Pope Francis

Pope Francis' Address to Congress May Not Have Been What 'Climate Justice' Activists Were Hoping For

The pontiff stopped far short of laying out a concrete environmental policy agenda.

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Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress
Stephanie Slade

Heading into today's historic address by Pope Francis to a joint session of Congress—the first time a pope has ever given a speech to the House and Senate at the U.S. Capitol building—no one was quite sure what to expect. But most onlookers, if they've been paying attention to the pope's writings and remarks, probably figured he would talk about the need to protect the environment. Some people were so convinced he would make an impassioned appeal to lawmakers to do something about climate change, they organized an event on the Mall around it, plastering "Rally with Pope Francis for moral action on climate change" flyers all over Washington, D.C.

But actually, watching from the West Lawn I was struck by how minimal and non-politicized his treatment of environmental issues was. Here is basically the only place in his 50-minute speech that he spoke about that topic (these quotes are taken from the prepared remarks):

This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to "enter into dialogue with all people about our common home" (ibid., 3). "We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all" (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si', I call for a courageous and responsible effort to "redirect our steps" (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a "culture of care" (ibid., 231) and "an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature" (ibid., 139). "We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology" (ibid., 112); "to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power" (ibid., 78); and to put technology "at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral" (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America's outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.

Note that nowhere in those two paragraphs does the pope lay out a concrete program of policy reforms he wants enacted. He says we should be trying to "redirect our steps," but he isn't specific about what that might involve. He talks about the need for "actions and strategies" but doesn't describe for us what they might be.

In my long piece on Pope Francis and capitalism from earlier this week, I pointed out that dissecting his words is made more difficult from a libertarian perspective because he often blurs the line between private vs. public action. That's the case here as well. One moment, he's telling us he's certain Congress has a role to play, implying he favors changes in federal law. But the next moment he's talking about America's universities and what a "vital contribution" he hopes they'll make. That suggests he understands that technological development is the key to creating a future in which high levels of material well-being are the norm—and to getting there without destroying the planet.

This is already happening. We've cut the global deforestation rate in half even as nearly a billion people were being lifted out of extreme poverty. The so-called "Green Revolution" made it possible to produce enough food to support billions of people using less land than previously thought possible, and the future of food production is continuing to change in ways that may be hard for us right now even to fathom. Life is getting better (and much of the planet is getting cleaner) not because of stricter regulatory regimes but because of scientific advancements and economic development.

We can debate the extent to which R&D should be funded by taxpayers as opposed to private industry. At least we're on the same page in recognizing that the type of drastic government interventionism supported by many on the left isn't the only possible route to a solution.

NEXT: Pope Francis Says World Increasingly a Place of Violent Conflict—Not Quite

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  1. But actually, watching from the West Lawn I was struck by how minimal and non-politicized his treatment of environmental issues was.

    Color me not-shocked. I can’t deal with how people are trying to paint all this as something new, when I’m pretty sure stewardship of the earth is a longstanding tenet of Christianity. Is it that surprising climate change would end up a part of that?

    I mean, I don’t think most of the people commenting here are actual global warming deniers; they just don’t want to make public policy around the issue. There’s just nothing really going on here except the same shit the RC Church has been doing forever.

    1. “‘ I don’t think most of the people commenting here are actual global warming deniers; they just don’t want to make public policy around the issue “”

      For a large segment of the population, that is the definition of being a “denier”.

      The issue of whether there’s “some warming” happening (or not) is meaningless to the Eviropanic crowd unless there’s the requirement that if you admit there IS… that you therefore must concede that DOING SOMETHING is necessary. And if you quibble about the details of the Something (much less the necessity of it being done IMMEDIATELY) in any way, you’re just a denier denying others the ability to Take Action.

      in short, you’re applying a fine distinction that no one else recognizes. I don’t think Tony or Jackand are particularly good examples of anything…. but they tend to stick to this same POV whenever the topic comes up, without fail. and I’m sure we’ll see some examples shortly.

      1. Jackass Ace also thinks that lobbying the government to throw people in jail for speaking out against the Church of Carbontology is just “expressing an opinion”.

      2. For a large segment of the population, that is the definition of being a “denier”.

        I realize that, but it’s rhetorical bullshit.

        I’m talking about the differences between what the Pope is saying, and what the average commenter here believes, or what the average libertarian or conservative believes.

