Pope Francis has called on the world’s rich nations to begin paying their “grave social debt” to the poor and take concrete steps on climate change, saying failure to do so presents an undeniable risk to a “common home” that is beginning to resemble a “pile of filth”.

The pope’s 180-page encyclical on the environment…is at its core a moral call for action on phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

But it is also a document infused with an activist anger and concern for the poor, casting blame on the indifference of the powerful in the face of certain evidence that humanity is at risk following 200 years of misuse of resources.

Up to now, he says, the world has accepted a “cheerful recklessness” in its approach to the issue, lacking the will to change habits for the good of the Earth.

“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods,” the papal statement says. “It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

The encyclical, which can now be considered the church’s official position on the environment, includes practical guidance. Pope Francis rejects “simple solutions” to climate change such as cap and trade systems, which he says give rise to harmful speculation. He also dismisses any suggestion that population increases harm to the environment and should therefore be controlled, and resists making any judgment on genetically modified foods.

The essay was released following months of intense speculation about how far the pontiff would delve into a scientific realm that is still considered controversial in some countries such as the US, where views on climate change are divided along political lines.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the pope’s top official on social and justice issues, flatly rejected arguments by some conservative politicians in the US that the pope ought to stay out of science.

“Saying that a pope shouldn’t deal with science sounds strange since science is a public domain. It is a subject matter that anyone can get in to,” Turkson said at a press conference on Thursday.

In an apparent reference to comments by Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, who said he did not take economic advice from the pope, Turkson said that politicians had the right to disregard Francis’s statement, but said it was wrong to do so based on the fact that the pope was not a scientist.

You can read the Pope’s encyclical in the Vatican translation in several languages.

I’ve enjoyed great debates with religious folks about the basics of understanding reality, the material world – while we marched side-by-side on our nation’s capitol in Washington, DC. I’ve had truly enjoyable discussions about Jesus Christ as an Essene radical – while sharing a cell with a Catholic priest who always wore a fedora hat to demonstrations because he figured it made him look more like Bing Crosby, less likely to be clubbed by a cop. Disagreements about philosophy, material reality, don’t prevent adults from fighting for a common good.

Oh, and by the way, Jeb. The Pope has a technical degree in chemistry. How much science were you forced to study at UT?

  1. bobbo, in point of fact says:

    “He also dismisses any suggestion that population increases harm to the environment and should therefore be controlled,…” //// So the Pope on scientific issues is a bit like the broken clock?

  2. Shouldn't Jesus be the real Mister "t"?! says:

    I agree! Humans should consume less and avoid the things science and common sense tell us are environmentally harmful. For example, humans should stop driving their Canyonero SUV to the mail box — or pretty much anywhere — (a reference to the Simpsons), stop using up a half a roll of toilet paper in one sitting, crap like that. And those of us with an abundance of wealth should also stop being so stingy and saying insane things like “get a job” to those who are already working or claiming how rich people are the ones who create jobs (which is total bullshit). In other words, BE CONSIDERATE!

    … I only wish this bit of common sense weren’t coming from the head of an organization that has historically encouraged things like over-population, land erosion and wars!

  3. Radon22 says:

    “Saying that a pope shouldn’t deal with science sounds strange since science is a public domain.”

    “Oh, and by the way, Jeb. The Pope has a technical degree in chemistry. How much science were you forced to study at UT?”

    It’s unbelievably hard to have a rational conversation with those who believe one can have no valid opinion on a subject unless they have some sort of paper stating they spent 4 years or more listening to somone else’s opinion on a subject.

    Unless of course, they disagree with you… Then it doesn’t matter. Think he’d mention the Pope’s chemistry degree if he had a different opinion? Nope. He’d point out that it’s not in molecular biology or some such nonsense.

    • bobbo, in point of fact says:

      ….. but….but….but….THATS the very point Eideard is making! Its JEB, proving himself only a half IQ point smarter than his shrub brother, that claimed the Pope had no expertise in Science and therefore was not qualified.

      Eideard could have posted what you did, or provide the Trump (sic) card that the Pope DOES have a science background.

      The better point I think was JebtheRetardoftheevenmoreretardedBigBrother saying that the Pope should stick to morality issues. You know…as in killing off the worlds population, if not all oxygen breathing life forms, was not a moral issue.

      The Bushes: what are they good for?

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Hey, there goes the idea that people should just listen to scientists who have a ‘97%’ consensus on the subject.
      If the pope has a degree in chemistry, then I guess if he sat down and looked at it, he would realize the climate scientists used upside-down data in the last report.

