Laudatio Si

This post has been provided for our discussion on the new Encyclical on climate and related matters. Prior publicity suggests a number of questions which, amongst others, we might like to consider:

Is it the Pope’s job to write authoritatively on such secular matters?
Is Papal infallibility applicable here?
Do we accept the scientific basis on which the Pope is relying?
What will be (should be?) the reaction of institutions and countries?
What is our own reaction?

(We have discussed a number of pertinent issues on Guiding the Government. But feel free to repeat any opinions you have already expressed as part of this new discussion.
The next post and the previous post can be located by clicking on Home)

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About Quentin

Science Editor, Catholic Herald. Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
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124 Responses to Laudatio Si

  1. tim says:

    Excellent. However, Quentin, do you have a link to the official text – if possible in English – or do we have to go by the leaked version? I

    • tim says:

      … also, in fact, I think most of the recent discussion on this topic has been under “Guiding the Government”…

    • Quentin says:

      The link I currently have is http://www.xt3.com/library/view.php?id=19148. This gives some quotes and a pdf download of the whole encyclical. By tomorrow I suspect there will be many more.

      Your are right — “Guiding the Government” is the relevant title. I will amend the post.

      • tim says:

        Thanks – I also found this link on the Catholic Herald site – http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/06/18/full-text-laudato-si/
        I suppose this is the genuine final text.
        There is also some interesting commentary on the Herald site, as well as a few selected quotations for those who want to put off reading the whole thing.

      • Alasdair says:

        If we fail to act on an issue which affects, primarily, the poor, we are on shakey ground as Christians.
        “Matt 25:45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”
        Thank God the Holy Father understands this even if many of his flock, as yet, do not.

      • Alasdair says:

        “What will be (should be?) the reaction of institutions and countries?”
        We didn’t have to wait long for the answer! Only today the UK Government have announced an ahead-of-schedule removal of the support for onshore wind energy.
        This pulls the rug out from beneath a nascient industry which is making huge strides towards providing us with a viable (and unsubsidised) source of clean energy. So two fingers up to the Holy Father from the UK government then!

      • tim says:

        The pdf version of the Encyclical is to be preferred to the Catholic Herald’s. The former has footnotes to the passages which appear in quotes, indicating their sources – absence of these in the Catholic Herald version puzzled the naive reader (me) – also there is at least one error in transcription (para 95, second sentence).

      • tim says:

        And, to take an incontrovertible (if not vital) point, the name of this encyclical is ‘Laudato si’ (italian, not latin). Charles Moore gets this wrong too – at one point in his Telegraph article today he (or his servant or sub-editor) refers to ‘Laudate ti’.

      • Peter Foster says:

        It seems odd that you do not go to the Vatican website for your official documents.

  2. RAHNER says:

    Is Papal infallibility applicable here?
    A rather silly question….

    • tim says:

      Rahner, the answer is possibly not as obvious to all readers of this blog as it is to you….

      • overload says:

        My understanding is that on all matters which relate to faith and morals, the Pope is declared to be infallible in everything he officially says. So this would relate to everything he officially says.
        Is this what you mean?

      • Quentin says:

        Depends what you mean by ‘officially’. Laudatio Si is not an ‘infallible’ teaching, though it may refer to existing teachings which happen to be infallible. Infallible teachings by the pope are few and far between. It is of course authoritative when it is intended to be so. You may like to check the Catechism on the subject.

      • overload says:

        Regardless of what the official teaching is on the particulars of Papal infallibility, how does the average Catholic understand this and discern such a difference in the formation of his conscience and his hearing and understanding of the Gospel as received in mother Church?

      • RAHNER says:

        Obviously……..

  3. John Nolan says:

    I have read some papal encyclicals (they are supposed to be letters). A 40,000-word treatise on a subject about which gallons of ink has already been spilt is not going to be a best-seller. Nor will secular eco-maniacs be impressed since they hold as an article of faith that the Catholic Church is mainly to blame for all the world’s problems because of her opposition to contraception and abortion.

    The Pope signs up to the anthropogenic climate change agenda? Most people do, although had he had a word with Cardinal Pell beforehand he might have injected a note of scepticism. Evangelii Gaudium came out a year and a half ago. Again it was too long, too diffuse, too rambling and too ambiguous. There is still no official Latin version, because even a Latinist as good as Reggie Foster would be hard pressed to put it into a precise language.

    Pius XII was famous for airing his views on scientific matters (to the amusement of the scientific community) but did not put these into an encyclical. Two and a half years into what will inevitably be a brief papacy everything has gone quiet on curial reform, attempts to manipulate last October’s synod backfired spectacularly, and Francis remains an enigma. His supposed popularity is difficult to quantify (the BBC refers to him no more often than it did to his predecessor) and he has nothing like the public profile that John Paul II had in his earlier years.

    My own opinion (which I am prepared to modify as events unfold) is that Pope Francis is well-meaning but out of his depth. His choice of confidants (Danneels, Baldisseri, Kasper) is revealing, and suggests that he doesn’t trust the Curia, even Gerhard Müller with whom he had an early rapport. He doesn’t like academics and men of ambition although the Church badly needs both in the ranks of the episcopate; the rule of mediocrities has caused untold damage already. His two predecessors were in their different ways men of outstanding ability and I don’t think he is in the same league. I don’t question his personal sanctity but he has a knack of sowing confusion and I doubt this is part of a wider game plan.

    • Peter D. Wilson says:

      John – For the sake of the environment it’s to be hoped that it doesn’t become a best seller! Condensed to say a twentieth of the length, this torrent of verbiage might be made far more effective, but imparting the virtue of conciseness doesn’t seem to be any part of priestly education..

    • tim says:

      Spot on, John.

      The encyclical ranges widely, and there is something for everybody. I note the condemnation of abortion (fairly widely reported), and the exhortation (para 227) to say grace before and after meals (less so).

      There is lots of good stuff about the importance of the environment, the perils of consumerism, the dangers of the unbridled pursuit of profit, and the need for a change of heart. And there is a recognition that the Church is not a political or scientific authority, that there are ‘different approaches’ (para 60). He also says: “On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views.” Though this is immediately followed by ..” we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair”…”evident in large-scale natural disasters as well as social and even financial crises”. It’s plausible that financial crises are due to human selfishness, but less well established that recent extreme weather events are (check against the latest IPCC report), however popular this idea is with such experts as David Cameron. There are many ideas open to challenge. For example, that because water is a human right, it should be free to all (unlike food?) – that may encourage people to waste it. That cities are a bad thing – though people in poor countries flood to them from the countryside. Generally the environmental stuff is not well worked out. When is it legitimate to modify the environment and when not? The natural habitat of England (absent humans) is temperate forest.

      The Pope is severe on the notion that we don’t need to worry, technology, economic development and the profit motive will solve everything. No doubt that’s too simple. But he doesn’t recognise how much it has already done. The rate at which economic reforms (however unequally applied) have reduced poverty in China is remarkable. And the prophets of doom have a poor record. Remember Ehrlich in the 60’s? “It is now too late to save millions in India from starving to death in the 70’s!”. It never happened – today India exports food.

      The strong and important message is the Franciscan option for the poor. What Catholic will not wish to endorse that? But, as Charlie Brown says, “Now that we know that, what do we do?”. We do the poor no favours by encouraging or obliging them to use expensive energy. They need cheap energy to grow richer. As they become richer, they will be able to clean up their environment, to match or better the standards that we in the West have reached through increasing prosperity. The West has a duty to help developing nations (I would say) and the sum of £100 billion is often mentioned. Personally, I would not grudge my share of this if it went on helping them to reach a better standard of life. I do grudge the money that is transferred from the poor to the rich in the Western world, in the form of subsidies to develop expensive, unreliable and intermittent forms of energy.

    • Ignatius says:

      “Evangelii Gaudium came out a year and a half ago. Again it was too long, too diffuse, too rambling and too ambiguous…”
      I’ve been reading it over the past month for an essay I’m writing. Evangelii Gaudium in my eyes is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in a long time.