        So the Pope has done absolutely nothing different from what anyone here thinks except advocate for some state action. Which is news in what way again? I mean to say, no one here should be all up in arms about the Pope getting super fucking into climate change.

        1. Is anyone here up in arms about it?

        2. “no one here should be all up in arms about the Pope getting super fucking into climate change.”

          (shrug)

          I don’t know what qualifies as “all up in arms”.

          In general, i find religious leaders providing cover for left-wing power-grabs* to be distasteful at best. Despicable when it tries to cherry-pick elements of modern science and blend it with doomsday religious eschatology.

          (*IMO, the modern Environmental movement is 100% divorced from any reasonable ‘conservationist’ element that may have given birth to it, and is now nothing more than an anti-capitalist movement with a hippy-dippy treehugging marketing department)

          1. Left-wing power-grabs are religious in nature. I’ve been wondering for years why the secular progressive-sphere doesn’t find more in common with the religious.

            1. Religious folk recognize a Higher Power than government.

              1. Tell that to, oh, Stalin.

              2. The higher power is a cruel dictator who tells them to submit and obey or they will burn in hell, FOREVER!

              3. Religious folk recognize a Higher Power than government.

                True, but they seem to always be erasing any email records of their Holy Communications…

                Bring Proof and I’ll listen. ’til then, I’m an atheist and they’re all just members of different cults.

            2. They do as much as conservatives; its just goes in cycles. The USA Catholic clergy are big proponents of the abolition of the death penalty, civil rights, income equality. The difference I see with Liberal/Progs vs Religious Right is that the liberals don’t want to jam religion directly down your throat, they want to jam overstated/fake “science” down your throat.

            3. “I’ve been wondering for years why the secular progressive-sphere doesn’t find more in common with the religious.”

              Maybe because there’s no such thing as a “secular” progressive-sphere. The progressive-sphere is not just a religion, it’s a supremacist religion that has zero tolerance for other religions.

              1. Again, to me they’re just different flavors of cults and that’s why I can’t vote for either cult…
                Spot on, JG…

          2. “(*IMO, the modern Environmental movement is 100% divorced from any reasonable ‘conservationist’ element that may have given birth to it, and is now nothing more than an anti-capitalist movement with a hippy-dippy treehugging marketing department)”
            I agree 100%. Not doubt human activity has some effect on the biosphere. Using wildly inaccurate models to then clamor for radical changes based upon the “data” they provide is where I get off the bus. I know weather and climate are two different things as far as science goes, but both are very complex systems that are difficult to accurately predict into the future. So when we are unable to reliably predict the weather a week from now, I don’t consider questioning the veracity of climate predictions 20 years from now a radical stand to take. Looking at the clear warming bias in the models vs. the real climate measurements, I’m confident we don’t have a handle on predicting the future climate. Doesn’t mean I’m advocating for the abolition of good environmental stewardship, just don’t call me a denier because I’m resistant to bullshit.

          3. (*IMO, the modern Environmental movement is 100% divorced from any reasonable ‘conservationist’ element that may have given birth to it, and is now nothing more than an anti-capitalist movement with a hippy-dippy treehugging marketing department)

            Don’t forget the Environmental movement’s role as a beachhead for unelected Federal bureaucracies such as the EPA. Conservation as a motivator in modern-day Environmentalism died years ago. Now it’s a cult–with a surprising amount in common with Scientology–that Socialists use to expand state authority.

    2. “Color me not-shocked. I can’t deal with how people are trying to paint all this as something new, when I’m pretty sure stewardship of the earth is a longstanding tenet of Christianity.”

      Nothing wrong with religious leaders promoting religion.

      But if religious justifications for public policy are a long standing tenet of American Presidents, they sure as hell shouldn’t be.

      I’m supposed to support Obama’s climate change treaty now–because the Pope says so?

      Fuck that noise.

      1. There are no objective justifications for public policy, Ken.

        1. “There are no objective justifications for public policy, Ken.”

          But there are plenty that aren’t overtly religious.

          Because the Pope says so can never be a legitimate justification for public policy.

          1. It can…in Vatican City.

            *ducks*

            1. Fine… no problemo… They Own That Turf.
              Who “owns” ours ?

              If there’s enough “consensus” in the US that the pope is The Source (or Mohammed is…) what does that mean, other than our current laws will be tossed out along with a lot of rights we have fought for for … say, a few hundred years?

