192 Responses to Guiding the Government

  1. Nektarios says:

    Some seem to think that all we need is to be educated, to think and plan, to organise and introduce certain measures of legislation which will equalise economic conditions, provide work for all, guarantee to everyone good housing conditions, and insure equality of opportunity for all. These are the modern counterparts of what was once expressed as ‘liberty, equality and fraternity,’ and in still earlier days, by the words, ‘peace, peace.’ The whole system is so simple. There is but little wrong, and it can soon be put right.
    But we must examine this position a little more closely and critically, and we must face the question which immediately suggests itself to us – namely, why it is that mankind takes such a superficial view of the problem and its cure.
    Why are we all so ready to listen to and applaud the false prophets who cry, ‘Peace, peace’? The answer to the question is also supplied by the statement of Jeremiah. It is that the minds of the false prophets are so biased and prejudiced, and so controlled by certain ideas, as to make them incapable of true and clear thinking.
    This shows itself in two main ways. We see it, first of all, in their general attitude, in their very approach to the problem. We see jauntiness of spirit and manner that ever characterises such people. They give the impression from the very outset that they are determined not to find much wrong. We hear much these days about wishful thinking, and, whatever we may think of what has been called the new psychology, we all must agree that we tend to be controlled by prejudices, and that nothing is as difficult as to think freely and with an open mind.
    I will stop there for now.

    Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Truth Unchanged, Unchanging.

  2. tim says:

    Advice for the new government. Give up expensive and futile efforts to control the climate. These penalise the poor today, both in the UK and in the developing world. The benefits, if any, are uncertain and far in the future. Instead, develop an energy policy that will provide cheap and reliable power and encourage the growth of productive industry in the UK.

    • Alasdair says:

      Tim, I’m sorry! I’ve never read 5 lines in any forum with which I agreed less. Climate change is the greatest threat faced by the world poor. The data supporting this assertion would swamp this blog a thousand times over.

      • tim says:

        ‘Catastrophic climate change’, eh? Perhaps you could outline some of this data – two or three lines will do – and I will outline a response (or concede I don’t have one – possibly). Meanwhile, apologies to Quentin. ‘However entrancing it is to wander unchecked through a garden of bright images’, I fear we may be enticing your thread from ‘other subjects of almost equal importance’.

      • Alasdair says:

        OK for starters how about the following institutions which are either headquartered in my city or have branch establishments here. All have websites with links to proper independent scholarship.
        1) Rowett Research Institute
        2) MacAuley Land Use Research Inst.
        3) The James Hutton Institute
        4) The Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.
        I am not aware of any genuine scholarly entity which does not claim that Global Warming is potentially catastrophic and most likely partly man-made – if such an entity even exists.

      • Alan says:

        There is a very recent article in the Washington Post, which references some current paper published in Science that I haven’t read. It talks about a possible threat to the jet stream. There will be articles that say otherwise I don’t doubt, but I add it here just to show that it’s not a concern that has been laid to rest.

        Link below if I’ve done this correctly –

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/16/the-arctic-is-unraveling-due-to-global-warming-and-the-consequences-will-be-global/

        I also read recently about some indications that the sea might be beginning to feed some of the heat it has absorbed over the past 15 years or so back into the atmosphere – along with some other signs that the warming pause might be coming to an end.

    • Geordie says:

      Hear, hear

  3. Hock says:

    The first few verses of the Acts of apostles give a wonderful insight into how a society can flourish with a ‘fair shares for all’ policy, that was carried out. They (The Acts,) are also a lesson on how quickly these ideals fall apart. In times since when something similar has been tried there is a similar early enthusiasm and success only for it soon to fall apart, often quite ruthlessly , when greed, envy and power grabs inevitably occur.
    Perhaps in this country it is ‘as good as it gets,’ and we have to make do with a ‘warts and all’ approach.

    • overload says:

      Hock,

      I see nothing in the Book of Acts which shows how quickly true Christian community falls apart; perhaps you speak of the apocryphal or posthumous Book of Acts?

      You refer I think to the beginning of Acts: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised…”
      This might suggest to us to stay tight and insular in the RCC, not going out into the world, awaiting the Spirit.
      Some possible problems with this, for those of us in the UK:
      1) Britain also lays a claim to being the New Jerusalem. This might seem laughable to a RC, and no doubt in many ways it is. However the contradictions and paradoxes of the True Church are, I believe, deep and hard to fathom.
      2) If Britain is synonymous with Samaria, then perhaps we are not primarily in Jerusalem (Rome) in the first place; are we already primarily in Samaria (UK/London)?

      • overload says:

        3) (applies also to other nations) The Holy Spirit has already come. So what are we waiting for?
        Why the unbelief?

      • overload says:

        4) The Holy Spirit has already come and all(?) nations have already cursed Him, so there’s no going back now.

  4. milliganp says:

    Without, at this point, contributing to the immediate discussion (I lose my temper very quickly with climate change deniers, those who deny evolution and promoters of homeopathy) the thesis that Labour lost because they failed to engage the aspiring middle class is far from certain. Another analysis was that the Labour campaign failed to engage their core working class constituency who defected to UKIP and the Conservative party because Labour did not seem to represent them. For those on lower incomes in unskilled jobs immigration represents a more present threat and thus a greater political reality than university fees or non-dom tax payments. My father was a postman and in my youth large swathes of the working class hoped for better lives for their children and encouraged their education and this class was solidly supported by the trade union movement; the trade unions were conspicuous by their absence in this election and there was scant evidence of Labour concern for working-class issues.

  5. Vincent says:

    It is unfortunate that the Conservative Government has such a small majority. There are a number of right wing MPs who will now be strong enough to baulk Cameron’s intentions. I fear that this will make it hard to govern in the interests of society as a whole. For instance the screw is already tight on welfare payments, and it will undoubtedly get tighter. Even those, like Quentin, who voted Conservative will need to be highly and publicly critical if we are to avoid injustices. All this is made worse by the collapsed state of Labour which, as things stand at the moment, poses no threat in 5 years time.

    I never thought I would say this, but I hope that Labour is able to return to a kind of ‘New Labour’ which would be able to offer a balanced society as an eventual alternative.

    • milliganp says:

      The SNP offered a form of socialism entirely unlike New Labour and swept the board in Scotland, perhaps what we need is a genuine socialist alternative rather than conservatism-lite – and leaders who sound credible.

      • Alasdair says:

        The SNP would shudder to hear themselves being described as socalists. They were first formed by a Tory breakaway and were dubbed the Tartan Tories. Attempts to drag them to the left in the eighties (Jim Sillars, Margot MacDonald etc) were fairly robustly put down and the proponents obliged to quit the party and go independent. They have invented the term “progressive” to describe themselves – or maybe the term existed before and they have hijacked it.

    • tim says:

      Millliganp, it is certainly prudent of you to leave the ‘global warming’ controversy to others. Another quotation from ‘Headlong Hall’:
      Mr Panscope. Death and fury, sir——
      Mr Escot. Say no more, sir. That apology is quite sufficient.
      Mr Panscope. Apology, sir?
      Mr Escot. Even so, sir. You have lost your temper, which I consider equivalent to a confession that you have the worst of the argument.

  6. milliganp says:

    Re your comment on zero-hour contracts and the comparison with casual labour. In the past casual labour has been assocoated with agriculture and other seasonal work (extra delivery staff at Christmas being an example). Yesterday delivery company Whistl laid of 2000 staff all of whom received no payment because they were all on zero hours contracts; these were not casual labourers – the post has to be delivered every day.

    • Quentin says:

      Yes, Whistl (formerly TNT Post) has taken this action because they are unable to obtain satisfactory bank funding. But we should remember that over a number of years it provided employment for people who would otherwise have been unemployed. And part of the tragedy is that many of its operatives were enthusiastic about their work. I imagine that, had Whistl taken on the costs of offering normal contractual employment, they would not have been viable in the first place.

      Of course there have been abuses with zero-hours contracts, but there are many businesses which can only cope this way because of volatile demand. Control it, to the extent possible — yes. Outlaw the system on some kind of theoretical principle — no.

      • milliganp says:

        Whistl is wholly owned by PostNL, a listed company with a market capitalisation of €1,8 Billion. This isn’t a startup business but exactly the sort of business that exploits zero hours contracts. Employees in the rest of Europe get normal statutory protection.

  7. Geordie says:

    My “hear hear” was in reply to the second post which was from Tim. I don’t how it ended up where it did.

    • John L says:

      Frustrating, isn’t it Geordie? Something about the structure of the blog. Tim’s second post doesn’t have “Reply” after it. Thus you have to find an earlier “Reply” which, you hope, will insert your comment in a suitable place.
      Personally I find this frustrating when trying to partake in a developing argument. I daresay someone more erudite will point out what a simple Simon I am, but I had some views on climate change which I kept out of the argument for two reasons, – One, I would suffer from the same problem as yours and Two, I would make Milliganp lose his temper.
      For what it’s worth, we know that over its long life the Earth goes through cycles of heating and cooling. We get told that the current warming cycle “may be” or “is likely to be” contributed to by Man’s activities – I have not yet heard “actually is” quoted in the argument. In either event, it is the height of arrogance to suggest we can do anything about it. We might as well suggest means of cooling the Sun.

      • milliganp says:

        IF the warming cycle exists AND “actually is” a product of carbon emmisions, why would doing something be arrogant?
        Obviously if it is down to some natural cycle, emmisions from Vocanic activity etc then we would probably find ourselves doing a planetary King Canute (and yes, I do know that Canute was proving the limit of his regal powers).

      • Alan says:

        We punched a hole in the ozone layer and it recovered when we stopped contaminating the atmosphere with the pollutant that was doing the damage. We seem perfectly capable of both harming the planet and of doing something about it. Once upon a time bacteria managed to radically change the oxygen levels on a global scale. Dismissing our potential impact as arrogance seems to fly in the face of evidence. What reason do you have for considering it arrogant?

      • John L says:

        Alan, Only that the natural cycle of cooling and warming over centuries is on a vast scale, and we can do nothing to influence it. The Earth has been in a warming phase for a long time now – when did the Thames last freeze over? But then along comes today’s technological man and says “Oh look! I did this, I can fix it.” Arrogance? We occupy this planet in God’s good will, and are subject to forces we cannot control.
        Climate warming is one of the many new religions, and I speak against it at my peril.

      • Alan says:

        John L – “The Earth has been in a warming phase for a long time now”

        We have been experiencing a modern warm period for quite some time. You know that. I know that. Climate scientists know it too. How can they possibly have missed it and not accounted for it when pretty much everybody with even a modicum of interest in science is aware of it?

        “But then along comes today’s technological man and says “Oh look! I did this, I can fix it.””

        That is not what today’s technological man is saying. They are not suggesting that we are responsible for the long term cycle or the long term warm bit of it that we are in. What they are warning about is a trend in average global temperature that cannot be accounted for by natural cycles.

        “Arrogance?”

        What seems much more arrogant to me is for so many people who aren’t experts in this field to imagine that they have spotted some important error in the research and findings of the people who are experts. They confidently write off the bulk of a profession as knowing little or nothing about a subject when compared to themselves. I might as well walk into a conference of top surgeons and start telling where they are going wrong in transplanting organs.

      • St.Joseph says:

        Alan.
        I wonder why your comment makes me think of ‘modern mankinds relationship to God.
        by way of their thinking for what is good for society!

      • John L says:

        Contrary to popular opinion, I do claim a modicum of scientific knowledge, and regrettably I remain to be convinced.
        Even more regrettably, ‘expertise’ in a particular field does not guarantee freedom from bias. I’m sorry, but there are too many sacred cows out there.
        However, I did acknowledge that I spoke at my peril.

      • Alan says:

        John L – “Contrary to popular opinion, I do claim a modicum of scientific knowledge, and regrettably I remain to be convinced.”

        Hence your understanding that we are have been in a modern warm period. But why hold that fact up in contrast to the general “expert” opinion as if they’ve somehow missed it when considering their findings? Or was there some other point you were making there that I have overlooked?

        “Even more regrettably, ‘expertise’ in a particular field does not guarantee freedom from bias.”

        Nor lack of expertise of course. So vulnerability to bias is not something that favours the alternative view.

      • John L says:

        Alan,
        Neither of us is likely to convince the other. The small point I was trying to get across is that the natural heating and cooling cycles of our planetary system are massive and the recent man-made effects are trivial BY CONTRAST. However we are being battered by “experts” who want to take the whole of the blame upon mankind, and then add insult to injury by claiming we can reverse it. They may claim they see an excess warming over the “expected” value, but then another equally credible bunch tell us there has been NO excess heating for several years.
        The argument becomes almost fanatical, and poor Joe Bloggs has to put up with changes of light bulbs, changes in fuel costs and the rest of the (to repeat a phrase) sacred cows dreamt up by the self-righteous unelected bodies who interfere in these things.