      • John Nolan says:

        In this case, Ignatius, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are indeed some striking passages, but the economic analysis is jejune and formulaic, paragraphs 59 and 60 which seem to see violence as the result of inequality are simply nonsensical (egalitarianism is in fact condemned by the church), one is left to guess at what the customs referred to in paragraph 43 might be, and as for the now notorious paragraph 94, if you can explain the meaning of ‘self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianism’ then you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

        ‘Promethean’ can variously mean daringly original and boldly creative, or dauntless in the face of persecution. It comes from the Greek for ‘forethought’. The legendary Prometheus did mankind a favour, for which the jealous gods punished him.

  4. Patsy Stevens says:

    My first reaction to your blog is where is “Home”/ Secondly Surely were not bound to follow Papal Encyclicals.. Living as I do in the far west country reading matter of this type is not always or ever easily available.. It is my belief that 50 years plus after, the vast majority of laity in GB haven’teven read, discussed or fully understood Vat.11 documents let alone the latest pronouncements! .As a Jesuit Francis will be highly educated, widely read, well informed and surrounded by any number of f equally knowledgeable advisors to keep him updated. Perhaps the leastt we can do is digest the contents then share what is relevant within our own areas. In particular, put pressure on parish priests, P.Pastoral Councils & other groupings to install (when/where necessary) energy efficient equipment, plant land, raised beds, hanging baskets etc with cuttings and seeds that will attract birds, bees, butterflies and other wild life.

  5. G.D. says:

    Quentin, you ask “Is it the Pope’s job to write authoritatively on such secular matters?”

    It’s everyone’s job surely? The fact that the Pope is an authority figure (to some only) doesn’t matter in my view. Every other authority has an opinion. Why not the Pope?
    Particularly as he is indicating the ‘roots’ are in the selfish attitudes of man that produce all kinds of poverty and damage to all elements of creation – man animals plants et et ….
    “to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing … since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all …

    My understanding of ‘infallibity’ is that a teaching has to be a formally pronounced as ‘infallible’. Is an encyclical automatically infallible?

    ‘Do we accept the scientific basis on which the Pope is relying?’

    Science here (as in other areas of moral / and non physical topics) becomes a smoke screen to hide the real issues, and fabricate, via scientific discussion, confusion and subterfuge.
    We don’t need ‘scientific justification’ to stop dry rot when it’s found; environmental dry rot has been found! The causes have been identified, and are known.
    Some choose to deny them (and I don’t for one moment believe it’s a ‘denial’ in the psychological sense) and use scientific theory to try and make others deny.
    Isn’t that where ‘faith’ (both religious and no-religious) is needed to reconcile the inequalibrium?

    I realise this blog is a ‘mutual exploration into the reconciliation between science and faith’ but this area of science (environment) is not accepted by plenty of scientists and laymen alike. And for me, because the destruction of habitat on the planet, for every life form, is blindingly obvious to all, the science argument(s) is irrelevant.

    The core substance of the encyclical seems to be stressing the roots of ‘sin’ that causes destruction of creation. Alas, even the Pope has fallen foul of ‘science’.
    And the ‘appeal’ is lost in the meanderings of proof.

    Sorry, Quentin, this seemed to develop into a bit of a rant. But ….. well if it’s not fitting or relevant will understand if you cut it. Just thoughts from faith, lacking in science!

    • Alasdair says:

      Splendid rant! I would have agreed with the “blindingly obvious to all” point – except that it seems “blindingly obvious” is not obvious enough for some people, bless them. Not sure how you would describe an even more obvious level of obviousness than that which is already obvious.

  6. Quentin says:

    I have had a long and busy day — but I have managed to complete my first reading of the Laudatio Si text. I have no time to do more now, but I thought I would insert a prayer which Pope Francis gives us at the end. It seems to be a good summary of both the matter and the spirit of his Encyclical. Perhaps worth remembering at Sunday Mass?

    A prayer for our earth

    All-powerful God,
    you are present in the whole universe
    and in the smallest of your creatures.
    You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
    Pour out upon us the power of your love,
    that we may protect life and beauty.
    Fill us with peace, that we may live
    as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
    O God of the poor,
    help us to rescue the abandoned
    and forgotten of this earth,
    so precious in your eyes.
    Bring healing to our lives,
    that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
    that we may sow beauty,
    not pollution and destruction.
    Touch the hearts
    of those who look only for gain
    at the expense of the poor and the earth.
    Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
    to be filled with awe and contemplation,
    to recognize that we are profoundly united
    with every creature
    as we journey towards your infinite light.
    We thank you for being with us each day.
    Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
    for justice, love and peace.

    • John Nolan says:

      Oh dear. I think I’ll stick with ‘Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle …’ At least it’s not twee.

    • overload says:

      A bit twee maybe, but still a beautiful and Godly prayer.

      However, to my mind this prayer comes from a Jewish-Buddhist centric view of the Old Creation. We needs be focused on a Christian cross centric view of the New Creation. The Old contains the seed of the New (Christ always has been the light of the world), and the New contains what is good and remains of the Old, now resurrected — now it is the New Creation which is the true reality, we needs be awake to this!
      (Re. the New Creation, see also this Sunday’s reading from 2 Corinthians 5:14-17).

      Quentin, in respect of what I have said above, can you tell me what you make of this, and what you make of my recent comment in Guiding the Government (June 19, 2015 at 4:20 pm)? Do you understand? Do you agree?
      I ask you because I feel there is need on this blog for recognition and discussion of what I am talking about, or at least I would like to know where I stand if you do not want to discuss.

      • Quentin says:

        Overload, you will have to forgive me, but I try to keep my comments to the discussion as few as possible. There are plenty of others to comment, if they wish.

      • milliganp says:

        Overload, perhaps I’m missing your point but to what extent does a potato growing in the New Creation differ from one grown in a “Jewish-Budhist Old Creation”? To what extent does the Resurrection alter the life of trees, plants and animals?

      • overload says:

        Milliganp,

        Potatoes, trees, plants or any particular animal has I do not know what capacity here-and-now to hear/perceive the Gospel—I would not assume none, even for a potato. But in the New Creation, all creation, in believing, has the hope to be freed from death and sin (what Buddhists would call the cycle of death and rebirth, and ‘Samsara’ mundane). And not just the hope, for this New reality already exists (although still growing to fullness until the Last Day); but creation, and even very largely us Christians, have not woken up yet to what already is.

        However, regardless of the awareness and self-awareness of a potato, tree, plant, animal; it is our (Christian) relationship with creation and with our own selves (inseperable) which has already died and been reborn, risen (but not yet glorified/ascended), in Christ, made New. Hence we are no longer directly bound according to Jewish law, nor by the difficult applicability of the Buddhist Law (ie. see my other comment just now about a Buddhist Disciple’s approach to day-to-day matters of the ‘flesh’)—only by the Law of Love in Christ; the power of the Old and fallen order has been stripped away by the Cross. Without believing in the Cross, the world is under a double curse: fallen, and also cursed by the forsaking/murdering of the Lord—which is doom.

        That, I think, is what I hear and see (I am still rubbing my eyes with blurred vision and things in my eye, and I cannot truly understand and believe what I hear without seeing clearly).
        I hope that at least some of this makes sense to you and answers your question?!.

      • overload says:

        I said in my last comment: “[we are bound] only by the Law of Love in Christ”. I think rather we are bound by the Law of Faith Hope and Love — believing — in Jesus Christ.

    • tim says:

      I worry about the sense in which we are ‘profoundly united with every creature’. Some more than others, perhaps? As Belloc says: “The streptococcus is the test”.

      • overload says:

        The Pope’s prayer says:
        “Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
        to be filled with awe and contemplation,
        to recognize that we are profoundly united
        with every creature
        as we journey towards your infinite light.”

        Here is a Buddhist perspective on one’s integral relationship with creation and with one’s own self (inseparable) for the Disciple monk who is journeying towards what the Pope calls “infinite light” (shortened/parahrased from a Buddhist parable):

        And how is physical food to be regarded?

        Imagine a husband and wife with only baby son travelling through a desert. Their provisions run out with still desert to be crossed. They think: “What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way at least 2 of us will make it.”
        While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, crying, “Where have you gone, our only baby son?”

        Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?
        “No, lord.”
        “Wouldn’t they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?”
        “Yes, lord.”
        “In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded.”…

  7. Ignatius says:

    “I realise this blog is a ‘mutual exploration into the reconciliation between science and faith’ but this area of science (environment) is not accepted by plenty of scientists and laymen alike. And for me, because the destruction of habitat on the planet, for every life form, is blindingly obvious to all, the science argument(s) is irrelevant.”

    Hate to say this but I genuinely cannot make any sense of this paragraph whatsoever, precisely what points are you trying to make?

    • Martha says:

      Overload, I don’t know if this helps, but I sometimes mention a particular aspect of a subject being discussed on the blog which is of interest to me, and which I hope may give rise to some more knowledgeable and helpful thoughts from others. The outcome is quite unpredictable, no response at all on some occasions, I think that is the nature of blogs, even more than live discussion groups.

    • Alasdair says:

      When it’s raining outside, it’s obvious. I know I’m going to have to wear a raincoat, that’s also obvious. There may well be an interesting science arguement on the topic, but to me, at that moment, it’s irrelevant, or at least superfluous. I’ll allow myself to be guided by the obvious. The same applies to climate change.

  8. St.Joseph says:

    Overload.
    I think the same as Martha
    Please dont get disouraged.

  9. Ignatius says:

    John Nolan,
    Knowing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder should perhaps restrain you from being too free in the disparagement of what you see.

    “if you can explain the meaning of ‘self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianism’ then you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.”

    Pretty simple I would have thought John,.. self centred, self absorbed, self reliance…The context is given by the paragraph John. This is a discussion that probably belongs in the pub Prometheus.

    • John Nolan says:

      The only connection between the pub and Prometheus that I can discern is the deleterious effect on one’s liver. Francis is clearly having a pop at his fellow-Catholics – who are the latter-day Gnostics, by the way? I actually think the HF is a good homilist, who rarely exceeds the ten minute rule. But expecting the reader to use context to guess at the meaning of a tendentious phrase is not the mark of a good writer.

      Perhaps ‘promethean’ means something else in Latin American Spanish which one assumes is the language in which EG (despite its Latin incipit) was penned. Perhaps the ambiguities are the result of mistranslation. Who knows?

      • Ignatius says:

        John you are probably right. But I thought ‘promethean’ also had a ring of ‘Protean’ about it. One often sees the phrase ‘Prometheus unbound’ being used in a context of raw human strength. I can see why you might bring your usual exactitude to bear on Pope Francis and also why I might mainly pick up mainly on the poetics! Must be a hard job being Pope.

    • overload says:

      About “the meaning of ‘self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianism’”
      Apart from (and including) “self centred, self absorbed, self reliance”, etc., I think it has something to do with denying original sin (perhaps denying in heart if not in mind/word). So perhaps denying that man is fallen and in need of saving. So therefore, perhaps, he might believe he can engineer his own salvation.?

  10. overload says:

    Ok, thanks Martha & St Joseph.
    Just trying to see what works to get attention.

  11. Quentin says:

    I was looking forward to a homily on the encyclical at Mass this morning. I don’t know whether I got one because the elderly priest was off-centre to his microphone, and I didn’t actually catch a single word. What might he have said?

    He might have quoted Francis’s words “Everything is connected.” I love this idea that every aspect of the world that God gave us is loved by him, and sustained by him. “even the fleeting life of the least of beings”. And so we are involved in every aspect of the world — sharing the gift of creation. (However, I found this difficult to reconcile with my efforts to swat a fly in the bedroom last night.)

    My priest might well have referred to the point that the world is skewed by man’s activity. We have a developed world and an underdeveloped world. And the first often prospers at the expense of the second. So far the analysis mirrors the background against which Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848. But where Marx claimed that the solution could only be found through revolutionary strife, Francis exhorts us to take concrete action through justice and love.

    And to do so at both the personal level (you and me) and at the world level through major changes in attitude and action. The timing of the encyclical was fitted to three major international meetings related to the environment this year. And this may explain the wordy detail he uses to note the numerous aspects which require our attention and reformation.

    I think we can safely say that Communism has so far failed to set the world to rights. And I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Francis vision to succeed. But I do think that it will be an influence for the good — and who knows where the Holy Spirit can eventually lead us all?.

    • St.Joseph says:

      Quentin.
      I share your thinking when you say that Pope Francis’s vision will be an influence for the good.
      As I heard today a quote from St Therese of Lisieux she said ‘I was alone in a desert waste.or rather my soul was like a ship tossing without a pilot in a stormy sea.
      I knew that Jesus was there asleep in my boat. but the night was too dark for me to see Him.’!.
      The Holy Fathers vision will I am sure enlighten minds,

  12. St.Joseph says:

    Quentin.
    The Gospel reading today Mark 4-35-41.
    I am not too sure how this speaks to us a a literal story. Considering some maybe doubt the truth of some of Jesus’s miracles.
    I heard at Mass this morning a fine homily on it.
    My thinking was (and that is not very expert) how would this relate to climate change, however, to quote from it.

    ‘Master do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea ‘Quiet now! Be calm! And the wind dropped and all was calm again. Then he said to them ‘Why are you frightened, how is it that you have no faith/’
    They were filled with awe and said to one another Who can this be? even the wind and the sea obey him’.

    • Peter D. Wilson says:

      Mark 4: 35- 41. This story seems to me (rightly or wrongly) very much like a typical “falling” nightmare, possibly recounted by St. Peter as a lesson in trust.

  13. milliganp says:

    From what I have read so far of the encyclical it is very Franciscan (creation imbued with the spirit of God and creation as brother / sister). However one could also reflect on Teresa of Avila’s poem:-
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
    no hands but yours,
    no feet but yours,
    yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion
    is to look out to the earth,
    yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good
    and yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.

    It would be wrong for us to expect God to miraculously fix the mess we’ve made of creation.

    • Alasdair says:

      God has promised to miraculously fix the mess we’ve made of creation. Meantime, though, St Teresa’s poem (thank you milligamp) is wonderfully apt.
      And if I may be forgiven for repeating an earlier comment:-
      “If we fail to act on an issue which affects, primarily, the poor, we are on shakey ground as Christians.
      “Matt 25:45 “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”

      • tim says:

        Alasdair – yes – unless our actions make matters worse for the poor. You may not see that as a serious possibility- do try to understand that others (rightly or wrongly) do.

      • overload says:

        “If we fail to act on an issue which affects, primarily, the poor, we are on shakey ground as Christians.”
        Yes, and there is such a problem as spiritual poverty (not the same as ‘poverty of spirit’), which effects all, whether materially rich or poor. Believers need to be fed and watered and clothed fully, and with the right stuff, and thus also unbelievers can know what is really on offer.

      • overload says:

        Following my last comment, I am reminded of Jesus’ words…
        Is life not more than food, water, clothing and shelter? This is what the pagans fret about.
        Seek first the Church and God’s righteousness, and the rest shall be given unto you.
        (As I would, in Christ, do for myself, so I do for another.)

      • St.Joseph says:

        Overload.
        I see your point.However your post at 8.31pm. ‘Is life not more than food, water, clothing and shelter?.This is what the pagens fret about.

        I sayJesus also said .Unless you eat my Body and drink my Blood you can not have life in you!;
        I think we must feed the poor,starving, and homeless before teaching scripture to them.
        Maybe Jesus meant We must have Life in those of us who have sufficient, so that we do feed and clothe and shelter the poor.Do you think?.

      • overload says:

        St Joseph, my thoughts, please let me know if you disagree with anything…

        Perhaps we do not necessarily have to directly teach Scripture to the poor at all, although I am not sure.
        However, we do need to give (with and/or without words; directly and/or directly) the Gospel—the full message of Scripture—to the poor, now. This is what food and drink really is, so without this the material stuff is of little value. And the Eucharist is living Scripture as food and drink—if we are truly open to the contents. If we are not sincerely and fully open (ie. like marriage partners being fully open to one another), then what is the Eucharist?

