Pope Francis’ recent leftist statements should trouble Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but even more disturbing are the pope’s latest declarations on the dramatic action needed to fight climate change.
The Vatican apparently now has been infiltrated by followers of a radical green movement that is, at its core, anti-Christian, anti-people, anti-poor and anti-development. The basic tenets of Catholicism — the sanctity of human life and the value of all souls — are detested by the modern pagan environmentalists who worship the created, but not the creator.
At its core, Big Green believes that too many human beings are the basic global problem. People, according to this view, are resource destroyers. Climate change, they say, is due to the overpopulation of Mother Earth.
The head of the Catholic Church should denounce — not praise — such anti-human thinking. It violates Pope John Paul II’s famous letter reminding us that creative human beings are a resource, not a curse.
Instead, the pope unwittingly has linked arms with the people who have provided finance, intellectual credibility and applause for radical and immoral population-control policies including eugenics, millions of forced abortions and sterilizations, and one-child policies, all in the name of “saving the planet.”
Francis is reportedly preparing a lengthy encyclical message for early 2015 to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on the need for decisive action on climate change. He may even be preparing a U.N. speech on the topic.
Earlier this year, he said:
“The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”
The science behind this is bunk. As we’ve documented repeatedly, there is no scientific basis for the claims that the planet has been hit with more severe weather events over the last decade or that we are witnessing “great cataclysms” above the historical norm.
The number of hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, typhoons, monsoons, earthquakes, floods, freezes and so on is not on the rise, according to the best scientific evidence available. Not only are natural disasters no more prevalent today than 100 years ago, but deaths and damage to communities from catastrophic weather events have dropped greatly as wealth and incomes have risen.
The church has missed the vital connection between increased economic development — thanks to human ingenuity and free-market capitalism — and humanity’s ability to overcome the sometimes random and ravaging effects of nature.
Death rates, especially for children in the poorest areas of Africa, South America and Asia, fall because people can leave “the land of (their) birth,” thanks to higher incomes and transportation.
What climate-change action will the Vatican endorse?
Almost all the leading anti-climate-change initiatives endorsed by the Green Movement and Agenda 21— cap and trade, carbon taxes, regulations against using abundant fossil fuels — are merely regressive taxes that hurt the poor the most.
What is the ethical and moral basis for going to poor villages and telling those living at subsistence levels that they have an obligation to save the planet by staying poor and using less energy? Cheap and affordable electric power is the best antidote for extreme poverty, disease, malnutrition and human deprivation. It should be celebrated.
Ironically, the pope in separate declarations has spoken out about the immorality of “income and wealth inequality” and “trickle-down economics.” The radical climate change agenda he has made peace with would make the poor poorer and income inequality worse.
We’d like to hear the pope say this: The science on global cooling, global warming, climate change — or whatever the left calls it these days — is unsettled at best.
But if climate change is a threat, the best response is not to empower heavy-handed and incompetent command-and-control governments to fight it, but let free people use their wealth, technology, ingenuity and creativity to solve it.
If the corrupt U.N. or Greenpeace is our salvation, we’re all doomed.
We would remind Francis that the greatest acts of barbarism and the most villainous violations of basic human rights in history — slavery, the Holocaust, China’s one-child policy, Stalinism, Pol Pot’s killing fields, Mao’s starvation of millions, and on and on —have been perpetrated by the statists.
Most of these acts of death and destruction were defended in the name of some greater and grandiose planetary cause — Marxism.
The Church’s mission is to save souls. Free people and free enterprise should be left to fix what ails the planet.
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