By Tom Quiner
The Pope’s encyclical on climate change will be released tomorrow.
Readers of this blog know that I’ve been skeptical of climate change hysteria, sometimes dubbing it “climate change theology.”
My skepticism is based on a number of factors:
√ Scientists have been caught “cooking the books” on some of their data.
√ Climate models have been wrong too many times.
√ Climate models often exclude natural factors than can affect data.
√ Data gathering is an imperfect science.
√ Surveys that claim consensus among the scientific community are often misleading, sometimes intentionally skewed, and usually irrelevant. (For example, the survey that claims that 97% of all climate scientists support the premise that mankind is causing climate change is based on a mere 79 completed surveys.)
√ Liberal politicians are using this issue as an excuse to exert more control over our lives through increased taxes and regulations.
So, what is a faithful Catholic supposed to do with the Pope’s encyclical? First of all, read it.
He is the beloved leader of our Church. I will weigh his words carefully and respectfully. Like any good Catholic, I embrace all 7 of the Church’s social justice teachings, the last being ‘Care for God’s Creation.’
I was at Living History Farms here in Urbandale, Iowa, when Pope John Paul II visited in 1979. His homily praised farmers and called on us all to be good stewards of the land. I have always taken that to mean to strive for a clean environment and protect natural resources.
Catholics may disagree on the means to accomplishing social justice. For example, the fifth social justice teaching of the Church exhorts “The dignity of work and the rights of the workers.” To that end, U.S. Catholic bishops call for an increase in the minimum wage, which I believe to be counterproductive to low skill workers. I agree with the teaching, but believe it can be accomplished more productively using different means.
I was just interviewed by the Des Moines Register for an article they are preparing on the encyclical. The reporter asked if many Catholics read encyclicals. I said Catholics who attend Mass every week probably pay the most attention to them, that they do carry a lot of weight with serious Catholics.
Tomorrow’s encyclical is a totally different animal, because the liberal mainstream media is waiting to use it as a club against conservatives.
I asked the reporter when was the last time the Des Moines Register covered a Pope’s encyclical. He laughed and said he had no idea. I told him the answer is “never.”
The media loves to distort Catholic teaching and papal remarks. Faithful Catholics need to be diligent to be sure an accurate message is conveyed to the public.
The stakes are high.