        “We must have Life in those of us who have sufficient, so that we do feed and clothe and shelter the poor”
        The Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and Priests and theoligans; do they truly in poverty of spirit fully and openly read Scripture?

        It does not feel right to intentionally postpone giving the Gospel to anyone, with a view that “first we will do this and help in this way, and make things better in this way, then we will receive and give the Gospel” (ie. according to our own vision of how things are going to pan-out, we may presume that we can postpone/ignore certain things which need some kind of attention urgently—perhaps only a mustard seed of attention is needed now, but without this there may be an unfathomable black-hole).
        In poverty of spirit, we need to be living and giving the Gospel here-and-now. In poverty of spirit we only have the present moment; there is no future opportunity to be saved and to bring salvation to others, there is only the present moment! Jesus did say He will come as a thief in the night; and furthermore I could die today, or a poor person who needs my help could die today.

        I do not suggest to ignore material help and material strategies; they are useful and necessary to an extent, but also largely mundane. But what about spiritual strategies? Aid for the Church in Need always emphasises that money is helpful, but what they really want is our prayers. If we can develop our capacity to pray, and pray in communion and true unity—one body, heart, mind and spirit—with all believers, who knows what is possible?
        Remember Peter tells us the “fact” that 1 day = 1000 years, 1000 years = 1 day. What can material strategies make of this fact? What can spiritual strategies make of this fact?

      • St.Joseph says:

        Overload.
        Just to clarify a few points to your good post.Your thinking is ‘well thought’
        I will explain my comments.
        Teaching scripture to the poor,We dont preach scripture to those who are starving. we can do that when their stomachs are full.We can teach them what is sinful. I mean poverty in countries that thirst to keep alive physically!(Milliganp post on St Theresa’s prayer.)Not so much the Western world where food is in abundance, what we need in the UK along with food banks, is education on how to cook , also without extravent wastage and unnecessary spending on food and clothing. I know it keeps people in work, but there is such a thing as not going overboard.
        No benefits in my day.
        About Pope,Cardinals,Bishops and Priest, we pray for them, that they will guide the Church in the right direction, we can not speak for their souls.
        You are right about prayer and good works and financial help through the church in need abroad. But choose wisely!!
        About ! year=1000 etc When we get to Heaven, I think there is no time as we know it We will understand everything when we see the Beatific Vision.
        We are all given gifts that God knows we can handle, we ought not to bury our ‘talents’ but to use them and not give them back unused, Actions speak louder than words,although words are important.Then The Lord will say ‘Come my good and faithful servant enter into my Kingdom, however the Kingdom of God ‘is’ close at hand.
        On marriage and partners, look into John Kippley’s Holy Communion, Eucharist and Marital. You will read enough to keep you going for quite a while My Thoughts on that subject, are ‘Marriages are made in Heaven’! It can be hell for some!!
        I hope this is clearer to you, I did my best1

      • overload says:

        St Joseph, thanks for your reply. Some further thoughts…

        “Teaching scripture to the poor,We dont preach scripture to those who are starving. we can do that when their stomachs are full” — I was trying to say, I am not specifically talking about teaching Scripture. But, teachers/evangelists need to possess the Gospel to give the Gospel.
        I think St Francis said “preach the Gospel at all times, use words when necessary.” The poor need the Gospel before and—if it is God’s will that their physical needs will be met at all—during and after the fulfilment of physical needs.

        As for Peter’s 1000=1 years and vice-verca, I don’t think God is just giving us a grand statement about the beatific vision; He urges us to “remember this one thing”. So I see there is a pragmatic reason we have been told this, there is something He wants us to understand here-and-now.

        Yes, thank you, actions speak louder than words indeed.
        I am aware of the problems in this country to do with ignorance and wastage etc., and also idolotary, witchcraft and demonic nonsense relating to our relationship with material things and our bodies and our desires/fears, and our egos.
        I do not intend to bury my ‘talents’, but surely I need good faith and good will, instruction, (clarity, concentration,) conviction, strength, and grace from God to use them.

        My interpretation of your comment about marriage: fundamentally I am not married to the RCC, I am married to Christ, which is I believe never a hellish marriage, so long as there is faithfulness on my part.

      • St.Joseph says:

        Overload.
        Thank you for your reply.
        To clear a few points Evangelists hopefully they will know scripture..
        When I mention ‘sin’ catholics have the duty to teach that abortion and same sex marriage, sex outside marriage and to know all the teachings of the Church as well as feeding their stomachs! But feed their stomachs first.
        As for your mention of 1yr-1000 I dont know that, look it up on google, it does not interest me that much. The thing that mostlt interests me is the time I spend here on eart with the Lord!
        Speaking about marriage, the Sacrament of marriage is between male and female.
        In my experience in my lifetime,that couples do not give it a lot of thought nor receive proper teaching on the sacrament or their responsibilities and duties to God or the teachings of Holy Mother Church,Marriages made in Heaven are those which I see when they change their vows that ought to be their intentions, or else they may have just married in a civil service office. Priest give them a blessing to continue living in sin as they probably were before hand.How can marriage otherwise last only with great difficulty which can be hell for each other and their children.
        Married to Christ- well we are all children of God, from our Baptism, He is our Father,Our Lady is our Blessed Mother. Jesus our Brother, (having two Natures!) Heirarchy, Priests and Religious are I would say married to God alone and Church. giving their life completely to it.. If you feel that is your vocation you should follow your instincts!

    • Alasdair says:

      Tim “unless our actions make matters worse for the poor”. What form would that actually take? I have ears to hear and eyes to see but am not hearing or seeing any coherent case to dissuade me from my view. When you say “worse”, you have to mean worse than the inondation of cities and densely populated agricultural areas, worse than large scale harvest failure due to drought, worse than spreading pestilence, worse than reduced access to useable water, worst than mass extinctions?
      The truth, and the solution, is inconvenient – but primarily for corporations based in parts of the world where poverty mainly exists as a result of bad management. From where I sit I’m seeing companies and universities shifting towards renewables and remaining profitable.

      • tim says:

        Good questions, Alasdair (June 22, 2015 at 11:29 am). May I take it from what you say that you believe ‘climate change’ will (or may)
        a) flood cities
        b) flood important agricultural areas
        c) cause widespread harvest failure due to drought (not in the same areas as the flooding, perhaps)
        d) promote the spread of disease
        e) reduce access to drinkable water
        f) cause mass extinctions of current species

        And presumably this is all going to happen in the current century if we don’t do something drastic now. Before replying at more length, maybe you’d confirm that, as I don’t want to waste your time and mine if I’ve misunderstood you.

      • milliganp says:

        Tim, cynical stupidity is not a particular contribution to this discussion. Global warming can easily cause both floods and drought; the sea level can rise rise due to the ice-cap melting at the same time as higher temperatures increase drought in a widening area. The Pope’s encyclical does not merely reference the effects of global warming but the other effects of the rape of natural resources, deforestation and excessive consumption.

      • Alasdair says:

        No Tim, you have’nt misunderstood me. Indeed these things are likely to (increasingly continue to) happen within the current century, as indeed they had started to in the last century – I’m sure you’re not too young to have heard of Live Aid? (plus “Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 1970’s” Neil Young – After The Goldrush).
        Drastic action is required, at the very least, to the extent that gross malpractice must be replaced by best practice which we are already capable of implementing.
        And, by the way, harvest failure due to drought has occurred in areas previously flooded, made worse by the earlier washing away of topsoil and damage to irrigation systems.

  14. St.Joseph says:

    Milliganp.
    As Quentin asks ‘Who knows where the Holy Spirit can eventually lead us all.?
    So we must ask the Holy Spirit to work through us all , it will not be wrong, to expect God to work miracles through Him but to have faith in Him that He will, if it be His Will.
    I put my Green Box out every week………..!

  15. tim says:

    My text today is from ‘Oklahoma!’