      • Alan says:

        John L,

        “The small point I was trying to get across is that the natural heating and cooling cycles of our planetary system are massive and the recent man-made effects are trivial BY CONTRAST.”

        Do you feel that climatologists haven’t taken this into account before expressing their concerns about the additional warming that isn’t accounted for by any know natural cause?

        “However we are being battered by “experts” who want to take the whole of the blame upon mankind”

        I’ve not heard any statement from an authoritative body that wanted to take the whole blame. The typical view seems to me to be that there is high confidence that we are responsible for the additional warming.

        “but then another equally credible bunch tell us there has been NO excess heating for several years.”

        Indeed. We have credible people on both sides of that point. Both groups acknowledging a relative pause in atmospheric warming over 15 years or so … and both with views on what that means. So, being left in the middle, what other reasonable option does Joe Bloggs have but to defer to the bulk of credible sources rather than imagine he has what it takes to spot the better scientific argument amongst the few?

      • John L says:

        Alan,
        “Do you feel that climatologists haven’t taken this into account before expressing their concerns about the additional warming that isn’t accounted for by any known natural cause?”

        In all honesty, I do feel that. The key phrase in your point is “any KNOWN natural cause”.
        In truth I do not believe that climatologists sufficiently understand the “big picture” to be able to rule on our responsibility for small fluctuations within it.

        I freely acknowledge that you have a valid point, and that many believe they have a valid argument in favour of man-made effects.

        I choose to disagree, and I do not consider myself an utter fool for doing so. The fact that others may so consider me explains my use of heated words such as “arrogance” or “sacred cow”. I am sorry if my view offends you.

  8. tim says:

    Alasdair – May 14, 2015 at 10:17 pm
    “I presume, sir, you are one of those who value an authority more than a reason”. I hadn’t expected a response along these lines – I’d expected you to set out what disasters were going to result from Global Warming (no doubt I could find this out by consulting your authorities, and the data on which they rely). But never mind. These authorities are cited to show that a) Global Warming is potentially disastrous b) it is at least partly man-made. We can agree on this! Now that we know that, what do we do?
    We don’t necessarily do anything. For a ‘just war’ against Global Warming, there are three conditions. First, that it is a real threat (a condition not met unless it is not only potentially Catastrophic but also that the catastrophe is moderately likely to occur). Secondly, that the cure will not be worse than the disease. [We need not apply the Precautionary Principle – that the cure must be demonstrated to be incapable of doing harm – unless perhaps if a technical fix (such as seeding the ocean with iron filings) is proposed]. Finally (as with a Just War), that it has a reasonable chance of success. In my view, none of these conditions are met. Until they all are, the Government should not concern itself with the problem.

    • Alasdair says:

      I value an authority as a source of a reason. The disasters which are likely going to result do not require me to catalogue them, nor indeed the comparatively mild ones which have already occurred (with apologies to those who have suffered).
      If you are familiar with the principal of Risk Assessment – each potential hazard can be scored out of 4 for “impact” on the x-axis and out of 4 for “likelyhood-of-occurance” on the y-axis. Given that I would rate the former 4/4 and the latter 3/4, this results in a risk rating of 5 (distance measured from the origin or calculated from pythagoras). Above a risk rating of 2, “control measures” must be detailed and put in place, often with legal scrutiny.
      From that subjective analysis the risk is very-high/extreme, requiring robust control measures or project cancellation. Given that the “project” is the actual world economy, and our lifestyles, which cannot be cancelled, but merely mitigated, we (who exactly are we, if not governments?) are therefore obliged to put in place rigorous control measures with immediate effect.
      I don’t accept the “war” analogy. The technologies, in most cases already exist and have been piloted. Studies conducted on behalf of the Scottish government indicated the potential creation of 10s of thousands of jobs even given the necessary transfer across of capital and expertise from the oil sector.

      • twr57 says:

        Thanks for this reasoned response, Alasdair. Clearly we assess the risks very differently. You do not specify the detailed risks with any particularity, so I can’t do much to set your mind at rest about them. But I can say this. The physics is reliable – but does not predict in detail what will happen, or when. The warnings of doom in the longer term are much less reliable. If we had unlimited resources and no other problems, we should certainly insure against them. That is not where we are. In my view, existing technologies are clearly inadequate. The wind does not always blow (and often it blows too hard) and the sun does not always shine (particularly at night). Biofuels take food out of the mouths of the poor (the EU Parliament is on to that one). Prudent sums on more research would certainly be justified, as would more investment in nuclear (however unpopular with true Greens). Economic forecasts are intrinsically reliable, and I can summon no faith in the one you mention.

      • twr57 says:

        I meant to add…
        There is an enormous amount that it would make sense to work on – that would both improve our current position and make it easier to tackle problems that could get worse in the future. Why can’t we concentrate on these – rather than devoting so much largely fruitless effort to future problems that may never happen? Adapt (to what actually happens) – don’t mitigate – to prevent what might or might not.

    • Alan says:

      Alasdair – “I value an authority as a source of a reason.”

      I see no sensible alternative. Not without people placing more confidence in their own knowledge than that of the experts. So when I come across claims here that climate scientists are ignoring the warming pause or its potential to continue as opposed to climatologists telling me why they think there has been a pause and why they think it wont continue I value the voices that speak with some authority over those that speak without or with less.

      Tim – “First, that it is a real threat (a condition not met unless it is not only potentially Catastrophic but also that the catastrophe is moderately likely to occur).”

      So I turn to climatologists for what they think is likely to to occur. I have, in just one aspect of the possible threat, the average of several predictions from climatologists about the continued sea level rise over the coming decades. It has been accelerating of late I am told and it is expected to continue to do so. It’s true that they don’t go into so many details about how catastrophic this may be. Perhaps they are wanting to avoid the criticism that they are being “alarmist”. A couple of feet in the next hundred years or so. Continuing after that. Having looked to the people best placed to tell me what is likely to occur, do I then go on to compare the estimated costs/effectiveness of the cure to an estimate of the costs/effectiveness of doing nothing about it should this prediction pan out? Or should I compare the cost of the cure to a predicted “it might never happen” scenario for some particular reason?

  9. tim says:

    Milliganp, on another point: “Employees in the rest of Europe get normal statutory protection.” Surely there is a legitimate question as to how much (if any) statutory protection should be normal? It is alleged (to me, plausibly) that one reason it is so difficult to find a job in France is because it is so difficult to sack people that employers are very unwilling to run the risk of taking them on.

    • milliganp says:

      PostNL doesn’t operate in France, so your comparison is irrelevant.

    • milliganp says:

      Coming back to your points, there are various arguments relating to flexibility in the labour market (which is economist-speak for the ability of employers to hire and fire at will); The USA has very high productivity and high labour market flexibility but France, which I admit has serious labour market inflexibility still achieves higher productivity than the UK (France, Germany and Benelux are all in tier 1, the UK tier 3), so their labour laws do not seem to cripple businesses.
      If we assume that UK legislation relating to employee rights is in general fair and equitable, it begs the question why do we allow some businesses to effectively opt out of this protection?

  10. Nektarios says:

    Where are we going with all this talk of Climate Change and Global warming. The two are entirely different. This plant was warmer in the middle ages than it is now. We discussed this topic to death
    just about, but the facts were not received and people believe what they want to. But there is corruption and Communism at the heart of this aspect on Climate change.

    As is usual on the blog, one gets bogged down with peripherals to the problems at home and abroad and never get to the heart of what the real problems are which is Man himself.
    There is no point talking about political change, business practices and so on until we get to the heart of the matter what is wrong with man? Is it any different from what it was centuries ago?
    Is man still lying, cheating, greedy, envious, violent &c.
    If we want a solution to the world’s ills at home and abroad we must start very close to ourselves
    even in our own hearts and minds.
    I thought I covered this with my posting at the beginning of this topic, but instead of seeing the big picture, we descend into particulars.

  11. tim says:

    Nektarios – on a point of terminology, you are quite wrong – Climate Change is simply Global Warming, rebranded.
    No doubt the best solution to the world’s ills is to be found in changes in the heart of man, but this is difficult to legislate for. Maybe the idea of the Big Society was a good one, but it seems to have been abandoned as a failure. Advice to the incoming government should be on choice of policies – support fracking or windmills, put up or abolish the minimum wage, more cash for Scotland or abolish the Barnett formula, and so on.

    • milliganp says:

      In the spirit of Tim’s response and staying on topic but remaining in the field of energy policy. Fracking seems to raise almost visceral, irrational opposition. For me, the upside of fracking is about energy security rather than cost. At present Saudi Arabia and Russia dominate European energy supplies and both have used energy supply as a weapon. Although fracking can’t compete with $50 oil, provided the higher cost of extraction is money largely spent inside the UK the reduction in imported oil is a net benefit to the overall UK economy.
      Similarly I seem to remember that the last agreement relating to building a nuclear power station represented a production cost equivalent to $190 / barrel oil. So do we build for security and continuity of supply, do we build to be “green” or do we abandon on the basis of cost.

    • Vincent says:

      Tim, I think you’re right. If we wait for changes in the heart of man we will be waiting literally until kingdom come. What we have to do is to work step by step. But, even there. we need some objectives. My concern is that achieving fairness in our society is threatened by a Conservative government dependent on its right wing MPs. We will shortly have the Queen’s Speech. Here we must look out for the right balance between change which can lead to prosperity, and provision for the human needs of society. Here are one or two thoughts.

      Raising the minimum wage to the living wage, perhaps adjusted for different areas in the country (might take three years). Increasing assistance for families with young children, allowing one parent to be at home for longer periods — based on accepting that a parent at home may be a better long term investment for society than going out to work. Dropping, or radically changing, the bedroom tax. Finding some way of reproducing the opportunity and the social mobility achieved through the grammar school system. Setting up a well publicised charitable institution into which those who feel they do not need, say, free TV licences and cold weather payments, can donate.

      That’s for starters. But in each case, care must be taken that the potentially unforeseen consequences of change have been properly analysed.

    • Nektarios says:

      Tim
      Sorry to disagree with you, but Climate Change and Global warming are not just Global Warming rebranded. Global warming has to do with the planet warming up, and there is nothing man can do about that.
      Climate Change has to do with atmospheric temperature changes caused by the sun, CO2 and other gases like Methane and so on.
      As I said on Climate change before in another topic a few weeks ago, This hype about it, scaremongering morelike, has got a hidden agenda.
      As for Co2 causing climate change, yes but it is very small less than 1 degree. Even if we doubled CO2 emissions it would only raise the temperature about another 1degree in the next 100 years or so. That would be the limit because we do not have the means to produce for manufacturing purposes anymore.
      Lastly, and so answer, yet again, John Candido, Science is not done by consensus, but by observation, measurement and experiment. Computer Modelling as been shown up by those seeking to win the argument for Climate Change to be intellectual fraud and bogus.

  12. milliganp says:

    On the topic of poverty, in our own society there is much about poverty that does not reduce to finance. There exists in our society a real problem of poverty of hope and aspiration. The recent PISA survey from the OECD shows that there is much that can be done in education. The countries that do well not only have good teachers but education systems where personal discipline is expected. The experience of many of the teachers that I know is that poorly performing children almost always have problems at home and often difficult parents. A nationwide programme to set standards of expectation of parents could attempt to address this. Expectations that children arrive at school having had a decent breakfast, a proper nights sleep and with uniform correct, homework completed etc.

    • overload says:

      On the topic of poverty, we do well as Christians to consider what this really means.
      “I wish you were hot or cold, but because you are neither, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
      So, Jesus tells us, the complacent who have everything they ‘need’/want are, in reality, “pitifully poor, blind and naked”. The antithesis being that those who are pitifully poor, blind and/or naked in the conventional sense, are not necessarily so at all.
      Jesus tells us we are ALL in the same boat.
      With “treasure stored up in heaven” we are rich—with “salve for our eyes” we can see—with “white clothing” we are clothed and clean; without these things anyone from any nation and any circumstance is, so to speak, crammed on a boat from Lybia stranded in the ocean, with no rescue boat in view: “pitifully poor, blind and naked”.

      “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

  13. John Candido says:

    Climate change is a reality that we must tackle to avoid a certain abys. Should lazy, selfish and irresponsible attitudes take command of our societies then we are headed towards a certain self-immolation. Whilst climatology by necessity relies on computer modelling in order to make predictions, the only counter evidence that I could consider credible would be another computer model that clearly demonstrates the errors contained in the modelling of thousands of climate scientists. This is the strength of the scientific consensus that denialists are up against and I simply laugh at the ignorance that they spout at us. It is an ignorance that is usually accompanied or bolstered by pecuniary interests or conservative ideology.