    3. I don’t think most of the people commenting here are actual global warming deniers

      That phrase has a remarkably slippery definition:

      Are you a denier if you think that marginally increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere obviously will have marginal effects on climate, but think that the amount of change is perhaps being overstated?

      Or think that the government is incapable of doing anything to change the climate by any significant degree, short of destroying capitalism and driving everyone into poverty?

      How do you define that phrase?

      1. I said “actual denier” because I’m talking about people who deny that climate change is occurring, period.

        1. Said people being about as common as, and entirely equivalent to flat Earthers. Because to deny any climate change is to deny ice ages and also the periods when the poles were also free of ice.

          IOW a fringe fringe. And also NOT the sorts who are being routinely derided as ‘deniers.’

          1. Nikki isn’t very clever.

      2. Just for the record, I don’t disagree with scientific consensus on climate change.

        I’m incredibly hostile to the suggestion that government action, socialism, and combating free market capitalism are the solutions.

    4. Its very surprising.

      The RC church also considers Christianity to have a duty to take care of the poor – and the church and its senior clergy have *never* been shy about making a political issue out of their opposition to free-market capitalism – even though its the one system that has a proven track record of elevating the poor.

      So, when a related issue comes up, one that could give the current pontiff more political leverage over his favorite bugaboo, and he calls for ‘freedom and technology’ to combat AGCC. While almost simultaneously holding the position that free-market capitalism is responsible for most of the world’s ill, he is basically advocating for it to cure this one.

    5. I don’t think most of the people commenting here are actual global warming deniers

      I’m not sure I agree with that, but as others have said it’s hard to tell when people are trying to force you into a false choice of command and control regulations or doing absolutely nothing.

    6. “stewardship of the earth is a longstanding tenet of Christianity.”

      “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28)

      i’m sure there are shelves of books parsing the various potential meanings of that one.

      1. Originally, our job was to take care of the animals. Having to kill an innocent lamb was supposed to make it clear what we were doing wrong (and why).

        The first thing God did when Adam and Eve sinned was make them wear animal skins. It was like in the Green Peace commercial.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2bQHM_a10w

        Your job was to take care of the animals. Now they’re going to die, and it’s all the result of your sin. Here, wear their skins, you miserable…

        The last part of the Book of Revelation describes the new earth (after sin) as a place where the lion and lamb will curl up together. Apparently, the lions are well cared for.

        At the beginning of the Bible, before the fall of man, our job was to take care of the animals. At the end of the Bible, after evil is vanquished forever, we’re taking care of the animals. I got no problem with the suggestion that the Bible teaches us to take care of the animals and the earth.

        1. “the Bible teaches us to take care of the animals ‘

          Take care of them?

          Lets just say the Big Guy wasn’t too particular about the details of how that was supposed to work

          1. Sacrifices were supposed to show people the connection between what they had done wrong and the consequences of their actions on the world and the innocent.

            If you’re a Christian, you believe that was a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world.

            It was foreshadowed when Able sacrificed a lamb. It was foreshadowed when God told Abraham to sacrifice his own son and then provided him with a lamb to sacrifice instead.

            It was foreshadowed when the children of Israel were in Egypt during the last plague–and they were told to splash a lamb’s blood above their doors so the Angel of Death would pass them by and not kill their first born. It was foreshadowed when the Israelites sacrificed a lamb on the day of atonement when they were wandering in the desert.

            That practice was ended when Jesus was crucified (on the day of atonement), there was an earthquake, and the sacrificial lamb that was to be sacrificed by the priest in the temple escaped–and the temple itself was subsequently destroyed some time later by the Romans.

            Sacrifice was always meant to make it painfully clear to the penitent that innocence was abused by your sin. It was meant to make the penitent feel guilty. The death of animals is always meant to be clear evidence of injustice that way.

            And there are laws on slaughter in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that appear they were meant to minimize the suffering of animals.

      2. It should also be noted that the way the Judaism of those who came back from the Babylonian Captivity differed from the Jews who stayed behind were the same ways in which the Jews who came back from Persia had developed commonalities with Persian Zoroastrianism. They had so much in common, that I’ve heard it well argued by a Near Eastern Studies professor that Judaism is a reform of Zoroastrianism just like Christianity is a reform of Judaism.