    The farmer and the cowman should be friends… Territory folks should stick together

    One problem with the debate is how polarised it is. See Luke 9.50 and Luke 11.23 – there is no middle ground. It seems that either you must believe that CO2 has no effect on climate, or that (without drastic action) all human life will become impossible by 2050 (or shortly after). But there is middle ground – even if few realise it. This is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas – that it has caused some warming and will probably cause more – but that this is unlikely to bring insurmountable problems – certainly fewer problems than will be caused by extremely expensive and probably futile efforts to cut CO2 emissions.

    Of course, those who believe this – the ‘luke-warmers’ – receive torrents of scorn from both sides. By ‘sceptics’ they are excoriated for accepting the ‘myth’ of human influence over the climate and wanting us to go back to the Stone Age (when, whatever else was wrong, the environment was fine – at least until agriculture was invented). By ‘greens’ they are regarded as either fools or knaves – probably the latter, as being in receipt of hefty stipends from oil companies or the Koch brothers. And less than complete devotion to the Program makes you an enemy (see Luke, op. cit.) So Bjorn Lomborg – who is clear that ‘global warming’ is a real problem, requires action, but not necessarily quite so urgently as the ‘greens’ think right – has been thrown out of a Australian University as a heretic. So – sadly – there is no dialogue to speak of.

    One hopeful feature of the Encyclical is it might change this. The Pope asks for respectful dialogue (para 60). Even if all three sides cannot agree fully, they might find directions in which to move that would offer something to all. Like what? The concern of sceptics and ‘luke-warmers’ is that the enormous sums of money required for decarbonisation programs will be completely wasted. Worse, they will make the world poorer, and less able to cope with bad effects from climate changes if any of these should come about. Why not spend on projects that will be useful in themselves? Most of the feared effects from climate change are intensification of problems we already have – hunger, sea level rise, water shortages, epidemics, bad weather, among others. Why not invest now in solving these existing problems, rather than trying to prevent them getting worse by an extremely expensive method which has no guarantee of success? In the jargon, this is ‘adaptation’ rather than ‘mitigation’. Why can’t we do more of it? You know it makes sense!

    I’d like to follow Overload’s example and ask for comments on this. Answers on a metaphorical postcard, please! Yes, No, Maybe, Rubbish: all welcome – considered views even more so.

    • Alasdair says:

      Tim,
      “Why not invest now in solving these existing problems, rather than trying to prevent them getting worse by an extremely expensive method which has no guarantee of success? In the jargon, this is ‘adaptation’ rather than ‘mitigation’”.
      Adaptation is attempting to solve problems rather than their cause (symptoms rather than disease). Most people would not regard this as a robust approach.
      The move to more sustainable technologies is already well in train. Both my sons work for profitable large companies (Boskalis-Dutch and Saipem-Italian) who are already heavily invested in this sector. This is not through idealism on their part, simply that there are the jobs and career prospects. As a result of these efforts the unit costs of energy generated by renewables are falling rapidly.
      Chinese, Indian, and Brazilian governments are on board and their commercial interests are challenging for the work. Their citizens are well represented amongst the students studying these technologies at my two local universities.
      And now the holy father is also on board! Praise the Lord!

      • overload says:

        “And now the holy father is also on board! Praise the Lord!”
        Is not his job to be THE light to the world, rather than selecting which lights produced in the world he thinks are worthy to be stamped with the name of the Lord?

    • St.Joseph says:

      I have just read The astonishing New York Times Video Population/Climate Panics Exposed
      Sent by Life Site News.! He said it’s a must read..
      So who am I to believe. If any..

  16. Nektarios says:

    I was reluctant to contribute anything on this issue of Climate Change as we have gone into it before, but just to make clear to those who like Pope Francis have accepted the ever changing projections on climate change by the IPCC when they have been found out to be wrong and bogus.

    First, those who disagree with the IPCC scaremongering on Climate Change, DO NOT SAY, there are no changes in the climate, that would be wrong and not backed up by the real science that has been done with all the measurements, observations and experiments. What those who oppose the IPCC’s findings DO SAY, there is Climate Change because of CO2 emissions which at the current level may raise the temperature by around 1degree Celsius. If we were to double CO2 emissions it would raise the climate temperature by about and other 1 Celsius. This would not produce in itself the catastrophic projections of the IPCC.
    Further, we could not increase CO2 more than double, because we do not have the need, nor the manufacturing capacity to do so. We are also talking about a time period of around 100-200 years into the future.
    I hope that has clarified the first point?

    Secondly, the issues of famine, drought, flooding, weather patterns have not really changed much at all over the last 17-20 years. What we are witnessing is in the natural scheme of weather. We have had droughts, famines, flooding, bad summers wet periods and so on, this is all natural occurances and little to do with the hype put out by the IPCC. If anything is wrong, then it lies with respective Governments for not planning for these occurances which have been going on for thousands of years. The often corrupt Governments want money from the west, blaming their problems on the west.
    I hope that has clarified the second point.

    Lastly, I will lump a few things together here for the sake of length.
    The cost: just to reduce the temperature globally, and even that is an unknown factor, by just 1degree Celsius would cost in the region of around $834 Trillion dollars. Where is that sum going to come from? The IPCC the EU and the UN are looking to the democratic West only, to foot the bill. I don’t know if you realise what that would mean? To do that, the West would have to shut down all manufacturing, including most of our agriculture in the democratic west too.
    What is the mostly undemocratic East going to do? Well nothing, and they are not signed up to any treaties or agreements at all.
    I hope you are getting the bigger picture now, yes, no? The east through the undemocratic, unelected agencies of the IPCC, the EU and the UN is to bankrupt the west and make it dependent on the east.
    This is happening right now!
    I close with this: Soon there will be a meeting in Paris on Climate Change, we are all excluded, including the World Press where Governments will sign up to binding treaties and it will begin to cost a massive abount of money, job losses and losses of manufacturing in the west only to meet the targets on CO2 emissions which are not a problem anyway.
    MAY OUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTITIVES MAKE SURE AT THE MEETING IN PARIS LATER THIS YEAR, THEY SIGN GET OUT CLAUSES FROM ANY, OR ALL THESE TREATIES THAT WILL BE SIGNED THERE.
    Contact your MP to make sure they do sign get out clauses at the IPCC meeting in Paris later this year.

    • Alasdair says:

      N,
      you have not succeeded in clarifying either the first or second point. As you imply you have access to authoritative sources then maybe you could gently guide us to them with references. For example, who actually articulated the words “wrong” and “bogus”? Regarding “job losses and losses of manufacturing in the west” I am seeing job increases and job gains as a result of the ongoing shift towards more sustainable economies. If your experience is different, then indeed you do need to be contacting your MP to find out why the necessary planning is not in place.

      • Nektarios says:

        Alasdair
        As for authoritative sources try SPPI Science and Policy Institute. Just Google in SPPI.
        You are running a bit ahead of yourself Alasdair in response to what I was saying. The IPCC meeting in Paris has not taken place yet.
        The UN produced a document entitled Agenda 21 is another source document on the matter, but the reality behind Agenda 21 has little to with climate change at all, just using the bogus excuse of Climate Change for reasons why Agenda 21 needs to be implemented. It really is quite sinister! That should keep you going for quite a while.

      • Alasdair says:

        Thanks N, I’ll try to get round to that.

      • tim says:

        Alasdair ” I am seeing job increases and job gains as a result of the ongoing shift towards more sustainable economies. ”
        I, on the other hand, am seeing British steel plants closing because they cannot compete with Chinese steel. This is (at least in part) because of the price of UK energy, artificially inflated by the UK Climate Act. and policies made under it.

  17. tim says:

    Milliganp (June 22, 2015 at 7:40 pm), it is fair to rebuke me for a silly attempted witticism (in brackets). There was a serious point to it, however – what is going to cause the flooding – sea water or fresh water? It seems the answer is the former. Sea level is rising – yes. But it has been rising since the last ice age ended. Whether the rate of rise is increasing or decreasing is disputed. You say that the ‘ice caps’ melting will cause flooding. Are those the polar ice caps? Ice at the South Pole is increasing (currently). Ice at the North Pole (which we were told a few years back would have disappeared in summer by 2014) is currently holding steady. In any case, melting North Pole ice has no effect on sea level (Archimedes). If you are thinking of Greenland ice, melting that would raise sea level by metres – but would take a thousand years or so.