    Doing nothing is not an option and we are in peril if society were to abrogate their responsibility by not taking considered action. I would equate climate denialism with the tooth fairy, magic, make believe, Santa clause and the spotted spruiking of snake oil salesmen.

    A story that has arrived in my inbox today makes for some sober reading. The Larsen B iceshelf in Antarctica is teetering and is predicted to collapse by NASA in 2020, which is less than five years away. If this story does not scare you out of your complacency, what will?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/05/15/this-antarctic-ice-shelf-could-collapse-by-2020-nasa-says/

    • twr57 says:

      To be scared by an alarmist prediction, you need faith that it will come true. The record to date does not justify this. In this millennium (which admittedly has only lasted 15 years so far) there has been no substantial warming at all. The UK Met Office predicted an increase of 0.3C – which hasn’t happened. This in spite of the rise of CO2 in that time.

      A computer model is supported by making correct predictions. It is invalidated by failing to do so. Your idea that another computer model is necessary to do this is idiosyncratic.
      Your equating of ‘climate denialism’ (which I charitably interpret to mean the view that any changes in the climate in the coming century will probably not be catastrophic ) with the tooth fairy says more about you than about the topic under discussion.

      • tim says:

        This was intended as a comment on milliganp at May 16, 2015 at 9:29 am, a comment I agree with. I think we should build for continuity of supply – though whether that justifies the very high price of energy from the nuclear plant that is being commissioned is less clear.

      • tim says:

        Certainly, it is well established that ‘there ain’t no sanity clause”.

      • John Candido says:

        When the biologist Charles Darwin published ‘On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection’ in 1859 its reception was controversial. His findings were treated with suspicion and disbelief. Climate change is a contemporary controversy despite it being the work of thousands of scientists who have reached a broad consensus on the anthropogenic basis of global warming and its negative trajectory for the planet. Much like society’s reaction to Darwin’s seminal work on the theory of evolution 156 years ago, it seems to me that nothing has changed.

        ‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.’

        (Charles Darwin, in ‘The Descent of Man & Selection in Relation to Sex’, first published in 1871)

    • twr57 says:

      Yes. The other upside of fracking is that it produces less CO2 than coal.

      • tim says:

        This was intended as a comment on milliganp at May 16, 2015 at 9:29 am, a comment I agree with. I think we should build for continuity of supply – though whether that justifies the very high price of energy from the nuclear plant that is being commissioned is less clear.

  14. John Candido says:

    Here is an interesting resource for anyone looking to debunk crackpots spouting nonsense. It is called ‘The Skeptic’s Dictionary’ and it is available as a website, an eBook, or an iPhone app.

    http://www.skepdic.com/

  15. John Nolan says:

    I thought we had agreed to differ on the subject of anthropogenic climate change. Yet Mr Milligan still seems to believe in the existence of ‘climate change deniers’ despite the obvious fact that those sceptical about ACC actually argue that climate change has always existed. Now Mr Candido enters the fray with an even more absurd epithet, ‘climate denialism’, which suggests that ACC sceptics would deny that there is such a thing as climate. Lurking in the background of Mr Candido’s imagination are the dark conservative forces which impede mankind’s inexorable progress towards a brave new world.

    To go back to the original topic, Labour Party politicians would all benefit from doing a six month stint behind the bar of a working-class boozer. They will discover that working people have similar concerns to those of the so-called middle classes; they want to keep their earnings at least at the national average so that their standard of living can improve, they expect to run a car or two and take foreign holidays (Las Vegas is a favourite destination), they worry about their children’s education, and they don’t appreciate their taxes being used to subsidize those whom they regard as ‘scroungers’. Their views on immigration, ‘gays’, feminism and the rest of the equality agenda so dear to the hearts of Hampstead socialists are, shall we say, robust. They are less class-conscious than their parents’ generation and regard trade unions as an irrelevance. They are more likely to spend their leisure time on the golf course than at the dog-track.

    • Alan says:

      John Nolan – “Yet Mr Milligan still seems to believe in the existence of ‘climate change deniers’ despite the obvious fact that those sceptical about ACC actually argue that climate change has always existed.”

      Are you suggesting that the people who use this term actually believe and intend it to mean “people who think climate change has never ever happened”?

      • John Nolan says:

        Alan – ‘Are you suggesting that people who use this term actually believe and intend it to mean “people who think climate change has never ever happened”?’

        It would help if people were more accurate in their terminology. It isn’t difficult to say what you mean given a reasonable command of English. What I am implying is more sinister. The term is intended as a comparison with ‘Holocaust denier’ which in parts of Europe would leave one open to criminal proceedings. It is a crude and blatant attempt to stifle debate.

      • Alan says:

        John Nolan – “What I am implying is more sinister. The term is intended as a comparison with ‘Holocaust denier’ which in parts of Europe would leave one open to criminal proceedings. It is a crude and blatant attempt to stifle debate.”

        I think I see what you meant now. Your opening above was a sarcastic device to imply something other than what you actually said about the denial of any climate change whatsoever by ACC sceptics.

        “It isn’t difficult to say what you mean given a reasonable command of English.”

        I think it’s perhaps a bit like handwriting. It seems easy when you are the one who knows what you wanted to say.

    • Peter D. Wilson says:

      ” Labour Party politicians would all benefit from doing a six month stint behind the bar of a working-class boozer. ” All politicians would benefit from such a stint – or better, five years – in any serious employment outside politics.

    • milliganp says:

      On one simple point, only 8% of the UK population play golf so, although this figure may be higher than the number of people who go to the dogs, it is hardly an indicator of working class values. The working class boozer is also a thing of the past since the government banned smoking in pubs. Your stereotype of the working class is sadly a creation of your own imagination.

      • John Nolan says:

        Not so, Milligan. I actually served behind the bar of a basic street corner working-class pub in 2006 and 2007. When the smoking ban came in the landlord locked the front door at 11 p.m., the ashtrays came out and everybody lit up (including me, although I had not smoked for ten years but felt the occasion called for a cigar). I’m not making class stereotypes; those I served were in blue-collar jobs, earned good enough money and would have described themselves as working class.

        What many fail to realize is that some of us, although highly educated, are capable of making deductions based on experience. People like the Milibands have imbibed socialist principles on a comfortable theoretical level but have never had to mix with ordinary people unless as politicians canvassing votes. They have no military experience which necessitates understanding the men under your command. Quentin knows this and so do I.

      • milliganp says:

        John, do you enjoy feeling superior to others? To assume that only one form of human experience is valid is monumental arrogance.

  16. Nektarios says:

    Alasdair
    I was not referring to you personally, sorry if you got that impression.
    ICCC is not an elected body by us. The same applies to the UN and the EU. totally unelected people on a gravy-train, and power mad.
    If you would Google up Agenda 21, you will see what it involves for the us all in the West. And how they are using the Climate Change debate as a cover for what they are really up to.
    I would also point out that Agenda 21 is a UN agreed document. Please read it, I would like to know your and others views then.

    • Alasdair says:

      Sorry N, I didn’t really take it personally – I was being facetious! Though it does seem to me that the balance of hidden-agenda-ness lies heavily on the side of those claiming that we don’t have a problem.

    • milliganp says:

      The WikiPedia entry on Agenda 21 starts “Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.”
      Wow, that really sounds scary, are they going to use black helicopters to enforce this voluntary non-binding agreement?

    • milliganp says:

      The “unelected” appellation of UN and EC bodies is a canard. We elect a government and the government negotiates with other European and world governments to appoint leadership in EU and UN bodies; they don’t have a direct mandate but political institutions exist which have scrutiny and oversight of their actions. Direct election is not the only way of achieving transparency and accountability.

      • Nektarios says:

        Milliganp
        Now you are beginning to get the message!

      • Nektarios says:

        Milliganp.
        Believe me, neither the UN or the EU are truly transparent. I wonder if you realize at this point in time the EU and the UN are vying with each other for the New World Order,
        and global power. Don’t be nieve!

    • overload says:

      Nektarios,

      I am not aware that the Spirit has made a specific declaration either way with regards to climate change and global warming? Both you and Milliganp seem to speak as if otherwise. Do either of you speak with authority by the Holy Spirit?
      My opinion is that perhaps the Lord is leaving it to the realm of human wisdom to make a relative judgement on this matter—or we can suspend judgement, which I suspect is more in keeping with the Spirit, broadly speaking.
      To my mind, as Christians, we may be entitled to our personal opinion on this and other political matters (we all have different lives and experiences and modes of operation/influence, and Jesus Christ is not a God of confinement, but of freedom). Perhaps we can “test the spirits”—and we should allow for the opinions of others which may differ to our own. The important thing I believe is that we all take this and other political issues lightly, with right perspective, getting things in proportion—in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and those things of which the Lord has made specific and/or absolute declarations.

      Nektarios you mention Agenda 21 and you have mentioned before about the ‘Illuminati’, and also about Free Masonry in the RCC. Have you heard of Share International?

      • Nektarios says:

        Overload
        As a Christian, I am open to the influence of the Holy Spirit in my life, ministry and my Salvation in Christ.
        I think if you take a prayerful read of the Bible, you will find the Holy Spirit does indeed
        speak of Climate Change in the sense that it is a non-event.
        Please read, Genesis 8:22. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, summer and winter and day and night shall not cease.”

        On the other point you mention about Share International – my reading of that website is like so many others of that ilk; there is nothing Christian about it, more like comparative religion where they lump all their gods and goddesses thought up by men, and seek to put those on the same level as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Stick with the truth as it is in Christ. Remember, Christ said, Matthew 28: 18. “All power is given unto me, in heaven and earth”.

      • milliganp says:

        Overload, do you believe the Spirit made a specific utterance about the Holocaust, or Stalin’s death camps or the Rwandan genocide? It’s a wonderful get-out of personal and collective Christian responsibility to actually do something by requiring the Holy Spirit to make a specific utterance to guide us, or we could just love our neighbour as ourselves.

      • overload says:

        So Nektarios and Milliganp are apparently occupying two poles. Can they both have the same religion, I wonder?

        Milliganp, your comparison with genocide is skewed and disproportionate. These things have (we are told) already happened, so are in the realm of historical fact. Human influenced Global warming (and especially the particulars of this) is not in this category—there might be consensus about this?
        Considering now your question regarding the Holocaust…
        From a RC perspective, is there dogma that requires all Catholics to believe that the Holocaust took place?
        I cannot see that the Holy Spirit would require all Christians to believe in the Holocaust. To not actively deny, perhaps. However the suspension of belief/judgement, when not fundamental to faith/conscience, is surely a necessary freedom.

        Nektarios, thank you for your quote. This speaks to me with far more authority than does Milliganp. However I am still not convinced by your standpoint. An inverted comparison I might make, although exaggerated; Scripture tells us (Romans 11) that Israel is to be saved, the implication being that Israel will be (in the last days), as it was then, a nation. So, in seeking the fulfilment of Scripture, does this licence Christians to support the Zionist nationalist agenda (which is an anti-Christ agenda, since the Zionists still currently deny Jesus Christ), and thus also to support or at least turn a blind eye to the persecution of the Palestinians? My point being that whether or not the scientific consensus is, in reality, right or wrong, there is none the less a clear picture that man is damaging his planet/environment in various ways. It might even be that he is destroying it; if so, and to fulfil Genesis 8:22, God could intervene to change man’s behaviour—or God’s final judgement may come before man completes mans destructive work. Either way there is no justification for arrogance and complacency on our part—we should bring light to the unbelievers that they might believe; if one mans conscience is upset by climate issues, he may need to be led along the stepping-stones of his concerns towards the gospel rather than being told that he has a meaningless or evil agenda when this might not be the case.

        Nektarios, your reply suggests to me that you did not previously know about and neither now have understanding of what Share International is about. (However, again, thank you for the Scripture verse.)

  17. Hock says:

    Quentin’s introduction to this blog topic has not a single word on climate change / global warming that I can find and yet my rough estimate has this particular issue being about 90% of the replies.
    Perhaps we can abandon all future discussion on social justice and just enjoy the weather.

    • John Nolan says:

      Hock, I’ll drink to that!

      • tim says:

        I’m sorry (if probably not as sorry as I should be) that the topic of ‘climate change’ has taken up so much of the discussion. But I have to defend raising it, because it IS a matter of social justice. The Climate Act (the child of the late leader of the UK Labour Party) imposes burdens on the poorest in British society which they are ill able to bear. Loading fuel utility bills to pay for green energy subsidies gives the poorest the choice between cold and hunger. And winter cold kills.

