The Pope’s Global Warming Encyclical: Don’t Be Misled

cartoon pope heresyA draft of the pope’s global warming encyclical has been leaked and, as expected, he is taking the Catholic Church to a place it has never gone before. That’s a shame, because it’s a place it should never go.

Italian magazine L’Espresso posted the message on its website Monday. The Vatican has asked the media to wait “for the official publication of the final text,” but it’s too late. By now, much of the world knows that across 192 pages, Pope Francis warns of the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century, and expects humanity to make significant lifestyle changes.

Is this the job of the pope? Or is it a misuse of the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and the church at large? There’s no question in our minds. This pope has misapplied his authority. He’s also undermined his own credibility and that of the Catholic Church, as well.

What happens in 10 or 20 years when the climate change scare has abated? Will anyone listen to a pope’s teaching and give it the weight it deserves if this pope makes such a major error? There’s hope among those driving the global warming narrative that, because the pope has spoken, this encyclical will sway non-Catholics toward the left-wing position that man is destroying his world with his energy-consumption habits.

But “Laudato Si” is not the infallible word from above nor does it have a binding force. It is, roughly put, a set of guidelines that Catholics themselves can disregard and still be members in good standing.

Please understand this when confronted with claims that this encyclical bears a holy stamp.

Pope Francis’ job is spreading his faith in God, not abandoning reason and placing his faith instead in a “scientific consensus” that doesn’t exist — which even if it did, it would be wrong.

Look at the data. The climate change models that are the basis for the narrative have been wrong. University of Alabama in Huntsville researchers Roy Spencer and John Christy found that 70 of 73 climate models — many of them used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — have been far off the mark.

There’s also the uncomfortable fact, at least for ardent advocates, that the warming has stopped.

Another awkward truth is the fact that this pope from Argentina believes in heavy-handed government and coercion by the state,while holding an aversion to capitalism. Unfortunately, many of those who push climate change dogma share that anti-capitalist mindset.

The truth is, capitalism is the only system that has improved the condition of the poor, whom the pope so deeply cares about. By calling for the creation of a worldwide political authority to tackle “the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions,” he’s doing nothing less than promoting a loss of liberty. That way leads to tyranny, where the majority are chained by the whims of a few. This is not a Christian liberation but a shackling of humanity that will hurt the poor the most. Pope Francis is far from hallowed ground here. He was poorly served — as was his church — by those who advised him to do this.