    • Alasdair says:

      The4 melting of sea ice, including antarctic ice shelves does not have a direct effect upon sea level, as Tim says, since the ice is buoyant. On the other hand, ice shelves serve to hold-in-place continental ice which if it broke off and went into the sea, would cause a rise. Most of this currently lives on Antarctica and Greenland.
      Most of the sea level rise following the last ice age (I don’t recall how much) is thought to have taken a mere 50 years, then tailed off. In other words, the thousands-of-meters-thick ice covering eurasia and north america disappeared in a human lifetime. If you’ve ever wondered how comparatively small rivers managed to carve out huge valleys up north, the answer is they didn’t. The valleys were cut by unimaginably huge flows of meltwater, probably thousands of times the volume of the modern rivers.

    • Alan says:

      Tim – “Sea level is rising – yes. But it has been rising since the last ice age ended. Whether the rate of rise is increasing or decreasing is disputed.”

      A sick computer has left me unable to ask about this point until now. From the publications I have read the rate of the rise, given the most recent information available, is still considered to be increasing. Do you have a feel for the extent of the dispute you mention amongst those experts who are up to date on the data?

  18. Geordie says:

    Can someone provide some accurate scientific facts on this subject? Have sea-levels really risen in the last 50 years and if they have by how much? Or have they gone up and down? Have temperatures really risen and by how much? Are the ice caps really melting?
    I have read a variety of contradictory reports over the last few years. Some reports say that the ice caps are melting in some areas but are freezing up in others. In Al Gore’s film, the glacier which is seen crashing down was in the area of S. America where this has always happened. The global temperature has not increased for fifteen years.
    The climate has never been static and changes have occurred always; with or without the existence of mankind. With the existence of a dynamic climate, it is pure arrogance for mankind to think that it can be controlled by us. The whole thing seems to be based on rather dubious science.
    In the mean time we are doing less to help the underprivileged of the world. It strikes me as satanic to blame technologies that have greatly benefited mankind and then ignore the real problems the word is facing.

    • Nektarios says:

      Geordie
      I refer you to my reply to Alasdair above. Google up SPPI get as much up-to date scientific data here. God is still on the throne and man running around this planet like ants is not going to make much difference. And, certainly it will not be man that brings this world to an end.

      • milliganp says:

        If you Google search on “science and public policy institute credibility” you will see that the SPPI “draws heavily on the writings of Christopher Monkton”, a non scientist who can’t even tell the truth about his title.
        It is very easy to put a pseudo-science site and get funding from US capitallists who advocate unbridled, amoral capitalism as the sole solution to the future of mankind; Christianity it isn’t.

    • tim says:

      Geordie, Gore’s film was found by a UK High Court judge in October 2007 to have significant errors such that it should not be shown to schoolchildren without balancing guidance. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/3310137/Al-Gores-nine-Inconvenient-Untruths.html . I’ve been looking online for the full judgment, but haven’t been able to find it yet.

    • RAHNER says:

      “Can someone provide some accurate scientific facts on this subject?”
      As an alternate to a crackpot like Monckton here is a link to the Royal Society:
      https://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/

  19. Nektarios says:

    Milliganp
    Christopher Monckton does tell the truth about his title repeatedly.Despite your own obvious bias, he is not responsible for the past Government getting rid of hereditry peers. His father was a Lord, and his son Christopher has not sat in the House of Lords, all this is known and admitted by him.
    It is rather sad to see you descend to this level of attack on him, for then, you really don’t have an argument, do you.
    He does not claim to be a scientist, but he does know, corresponds with, researches and draw on those scientists that have actually done the science in climatology, with most if not all the relevant peer reviewed papers.He is also a mathematician and he also is a devout practising Roman Catholic.
    Please get your facts straight before you cast aspersions on other people.

    • milliganp says:

      Christopher Monckton is the ONLY former peer who has actually had to be formally reprimanded by the house of Lords for persistently misrepresenting his status.
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jul/18/climate-monckton-member-house-lords
      That is a matter of fact, not opinion.

      • Nektarios says:

        Milliganp
        And guess who made complaint to the House of Lords – the IPCC!

      • milliganp says:

        So the fact that the IPCC exposed Monckton’s dishonesty means we shouldn’t believe anything the IPCC says?

      • Nektarios says:

        Milliganp
        Christopher Monckton has not had his peerage or patent to such revoked. Due to complaints from you know who, the legal beavers within the House of Lords asked him to stop using the term, Lord prefixing his name. As far as I am aware he has complied with this. There was no dishonesty involved on his part – but we are all open to be influenced from time to time by the media.

      • milliganp says:

        Nektarios, it would be useful if you knew the facts. Lord Monckton is a peer of the realm with the rank of Viscount; no-one disputes this. What he did was to misrepresent himself as being a member of the House of Lords, the upper house of the British parliament; he also used the portcullis, a crest reserved to parliament on his official stationary and in his presentations. The House of Lords was reformed in 1999 and the number of peers entitled to sit in parilament was dratically reduced. He inherited his peerage after the reform and thus had never been a member or had a right to sit as a peer.
        As a mathematician he invented the Eternity Puzzle and offered a £1M prize for a solution. Over 500,000 of the puzzles were sold at a cost of £35 each. When the problem was solved he claimed that he had to sell his house to pay the prize but later admitted it was a PR stunt to sell more copies of the game.
        He has also claimed to have developed cures for Influenza, MS and Herpes. His presentations on climate change sound plausible enough to those not expert in the field which includes many Republicans eager to avoid US responsibilities under climate change treaties.

  20. tim says:

    Alasdair, (June 22, 2015 at 8:55 pm) thanks for clarifying – and for your patience. There are several different points.
    First, I don’t believe that any of these disasters are necessarily going to happen. You reasonably take a different view – but you need to hold it with sufficient conviction to spend enormous sums now for uncertain benefits in several decades’ time. Secondly, your proposed remedy may be irrelevant to at least some of the problems (see my comments to MP on sea level rise). Thirdly, some of your (and the Pope’s) fears are not borne out by IPCC science. Extreme weather isn’t on your list – though it seems to be what has convinced Pope Francis about global warming. IPCC are not prepared to say that ‘global warming’ will be responsible for increases in extreme weather – which haven’t in fact happened yet – so here it is the Pope who is questioning the science. You mention increase in epidemics – I don’t think that’s prominent among current fears (or wasn’t until yesterday morning at least) . Malaria used to be the disease that was going to spread wildly as a result of higher temperatures – I thought that one had been killed off by pointing out the pre-war epidemic of malaria in Archangel. Though, to be fair, there is a Lancet report out yesterday of exceptional gloom, repeatedly reported on BBC television as claiming that the temperature might go up by 4 degrees in the next 15 (sic) years! (as a token of good faith, I offer this link to a transcript of a radio interview https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/2015/20150623_r5).

    When I say “worse”, do I have to mean” worse than the ills which global warming may lead to”?. No, I disagree. It only has to mean significantly worse than doing nothing. Cutting back on cheap energy costs money and lives. It slows development, which is what poor countries need most urgently. Developed nations have fewer of the poorest people, better living standards and relatively clean environments. Development should be the priority for the poor.

    I note that you think clean energy companies are profitable. Some are – but only because of subsidies – too many of which come directly from the pockets of poor consumers. – some of whom die as a result. Green economics are generally self-defeating even in their own terms. The danger of tsunamis has caused Dr Merkel to close all German nuclear stations – which means that Germany has to burn more lignite (the most inefficient form of coal) to have any hope of keeping the lights from going out.

    • milliganp says:

      “Cutting back on cheap energy costs money and lives” – this might be true if we were denying access to cheap energy by the world’s poorest – but this is not the case. Most of the work on carbon reduction is behind done at the expense of the developed world but benefits the whole of humanity.