        But more damage could be caused in the Third World by seeking to deprive them of cheap energy. Fortunately such efforts are unlikely to succeed. Neither China nor India will stand for it. It is really distressing that well-meaning charities such as Oxfam and Cafod feel it necessary to support this. I have been referred to various websites to set me straight – perhaps I may retaliate with one who puts the opposite case. The author, Matt Ridley, is a scientist of some reputation, in spite of his optimism. The link is
        http://rationaloptimist.com/blog/fossil-fuel-divestment-makes-no-sense.aspx

  18. milliganp says:

    One of humanities better traits is the way we collectively rise to a challenge. As a result of the “climate-change” agenda the world has massively improved energy saving and alternate energy technologies. Formula 1 racing now involves cars that get much of their performance from energy recovery and electric motors and this technology is trickling down into commercial products. Solar PV generation costs are decreasing in cost at 14% CAGR and will be able to compete with oil in 10 years (it will probably be 20 years before solar PV makes sense in the UK). We have more efficient light bulbs, refrigerators washing machines and TVs, all because of an agenda so many people are happy to describe as a conspiracy.

    http://planetsave.com/2011/01/19/global-warming-what-if-its-a-big-hoax/

    • Alasdair says:

      Good point. The American Indycar series (their F1) uses ethanol derived from “corn” grown in the midwest. Since this is a biofuel, it is carbon-neutral and is helping to revitalise the midwest agri-economy – especially when it rolls out to a wider market.
      The largest thermal power station in Scotland has been converted to CHP (combined heat and power) and there is a project to “scrub” the flue gasses and reinject the CO2 into a depleted offshore gas reservoir – known as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The success of this project has resulted in huge orders to design similar retrofits to units abroad – including India and China.
      Glasgow Univ recently demonstrated the possibility of storing hydrgen in a fluid which can then be liberated in the vehicle engine. This removes the need to have large quantities of pressurised hydrogen stored everywhere. GU have set up a commercial arm to market this.
      The Norwegians are developing a nuclear power plant that does not require disposal of high level nuclear waste.
      My son works for a Dutch marine engineering company which used to be mainly oil-related but is now mainly involved with offshore wind and tide-related projects. Their share price is soaring.
      etc, etc, etc
      It could simply be that the pace of sustainable progress will just make the doubters extinct!

      • overload says:

        Alasdair, “…ethanol derived from “corn” grown in the midwest. Since this is a biofuel, it is carbon-neutral and is helping to revitalise the midwest agri-economy…”
        So what if it is so-called ‘carbon neutral’? If this even matters, there are other environmental problems that may be associated with the production of corn oil, although I am not sure I have heard about what these are. Palm oil is a so-called bio-fuel, and I have heard the large scale mono-culture production of this is devastating to the environment, habitats and indigenous people.

      • Alasdair says:

        overload – regarding your May 18 reply:
        The Indycar fuel is corn-derived ethanol, not corn oil. I believe actual corn-oil can be used as a substitute for diesel. Although its production does involve a monoculture, it is the same monoculture that already exists, ie the midwest corn production. It’s only the customer that’s changing. So the environment and habitat remain as they have been for a century or more. The indigenous people are the mid-west farming community who are being un-devastated as a result.

    • John L says:

      And I suffer from eye-strain trying to read by the inferior light emitted by these “more efficient” light bulbs imposed on me with no democratic option. I do remember an alternative quartz-halogen bulb which exploded, scattering fragments so hot that they burned furniture and carpet. Thank God we can still get filament bulbs designed for industrial use.
      I would like an electric car, however. Perhaps someone will eventually build one with sufficient range to take me to my nearest city centre shops and get me home again.

      • John Nolan says:

        Not wishing to endure the ‘dim religious light’ of a 60W bulb (all right for a desk lamp, useless in a room) and being told that 100W bulbs had been ‘banned’, I stockpiled a large quantity of the latter. Eight years on I still have plenty left. Perhaps my panic was premature – you can still buy them in hardware shops.

      • Alasdair says:

        Yes, I don’t like quartz-halogen bulbs – are they supposed to be energy efficient – hard to believe since they give off so much heat? In a hotel I stayed in recently you could have fried an egg on the bedside lampshade. Quite scarey in close proximity to bedding and other materials. On the other hand, if you take a whole-system approach, they and filament bulbs may not be so bad since the waste energy is given off as heat which means that you require less heating from other sources when you need it.

      • milliganp says:

        Interestingly 100W is the same amount of power, no matter what material is dissipating it! Quartz-halogen bulbs run at a higher temperature and thus produce more light for a given power (and because they run at a higher temperature the light is more “white”). Everything about QH s better – except for people who don’t understand science!

      • overload says:

        Flourescent white light I find depressing, and halogen white light I find slightly disturbing. From a bulb, I feel more comfortable with a softer yellower light. Does this mean I don’t understand science?

  19. John Nolan says:

    I understand Pope Francis is to issue an Encyclical on global warming. Pius XII in his later years read scientific journals and liked to pontificate on scientific matters. How about a votive Mass for deliverance from excessive levels of CO2? Perhaps Deacon Milligan could suggest some suitable Propers.

    • tim says:

      The last time a Pope intervened in a scientific dispute on the side of popular opinion, it didn’t prove a success in the long term.

      • Alasdair says:

        I’m not certain there is much scientific dispute – only political dispute – but maybe you can quote some references?
        Regarding the Pope’s intervention in scientific matters – didn’t Pius XII wade into the Lamaitre/Einstein dispute over the Big Bang vs Steady-State Model of the universe? In that case Einstein famously got it wrong and the Catholics prevailed!

  20. Nektarios says:

    Overload,
    I am at a loss where one gets the idea that one can fulfil God’s plan of Salvation? That plan was discussed in the Godhead before the world ever was. Salvation is God’s work. Of ourselves we are incapable of fulfilling God’s plan of Salvation.Even simply believing on Him, is a work of God and not of ourselves.

    As to advising Governments – they, like the Government, Police, Magistrates, the Courts and so on are set up by God – even though we think we set them up. But it is He that sets them up and gives them power for one reason in particular, to restrain man from doing evil. We are to obey these powers, pray for them. But as Christians, you understand this, but in the world, those not yet Christians, do not understand it.
    The perspective the Christian has is otherworldly and spiritual.
    The Christian is an enigma to this world. In it, working in it, having a family, going on holidays and all that, he is in this world but not of it. The reason for that is God has translated him/her out of it.
    Out of the kingdom of the devil, to the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. Out of the darkness, into His wonderful light, out of death, to life. So the Christian’s perspective of this world is heavenly. The tragedy is, the Christian Church in these days is not communicating in heavenly terms and perspective, but in terms of this world – a world they are in but not of.

    Zionists as you are probably well aware are Israeli nationalists, which most Jews are not. They will be saved, yes, wonderfully saved – it is part of God’s unfolding plan of Salvation of mankind.
    The Holocaust is not a matter of Dogma as it does not pertain to Salvation, but it is a matter of
    historical fact.
    At the end of the war, when the allies reached these awful concentration camps, he, President Eisenhower ordered that in all of them, as much film and photographs be taken for in a moment of clarity he realized, in the years ahead so much of the world would simply not believe such atrocities ever could take place.
    I must stop here.

  21. John Candido says:

    Here is another resource called ‘Skeptical Science’ that focuses on the issue of global warming. It is suffused with scientific rigor and successfully examines and counters all of the arguments that climate deniers offer in detail.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    • Quentin says:

      John, thank you for this link. It should certainly answer many questions.

      We have, in fact, looked at the important issue of climate change, and man’s contribution, before. And I do not see any reason to change the general view I had at the time. ‘climate change’ in the search box will bring it up.

      Climate change is an important subject for discussion. And it has the advantage of being global and remote — so we can comfortably theorise without having to do very much about it. So I do hope that some contributors will focus on the challenge of increasing rather than decreasing justice in our society over the next five years. Here, we can hope to influence opinions in the circles in which we move, and in associations to which we belong.

      • overload says:

        Quentin,
        since Miliband is now out of the picture and cannot do any good (or bad) as a national leader, my parents (long standing labour voters) decided all of a sudden to switch Indian takeaway and use Miliband’s local. This amused me and I was wondering why they did not do this before. Or maybe it was a one off.
        At my local Evangelical church last meeting we prayed for Miliband’s salvation in Christ. I was going to add to that a prayer for Cameron, but I think instinct said wrong time and place.
        BTW I did not vote, and generally do not vote for any party. I wanted to cast a ‘spoiled vote’, but I couldn’t find my ballet card!

        Nektarios, thank you for your recent reply.

      • Martha says:

        An item in this morning’s BBC Radio 4 You and Yours encourages me to mention housing which is a huge problem. It was about the provision of locks and warning devices on large waste containers so that people using them as shelters to sleep in, are not accidentally killed when the rubbish is compacted, which tragically has happened quite regularly. The thousands of people in our country who are literally homeless is a national disgrace, as is the huge number who live in substandard accommodation for which they pay exorbitant rents, and those who are trying to buy homes being sold for ever increasing prices. I do not know what the answers are, but the situation needs urgent government intervention. Leaving it to private enterprise and market forces is not working.

      • overload says:

        Quentin,
        With regards to personal action,
        I used to work at my local soup kitchen (a semi-autonomous committee-run wing of our parish), however an eating disorder, demonic disturbances, false religion, and differences of opinion & arrogance/mistrust (apparently on both sides), put an end to this.
        I see this kind of work as an opportunity not to pamper/placate those in dependency and need (the poor/homeless; those who cannot look after themselves properly for whatever reason; the mentally ill; the habitually lazy; etc.)—to do so is irresponsible and obstructive—but rather to listen to them, to nourish and encourage them to find their own feet, and an opportunity to proclaim the love and gospel of Christ—such as political correctness will allow.
        If it be the Lord’s will I would like to return to this work, and I think He is calling me to this, however I still have demonic disturbances and the dregs of eating disorder hanging over me, so it appears I am in a deadlock. Not only I can I not help others effectively and sincerely when I cannot quite effectively help myself, but also experience says that demonic mechanics dictate impossible circumstances and impossible working relationships. Thank God this is changing, however, until it has changed, there is always a doubt/confusion about this.
        (I have also put all other (self-employed payed) work on hold at the moment.)
        I am agitated and confused with expecting things of myself without understanding whether or not I am in a position to do them. (Having said that, with God all things are possible.)

      • Quentin says:

        You clearly have a great deal to contend with. You deserve our prayers, and will certainly get mine.

        I do hope that, in the question of demonics you are getting counsel from a priest who is expert in such matters. It is dangerous ground.

      • overload says:

        Quentin, thanks for your prayer. I think that just to listen with an open heart, is praying.
        I hope and have faith that I am getting the help I need from Christ and His Church concerning ‘demonics’.

        In my previous comment I talked about “opportunity to proclaim the love and gospel of Christ—such as political correctness will allow”.
        Actually I’m not sure this is what I want to say. Are we to refrain from talking about Jesus and His gospel of Salvation in a ‘professional’ circumstance for the sake of political correctness? I know that ‘proselytising’ can be an imposition of ones beliefs which does not come from the Spirit, however, does this mean that all ‘proselytising’ is wrong? I wonder there may be times when called to do so, else we may even be shying away from—denying—the cross?

        In view of this discussion and national politics, a slightly similar issue comes to mind. A politician may have good intentions, but when in power, finds himself in a situation where a ‘little’ compromise to his beliefs is required for the sake of ‘progress’ or ‘holding things together’. From here is a slippery slope of ‘little’ compromises, and before long he no longer knows what he believes in but merely becomes a part of the corrupted machinery, like a slave. Would he not do better to put his job on the line—not fearing to lose power and not fearing to rock the boat—from day one?

      • tim says:

        Quentin, it pains me to disagree with you, but we must distinguish. The feared results of global warming are a long way off (the scientific consensus does not support the notion that the weather has got worse, that recent droughts and storms are out of the ordinary). But we are being asked now a) to contribute massively to inefficient and uneconomic forms of energy production b) to deny cheap energy to the developing world which needs it to combat poverty. The need to do this,or not, is a vital and immediate question.

      • milliganp says:

        Tim, I do not see that a how a Californian SUV driver using a more fuel efficient vehicle prevents someone in the developing world from having access to cheap energy! What we need is for the developed word to reduce its carbon footprint so the deveoping world can access their fair share of energy without making things worse.
        In addition many of the virtuous technological developments prduced by the western carbon agenda can benefit developing nations. With reductions in cost of photo-voltaic energy generation and advancing battery technology it can actally be cheaper (overall) to generate local energy in micro-comunities which it would take decades to provide with centrally generated mains electricity.
        The developing world is far better and more immediately served by small scale technology advances which are the by-product of western green initiatives than by massive central capital expenditure which often mainly benefits multi-nationals.

