Laudato Si and the Mind of Pope Francis
Terence J. Hughes
Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences and Climate Change
University of Maine
24 June 2015
Laudato Si is magnificent! The closing pages are sublime! Now that I’ve read it and had time to reflect, and then sample reactions from others, my admiration for Pope Francis has soared. True, he gave a lot of attention to concerns broadcast by the “catastrophic man-caused global warming” zealots, and no attention to substantial studies refuting these alarms and noting positive benefits of global warming.
With the assistance of Steven Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute in Front Royal, Virginia (founded by the late Father Paul Marx), my short 2014 essay, “Global Warming is Good”, was hand-delivered to Pope Francis months ago. We were concerned the encyclical would be one-sided, since balanced perspectives were excluded from the Vatican’s April climate summit sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Specifically excluded from the summit was Philippe de Larminat, a French critic whose book made the case that global warming is caused by solar activity, not by “greenhouse” gasses such as carbon dioxide. Princeton physicist, William Happer, has reminded us how important carbon dioxide is to all life on Planet Earth, something known to every school child, yet Laudato Si labels it a “pollutant” of our environment. Input from Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of the Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany, was welcomed. Schellnhuber, a professed atheist, freely admits his “solution” to global warming requires reducing the global population to one-billion people. So why could I possibly be enthusiastic about the papal encyclical? Here’s why.
Laudato Si exposes the hypocrisy of global warming alarmists. Pope Francis showcased how they cherry-pick their environmental “concerns” to serve their political agenda: population control aimed at vastly reducing the Third World population, people who produce only a small fraction of greenhouse gasses. That was a main point in my “Global Warming is Good” essay, a point made by Steven Mosher and many others, and it was loud-and-clear in Laudato Si. Pope Francis even exposed how First World governments bully Third World governments by denying assistance during natural disasters unless they implement plans imposed to reduce their population.
Laudato Si also exposes the consumerist mentality that drives enormous waste in First World countries, squandering wealth badly needed in Third World countries for such basics as pure water and immunizations to prevent rampant diseases that should no longer exist. After squandering natural resources in the First World, these profligates now seek to grab for themselves valuable resources Third World people have in their own countries, but lack the capital to develop. First World governments in cahoots with crony-capitalists promote schemes costing trillions of dollars that would enormously enrich them, but lower global temperatures only a fraction of one degree over centuries, dollars that could eliminate Third World diseases and greatly improve health in just a few years.
As a prime example of environmentalist hypocrisy, Laudato Li points to their enthusiastic promotion of abortion worldwide that makes women’s wombs environments incapable of sustaining human life by strip-mining wombs in surgical abortions and making them toxic dump sites in chemical abortions. Women’s wombs are where the next generation of humanity must reside before it can be born. Environmentalists who demand unlimited abortion are treating humanity like a pestilence to be eradicated, especially eradicated in the Third World. This exposes these environmentalists as racist elitists, another point I made in “Global Warming is Good”. Being more diplomatic than I am, Pope Francis doesn’t state this directly, but the linkage is there for all to see.
Pope Francis also condemns genetic engineering of human embryos to produce people made to our personal specifications, another “environmentalist” goal to “improve” on nature. That was the goal of eugenics in The Third Reich: to create the Aryan Master Race. Beneficiaries of this “research” would be the racist elitists, not humanity in general. We would be burdened with the cost of developing the technology, but only the wealthy could afford to use it, and would control who could use it, so they always retained power.
Jesuits have a reputation of being clever foxes in finding ways to promote what their Church teaches. The first Jesuit Pope has given us an example of how this is done.
This exposure of a hidden agenda would have been overshadowed if Laudato Si had given equal space showcasing how global warming may not be taking place, is not caused by humans in any case, is fairly minor if it is taking place, is unrelated to atmospheric carbon dioxide, and would have good effects that easily outweighed the assumed bad effects. The goal of Laudato Si is evangelization of Schellnhuber and other environmental extremists invited for input by challenging them to broaden their perspective. They can’t claim he was unfair to them. He presented their views better than they could themselves, as St. Thomas Aquinas would have done. Now they need to explain why the global environment can be saved only by polluting the human environment, while at the same time producing “better living through chemistry” using eugenics for an elite ruling class.
Laudato Si ties all of these things together in a holistic way that respects the dignity of every human being, acknowledges God as master of His own Creation, and reminds us our only legitimate role is to be His servants in protecting His Creation in its totality. This is emphasized throughout Laudato Si, but it is especially emphasized at the end, where Pope Francis reminds us God so loves His Creation that He designed it to mirror His own existence as One God in Three Divine Persons, even becoming physically part of it in the Incarnation, and His ultimate goal is to unite each one of us, and our environment, perfected far beyond our capacity to imagine, with Him for all eternity.