The environmental discussion has been going on for years, unfortunately it has been one sided. The so-called majority who believes that global warming, now climate change, is caused by only one factor –humans, has closed the debate. Those who have different views have been ostracised, discarded and dismissed as deniers.
The rancour with which this debate has taken place, has too often taken the form of religious zealots imposing their views on all of us. In a latest move to get their autocratic wealth redistribution agenda thrust upon humanity, the Environmentalists have co-opted Pope Francis as their latest spokesman. It seems that Pope Francis has embraced the New Testament according to the IPCC .The problem is that most people do not understand what an Encyclical means.
A Papal Encyclical is a letter issued by the Pope to all Bishops in the Catholic Church. In this case a 192 page letter argues that we need to have a new partnership between science and religion to halt the human-driven climate change. His position is –" fighting inequality and global poverty". On the face of it this theme is generally what is expected from a religious leader, however it is the tone and content of the document that unfortunately provides environmental activists more fodder to promote debate closure. The five main points are:
· Climate change is real and is getting worse
· Human beings are the main contributor to climate change
· The poor are the most affected by climate change
· Politicians must lead the charge towards change
· We can and must make things better.While lauded by environmentalist there are some serious problems with the issuance of this Encyclical. First it gives credence to those who have been pushing for wealth redistribution through policies masquerading as environmental policies. It ignores the fact that policies which have shifted energy production not only affect industrialised countries but also developing countries. For example the use of corn in the production of ethanol has reduced the availability of this staple commodity in many countries. .The establishment of a trading market for carbon credits has not reduced the effects of climate change but has made the proponents of this market very rich – Maurice Strong and All Gore to name two of the most vocal environmentalists. Giving more powers to politicians is the last thing that the world needs to alleviate the problems of poverty, whether caused by climate change or any other factors. Furthermore, the Pope denies that there is a clear division among scientists and the general public about the cause of climate change. He also seems to believe that the ' climate science is settled’, which cannot be further from the truth – science is never settled; it can and should always be challenged to further our growth and progress.
I believe that the climate is constantly changing, but I do not agree with the methods, and dictates used to promote meaningful change and improvements. As a born and raised Roman Catholic this encyclical may cause me to doubt the role of the church. I wonder what effect this encyclical will have on many Catholics, no matter which side of the argument they may choose.
The Pope’s infallibility is defined as a teaching given ex cathedra (from the chair) meaning: "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, (the Bishop of Rome) defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church”To be recognized as infallible, the teaching must be:
- A decision of the supreme teaching authority of the Church Concern a doctrine of faith or morals
- Bind the universal Church
- Be proposed as something to hold firmly and immutably
By jumping into the fray of such a divisive political issue, has the Pope further damaged any possibility of finding the best solutions to a difficult problem? Will Catholics recognize this pronouncement as being accepted as being infallible and thus create a real problem for those Catholics who do not agree with the Pope? Does the Pope expect all Catholics to follow his teachings on this matter? Or has he further created a gulf in the church by taking sides in such an authoritarian approach, because this encyclical may not bind the universal Church as he may have proposed.
The worst part is that for a long time environmental activists have been longing to transform the movement into a religion. They already had their Pope Suzuki and Cardinal Al Gore and Arch Bishops like Maurice Strong for example. With this Encyclical, Pope Francis has clearly given credence to the environmental movement – the Pope’s imprimatur guarantees them the status of a true religion..