        Meanwhile Zoroastrianism was all about taking care of the earth–keeping it pure. Letting bodily fluids touch the ground, for instance, could be punishable by death, which is a prohibition that survived into Genesis. Genesis was, of course, complied during the Captivity.

        1. … yawn….

          …look, the only relevant distinction between religions is, Do They Eat Bacon?

          If they have a problem with that, well then, I recommend they hit the desert and find a different promised land for themselves.

          1. Adventists don’t eat bacon.

            Many of them are vegetarians.

            I’m sure Ben Carson doesn’t eat bacon.

            He’s probably a vegetarian.

            1. See, he’s a crazy person.

    7. I mean, I don’t think most of the people commenting here are actual global warming deniers; they just don’t want to make public policy around the issue.

      Sorry to pile on, but this is a huge pet peeve of mine. “Denier” is a deliberately loaded word chosen by radical environmentalists and socialists to discredit people who express any kind of skepticism with regard to officially-sanctioned climate research. It’s meant to sound similar to “Holocaust denier” because it’s meant to imply the same guilt by association. No one who considers climate science an actual science, and certainly not any dyed-in-the-wool scientists, should ever refer to someone as a “climate science denier” any more than you would refer to someone as a “string theory denier”.

      Despite what those with vested interest in certain policies might loudly proclaim, the science is not in fact settled; science, by definition, is never settled. “What about gravity?”, you might ask. When researchers can come up with predictive models which are as accurate as those which can predict the speed at which an object will fall from a given height–and whether or not it will fall at all–then we can safely say that climate change is more or less settled, although even the theory of gravity is still being challenged by physicists.

      1. Excellent post!
        I could easily be labeled a climate-denier because of the things I say and post, but I drew my conclusions long ago that YES, it sure looks like Climate IS Changing… I just don’t believe most of the consensus’ explanations for WHY.

        So that makes me a denier, right?

        I repeatedly ask Warmites, “What (Exactly) Caused ALL of the prior major Ice Ages?”
        I got close to an answer on my own… see graphs a t http://www.plusaf.com/global-w…..rming3.htm for starters.

        It sure appears that there are a wealth of ‘driving forces’ that are WAY more powerful than anything we can blame on “Man.”

        If anything, we’re approaching another Major Ice Age, though very unlikely for quite a few human generations. If Warmites really wanted to make a Difference for the future, they’d be expending a Lot more “energy” on figuring out how to Survive on a planet with a periodically-changing “Climate.”

        But they don’t. Any indication of change is extrapolated linearly or exponentially to infinity with the end-game being apocalypse.

        Nature (or the earth) has never operated that way, and to make stupid assumptions like those is extremely counterproductive, and if I may repeat… just like what cults do.

        imnsho.

        1. “Excellent post!
          I could easily be labeled a climate-denier because of the things I say and post, but I drew my conclusions long ago that YES, it sure looks like Climate IS Changing… I just don’t believe most of the consensus’ explanations for WHY.”

          Our resident lefties also sort me into the ‘denier’ basket and I’ll go beyond your comments.
          I’m persuaded that human activity does have an effect on the issue. How much is not clear to me, and more importantly, the proposed solutions from the left seem to offer little chance of affecting that change and ‘way more chance of causing economic harm to millions, not to mention the accompanying loss of freedom.

    8. There’s just nothing really going on here except the same shit the RC Church has been doing forever.

      Which is simply to tell people what they want to hear, in order to obtain favors from governments and the wealthy while recruiting more members.

      Logical consistency or reason has nothing to do with it, it’s propaganda.

  2. Fuck the Pope.

    Here’s a black libertarian explaining what he finds distasteful about the BLM movement

  3. To be honest, I hold the same kind of fondness for this pope (and the Roman Catholic Church in general) that I hold for the abusive, emotionally distant father who disowned me and the batshit crazy mother who assures me that my lifestyle choices blaspheme God and curse my children. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome, maybe I’m fucking insane, but there’s a part of me that would genuinely like to be Catholic. Hell, I actually made it most of the way through the preparatory class for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults . . . before some anonymous asshole reported our, ahem, nontraditional family structure to the college of bishops and the priest asked us not to return.

    If this or some future pope ever removed the stick from his ass and stopped instructing priests to force indigenous polygamists to divorce their subsequent wives before allowing them to be baptized?in cultures where divorce more or less consigns women and their children to a life grinding poverty or worse, starvation?I’d give serious thought to joining the Church.

