The Heartland Institute’s Linnea Luken wrote a great piece at AmericanThinker on October 14th, “A Skeptical Look at Laudate Deum,” but one angle not addressed there is how Pope Francis is the most vulnerable in his concern about the Clima-Change™ issue — not on his ‘science,’ but instead regarding any implication he might make out of his sentence seen in paragraph 13 of his October 4, 2023 Laudate Deum regarding his prior paragraphs’ assertions about ‘rising temperatures, ocean acidification, receding glaciers, diminishing snow cover and rising sea levels.’
“It is not possible to conceal the correlation of these global climate phenomena and the accelerated increase in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly since the mid-twentieth century. The overwhelming majority of scientists specializing in the climate support this correlation, and only a very small percentage of them seek to deny the evidence.”
“Seek to deny” … how, exactly? Deliberately? And under what incentive to do so? Tragically, Pope Francis, just like Greta Thunberg, is protected by screeners who don’t permit tough questions to be asked. I’d be willing to wager, though, that both would make the unforced error if the opportunity arose to say skeptic scientists are on the payroll of Big Oil to spread disinformation.
Therein likes the fatal vulnerability of Pope Francis: the question would be if he just broke the commandment about bearing false witness. Albeit that problem stemming from unintentional ignorance, but still unacceptable nevertheless. I’ve long posed that basic question about the so-called ‘moral imperative for Christians to stop global warming’:
Which is the bigger sin, failing to act in an issue which is increasingly plagues with problems concerning its ‘scientific basis,’ or prompting others to ignore skeptic climate scientists by telling them that those skeptics are immoral industry-paid ‘liars for hire’?
Back in 2015, CatholicOnline‘s Marshall Connolly made the mistake in his article of saying I was caught among others in an email chain Who’s Who list of climate change deniers. His article got that chain list from an Inside Climate News accusatory piece (I’m between Matt Briggs and Dr Judith Curry there – I detailed who the apparently self-admitted email chain leaker was here). When I re-read Connolly’s article in December 2016, Connolly was approachable enough about his mistake that he let me publish a guest post later at CatholicOnline about the exact moral dilemma problem I was asking about.
Pope Francis could be excused for repeating misinformation or half-truths about climate scientists; he’s not a climate scientist. But like everyone else who operates under a moral compass, he would have much less excuse to be hurling corruption accusations at people when he has no certainty that the accusations are true.
He, of all people, essentially a speaker of God’s teachings which include the 10 Commandments, would be obligated to offer the biggest worldwide apology if he were to find out that the ‘very small percentage of scientists seeking to deny the evidence‘ is totally without merit, and he might be additionally particularly obligated to say where he got that accusation, if the overall accusation was conveyed to him by, say, the person who wrote the introduction for his 2017 Encyclical publication, a person known for equating skeptic climate scientists to shill ‘experts’ working for the tobacco industry.