Pope Francis’ stance against human-caused climate change is opening heated debates among those who believe there is global warming crisis and those who believe otherwise. Some said the pope as a religious leader should not meddle with scientific issues, while some praised his aggressive stance against global warming.
Pope Francis summons scientists, government officials and religious leaders
Pope Francis has invited scientists, government officials and religious leaders for a conference titled “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity.” The summit aimed to raise awareness and build a consensus among people that human activity is causing global warming. The conference will be held as Pope Francis prepares an encyclical discussing man’s relationship with nature. Among those invited for the summit are United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki Moon and Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs.
Pope stance against human-caused climate change is most aggressive from any pope
Pope Francis’ active participation in the long-standing debate about global warming “is the most aggressive of any pope,” John Travis, author of “The Vatican Diaries,” told Bloomberg.
“Francis won’t just repeat platitudes in the encyclical about our being stewards of creation, he wants to engage scientific and political leaders, and influence public policy. For Francis climate change has a scientific side, but we all have to discuss the moral issues too. He sees climate change weighing the most on the poorest people, and he’ll likely say that developing countries have the political and economic power to act,” Thavis said.
Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, senior analyst with the National Catholic Reporter newspaper, lauded the pope.
“The pope wants to make the environment one of the signature issues of his papacy,” Reese wrote as cited by Bloomberg.
However, for Robert George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, the pope should not include himself on controversial issues, especially issues involving science.
“The Pope has no special knowledge, insight or teaching authority pertaining to matters of empirical fact of the sort investigated by, for example, physicists and biologists,” George wrote.
Pope Francis lured by discredited and scandal-prone United Nations
Pope Francis is being misled by people who call themselves experts on global warming, said Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast who believes there is no such thing as global warming.
In his message to Pope Francis, Bast called for the pope to forbid his moral authority to be shadowed by “the discredited and scandal-prone United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
“Instead, speak out for the poor and disadvantaged of the world who need affordable and reliable energy to escape grinding poverty,” reads Bast’s message for the pope.
“The Holy Father is being misled by ‘experts’ at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust. Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth – in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and use it for the benefit of humanity. Though Pope Francis’ heart is surely in the right place, he would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate,” Bast went on.
“People of all faiths have a moral calling to continually seek the truth… The science is not settled, and global warming is not a crisis. The world’s poor will suffer horribly if reliable energy – the engine of prosperity and a better life – is made more expensive and less reliable by the decree of global planners.”
Human-caused climate change, Pope Francis and the political landscape
Pope Francis is stirring reactions from more people after accepting an invitation from speaker John Boehner, republican of Ohio, to speak to congress about human-caused climate change.
“I think Boehner was out of his mind to invite the pope to speak to Congress. Can you imagine what the Republicans will do when he says, ‘You’ve got to do something about global warming’? ” Reese said in a separate interview with The New York Times.
Pope’s appearance in congress will create uncomfortable moments as many of its members do not believe there is such a thing as human-caused climate change. Among those who do not support the idea are Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum.
Timothy E. Wirth, vice chairman of the United Nations Foundation, believes that the pope is doing the right things.
“We’ve never seen a pope do anything like this. No single individual has as much global sway as he does. What he is doing will resonate in the government of any country that has a leading Catholic constituency,” Wirth told The New York Times.
Also read: Fire Engulfs Baltimore City
You might be interested: Apple (AAPL) Stock Price Surges After Second Quarter Financial Result