- then he will naturally have to wonder how he could find himself standing cheek-to-jowl with Neanderthalic Pedophile Pulpiteers who are Enemies of Fact and who put their faith in Celestial Tyrants to protect them from Evil Genies and other Comic-book Bugaboos.
As histrionic as that is, there is actually a morsel of truth hidden away in there, because as it pertains to global warming, Pope Francis is an enemy of fact who is terrified by a commie book bugaboo, which is to say, freedom and free markets:
"First, the Pope has no idea what he is talking about. His letter is full of factual errors.... There has been no net global warming for something like 18 years, according to satellite data, the most reliable that we have."
Furthermore, "Sea level has been rising for approximately 12,000 years, first dramatically as the Earth warmed rapidly at the end of the last Ice Age, and much more slowly in recent millennia. Currently, the rate of rise of sea level is not increasing."
Moreover, "Extreme weather events are not increasing. This isn’t an opinion, it is a fact: there is no plausible empirical claim to the contrary. In fact, for what it is worth, the climate models that are the sole basis for warming hysteria predict fewer extreme weather events, not more, because the temperature differential between the equator and the poles will diminish."
So, what's the Pope's angle? "[A]pparently, hostility toward free enterprise and the prosperity that it creates. Francis has manifested such hostility in previous statements, and it comes through again in his anti-global warming letter. Francis sounds like just another leftist: the solution to global warming is more state control to dictate how people live, and new international organizations to direct vast transfers of wealth and power."
The lamentable fact "is that through human history, freedom has rarely been popular." Which is precisely why God must emphasize that it is his highest (supernatural) value, and that human beings need to man up and deal with it. If it came naturally, or if man valued freedom, God wouldn't have to go to the trouble of making it central to his meta-cosmic revelation.
Even worse, the enpsychloco borders on -- LIBSWE -- the frankly diabolic, because what else do you call intentional impoverishment and shortened lives for billions of human beings?
"[T]here is no prospect that leftist energy policies will help poor nations. The poor need, as much as anything, cheap energy, which frees resources for everything else. To deprive poor nations of cheap energy is to condemn them to long-lasting if not permanent poverty.... Jesus said, 'The poor you have with you always,' but he didn’t mean that we should conspire to keep them down" (above quotes from PowerLine).
I know we're supposed to hate the idiocy and love the idiot, but I'm not sure God had genocide in mind when making this recommendation, because dead men give no love.
Some things are intrinsically and self-evidently evil, or we couldn't have any moral compass at all. You might say that man has an inbuilt moral compass that points in the general direction of true north, but that God fills in a lot of the details between where we sit and the North Pole, or between heaven and earth, the terrestrial and celestial. And man should certainly know better than to put his faith in a god who is demonstrably less moral than he. This would be one of the hints that you are worshipping a false god.
For example, if your god requires the death of six million Jews, or a couple million Armenians, or numberless bourgeois counter-revolutionaries, or untold energy-deprived third-world denizens, then you might want to rethink your theology.
I heard an apt line last night in the Sopranos, when the boys are wondering why a Hasidic Jew doesn't just murder his troublesome son-in-law. One of them says something like, "eh, it's a taboo in their religion or something."
So yeah, I have a similarly superstitious taboo about intentionally harming innocent human beings. I've read many books on global warming, but the most powerful one is The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. I can't possibly summarize it, because the whole thing is highlighted. At the end I wrote down several questions to ask of global warmists, one of which is "How many billions of premature deaths due to decreased energy use would be acceptable to you?"
There is no linear relationship between CO2 and global temperature. But there is an incredibly strong correlation between energy use and life expectancy -- not to mention the quality of that life. Energy has been the key to unleashing man's potential, so the global warming hoax is nothing less than a conspiracy against the very purpose of existence.
As billions of human beings have been lifted from soul-crushing poverty thanks to fossil fuels, billions more will be plunged right back into it if the warmists have their way. For starters, good luck feeding the world without them. Sustainability is another word for global famine, and is utterly unsustainable. At least the worst ones are honest about this.
Destroy another fetus now / We don't like children anyhow / I've seen the future, baby: / it is murder --Leonard Cohen, The Future