    Which is weird, because my belief in God is, shall we say, tenuous at best. I’m what you might call a secular observant Christian. I’m deeply involved in the church yet constantly ask myself why.

    1. God bless you and thank you for your work with the church – it seems you go as far as your conscience allows.

      And thank you for continuing to reflect on these issues.

      1. Not the reply I was expecting. Care to elaborate? I am genuinely intrigued!

        1. He’s just happy that there’s someone here who’s had a bad experience with parts of the church and not let it turn to complete hate.

        2. You said you’re “deeply involved in the Church” despite your serious reservations.

          I think the Church should be grateful for this, and while I’m not a spokesman, I just wanted to add some encouragment.

          I’m not going to make light of your experience of alienation and disappointment, because Lord knows plenty of people have experienced this.

          When the Pharisees self-righteously got indignant with Christ for associating with sinners, Christ (tongue in cheek, I think) said He came to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance. That is, the people like the Pharisees who were deluded into thinking they had it all figured out and they were, morally speaking, the best thing since sliced bread, weren’t going to be interested in Christ’s message. So if you’ve encountered any Pharisees just take their comments with a grant of salt and Lord willing, they’ll change their attitude and get a bit more humble.

          If you help out at a Catholic Church, I imagine there are people there – who knows, maybe even the priest? – who you could talk to about your questions, and I suspect that some of the people there have similar questions. And they would have the advantage of knowing you so it wouldn’t be just like some guy on the Internet giving you random generic advice.

          Are there people over at the Church you can bring up your concerns with?

    2. If those women and children are being consigned to a life of grinding poverty due to the father’s actions then he is NOT heeding the directions of the Church. The Church makes it entirely clear that although he must divorce his plural wives that DOES NOT absolve him of his responsibilities towards them.

  4. Eh…he’s still no John Paul II. / not a Catholic

  5. “In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.”

    —-The Pope

    That’s sick and disgusting!

    No wait…

    My problem with the Pope’s statements isn’t what he’s saying. He’s has just as much a right as anybody to say what he thinks. My problem is with the way Obama is using the Pope–to give a religious justification for Obama’s own Climate Change treaty (Paris in December) that he’s already promised to implement without Congressional approval.

    “And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet ? God’s magnificent gift to us. We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to a changing climate and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.”

    —-Barack Obama, yesterday.

    Religious leaders using religion isn’t sick and disgusting.

    The President of the United States using religion as a justification for his political agenda is sick and disgusting.

    Screw the Pope?

    No. Fuck Obama. He’ll say shit like that and then turn around and claim he believes in the separation of church and state.

  6. “This common good also is……….”

    something that neither the Pope nor anyone else is capable of proving exists at all.

    As is the case with anything claimed to be a “common good”.

    The very concept of “common good” is something no one is capable of proving exists.

  7. he often blurs the line between private vs. public action.

    In his mind, there is no difference.

  8. a concrete environmental policy

    Kind of an oxymoron, yeah?

  9. I have no doubt that the United States ? and this Congress ? have an important role to play.

    Wouldn’t it have been more effective to make this speech in the country that uses the most global resources?

  10. Pope Francis’ Address to Congress May Not Have Been What ‘Climate Justice’ Activists Were Hoping For

    It is so incredibly fitting that “Climate Justice activists” are looking to the Pope for guidance.

    1. I glanced over at NPR–because who can stand more than a glance?

      They seemed pretty hostile to using the Pope as a justification for anything. The discussion seems to be mostly about pedophile priests, gay marriage, and abortion rights.

      I don’t think this papal visit is scoring any points with progressives or social justice warriors. If it’s scoring any points for Obama and his climate change treaty all, it’s scoring them with socially conservative Catholics in the Midwest and the Northeast.

      1. That still threatens the same outcome you see in Europe: Catholics and progressives having separate parties over the “God” thing, but otherwise making it their joint project to demolish civil liberties and the economy.

    2. Agreed. This match made in Heaven delivers a new illustration to place in the dictionary to explain what “irony” looks like.

      1. You should be worried about the fact that the Pope has more of a grasp of science than you do.

        1. Tony|9.24.15 @ 3:50PM|#
          “You should be worried about the fact that the Pope has more of a grasp of science than you do.”

