Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Pope Reads My Blog (Global Warming, Part 7)

News you may have missed: Pope Benedict XVI claims that humans are more important than animals and that any decisions on climate change should be based on facts and not environmentalist dogma. From his Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, dated January 1, 2008, but released this week:

The family, the human community and the environment

7. The family needs a home, a fit environment in which to develop its proper relationships. For the human family, this home is the earth, the environment that God the Creator has given us to inhabit with creativity and responsibility. We need to care for the environment: it has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the good of all as a constant guiding criterion. Human beings, obviously, are of supreme worth vis-à-vis creation as a whole. Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man. Rather, it means not selfishly considering nature to be at the complete disposal of our own interests, for future generations also have the right to reap its benefits and to exhibit towards nature the same responsible freedom that we claim for ourselves. Nor must we overlook the poor, who are excluded in many cases from the goods of creation destined for all. Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow. It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances. If the protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development of various countries and the need for solidarity with future generations. Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken, decisions aimed at strengthening that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying.

1 comment:

  1. This isn't as much a comment on this particular post as it is to all of your Global Warming hoax posts...

    The argument that Global Warming is a political scheme seems rather illogical to me. It seems most odd to me that someone would join the cause of Global Warming for political reasons. Yes, environmentalism may be "trendy" as of late, but I've never heard of any politician winning an election because he said he wanted to save the environment. (I have heard of politicians winning because they wanted to protect big-business, however) Honestly, I'd have more distrust of a candidate that said he wanted to eradicate poverty than one who said he wanted to protect the environment. If I wanted votes, I think I'd pick a soap box that would allow me the best chances to win, which so far is not the case with global warming.

    I also give little credit to the interviewee in your posts, John Christy. Not that he's not a scientist--he's probably a pretty good one--but if I wanted to report a story on why it's okay to poach elephants in Africa, am I going to interview a member of PETA? --probably not. It's hard to build any amount of argument from an interview on CNN, FOX, or any other news outlet. I found it ironic that even the interviewee acknowledged that he is in the minority when it compared to the Global Warming views of his peers in the IPCC: "I'm sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see."

    Is Global Warming a "moral imperative"? I'd understand if someone said no--at least until the icecaps do melt and millions of coastal residents are displaced (maybe we won't feel so bad if the residents of Manhattan have to move, but it might be a bigger deal for the residents in Indonesia). At that point, I think it probably will be a moral imperative.

    The problem with the whole debate is that if we take Global Warming seriously now and unnatural climate change is averted, we'll never know if a crisis would have ensued and we'll wonder if we wasted our time and resources. However, if we don't do anything and Global Warming is real, we'll have a massive crisis (by some accounts) on our hands that could have been avoided.

    Consider 9/11. Since that day we have put many security measures in place that are supposed to prevent another attack from occurring. Of course, had those security measures been used prior to 9/11 they could have been deemed too resource-intensive for the slim possibility of an attack. But what a crisis we might have avoided! Of course, without the attack we would never have known how appropriate our pre-emptive measures were.

    So, all told, I disagree with you when it comes to Global Warming.