      As an example, traditional incandescent light bulbs waste most of their energy as heat and require hundreds of watts per household to provide meaningful light. CFL does so with a 60% reduction in power and LED is twice as efficient as CFL. Thus people in developing nations, where electricity is expensive to produce and distribute can have light at much lower cost. Solar power is almost at parity with carbon based electricity generation – this would not have happened without carbon reduction targets in the developed world. Most of the serious work on carbon reduction through efficiency improvements is done and it’s now just a case of global deployment.

      In your final paragraph you criticise Germany for abandoning Nuclear energy and burning coal – you need to decide which side of the argument you are on!

    • Nektarios says:

      Milliganp
      I have done with this topic. I don’t see the point of arguing the point with you about Monckton, the issue of Climate Change is the topic, not Monckton.

      Ignatius
      I don’t feel I have to apologize to Rahner at all. Of course we can discuss what we like,
      and to a point I would defend that right. However what Rahner said is humanistic liberal nonesense.
      Obviously you did not understand what I pointed out re: Enoch walked with God…
      The point I was making was simple enough and has to do with God’s plan of Salvation,
      which essentially is to restore a right relationship with God that was broken.
      God walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden. God called Abraham to walk before Him
      and Enoch walked with God. There is much in all of that
      The assumptions made by Rahner may be interesting to discuss, but rather pointless
      and leads one nowhere, least of all into a right relationship with God, where one walks with God. Rahner’s comment does not lead one to that end, the direct opposite and is not the truth.
      On that topic too, I am done with it. I cannot see the point of arguing on speculative nonesense.
      And, lastly, Ignatius, I am far from being out of my depth or comfort zone as you put it,
      there is nothing new in what Rahner said at all, it has been said many times over in different ways over the last hundred years by people who should have known better.

      • Ignatius says:

        Nektarios:

        ” Obviously you did not understand what I pointed out re: Enoch walked with God…
        The point I was making was simple enough and has to do with God’s plan of Salvation,..”

        Oh right, I see, everything is clear now, you can just go on being publicly rude and dismissive to people about whom you know nothing…ok that’s good. Carry on as you are then Nektarios, sorry to interrupt you.

      • milliganp says:

        Nektarios, by your measure it’s OK to tell lies, carry a gun, drive an SUV and not give a damn about the poor of the world as long as you walk with God. I’m not sure the God of Abraham would be content with His side of that bargain.
        This blog is about the search for truth which we come to know through the power of reason applied to visible creation, “The heavens proclaim the glory of the Lord”. We often drift off topic, there is a lot of opinion dressed up as fact but that is part of the human condition, but God has made man capable of being more sensitive to sincerity and honesty than to bluff and bluster

  21. Alasdair says:

    A quick response only since I am only on a break from work.
    “increases in extreme weather – which haven’t in fact happened yet” We’re definitely on a different wavelength there. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the phrase “since records began” used in connection with weather events in recent times.
    “the pre-war epidemic of malaria in Archangel”. As you may know, the tundra is an environment perfect for large numbers of biting insects, because of the flora and herds of warm-blooded mammals (as is the Scottish highlands). Also the arctic-ocean coast of Russia in fact already gets quite hot summers due to the continent attached. To the west, Murmansk even benefits from the gulf stream and is ice-free. So, even without global warming Archangel is a likely location for a malaria outbreak. Lets not even get into conspiracy theories about soviet experiments gone wrong!
    I have a friend who is unfortunately a sufferer from Tick-Borne Lymes disease, which is on the increase throughout Europe, allegedly due to global warming.
    The subsidies for onshore wind development is about to withdrawn. The energy companies are using the usual rhetoric about cancelling projects. They will not do so, the profits to be made are too great.
    Two miles from my house, the Petroleum Industries Training Board (OPITO) base which includes 3 storey office blocks and a large 440V power requirement for industrial equipment has energy self sufficiency due to the large wind turbine on site. So the carbon footprint of the oil industry’s actual operations is relatively low generally.

    • milliganp says:

      The speed of your response seems to be at the cost of clarity! If I could just note that 440V is a voltage and has nothing to do with power, almost all industrial buildings have 3 phase supplies (including supermarkets, schools etc). It may be possible that the site has overall self sufficiency but, since the wind is not constant the site must also draw power from the grid (offset perhaps by feed-in).
      We need to separate the dumb way our governments have gone about carbon reduction from the merit of reducing long-term carbon emission. I’ve always thought it was utterly silly to have solar panels in a country with so little sun and to bribe one group of taxpayers with another group of taxpayers money – but doing something badly doesn’t mean it should not be done.

      • Alasdair says:

        440V has lots to do with power as you know, although I should have said 415V. 415V is the EMF (I believe is the term) which multiplied by the in-phase current gives the power in Watts. Although it is not strictly correct, it is common practice, like it or not, to refer to a “415V power supply” ie electrical power supplied at 415 volts EMF.
        The OPITO unit generates their requirement directly from the wind 75% of the time and more than that using storage (presumably batteries). So they are importing from the grid only infrequently – and certainly not at all in the last couple of weeks.
        My neighbours’ solar panels seem to generate electricity quite well even after sunset – especially in summer at 57deg N as we are here where the sky remains light between 3am and 10:30pm.

      • milliganp says:

        Alistair, when I was learning electronics as a teenager I came across a US expression “it’s volts that jolts but mills (mlliamps) that kills”. Higher voltage does not automatically mean higher power -it’s the VA product that matters. EMF is used by physicists but not engineers since volt is an SI unit.

      • Alasdair says:

        Yes that’s all true. I had lapsed into the sloppy vernacular.

      • tim says:

        Yes, Chesterton “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly!” I fear this must apply to many of the ‘activities in which we engage and the enterprises we undertake”.

    • tim says:

      Alasdair – ‘extreme weather events’ – I’m not talking about temperatures here. Even ‘luke-warmers’ admit that temperatures have risen by 0.8 degrees C. since the 19th century (even if they haven’t gone up in this millennium yet). This means there will bemore record temperatures. But by ‘extreme weather events’ I meant things like tornadoes and hurricanes. These haven’t. Nor (as I understand it) are they predicted to. But they are (sadly) good copy, so we hear lots about them when they do occur – which no doubt influences people’s perceptions. I’d like to see some of the money spent on decarbonising diverted to improving disaster resistance (interesting meeting at the Royal Society last night about that). That would be worth doing in any event. Improved resilience! – for which development is the priority.

  22. Alasdair says:

    Quote from this evening’s al Jazeera English regarding the heatwave in Pakistan:
    “The mortuary is overflowing, they are piling bodies one on top of the other,”
    Among those who have died, most have been either elderly or poor, officials say.”
    No surprises there then.

    • tim says:

      MP, I’m clear which side of the argument I’m on. I’m criticising the Greens for inconsistency. By their actions they are increasing CO2 emissions, at the same time as trying to deprive Germans of cheaper power – resulting in the export of industry and jobs from Europe – and, probably, power failures in coming winters.

      As to light-bulbs and solar power – all good. But the sums don’t add up. What we have spent – and are being asked to spend – on CO2 reduction will never compensate for the setback to development that must result from forsaking fossil fuels.

      • milliganp says:

        Tim, I’m not arguing with you (yet!) but seeking clarification, what is the setback to development from forsaking fossil fuels? My possibly simplistic logic tells me that technological advances (more fuel efficient engines, lower power lighting etc) accrue benefits to both developing and developed.
        Is it that high-tech is too expensive for the developing world or are we preventing them from development by barring access to carbon based energy? I don’t see how an Englishman being forced to insulate his loft or having to pay a carbon tax on electricity disadvanages the poor elsewhere in the world. I’ve always tended towards the socialist ideal that the broadest backs bear the greatest load.

    • tim says:

      Yes – heat kills. But cold kills more. “Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands”. You may have seen the earlier article in the Lancet, which alleged that climate-related deaths from cold outnumbered those from heat by a factor of 20 to 1. Unbelievable? – but if in the Lancet, presumably peer-reviewed. Another point – air-conditioning – in a more developed country with cheaper power – could have avoided some of these deaths at least. I don’t think the Pope was fair to air-conditioning.