      • John Candido says:

        In support of milliganp’s reply I offer the latest episode of ‘Foreign Correspondent’, which is a television current affairs program on the ABC. The episode entitled, ‘Let there be Light’ aired last night is relevant to the discussion about Third World poverty and climate change.

        http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2015/s4242966.htm

      • John Candido says:

        My apologies the above link does not seem to work. Try this one instead.

        http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/foreign-correspondent/NC1502H006S00

    • tim says:

      Or, if you want to hear the other side of the controversy (not everyone does, of course) you could look at http://www.thegwpf.com/. Several scientists there – also economists, politicians, philosophers, even churchmen. All crackpots? – I think not…

      • milliganp says:

        I went to the website and searched on the various contributors. There is not one person of serious academic credibility amongst them. The two directors are a social anthropologist and a science journalist. I genuinely had hoped for something more substantial.

      • milliganp says:

        Tim, I drilled deeper and found some interesting work. The GWPF seems to have a 3 pronged approach to countering the “climate change” agenda.
        1) Oppose the idea
        2) Oppose the ethical basis of action and question the “mindset”.
        3) Criticize the actions taken reduce carbon emissions
        I find myself broadly in tune with the latter 2 themes. In particular I have never understood why we bribed people to put SolarPV on roofs this far north of the equator.
        It strikes me they would be more honest, and make a more practical contribution by accepting that the second two objectives can be promoted with greater effect from a position that doesn’t rubbish the entire sientific establishment.

    • twr57 says:

      “.. successfully examines and counters all of the arguments that climate deniers offer in detail” – and rigorously censors comments from doubters.

  22. St.Joseph says:

    Quentin.
    Thank you for the link on Radio Replies.

  23. St.Joseph says:

    According to the Vatican Top Scientists, artificial femalehormones entering our water system is the cause of fish including whales not being able to reproduce due to sex change!.

  24. St.Joseph says:

    Also update of info in todays Daily Mail. Headlines. ‘Fertility Time Bomb found in drinking water’

  25. John Nolan says:

    St Joseph, indeed. It has been long known that female hormones are put in beer – after ten pints you talk b******s and can’t drive.

  26. Martha says:

    I don’t see any point or humour in that comment, the pollution caused by artificial contraceptives leaching into our drinking water and into lakes and rivers is a very serious problem for humans and for wild life. It affects hormones and therefore fertility, and has for a long time been blamed for genetic mutations and deformities in freshwater fish in American lakes.

    • St.Joseph says:

      Martha.
      I wonder why we do not have a lot more information and news on this important issue.

      • Alasdair says:

        This has been featured various parts of the media. The last I heard was that plastic micro beads from facial scrub were being found in fish in mid ocean. The plastic contains what they’re calling oestrogen imitators which affect the fertility of the fish.

    • milliganp says:

      I believe the steroids fed to cows and antibiotics fed to chickens are also having a measurable impact.

  27. Martha says:

    I agree with Vincent May 16th 9.47 am, that we cannot wait until all hearts are converted before taking action. Nor can we wait until all environmental problems are fully understood.

    The government must take practical measures towards a more just society in the situation that exists now, particularly with housing. After WW2 there was a great national effort to build council houses at affordable rents and a large number of prefabs were built which provided very comfortable and manageable homes very quickly. I think the emergency now is such that schemes like this should be implemented again. I do not really think that Margaret Thatcher’s scheme to sell council houses was helpful, though very popular with some, and the current plan to allow tenants of housing associations to buy is even worse.

    I particularly agree that mothers who look after their children at home for some years rather than returning to paid employment too soon are in fact contributing substantially to national finances. I do not think I would want the state to pay them directly, but their families should not be deliberately financially disadvantaged. Young neighbours of ours, with the husband in employment, and with a toddler and a very premature baby, only 2 lb 1 oz at birth and thankfully doing very well now, mentioned recently that they do not qualify for a grant towards expenses, because the mother is not registered for 16 hours work a week. So many schemes work out with such anomalies where the devil is in the detail.

    • St.Joseph says:

      Martha.
      I sometrimes think that if mothers stayed at home and looked after their children,there would be more work for men.
      I am sure someone will argue with that. I only wonder if that would help the economy.
      Only a thought. There are some countries that pay for mothers to stay at home, I may be wrong but I believe St John Paul 2nd suggested this at one time.

  28. Martha says:

    Hock, May 14th “Perhaps in this country it is ‘as good as it gets,’ and we have to make do with a ‘warts and all’ approach.”

    It could be so, especially when we compare our country to many others, but there are areas where there could be improvement, and I do think that housing is one of the most important. I am not as well informed and erudite as most of the contributors to this blog, but I would like to say that I find it quire astonishing that in the discussion this week there has been so little interest in one of the most important areas of life in this country which our new government should be dealing with. There has just been a discussion on Radio 5 Live with many examples of the problems faced by people trying to find, and provide, somewhere modest and reasonable to live, and I should think most of us have some kind of experience ourselves or with our own families and friends of the difficulties and expense there is in something so basic.

    • St.Joseph says:

      Martha. I watched Benefit St,the other night and I was absolutely appalled at their bad behaviour!
      I am sue the countries abroad who live in terrible housing condition dont act the way they do.
      They have no self respect, bad language etc, Fightimg with each other.
      I wonder whose fault this is, they seem to have good homes to live in, big TVs beer etc.
      We had to struggle when we go married first in rented accomodation no benefits then, We knew how to cook for our family with litrle money and make do and mend..

    • overload says:

      Martha I’m not sure how to answer this, but to say matter-of-fact that I live in my parents flat (they live abroad and visit London regularly). But for a period of traveling, and a short and unsuccessful period of attempting to live independently (culminating in a breakdown), I have always lived under my parents roof. My mentally ill friend also lives under his parents roof, although he dreams of living elsewhere, and away from his parents. And there are others I might be able to speak of. But these cases may be so layered that the political housing end of the reason can hardly begin to be considered.

      I was struck this morning to read in the ACN newsletter a quote from someone, presumably of my generation, speaking to an older lecturer who was speaking about the changes in the 60’s. The younger man said “your generation may well have lost its religion, but my generation has lost its contact with reality. We don’t know how to assess the value of the simplest things. We cannot affirm what is good in this world with any certainty and we no longer see the potential for goodness, even in ourselves.”
      Thank Christ, I do see the potential for goodness (but this is perpetually undermined / in question), and I’m not sure whether or not I know what he is meaning to say here — yet at the same time this quote seems to speak to me powerfully of something that is difficult to describe, difficult to see; but a curse that perhaps hangs over everything.

      • Martha says:

        Thank you, Overload. I think I understand what you are saying about your housing experience. One of our sons lives with us, at over 50, after various attempts to be more independant, but obviously at our ages, this cannot continue for too many more years.

        Regarding the quote from ACN’s newsletter, I think Fr. Martin M. Barta wants his readers to concentrate on the help which the Holy Spirit can give us to overcome the sense of loss which his anecdote describes, and which you also feel, “All of us need the ultimate certainty, the inner strength which, despite the power of evil, inspires the goodness in our souls. This is brought about by the Holy Spirit. . . “

      • overload says:

        Martha,

        Why can this not continue (I assume you are saying that your son is over 50)?

        As for “All of us need the ultimate certainty…” of the Holy Spirit. Yes. And we believe He is already within us? Veni Sancte Spiritus — come into us, and/or come forth from within us?
        I think, it is not easy to let go of unbelief/fear when manifesting as an abstract intangible ghost — if I/we are to be exorcised, one must first identify the demon(s)?
        And we needs be using half-belief as a stepping stone to full belief, not as a cover-over for unbelief.

      • Martha says:

        Overload, in brief, (1) in our 80’s mortality has to be borne in mind more than ever. and
        (2) The centurion’s prayer, “Lord help my unbelief” is commended in the Gospel, and has been very helpful to many people through the ages.

      • overload says:

        Martha, sorry I’m not trying to be pedantic here…
        Cannot your son look after you both if he is still living with you? And when you die—assuming you die before him (we never know)—he can still live under the same roof?
        Secondly, as to ‘The Year of Faith’ prayer, I have often wondered if this might not be a mistranslation. “Help me in my unbelief”, or “help me overcome/let go of my unbelief”, or “help my unbelief”? The latter sounds like the unbelief requires sustenance, unless it dies! And to elaborate, if the unbelief belongs to ‘me’ then this ‘me’ in turn does not belong to Jesus — this false ‘me’ is the old me; the fallen sinful nature & ego.
        Another prayer along these lines is personal empowerment: “Jesus, I believe in You; in Your name I let go of unbelief.”

  29. Martha says:

    St. Joseph, I would certainly agree with you. The producers go out of their way to show the worst examples they can find of people who are lazy and don’t know how to manage their money or their lives. It is a severe social problem caused mainly by a breakdown of morals and family life, and the proliferation of drugs and alcohol, much of which has always been with us. They could also just as easily show us capable, hard working people with incomes which should be sufficient, having to pay high rents or mortgages for damp and mouldy accommodation which they or their landlords cannot afford to maintain, if they can find anything at all, and are not homeless because of the huge shortage of housing relative to the numbers now needing it. The reasons are many, split families, immigration, housing treated as a commodity needing to show a profit, breakdown of extended families.

  30. milliganp says:

    I’ve just read of George Osborne’s words on British productivity which is well below France and Germany and way behind the US. It seems that education and infrastructure (roads, railways and the internet) are part of the equation but he didn’t specifically mention work-ethic (France and Germany both have less “flexible” labour markets). My experience of working for multi-nationals seemed to indicate that, for instance, German workers get more work done in a day, partially by being better educated and skilled but also by being more dedicated.
    Germany certainly also has a bigger manufacturing sector and in Germany companies tend to be run by experts rather than “businessmen”. Most of the MD’s I met in my travels were “Herr Doktors”.
    Higher productivity automatically creates higher net wealth which creates more tax revenue to spend on healt, education and welfare.

    • Peter D. Wilson says:

      milliganp – You remind me of my own working days when, for a time at least, the top management clearly didn’t want to understand the fairly complex technology of the business, cited with approval the head of another technically-based enterprise whose immediate subordinates were concerned only with money, and seemed to think that a major development programme could be run in the same way as building a conventional housing estate.

  31. Martha says:

    Overload, I do not want to spell out the details, and only mentioned it as acknowledging your experience of housing arrangements more or less outside the political system, but no, he would not be able to care for us if we eventually come to need it, nor manage here for long without us, though he does help with some tasks. As for the prayer, perhaps it could have referred to his previous unbelief, I don’t know what theologians have to say about it.

  32. John Candido says:

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott appointed Maurice Newman to be the Chairman of his Business advisory council and he has turned out to be an oddball on the issue of climate change. Newman has formidable business experience, has a degree in economics, is wealthy and was a former head of the Australian Stock Exchange. He does not have any scientific qualifications generally and especially not in climatology.

    In a recent Australian Senate estimates hearing into global warming, Dr. Rob Vertessy who is the head of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, was asked his opinion of Maurice Newman’s recent article in ‘The Australian’ newspaper on the 8th May 2015 which claimed,

    ‘…scientific modelling showing the link between humans and climate change was wrong and the real agenda was a “new world order” led by the United Nations’. (The Age newspaper, 26th May 2015)

    Newman asserted in his article in ‘The Australian’ that,

    ‘95% of the climate models we are told prove the link between human CO2 emissions and catastrophic global warming have been found … to be in error.’

    “That is incorrect”, Dr. Vertessy replied.

    Vertessy also rejected the following points in Newman’s article. Firstly, that ‘weather bureaus appear to have “homogenised” data to suit narratives’, and secondly, to the notion that the world is currently experiencing cold weather and that that is proof that global warming is not occurring.

    According to Dr. Vertessy who is the head of our nation’s Bureau of Meteorology,

    ‘…record-breaking cold weather in the northern hemisphere was an old red herring that suggests that just because you’re getting cold weather in the northern hemisphere it somehow discredits the fact that there is global warming occurring. The theory of global warming does not hold that there will be no cold weather anywhere, and in fact there’s evidence to suggest that global warming will actually intensify the onset of some cold weather.’

    The following link contains footage of the actual Senate estimates hearing where Australian Greens Senator Waters questioned Dr. Rob Vertessy over Maurice Newman’s views on climate change.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bureau-of-meteorology-rejects-maurice-newmans-climate-claims-20150525-gh90md.html

    It is simply flabbergasting that Maurice Newman occupies an exulted position in the Abbott government as an advisor to the Prime Minister of Australia on business matters. Of course we are talking about Tony Abbott who has been dubbed the ‘mad monk’ of Australian politics by his opponents. Abbott was a former student for the priesthood in the archdiocese of Sydney.