          Yeah, nothing says “science” like claiming a ‘moral duty’.
          Gee, the mask just slipped a bit, didn’t it?

  11. I’m tired of the pope and really tired of the nutpunches.

    Palate cleanser.

    1. I’m tired of Tulpa showing up on the weekends.

  12. OT: Maybe we can send Hillary to China and North Korea so she can tackle the high cost of free medical care there:

    She had been hospitalized for six months in North Korea and had heard China may have more advanced treatment. She assumed it would be free of charge, as it is in North Korea, where the state covers most expenses including housing, healthcare, and higher education.

    But once in China, Kim soon found she couldn’t afford the staggering medical bills. “It became a huge burden for me to go through treatment in that situation. I couldn’t ask my cousin for money,” she told CNN.

    Kim says she began working at a restaurant in Shenyang but the low wages were not nearly enough to pay for her expensive treatment. She says the Chinese doctors wanted cash up front.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/23/…..index.html

    1. So the woman couldn’t read enough to know that the papers she signed were renouncing North Korea? Also, it sounds like her original guess was right. The treatment she is receiving wasn’t available in North Korea, or I assume she would have gone home right away before deciding to wait tables.

      A whole thread could be dedicated to this woman and none of it would be positive (I haven’t even gotten into how it looks like she was living the highlife on the suffering of other before she had her liver problems).

      1. If I read between the lines, it looks like this:

        The woman was playing the system, she went all in and busted.

        She had a certain amount of stature in NK society. She had liver disease (pretty much a death sentence untreated, often a death sentence if treated). NK free healthcare sucks balls, so she “defected” to get the better treatment, believing everyone had excellent free healthcare.

        She discovers Chinese Communism doesn’t provide free healthcare, at least not for non-citizens, ends up wracked with high medical bills, decides the whole thing is one big mistake and probably realizes her family she left behind is now in real jeopardy.

        My guess is, if this woman were to return to NK, she’d be executed on arrival anyway.

        1. I think she didn’t defect until she tried to go to South Korea for work. Before that she was on an official visit to a cousin in China.

          I actually doubt she’d be executed if she got back to NK. Right now she makes a great figure for the government to hold up about the horrors of the outside world. Don’t try to leave North Korea or you will get no medical care and never see your family again. They’ve done this sort of thing before with a college student who tried to defect from South to North Korea (at least until the proles started to realize that her horror story sounded like heaven in comparison to their lives. Kind of like Dallas for Russia).

  13. Can we go back to non-stop Trump threads?

    1. I’m still waiting for Robby to tell me what’s trending on Twitter.

      1. Also more interesting than watching people worship the Pope.

        1. What if the Pope is what’s trending on Twitter?

          1. Ugh. I’d rather Robby detail his hair care routine in American Psycho-level detail.

    2. What does Trump think about the Pope?

      1. We won’t know until he’s done polling the millennial mexicans.

  14. “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). “We need a conversation which includes everyone”

    Ahh yes, another one of those dialogues/conversations in which no one ever hears or cares what I have to say. I guess when they say “we” and “everyone,” they don’t mean me, but… Chuck Schumer.

  15. OT: When can we get another Bitcoin article? I miss Reason telling me how anonymous and secure it is.

  16. In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.

    What seems to be missing from this call to action is this evidence of “environmental degradation” that he talks about. Saying that there are more hurricanes per square inch than ever before is NOT the same as saying there is “environmental degradation” So far the worst degradation I’ve seen is in poor countries with no protection or respect for property rights and in Communist countries with less-than-zero respect for property rights. So I am scratching my head thinking exactly what courageous and responsible steps one should take to “avert the most serious effects of environmental deterioration” that would mean something else besides respect for people’s property.

    1. “I am scratching my head thinking exactly what courageous and responsible steps one should take to “avert the most serious effects of environmental deterioration” that would mean something else besides respect for people’s property.”

      It means supporting Obama in his Paris Climate Change Treaty in December.

      “WASHINGTON ? The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

      In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.”

      —-New York Times, August 26, 2014

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08……html?_r=0

  17. I like the Pope. The Pope smokes dope.

    1. You mean the one at Burning Man?

      That was a different Pope. That’s the Pope of the Desert.

      The one we’re talking about is from the Vatican.

      Different Pope. This one doesn’t smoke dope.

      1. Does Greenwich Village still have one?

        1. That’s a different Pope, too.

          There’s a lot of Popes.