      • Alasdair says:

        Yes, and we will indeed have more cold deaths as a result of climate change. Global Warming means warming averaged out over time and location across the globe. It does not imply consistent warming in all places at all times. The scenario being presented for northern Europe is disruption of the Gulf Stream due to an increase of cold meltwater. This would cause average temperatures to plummet everywhere on the eastern side of the N Atlantic.
        I’ve heard talk of vines being able to be cultivated as far north as the Lake District. Sorry to disappoint but vines don’t like extreme heat, extreme cold, flooding, drought, and hurricane-force winds which will all be on the cards, probably within days of each other.

      • milliganp says:

        Tim, I’m confused again! How would air-conditioning help prevent deaths from cold?
        I do understand heat pumps but they are currently a luxury form of heating for greens with more money than sense (IMHO).

  23. tim says:

    As to Monckton – it is said that he has falsely claimed to be a member of the legislature (rather than just another peer). Similarly, it is also said that Dr Mann (of Hockey Stick fame) has falsely claimed to be a Nobel Laureate (rather than one of many who contributed to the work which resulted in a Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the IPCC). If these sins were proven, it might somewhat diminish their credibility. But it’s third-order stuff. Concentrate on the arguments they make, and forget the rest.

    • Nektarios says:

      Tim
      Amen to that!

    • milliganp says:

      Tim, the problem with Mockton is that his arguments on climate change are as doubtful as his cure of MS. Telling lies is never third order stuff – it goes to the very heart of credibility. Two people telling lies does not make both of them true.

  24. tim says:

    Alasdair, the ‘scenario being presented’ for the Gulf Stream slowing down is – in my view – fantasy. The best to be said in its favour is that no-one has yet definitively proved it to be impossible. Leaving the Gulf Stream out of it, my understanding is that the physics suggests that further warming (if it occurs) should reduce the violence of storms. This violence is driven not by absolute amounts of energy in the atmosphere, but by temperature differences between the poles and the tropics (as in standard thermodynamics). But the expectation is that the poles should warm up more than the tropics.

  25. Alasdair says:

    Tim,
    you’d have to explain why you consider a model clearly described, and widely believed, to be fantasy. At least you owe that to the thousands who believe the fantasy.
    Regarding “standard thermodynamics” or more specifically heat exchange:- This occurs between fluids in contact with each other, or at least in contact via a conductive interface. Storms occur due to air masses in contact with each other, not separated by thousands of miles as in between the poles and tropics, although these are part of the wider system certainly.

  26. tim says:

    Is it widely believed? Does the latest IPCC report credit it? I thought it no longer formed part of the standard disaster scenario, but maybe I’m wrong. What degree of temperature rise is required to make it likely (or possible)? or is this not clear? I see no obligation to believe disaster scenarios unless backed by credible evidence – others may take the view that one should accept them if they cannot be disproved.

  27. tim says:

    milliganp (June 25, 2015 at 4:10 pm) Indeed, air-conditioning helps (directly) only to prevent deaths from heat. Pakistan is too poor for AC to be widely available there – but if we allow them to grow richer, and to use cheap energy, that may change.
    As to heat pumps, I’m inclined to agree with you (though maybe they too will improve in efficiency?).

    • Alasdair says:

      The concept of positive feedback springs to mind! Millions of airconditioning units working at 100% powered by hundreds of fossil-fuel-powered stations belching combustion products including the greenhouse gasses that necessitated the air-conditioning in the first place. Apocalyptic – and not in the christian sense.

      • tim says:

        Alasdair, doesn’t sound good. But I hope that Pakistan will – over the coming decades – become rich enough to face such dilemmas.

    • milliganp says:

      I might be about to contradict the second law of thermodynamics but an Air Conditioning unit is itself a heat pump, so the exhaust heat could be used to provide hot water – mitigating some of energy cost of providing air cooling.

      • Alasdair says:

        M, yes that’s theoretically possible. Especially If the aircon could be provided at a district level, like district heating in reverse. Nice idea – lets hope someone’s working on it.

      • Alasdair says:

        I suspect that something of the sort is already done in hi-tec buildings that have airconditioning. At an intermadiate-tec level though, you could manifold together the outlet fans of all the AC units on a building and duct the hot air to a water heat-exchanger. Could be expensive and none-too-pretty. Hold the thought.

  28. tim says:

    milliganp (June 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm)
    Apologies – a response to your query is long overdue. I would say:
    High-tech is too expensive, period – both for the developed and the developing world. That is true now, though it may change in the future – though on what time-scale (how many decades) is more difficult to forecast. Money spent on research is (in general) not wasted – as you say, more efficient technologies will be transferred to developing countries.

    More important is the effect on Third-World development. If the rate of increase of CO2 emissions is to be significantly slowed, this can only be done by controlling the emissions of developing countries – in particular China and India. That can only be done by slowing their development – delaying their achievement of a decent living standard for most of their inhabitants. Development needs cheap energy, which means fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

    It does not hurt the developing world to require Englishmen to insulate their lofts. However, requiring the general British public to subsidise uneconomic and unreliable wind energy means a significant transfer of resources from the general public (including some of the poorest in the country) to rich landowners.

    • Alasdair says:

      A transition to sustainable technologies is a major priority of China and India and also another developing giant, Brazil. There are already signs that due to typical British reserve we might miss the boat of major developments and contracts in these countries.

  29. Alasdair says:

    Finally I have read the enciclical letter and am able to comment properly. To answer Q’s points:-
    Is it the Pope’s job to write authoritatively on such secular matters?
    Yes certainly, on this matter especially. Environmental issues affect, primarily, the poor and we are commanded, as christians, to protect the poor. They don’t live in gated communities, drink bottled water or have air-conditioning. They can’t start shopping at Waitrose when the allotment dries up.
    Is Papal infallibility applicable here?
    I can’t comment since I’m not a catholic!
    Do we accept the scientific basis on which the Pope is relying?
    He doesn’t have, or require, a scientific basis beyond the sources which are already widely published. The onus lies on others to disprove the scientific consensis and be prepared to take responsibility for the likely catachlismic consequences.
    What will be (should be?) the reaction of institutions and countries?
    Most countries are already on board. Don’t be fooled by media spin. Even though treaties have not been agreed – most countries are already proactive internally on environmental matters. This includes all of the world’s major economies.
    What is our own reaction?
    Nice one Your Holiness, but what took you so long?

  30. Alasdair says:

    Is the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney merely the latest in a long line of people who know nothing about Climate Change, but who still feel they need to put their oar in?

  31. tim says:

    Question expecting the answer Yes (‘nonne…’ – as one would say in Latin). And one can see why. But do not many people feel that they do not need to know anything about Climate Change, except that ‘97% of scientists’ agree that it is happening? They assume that it follows that it will be so disastrous that it is worth spending trillions (in any currency you care to name) on the off-chance of halting it. If that assumption were correct, they might have something useful to contribute on the consequences.

    But the assumption is false.

  32. Alasdair says:

    The Environment was prominent yet again in the media this week. To quote the Telegraph “The latest Living Planet report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) estimates that by 2020 populations of vertebrates will have fallen by 67 per cent since 1970”. This report and others make it clear that the main cause is human activities. The situation is being described as the 6th Global Mass Extinction, the 5th having been at the close of the Cretaceous age when the dinosaurs disappeared. I have been teaching my grandchildren the names of animals, some of which I have seen in the wild but which they will not.
    None of this should surprise Catholics of course, as the issues were covered in detail and with authority in the papal enciclical letter Laudato Si. One might expect catholics to derive some pride by association with this but my impression is that it was not widely known or discussed at parish level. And it seemed that when it was, it was accompanied by much sniping and sneering, which certainly surprised us non-catholics, several of whom actually read the document – Proddies buying, reading and lending a papal enciclical? – you couldn’t have made it up!
    There was even a suggestion that Bergoglio, as I heard him being referred to (I presume disrespectfully), was not capable of writing on a largely scientific topic. However Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (source – Wikipedia) the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change, who advised the Vatican on the drafting of the encyclical, said that “the science of Laudato Si’ is watertight” and gave the pontiff an “A” for command of the subject.[

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