A group of like-minded thinkers meeting at the Vatican for a workshop on climate change have issued a final statement, making a series of bold proclamations on the environment and issuing an alarming ultimatum that the climate summit in Paris later this year “may be the last effective opportunity” to keep global warming from reaching “devastating” levels.
The workshop was scheduled to precede the Pope’s upcoming encyclical letter on human ecology in an effort to garner his moral support for UN proposals on climate change.
The workshop, entitled “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity” was jointly organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, SDSN and Religions for Peace.
The speakers for the workshop were carefully chosen to include no dissenters from global warming orthodoxy, and the uninvited skeptics who came to listen were silenced when they tried to raise questions that challenged some of the positions being put forward.
The group’s final statement declares that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality” and that “its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity.”
The statement is fraught with paradoxes, the most glaring of which is the lamentation that the world’s poor do not have sufficient access to available energy, which imprisons them in their condition of indigence, with the seemingly incompatible proposal that modern energy production be dramatically reduced.
The statement also praises “participatory democracy” while simultaneously proposing that entire populations be coerced to walk in lockstep with UN energy programs, whether they want to or not.
The apocalyptic predictions issued in the declaration are not put forward as a theory of what could possibly happen based on projective models, but rather as statements of fact. Thus one reads that the “warming and associated extreme weather will reach unprecedented levels in our children’s life times.” Humanity now has the power to “mitigate climate change while also ending extreme poverty,” the statement proclaims, if it will apply “sustainable development solutions including the adoption of low-carbon energy systems supported by information and communications technologies.”
Earlier this week, a group of 90 prominent scientists, religious leaders, and academics published an open letter to Pope Francis, urging him to entertain the scientific and moral arguments against current climate change theories.
While professing their appreciation for the Pope’s efforts on behalf of the environment and his commitment to the Judeo-Christian principle of “responsible stewardship” for creation, the writers suggested that the people closest to him may not be providing him with all the facts regarding climate change.
The authors contended that contrasting worldviews have led to sloppy reporting of the facts, driven by an ideological agenda. “Rather than a careful reporting of the best evidence,” they write, “we get highly speculative and theory-laden conclusions presented as the assured results of science. In the process, science itself is diminished, and many well-meaning moral and religious leaders risk offering solutions based on misleading science.”
It has yet to be seen how far Pope Francis intends to go in his embrace of the global warming platform in his upcoming encyclical letter on “human ecology,” slated for release during the summer.