          I have to admit, I prefer “Pope” to “Czar”.

          Like instead of having a “Drug Czar”, we could have a “Drug Pope”.

          I bet Obama would object to that, though, because he says he believes in the separation of church and state.

          1. I have to admit, I prefer “Pope” to “Czar”.

            Well, a Czar is a Pope and Caesar rolled into one?

          2. Da Pope uh Dope!

  18. It was a good speech (made even better by citing the Trappist monk Thomas Merton), and the simple fact that he reiterated the moral calling to take care of the environment was well received. Even his encyclical wasn’t only about climate change.

    It was wonderful to see a spiritual man have a greater grasp of climate SCIENCE than all of the Republicans in attendance.

    1. aHHHAAAAHHHHHAAAAAHAAAAAA!

    2. Re: Jackass Ass,

      It was a good speech […] the simple fact that he reiterated the moral calling to take care of the environment was well received.

      Especially when those who well-received it are complicit to true environmental catastrophes caused by the only agent capable of making environmental catastrophes truly catastrophic – the State.

      1. I didn’t realize BP was a state.

        1. GAZPROM would like you to drink from the Aral Sea.

        2. Re: Tony,

          I didn’t realize BP was a state.

          The Soviet Union was one: Chernobyl, the (almost gone) Aral Lake. There is a difference between an accidental release of oil and quite another draining a whole LAKE in the name of equality.

          1. Chernobyl was an accident too, and nobody is defending or has defended the Soviet Union here.

            1. Tony|9.24.15 @ 4:05PM|#
              “Chernobyl was an accident too, and nobody is defending or has defended the Soviet Union here.”

              Correct.
              You’re proposing turning the US into the Soviet Union.
              Got it.

          1. No I was referring to the 5 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, but other things have indeed happened as well.

            1. Why not?

              “As much as one half of the oil that enters the coastal environment comes from natural seeps of oil and natural gas. ”
              http://www.whoi.edu/oil/natural-oil-seeps

              Who are you gonna fine, asshole?

    3. It was wonderful to see a spiritual man have a greater grasp of climate SCIENCE

      Oh Lord – we can pack it for today folks – this beats even the Jacket getting spoofed.

      Do tell us all the SCIENCE His Peronistness provided.

      1. Read his encyclical. He cites science often.

      2. Whenever I’m interested in science, I turn to… the pope.

        1. Uh oh. You should do what the Pope does. He turns to scientists for his science. It would do you good to try.

          1. Jackand Ace|9.24.15 @ 8:58PM|#
            “Uh oh. You should do what the Pope does. He turns to scientists for his science. It would do you good to try.”

            Right, Jack, I’m sure the pope seeks opinions from a wide range of sources. Just like you; a lame propagandist.

    4. He has a background in chemical technology. I myself actually have a degree in chemical engineering technology, does that mean you’d consider me to have a greater grasp of climate science as well? Of course, I’ve never worked as a bar bouncer or a janitor so possibly that’s where you think he picked up his great grasp of climate science since it seems to be composed of the type of science you’d find in gutters and toilets.

      1. One doesn’t have to have a degree in science to GRASP what science is telling you. Any grade schooler could have told you that. And Republicans as well as libertarians don’t grasp what science is telling you. He does. Get it?

        1. Ah, so even a janitor has a greater grasp of science than someone with a degree in science from a recognized college if the janitor believes the same bullshit you believe. Gotcha.

          1. Say wha’?

            1. Jackand Ace|9.24.15 @ 4:45PM|#
              “Say wha’?”

              He said you been busted, Jack.

        2. Yes, that’s why Hollywood scriptwriters and science journalists usually do such a cracking job of relaying science data to us — because any old idiot can understand it.

        3. “what science is telling you”

          Science doesn’t speak to me, unfortunately. Hey, next time you talk (pray?) to science, please ask on my behalf — when I saw one set of footsteps in the sand, was that where science was carrying me, or did science just hop on a hoverboard for a spell?

        4. As a famous scientists once said: “you aren’t even wrong.”

          That is, your string of words is so nonsensical that debating whether it is true or not is pointless.

    5. Jackand Ace|9.24.15 @ 3:03PM|#
      “… the moral calling…”

      This from an ignoramus who claims he’s supporting ‘the science’ behind the issue.
      Tell me, Jack, which experiment showed the ‘moral calling’?