    When Abbott was part of the liberal party in opposition several years ago he gave a speech to a group of people and said that he thought that climate change was, to quote him exactly, ‘bullshit’. Of course he is currently doing all he can to stymie any effective national response to global warming and is succeeding in making Australia look like an international embarrassment.

    The following two links report on the growing disquiet in Australia over Maurice Newman’s thinking on global warming and that of his thoughts on an alleged conspiracy of the United Nations to take over the world. Really! I am not joking.

    http://www.afr.com/news/politics/national/abbott-urged-to-dump-climateconspiracytheorist-maurice-newman-20150508-ggx2ss

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/believe-me-its-all-a-conspiracy-theory-everything-20150515-ggyydz

  33. John Candido says:

    A broad cross-section of Australian religious leaders has signed a petition urging the federal government to take a more serious line to climate change. They are seeking a reduction in carbon emissions of ‘40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2025 and 80 per cent by 2030’. This is far more aggressive than Australia’s Climate Change Authority’s current recommendation of 30 per cent by 2025.

    The Anglican Primate of Australia and Archbishop of Melbourne Dr. Philip Freier has signed a letter co-signed by Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and Rabbis which seeks to emphasise that climate change was an issue much larger than religious differences.

    ‘Now plainly religion is a fairly big dividing issue for many people in the world, but we think the issue of carbon emission reduction and climate change is one that transcends those differences and affects all of humanity,’ Dr. Freier told the ABC.

    ‘I think that (our political leaders) might be misreading the interest that Australians have in seeing we do something that is effective and inter-generationally productive.’

    The religious leaders have sent the same letter to the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, who leads the Australian Labor party.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-27/religious-leaders-pen-letter-to-government-over-emissions-cuts/6499358?WT.mc_id=newsmail

  34. John Candido says:

    For those who might be interested in what the Pope may say in his intended encyclical on the environment, American lawyer Michael Stafford has provided some interesting thoughts in an opinion piece called, ‘The Cry for Creation: What Can We Expect from Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Ecology?’

    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/02/05/4174718.htm

  35. John Candido says:

    The Pope hosted the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on the 28th April this year in the Vatican. The Secretary-General has called climate change the ‘defining challenge of our time.’

    The meeting was hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and had an audience of scientific and religious leaders. The Secretary-General was the keynote speaker. This item is a little old but it shows you how inappropriate comments about a UN conspiracy are. Anyone suggesting on SecondSight that the UN is engaged in a conspiracy to take over the world needs to seriously reconsider their thinking in the light of this report.

    http://www.un.org/climatechange/blog/2015/05/leaders-gather-vatican-historic-meeting-climate-change-sustainable-development/

    • tim says:

      John, I agree with you fully to this extent. It is silly to talk about a conspiracy (in this case, as in most others). The most that can be said is that there are quite a number of people around who welcome the idea of a ‘return to Nature’, to a pristine and unsullied environment (cost what it may) and are happy to seek to impose their views on others. But this does not mean either that they are right, or that their opponents are.

  36. tim says:

    milliganp says: May 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm
    “Tim, I do not see that a how a Californian SUV driver using a more fuel efficient vehicle prevents someone in the developing world from having access to cheap energy!”
    Of course not. What prevents access to cheap energy is not more efficent SUVs – but the World Bank (among others) refusing to finance coal-powered generators of electricity.
    See ‘Nature’ 6 May (http://www.nature.com/news/dirty-money-1.17477?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20150507) “Divestment is a complicated affair, and avoiding the worldly benefits that fossil fuels offer to citizens in developed countries is downright impossible.” But there is no compunction about denying these benefits to the developing world.

  37. tim says:

    milliganp (May 27, 2015 at 9:52 pm). “There is not one person of serious academic credibility amongst them.”? Did you look at their academic board (http://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are/academic-advisory-council/)? If so, I think you are setting the bar rather high. What about Freeman Dyson? There are also several well-qualified professors of earth sciences. And even one of the journalists has a Ph. D. in astrophysics.

    Still, leaving aside the science, I’m delighted you found something helpful in their other theses (May 28, 2015 at 8:16 am). My own interest in the subject was aroused by Lord Lawson’s booklet on the topic a few years back (which he found very difficult to get published). His line then (since a little modified) was to accept that the scientists knew what they were talking about, but to challenge the economics and politics. Another critic is Bjorn Lomborg. He regards global warming as a serious threat, but would not deal with it by immediate wholesale decarbonisation, rather by investing more in research. Other projects (he thinks) are more important. This view is so unacceptable in Australia that he has been thrown out of a university there.

    • John Candido says:

      Regarding the Academic Advisory Council, you can dispense with every single person except Professor Richard Lindzen who is a retired (Emeritus) Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Every other person while highly qualified in their specialty does not have any qualifications in climatology or meteorology. It cannot be emphasized enough that an important key to reviewing any criticism about the overwhelming consensus of climatologists who support the theory of climate change, is to firstly look at the qualifications of those who are contrarian.

      Here are two highly qualified climatologists who have criticisms about Richard Lindzen’s conclusions about climate change.

      Christopher S. Bretherton is a professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington, who said that Lindzen is,

      ‘…feeding upon an audience that wants to hear a certain message, and wants to hear it put forth by people with enough scientific reputation that it can be sustained for a while, even if it’s wrong science. I don’t think it’s intellectually honest at all.’

      A fellow MIT scientist and professor of Atmospheric Science, Kerry A. Emanuel, said of Lindzen’s views,

      ‘Even if there were no political implications, it just seems deeply unprofessional and irresponsible to look at this and say, “We’re sure it’s not a problem.” It’s a special kind of risk, because it’s a risk to the collective civilization.’

      The above quotations are taken from the Wikipedia link immediately below this paragraph. It is an excellent reference about the scientific consensus on climate change and includes information about those who are sceptical towards the theory of climate change.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    • John Candido says:

      Professor Naomi Oreskes is a professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She coauthored a monograph with Erik M. Conway called, ‘Merchants of Doubt’ (2010), which is one of the most important books uncovering the deceit of a tiny number of scientists who quietly worked for the interests of corporate America, by spreading doubt and confusion about the use of tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, and global warming.

      Here is a YouTube video trailer of a new documentary about ‘Merchants of Doubt’.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Oreskes

    • John Candido says:

      Professor Naomi Oreskes is a professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She coauthored a monograph with Erik M. Conway called, ‘Merchants of Doubt’ (2010), which is one of the most important books uncovering the deceit of a tiny number of scientists who quietly worked for the interests of corporate America, by spreading doubt and confusion about the use of tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, and global warming.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Oreskes

      Here is a YouTube video trailer of a documentary about ‘Merchants of Doubt’.

    • John Candido says:

      Professor Naomi Oreskes is a professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She coauthored a monograph with Erik M. Conway called, ‘Merchants of Doubt’ (2010), which is one of the most important books uncovering the deceit of a tiny number of scientists who quietly worked for the interests of corporate America, by spreading doubt and confusion about the use of tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, and global warming.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Oreskes

      There is a video trailer of a new documentary that is based on the book ‘Merchants of Doubt’. You can view it from here.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt_(film)

    • milliganp says:

      Interestingly Freeman Dyson came up in a disagreement about evolution with Richard Dawkins so I read up on him; he is an intellect of exceptional rank and the sort of person capable of “big picture” thinking. He posits that mankind will solve the problem of carbon emmisions within 50 years through bio-engineering plants.

  38. John Candido says:

    Sorry, The above quotations critical of Richard Lindzen are taken from this Wikipedia link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lindzen

  39. John Candido says:

    Correction: I stated in a post above that the only persons qualified to talk about ACC in an authoritative way are only climate scientists. That is a simplification. There are many other disciplines that have an extremely useful ancillary or supportive role to climatology, namely applied mathematics, computer scientists, software developers, geologists, physicists, chemists, etc.

    • overload says:

      John, I am not sure I aware from any of your posts here or in previous discussions if you are a Catholic/Christian(?). If so, would you consider the possibility that the prophetic voice of the Holy Spirit might have something authoritative to say on this subject through men who have NO scientific credentials?

      • John Candido says:

        I am a believer and a non-practicing Roman Catholic. I do not practice my faith out of protest for the state that Catholicism finds itself in today.

      • John Candido says:

        The Holy Spirit may or may not speak indirectly through anyone, male or female.

  40. John Candido says:

    A number of surveys have been conducted trying to ascertain the number or percentage of climate scientists who support the theory of global warming and those who do not support it. Climatologists who do not support the anthropological basis of global warming are usually a very small minority. It is estimated that 97% of climatologists accept that the anthropogenic basis of climate change is occurring.

    1. Here is a bar graph that portrays the number of climate scientists who support the theory of climate change and the number of those who are opposed to it.

    For an explanation of some of the abbreviations contained in the bar graph above:-

    AMS: American Meteorological Society.
    AGU: American Geophysical Union.
    STATS: The Statistical Assessment Service at George Mason University.

    The bar graph is part of a 2007 report by ‘Harris Interactive’ who are known for ‘The Harris Poll’ who surveyed 489 randomly selected members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on behalf of the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University, who were ordering the survey.

    Firstly, 97% of scientists agreed that global temperatures had increased during the past 100 years. Secondly, 84% said that they believed that global warming was occurring and that global warming was anthropogenic at its root. Thirdly, 74% were in accord that the ‘currently available scientific evidence’ largely substantiated its occurrence.

    41% thought that catastrophic effects were likely in 50 to 100 years. 44% had projected a moderate set of outcomes and roughly 13% prognosticated a small amount of risk to our way of life. Only 5% did not believe in the anthropogenic basis of greenhouse warming. Climate scientists who do not believe in anthropogenic climate change (ACC) are a very small minority.

    2. In 2004 Professor Naomi Oreskes did a summary of the scientific literature on climate change. Oreskes analysed 928 abstracts of refereed scientific papers from various scientific journals that were published between 1993 and 2003. Her survey concluded that there is a scientific consensus on the anthropogenic basis of climate change.

    Firstly she divided the 928 abstracts into six categories:-

    1. Endorsement of the consensus position.
    2. Evaluation of global warming’s impact.
    3. Mitigation strategies.
    4. Methods of measurement.
    5. Paleoclimate analysis or the history of CC.
    6. Rejection of the consensus position.

    75% of the abstracts occupied categories 1, 2 & 3. This was either explicit or implicit acceptance of the consensus view. 25% of abstracts dealt with methods or paleoclimate, and took no position on ACC. None of the abstracts explicitly disagreed with the consensus position, which Oreskes found to be ‘remarkable’.

    According to her report,

    ‘…authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point.’

    Oreskes revised her analysis in 2007 and stated that approximately 20 % of abstracts explicitly endorsed the consensus on ACC. 55 % of abstracts ‘implicitly’ endorsed the scientific consensus through either (a) further research on ACC (50 % of abstracts) or (b) to mitigate predicted changes (5 %). The remaining 25 % focused on either paleoclimate issues (10%) or about measurement techniques (15%); Oreskes thought that the remaining 25% of abstracts did not take a position on ACC.

  41. John Candido says:

    3. Professor James L. Powell is a distinguished American geologist and author who has analysed published research on global warming & climate change between 1991 & 2012. He found that of the 13,950 articles in peer reviewed journals, only 24 rejected ACC or global warming through human activity. He has followed this with other analysis in 2014 which looked at 2,258 peer reviewed climate articles that had 9,136 authors. These articles were published between November 2012 and December 2013. This revealed only one author from 9,136 authors rejected ACC.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_L._Powell

    4. ‘Environmental Research Letters’ reviewed 11,944 abstracts of scientific papers in 2013 which matched the terms ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’. The results were gleaned from published peer reviewed papers. They eventually found a total of 4,014 abstracts which had a discussion about what was behind recent global warming. 97.1% of them endorsed the consensus position.

    5. The American ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ or PNAS in a 2010 paper reviewed publication and citation data for 1,372 climate researchers and came to two conclusions:-

    (1) 97–98% of published climate researchers support ACC as adumbrated by the UN’s ‘Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’ (IPCC).

    (2) The expertise and published scientific prominence of researchers unconvinced of the role of ACC in terms of numbers of researchers are substantially less than the number of convinced researchers.

    6. An online survey in 2008 of 2058 climate scientists from 34 different countries by Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch used a web link to determine responses, with a unique identifier so as to control multiple or duplicate responses. 373 replies were received which was a response rate of 18.2%. 76 questions were sorted into a different number of sub sections.

