The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has released its climate document “Climate Change and The Common Good” which may be the Encyclical on climate issued by Pope Francis this June.
Pope Francis is making a grievous mistake entering the debate on fossil fuels causing catastrophic global warming due to live-giving combustion gases carbon dioxide. History has not forgotten the Church’s 17th century involvement with science caused the Inquisition in 1633 to force Galileo Galilei to recant the Sun was the center of our universe instead of the Earth. Galileo was held in house arrest until his death in 1642. The consequences of the Church’s actions may have set astronomy back a few years; but did not lead to calamitous future for the planet. In 1992 the Vatican formally announced its mistake in condemning Galileo.
April 22 was Earth Day that was hijacked by environmental groups who want to use it to promote their agenda of forcing the abandonment of the earth’s abundant, inexpensive, and geographically distributed fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas. Their reasoning is carbon dioxide from using fossil fuels is causing catastrophic global warming (climate change). Nothing could be further from the truth.
Abundant energy is needed for achieving Earth Day’s goal. It takes energy to produce clean water and dispose of sewage. Fossil fuel energy is preferable for transportation than animals used in the past that despoiled roads. Fossil fuel supported energy is far cleaner and healthier for heating and cooking than wood and dung used in the past. Electricity is preferable for lighting than whale oil or candles use centuries ago. The list goes on and on. All of the prosperity and good health of developed nations is attributed to fossil fuels.
Environmental groups, and now Pope Francis, want to replace fossil fuel energy sources with solar, wind, biomass (wood), ethanol from corn, other biofuels, etc. as future energy sources. These energy sources are too expensive for developing nations. In addition, these energy sources require vast land areas in order to produce significant amounts of energy. This requires destroying millions of square miles of forest land that cleans our air and water, creates oxygen, helps cool the planet, and provides recreation.
Thus Pope Francis wants to turn upside down the original goals of Earth Day and leave the planet poorer, less healthy, drudgery for a lifestyle, and lacking creature comforts. If these goals are achieved, a day will come when the Vatican renounces Pope Francis’s intervention into the global warming debate as was done on Church’s treatment of Galileo.