    6. It was wonderful to see a spiritual man

      Europe used to be run by “spiritual men”, and still in large part is.

      have a greater grasp of climate SCIENCE

      If by “grasp” you mean “uncritically parrot”.

  19. He says we should be trying to “redirect our steps,”

    Stop taking private jets to climate conferences?

    1. Creepy popey has most likely handed out indulgences allowing his worshipers the luxury of committing that sin free and clear.

  20. Of course he didn’t offer any specifics; he’s a a science-illiterate god-talker.

  21. Since when did the pope divine what OUR policies should be regarding ANY matter? American citizens hire corrupt representatives and senators to do that job.

    1. I am datappoint.

  22. So, now that creepy popey has given us his steaming pile, does this mean creepy popey is retreating back within the walls of the fabulously wealthy and extravagant Vatican City?

    Someone should make their mission in life to liberate the Catholic Church and it’s Vatican City from it’s insane wealth so it can be redistributed among the world’s poor. The Pope and his band of followers seem to be really mixed up concerning Jesus’ teachings. There’s a huge difference between giving one’s own accumulated wealth to the poor, and giving the hard earned wages of others to the poor for them while greedily hanging on to one’s own.

  23. The Pope almost never makes specific policy recommendations. The premise of the article is flawed

    1. You’re right. That’s because the Pope is a demagogue and propagandist. His job isn’t to say things that make sense or that are moral, his job is to say things that maximize the wealth and power of his organization.

  24. I tell the progressive climate change warriors that here in New England, the climate is always changing and has been for a very long time.

    Right now it’s fall, the leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. In a few months, it’ll get colder and start snowing. Next April or so, it’ll get warmer, and a few months after that it’ll get hot.

    It’s been like this for centuries. Nothing new.

  25. Never mind the Pope, I made a quick scan of the comments and saw the usual: The presumption that all climate change is caused by humans; the assumption that if we reduce carbon emissions it will stop climate change, the assumption that politicians and popes actually have a clue about science. (No, the Pope is NOT a scientist.)

    You can’t solve a problem (assuming we even have one) until you comprehend the problem.

    Yes, I’m a denier. Not of climate change, which has been happening just this side of forever, and will most likely go on indefinitely. I am a denier that a bunch of party hacks in Washington have any clue about the physics and chemistry involved in comprehending this. Apologies to the very few politicians in Washington who actually have the science and engineering education required to grasp any of this.

  26. Nice how he seems to only have …faith.. in “America’s outstanding academic and research institutions” for “vital contributions.” Good thing there are citizens running businesses in the states providing vital RESOURCES to keep those institutions going.

  27. Speaking of BP, what they won’t tell you is that the BP oil spill is practically gone, thanks for a few fortunate events and the magic that is the self regulating planet. In many regards, the environment is a lot like the free market.

    Our earth has handled far greater shit than current “climate change.” So the climate change warriors just need to relax.

    1. CatoTheYounger|9.24.15 @ 11:39PM|#
      “Speaking of BP, what they won’t tell you is that the BP oil spill is practically gone, thanks for a few fortunate events and the magic that is the self regulating planet”

      Psst! Don’t tell Tony or Jack:
      “Natural Oil Seeps”
      […]
      “As much as one half of the oil that enters the coastal environment comes from natural seeps of oil and natural gas. These geologic features are known to occur in clusters around the world, such as off the southern coast of California and in the Gulf of Mexico, but are still relatively unstudied…”
      http://www.whoi.edu/oil/natural-oil-seeps

      Note that’s from the Kocks (ooops; wish I knew how to do the like-outs), ah Woods Hole organization.

  28. I pointed out that dissecting his words is made more difficult from a libertarian perspective because he often blurs the line between private vs. public action. That’s the case here as well

    Dissecting the Pope’s words is difficult for the same reason dissecting the words of any demagogue or propaganda minister is difficult: they aren’t making an argument, they are recruiting into their ideology and appealing to emotion.

    When they can, people like the Pope do that by taking multiple inconsistent positions, appealing to as many people and interest groups as possible, but couching each of those positions in such terms that it is mainly the target group of that position that understands it.

    In different words, the Pope’s speech is necessarily vague and inconsistent; it’s his job and his skill to deliver just those kinds of speeches.

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  30. Who cares? He’s the POPE! He believes in the supernatural!

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