    There were,

    (a) ‘The demographics of the respondents’.
    (b) ‘Their assessment of the state of climate science’.
    (c) ‘How good the science is’.
    (d) ‘Climate change impacts’.
    (e) ‘Adaptation and mitigation’.
    (f) ‘Their opinion of the IPCC’.
    (g) ‘How well climate science was being communicated to the public’.

    The responses were scaled from a value of ‘1’, for ‘Not at all’, to ‘7’, for ‘Very much’.

    67.1% said they ‘Very much’ agreed with the question, ‘How convinced are you that climate change, whether natural or anthropogenic, is occurring now?’

    26.7% said that they ‘Largely agree’.

    6.2% said that they ‘Agreed’ to some small extent with a value range of 2 to 4.

    None said they did not agree at all.

    34.6% ‘Very much’ agree to the question, ‘how convinced are you that most of recent or near future climate change is, or will be, a result of anthropogenic causes?’

    48.9% ‘Largely agree’ the question.

    15.1% to a ‘Small extent’.

    And 1.35% did not agree at all.

  42. John Candido says:

    7. Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a poll amongst a number of Earth scientists with various specialisations and received 3,146 replies out of a total of 10,257.

    76 out of 79 climatologists who,

    ‘…listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change’, believed that mean global temperatures had risen compared with temperatures that were recorded before the 1800s.

    75 of 77 climatologists believed that human activity is a ‘significant factor’ behind changes to mean global temperatures.

    90% agreed that mean global temperatures had risen with temperatures recorded before the 1800s, & 82% agreed that humans are a significant influence on global temperatures.

    47 % of Economic geologists and 64 % of meteorologists doubted that human involvement was behind global warming.

    The following conclusions were drawn by the authors:-

    ‘It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely non-existent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.’

    Professor Carl Edward Sagan, who was born on the 9th November 1934 & who passed away on the 20th December 1996, was an American astronomer, populariser of science, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, and an author of popular books on science. He published more than 600 papers during his scientific career.

    ‘We have a civilization based on science and technology, and we’ve cleverly arranged things so that almost nobody understands science and technology. That is as clear a prescription for disaster as you can imagine. While we might get away with this combustible mixture of ignorance and power for a while, sooner or later it’s going to blow up in our faces.’ (Professor Carl Sagan)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan

    • overload says:

      “We have a civilization based on science and technology, and we’ve cleverly arranged things so that almost nobody understands science and technology. That is as clear a prescription for disaster as you can imagine.”
      This inaccessibility is an inherent problem with academic scientific knowledge and scientific specialisation, I feel. How can this communication barrier foreseeably be overcome within the sphere of science, without re-engineering Joe Blogs brain? Furthermore, is this a problem also for the scientists? I understand that due to complex investment in the mind and work of computers, even scientists are largely ignorant of what they are working on/with, nowadays generally having a specialised sphere within a specialisation.

      “64 % of meteorologists doubted that human involvement was behind global warming”.
      I am largely ignorant of the different fields of scientific specialisation; a quick google of meteorology (which at a glance seems very relevant to climate science, forgive me if I am being stupid here) has left me confused on this point, considering the mentioned overwhelming consensus in favour of ACC. Can anyone clarify?

      • John Candido says:

        If, ‘64 % of meteorologists doubted that human involvement was behind global warming’, then this would seem a little confusing if the overwhelming majority of climatologists believe in ACC.

        ‘Meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry are sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences.’

        The quote above was taken from the Wikipedia article on ‘meteorology’. Therefore there are distinct differences between climatology and meteorology despite being related to each other and despite both being a part of the ‘atmospheric sciences’.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteorology

        One explanation is that while meteorology is closely related to climatology, it is distinct from climatology. This is why the authors came to one of their conclusions. Namely that,

        ‘It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely non-existent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.’

        According to the authors of this study, climatologists have a more subtle understanding and knowledge of climate, both as it is projected in the past as well as in the future than meteorologists, whose forecasts of the weather are for a week at best. It is why the authors of the study in question believe that far more climatologists support ACC than meteorologists.

  43. John Candido says:

    This is a fine resource that examines the scientific consensus on ACC as well as the decline in the public perception that there is a consensus at all over time.

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-advanced.htm

    Another helpful monograph is, ‘The Inquisition of Climate Science’, (2011) by Professor James L. Powell, and is available in hardcover, paperback, or on the ‘Kindle’ or ‘Kobo’ readers as an eBook.

  44. tim says:

    Thank you, John. I think we have your point. I will remind you only that science is not decided by counting heads, but by experiments. Good science makes predictions which are then verified by experience. Would you like to give an example of such successful predictions by those you quote? I’m sure there are some….

    • John Candido says:

      ‘I will remind you only that science is not decided by counting heads, but by experiments.’ (Tim)

      My posts were not an attempt to overturn the prerequisite basis of an evolving scientific consensus. A scientific consensus is attained through several sequential processes that are cumulative in nature.

      1. A scientific consensus is built completely on experimentation and usually by a group of highly trained climatologists.

      2. Peer reviewed work which is then passed as acceptable for publication in established scientific journals by its editors, who are climatologists or who have a closely related ancillary discipline that allows them to make assessments of other people’s work.

      3. Replication by a plethora of independent climatologists which further establishes the truth or otherwise of experimental results.

      4. Conferences that confirm the latest understandings in climatology amongst its specialists through speeches and discussions.

      5. A growing confidence among climatologists that the theory of anthropogenic climate change is correct.

      6. A scientific consensus is then acknowledged by climatologists who will then have the responsibility to communicate this to the mass media, governments, NGOs, and the public for their information. The debate on ACC is over.

      At this point both the public and governments around the world need to understand that ACC is no longer something that is debated by the overwhelming majority (97%) of climate scientists.

      Scientists must now work to consolidate and deepen their understanding of the discipline, compare what was projected to occur with what actually occurs. This will increase their learning through experience and go towards further sharpening the accuracy of their modeling.

      It is a continuing feedback loop of experimentation, peer reviewed work, published articles, meetings & conferences, a cumulative scientific understanding, a gathering consensus over time, and the prerequisite open-mindedness that science is dedicated to in order to adjust their modelling by checking all of their assumptions and looking at actual results. This process never stops.

      ‘Good science makes predictions which are then verified by experience.’ (Tim)

      Predictions have weight and authority when they are made by somebody who has the prerequisite credentials and has worked in the field for most of their lives. Therefore ‘good science’ can only make weighty and authoritative predictions, if and only if, those making the prognostications are familiar with the discipline and have years of experimental experience behind them. This is just commonsense.

      Climatology is dependent on computer modelling and the input of a multitude of ancillary disciplines that assist climatology to make advances as well as help it in a multitude of other ways. As more is known about our climate through continued experimentation, the collation of atmospheric results that confirms, partially confirms or contradicts any climatological predictions, a growing understanding based on experience and data gathering go on to refine and sharpen the very same or newer projections in a continuous loop or cycle.

      There isn’t a single climatologist who can give us a future scenario with 100% accuracy. No climatologist worth his or her salt would do that. However, the scientific consensus on ACC is based on the work of thousands of climatologists who faithfully check each other’s work and present the truth of continued neglect to the rest of society.

      It is the consensus of scientific opinion that embodies an overwhelming authority based on actual experience. Governments & members of the public are well advised to look at their work, and debate the projected impacts on our climate, ecology and our economic way of life, with appropriate measures that incorporates the gradual decarbonisation of energy generation in all of our societies.

      • overload says:

        “Predictions have weight and authority when they are made by somebody who has the prerequisite credentials and has worked in the field for most of their lives. Therefore ‘good science’ can only make weighty and authoritative predictions, if and only if, those making the prognostications are familiar with the discipline and have years of experimental experience behind them. This is just common sense.”

        Yes(?), but I think it is very possible for someone with good credentials to take on a grand project which is in some significant way(s) outside of the scope of their normal operation. In which case they may—without realising it—be operating ‘above their station’, so to speak?

  45. John Candido says:

    ‘Would you like to give an example of such successful predictions by those you quote? I’m sure there are some….’ (Tim)

    Why can’t you find them yourself?

  46. John Candido says:

    Here are some more links that may increase your curiosity of climatology. By the way link number 10 above is not working for whatever reason.

    1. The ‘World Meteorological Organisation’ examines long range forecasting.
    https://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/long_range_forecasting.php

    2. Here is a short history of electronic computers and some sophisticated branches of mathematics that together assist climatologists and meteorologists to make weather forecasts and use models for climatological predictions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_numerical_weather_prediction

    3. ‘This Changes Everything’ (2014) by Naomi Klein is a book that examines why climatology has been pilloried by significant sections of society. Part of the answer is that the message coming from the discipline clashes with the world view of the neoliberal establishment, which encourages market fundamentalism’s privileging of corporations’ ever greater desire for fossil fuel extraction and use, to generate increased profits regardless of the consequences to our climate. Her book is being made into a film that is planned for release at the end of 2015 in the United States.

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/22/this-changes-everything-review-naomi-klein-john-gray

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/video/2015/mar/06/this-changes-everything-naomi-klein-oil-video

  47. John Candido says:

    Link 10 in my post at 11:24 am on the 7th June 2015 works after all. It works on Firefox as well as Internet Explorer. It didn’t several hours ago. Must be the vagaries of the internet at work.

  48. John Candido says:

    Regarding the expected papal encyclical that is expected later this month, the Pope has a preeminent position of moral authority on the fate of the poor, the economic systems prevalent in nation-states, and any matter that impinges on the earth’s ecology that can have serious consequences for all us. His moral authority is almost universally respected when he solemnly speaks about issues of justice and our environment that are of enormous consequence to ordinary people everywhere. The Pope has this authority in spades and can easily use it for the benefit of everyone throughout the world to change people’s hearts and minds for the common good.

    Elizabeth Hadly who is a biologist at Stanford University ascribes to the view that the Pope’s intervention on the potential perils of an unaddressed ACC through the forthcoming encyclical will be crucial in being a catalyst for attitudinal change for Catholics around the world, other Christians, members of other religious faiths, as well as individuals with no religious affiliation. Hadly puts it brilliantly.

    ‘There’s a lot more than just talking that has to happen before anything changes,’ she says. But ‘to have a religious leader talk about climate change and environmental degradation and our obligation to protect the environment is profoundly important because it means that the pope has a deep understanding of how this affects humanity’s survival.’ (Elizabeth Hadly)

    http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2015/06/what-will-pope-s-climate-encyclical-expected-18-june-say

    • overload says:

      John
      “Regarding the expected papal encyclical that is expected later this month, the Pope has a preeminent position of moral authority on the fate of the poor, the economic systems prevalent in nation-states, and any matter that impinges on the earth’s ecology that can have serious consequences for all us.”

      I pray that the Pope will use his authority wisely, and not surpass his authority.

      If speaking for the common good of all mankind, I think that it is important that the Pope also uses this as an opportunity to speak boldly about the heart of the Christian faith. Love is (over and above, and to fulfil, ‘love thy neighbour’): the truth in love. If we cannot see what the Lord shows us and hear His voice, especially in relation to the Scriptures, then love is at best a groping in the dark, though perhaps be it occasionally for the individual (such as the unbeliever who loves his neighbour) a ‘lucky’ or very inspired grope.

      While in one sense Christians may all be in the same boat with mankind—and it is important to recognise this common ground—yet, fighting climate change and global injustice/poverty does generally speak of merely a common hope for world peace. I do not say that the Christian does not incline for world peace, but surely he does not put his eggs in this basket. The Christian believes and hopes in Jesus’ second coming; in Salvation from God’s day of wrath and judgement; and in a peace that this world cannot give, and this peace even now, in the world. Unbelievers need to know the fullness of what we believe (and see it in us), communicated clearly, soberly, compassionately, and joyfully—using our common ground as a platform; and many confused Christians need to consider what they really believe in this respect.

      Do Christian contributers on this blog agree with what I have just said, or have anything to say on this, I wonder?

      • John Candido says:

        It is a good starting point I suppose.

      • overload says:

        John, your response seems offhand…
        What is a good starting point: the Pope’s Encyclical, or my comment, and for what purpose? And what valid part does ‘supposing’ have in this?

      • John Candido says:

        ‘Unbelievers need to know the fullness of what we believe (and see it in us), communicated clearly, soberly, compassionately, and joyfully—using our common ground as a platform; and many confused Christians need to consider what they really believe in this respect.’ (overload)

        ‘What is a good starting point: the Pope’s Encyclical, or my comment, and for what purpose?’ (overload)

        Either one will do for your purpose.

        ‘And what valid part does ‘supposing’ have in this?’ (overload)

        This is a very tall order and difficult for most of us. How do you propose to do all of these tasks overload? This is what I mean by ‘suppose’. I would prefer to keep these matters to myself and not be overtly evangelical in any way towards others. You can blend the gospel into your daily activities without it being a clanging or explicit exercise. In any case, whatever works for you might not work for others but if it is what you want to do then by all means all power to you. We are on the same side or team, only we differ about tactics and strategy. I hope that you get my drift. If I have misread you my apologies for that.

      • overload says:

        John,

        I am not really talking about myself and how I evangelise to others (ie. those who have little or no faith). However, in this respect, it is not fundamentally a matter of what I “want to do” or not do, but what God wants me to do or not do (I pray!); me as part of His body. It seems to me there is a place for both silence and overt evangelism; both are important, both can be sin; so the right balance, found in obedience to God and in communion with the Church is fundamental—this is what I seek (although I may have a tendency to try and grapple alone).

        I was thinking about the Pope. Perhaps you and I can afford to lean more towards silence. I see that the Pope however has a position of responsibility, and this Encyclical really highlights to me that he is taking a responsibility as a voice for all Christians (not just Catholics), and also in extension for all humanity. Apparently he is very much considering himself a voice for all humanity, however, unless I am missing something, he does not seem to be awake to his responsibility as a voice to (internally)—and on behalf of—all Christians (and not just Catholics). I do not see how this role can be ignored/bypassed without causing problems and constituting a misuse of responsibility.

        I have read that there is already a Cardinal who has declared that PP’s who install solar panels on their church roof are “prophets”. There is a real danger of creating a new gospel, which is not what we have received for the Lord and His apostles. We have been warned about this. Hence the vital importance, when dealing with science and secular concerns, of getting things in proportion. And using these things as instruments of, or platforms for, the gospel; not substitutes and half-way houses.

        I have not tried to read the draft Encyclical you posted about; I have not the energy at the moment. However, I imagine a short and bold introduction which outlines the core Christian position and faith, and explains in relation to this why the pope is issuing the Encyclical and what relevance the issues have to the Christian—assuming that these things are lacking—would be sufficient?

        This may be extreme, however I would, off the top of my head and heart, be inclined to open with 2 Peter 3 (this would call for prayerful supplication before God!), and then perhaps move on to mentioning the heavenly kingdom and treasure—growing and perfecting in love, salvation, and true peace—in light of the resurrection and ascension.
        2 Peter 3:8-10 — But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
        (If we believe this then why would we hide this belief in discussing the future of this world?)

        If I am barking up the wrong tree, have a log in my eye, or lack wisdom, I stand to be corrected. If not, may the Pope’s eyes be opened!

      • overload says:

        Correction to my last reply, in bold:
        “There is a real danger of creating a new gospel, which is not what we have received from the Lord and His apostles.”

  49. John Candido says:

    Here are some more links that may increase your curiosity of climatology.

    1. The ‘World Meteorological Organisation’ examines long range forecasting.

    https://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/long_range_forecasting.php

    2. Here is a short history of electronic computers and some sophisticated branches of mathematics that together assist climatologists and meteorologists to make weather forecasts and use models for climatological predictions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_numerical_weather_prediction

    3. ‘This Changes Everything’ (2014) by Naomi Klein is a book that examines why climatology has been pilloried by significant sections of society. Part of the answer is that the message coming from climatology clashes with the world view of the neoliberal establishment. Her book is being made into a film that is planned for release at the end of 2015 in the United States.

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/22/this-changes-everything-review-naomi-klein-john-gray

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/video/2015/mar/06/this-changes-everything-naomi-klein-oil-video

    • Quentin says:

      Recent warming in the climate has led many to think that global warming may be on the wane. Scientific American addresses this specific question in a recent release at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-scientists-helped-create-a-spurious-pause-in-global-warming/?WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20150609

      • John Candido says:

        Is there something in the genetic makeup of scientists that make them inept communicators of their own work? I completely agree with the basis of this article in ‘Scientific American’. Dr. Warren Pearce, a sociologist at the University of Nottingham, was correct to point out that if it is alright for scientists to use a 10 or 15 year long period to make a point, why isn’t it right for anyone else to use this period as well. It is back to the drawing board for them.

        Climatologists are probably tearing whatever hair is left on their heads off in frustration regarding the public’s overwhelming disinterest in ACC, as well as the sordid industry that has grown up around rubbishing and objecting to climatology generally. The appearance of an avalanche of unqualified pretenders, denialists and crackpots who take full advantage of the public’s cynicism & apathy, is more grist for the mill.

      • Nektarios says:

        Nobody is a climate denier as such, what is denied is the dubious data and claims issuing from the IPCC.

      • milliganp says:

        I’d love to deny that climate exists! The problem with shorthand terms is that they cause almost as much controversy as the matters that they try to encapsulate but somehow “anthropomorphic climate change sceptic” doesn’t sound as easy to understand as “climate change denier”.

  50. John Candido says:

    Another deceitful example of climate denialism has come to light by aerospace engineer Willie Wei-Hock Soon and his hidden connection with an energy entity by the name of ‘Southern Company’. Southern Company opposes any government action on ACC. Soon has published reports in various journals without disclosing his connection with Southern Company. When are these people ever going to learn?

    http://news.sciencemag.org/scientific-community/2015/06/journals-investigate-climate-skeptic-author-s-ties-fossil-fuel-firm-new?rss=1

    • tim says:

      John, have you run out of scientific arguments? Surely not? Then why do you try to muddy the waters with this sort of post?

  51. John Candido says:

    Here are two handy links from Wikipedia. The first is a history of the science of climate change. This is a long and interesting story of toil from many physicists and mathematicians gathering evidence and their thinking to write papers for the rest of the scientific community of their day, as well as for future posterity.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_climate_change_science

    The second is a very detailed guide to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). What is its purpose, who is its members, what are their backgrounds, and how does it go about doing its work.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change

  52. John Candido says:

    The latest episode of ‘Four Corners’, which is the ABC’s flagship national current affairs program, shows the difficult situation that Australia faces regarding its massive coal industry and the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Billions of dollars in investment, thousands of jobs and a significant source of tax revenue, export income and our GDP is tied up in Australian coal.

    As China continues to make serious structural reforms of its own sources of energy production, this will negatively affect Australia’s coal export market to it which has been a very strong source of our national income.

    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/06/15/4253096.htm

    • Alasdair says:

      To quote the Guardian, May 20:
      “Scottish ministers have been accused of “a staggering lack of ambition” after the government missed its annual climate emissions target for the fourth year running”.
      Hopefully the goverment of the rest of the UK is showing more ambition – for all our sakes.

  53. John Candido says:

    Geoffrey Lean is the environment columnist for ‘The Telegraph’. He has written an article about the forthcoming papal encyclical about the environment called, ‘Laudato Si’, which means ‘Praise to you’. The article is available through the link below.

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/is-the-pope-a-greenie-you-bet-20150614-ghngc8.html

  54. John Candido says:

    Correction: ‘Laudato si’ is Latin not Italian and means ‘Praised be’. I was wondering if John Nolan could confirm this for me. Thank you.

  55. John Candido says:

    A draft of the Papal Encyclical ‘Laudato si’ in Italian has been leaked by an Italian magazine called ‘L’Espresso’ last Monday. You can download it from the link below. Once you have downloaded it to your computer it will be in Italian. You can translate this for your personal use using Microsoft’s online translation service.

    The leaked document is a pdf and this needs to be converted into a Word document if you have ‘Word’. Once you have done this click on the ‘Review’ tab at the top of a Word document page and select the ‘Translate’ option. The first option you come to is ‘Translate Document to English’. It takes about a couple of minutes for the entire document of 274 pages containing about 41,600 words to be fully translated into English. The final translation will not be as good as or as accurate as the Vatican’s final version in English.

    http://time.com/3921416/pope-francis-encyclical-leaked/

  56. John Candido says:

    If anyone is having trouble converting the draft copy of ‘Laudato si’ from Italian to English and saving this to a ‘Word’ document, follow these exhaustive instructions.

    1. Click on this link http://time.com/3921416/pope-francis-encyclical-leaked/

    2. Go to the blue coloured word ‘leaked’ in the above link. You can’t miss it as it is at the start of the article.

    3. Click on the word ‘leaked’.

    4. ‘Laudato si’ will download as a pdf to your computer. It is a draft copy of Pope Francis’ Encyclical in Italian. It is 192 pages long and has approximately 41,000 words.

    5. Allow sufficient time for the document to download to your computer.

    6. Once it has completely downloaded, click ‘Edit’ which is next to ‘File’ at the top left hand side of your page and then click ‘Select All’ from the dropdown list of choices under ‘Edit’.

    7. You should notice that all of the text in the pdf document is highlighted by some colour. In my case it is blue. If this does not happen don’t worry. Highlight one word or phrase first and then click ‘Edit’ and then click ‘Select All’ from the dropdown list of choices under ‘Edit’.

    8. Move your mouse to any part of highlighted text in the document, do a right click with your mouse and click ‘Copy’. Copying the document to your computer’s memory via your mouse, will take somewhere between 30 seconds and a minute depending on the speed of your computer.

    9. After the document is copied to your computer’s memory via your mouse, open a ‘Word’ document. Once ‘Word’ is open grab your mouse, right click your mouse on the blank ‘Word’ document in front of you and click ‘Copy’ to send the draft copy of the Encyclical in Italian to your ‘Word’ document.

    10. Once the Encyclical is completely downloaded to your ‘Word’ document, click ‘Review’ at the top of your computer’s page. Click on ‘Translate’ and then click on the first option in the dropdown list which is ‘Translate Document to English’, or words to that effect.

  57. John Candido says:

    11. A dialogue box appears under the heading ‘Translate Whole Document’. The dialogue box asks you would you like to send the document to the Microsoft Translation Service, to paraphrase it.

    12. Click ‘Send’ and a small page appears in the top right or left hand corner of your screen displaying the progress in red coloured figures as a percentage. When the translation from Italian to English is complete the red coloured figures will change to a green coloured ‘100%’.

    13. The ‘Word’ document in Italian is now fully translated into English however it is translated only in the page from the Microsoft Translation Service. Once this page is closed, you have lost the translated document unless you save it to your computer in a ‘Word’ document.

    14. If you were to expand the size of the Microsoft Translation Service page to fill your computer screen, you will clearly see that the draft copy of the Encyclical in Italian has been fully but roughly translated into English.

    15. Select ‘Edit’ next to ‘File’ on the left hand side of your screen at the top of your page and choose ‘Select All’. If you are having trouble doing this, don’t worry. As before, highlight one word or phrase first and click ‘Edit’ and then click ‘Select All’ from the dropdown list of choices under ‘Edit’. All of the translated text in English is now highlighted in one colour.

    16. Using your mouse right click on any highlighted text and ‘Copy’ the text to your computer’s memory via your mouse.

    17. Open a new page in ‘Word’ by clicking ‘File’, then ‘New’ and then ‘Create’. Once a new ‘Word’ page is open, use your mouse to transfer the English translation of the draft copy of the Encyclical to ‘Word’ by doing a right click on the ‘Word’ page and selecting ‘Paste’.

    18. The draft copy of the Pope’s Encyclical has to be saved to your computer’s collection of other ‘Word’ documents, so that you can refer to it any number of times in future. This can be done in a couple of ways.

    Click the save icon in blue in the top left hand corner of the page or click ‘File’ then ‘Save’ or ‘Save As’, and place it in a specially named folder if you like, in ‘My Documents’.
    If you have been able to follow all of these steps you would have completed the process of translating the draft copy of the Encyclical from Italian to English and then saving it to a ‘Word’ document for your future use. Mission accomplished!

    Don’t worry if you have haven’t succeeded for whatever reason because the completed Encyclical will be available in multiple languages in several days’ time on the Vatican’s website. All of the best with these steps.

    • Alasdair says:

      Also – CoS General Assembly 2009:-
      “The Church of Scotland is concerned that climate change poses a serious and immediate threat to people everywhere, particularly to the poor of the earth; and that climate change represents a failure in our stewardship of God’s creation. We accept the need to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases urgently to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change; and to promote a more equitable and sustainable use of energy.”
      http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/speak_out/care_for_the_earth

  58. tim says:

    Alasdair (June 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm) Thanks for that comment. I didn’t know about Pope Pius XII and Lemaitre – do you have any links? Was any notice taken? I was thinking of Galileo, and should probably have made that clearer. Although there have been apologies for that intervention, I usually say at this point in the discussion that Blessed John Henry Newman reckoned the Church should have stuck to its original view – a position slightly more defensible since Einstein.

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