      • bobbo, in point of fact says:

        ” the climate scientists used upside-down data in the last report.” /// The BIG LIE in operation.

        Link please.

        When the Science Denying knuckledraggers run out of specious arguments like “Its cold where I am” or “Plants need co2” or “The Climate always changes”, THEN they move to outright, simple, unsupported denial.

        More like a psychiatric condition than a position.

          • bobbo, in point of fact says:

            Well, NFS—thanks for the link. Glad you had one in mind.

            So…. after a careful read….. whats a varve?

            ……….ok………seriously folks: Assuming arguendo the data was flipped, it was on one data set as I take it? Regardless, the Hockey Stick data plot representation has been confirmed by many scientists regarding many related issues…… the warp and weave of a confirmed theory.

            The concern is not isolated to one set of anything.

          • NewFormatSux says:

            Nice babbling.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      The pope didn’t spend four years or more. This is basically a community college voc-ed degree like DeVry.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        Four year colleges are apparently only for the elites in Argentina.

  4. Marc Perkel says:

    It’s easy for the Pope to complain about what other’s should do but when it comes to what he can do personally – change birth control policy – he’s sitting on his hands.

    I give him credit for at least realizing there is a problem.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Again, where is the evidence that Catholics are behind the overpopulation problem(which according to the UN isn’t even a problem)?

      • noname says:

        Marc Perkel’s “Church of Reality” farcical anti-religious emotive rants and arguments dare not stay bound to historic and/or scientific facts, since they disprove his arguments that Catholics are behind earths overpopulation.

        Marc’s “Church of Reality” has risen above the need for Historical and empirically based evidence and all that science nonsense!

        Most Marc’s rants or raves (anti-tesla, anti-religion, Reversing Aging …) are more self-promotion campaigns, using DU build and push his brand and market potential.

        I guess Outrage Marketing is how capitalism now works.

        • NewFormatSux says:

          If he spent half as much time going after his own Pope, the state of California could recover the $100 million that Elon Musk stole for his fake battery swap stations. ‘By invitation only’

  5. NewFormatSux says:

    Eiditor praising a document that attacks abortion and birth control. Next the pope will have him praising (non-Muslim) criticism of homosexuality too.

    And no, climate change is not the document at its core, despite what activists try to portray. It’s not that different from John Paul II and other popes.

    The document also attacks the idea of carbon credits.

    Oh, and it calls for humility and recognizes that there should be an open debate on the subject.

    Now if Eiditor is OK with the general attack on the modern world order of high technology, OK but I gathered that he was more of a Mac fanboy.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Update, the document does attack gays after all! This is one clever pope. So for the cap and trade bill that liberals want to pass, add on a ban on gay marriage, because Laudato Si!

      • bobbo, in point of fact says:

        Can you really not handle more than one idea at a time?

        The Pope/Religion/God/The Bible are used to support many different positions. One such position is that God gave Hoomans Earth to use at we wish and Hoomans can’t do anything to affect climate because God controls it. Another position is that God hates the Gay.

        The POINT of the encyclical is to negate the former and restate the latter. The Pope can no longer be used as support for anti-AGW forces but still used for anti-gay arguments. The Pope has turned the corner on AGW and is still mired in centuries old stupidity and ignorance on the latter.

        Its called: Change and Progress.

        • NewFormatSux says:

          So you’re going to pick and choose which parts of the pope’s statement you will support? Then the document has no value at all. The whole point of Eideard’s post is to put the Pope’s moral authority on his side.

          • bobbo, in point of fact says:

            I don’t “support” the Pope…. at all. He is an adult male that believes in sky fairies.

            But, if the Pope says that water freezes at 32F, that heavier than air machines can fly, and that human life begins as conception…… I’m not going to manufacture dissent just because he is a fantasist.

            Know what I mean?

  6. bobbo, in point of fact says:


    Nice short article. “Connect the Dots.”

    I knew Phoenix got Colorado River water but just thought they got it relatively energy free like Las Vegas.

    There are a lot of dots out there.

  7. orchidcup says:

    The Pope should stick to his job of impersonating a holy man, and leave all the science and other guesswork to us lowly hoomans.

  8. mojo says:

    Yo, Il Papa!

    I gotcha encyclical HANGIN’, bay-bee!

  9. Jebsta Position says:

    Funny how some politicians want the pope to refrain from giving opinions about science when those same “righteous” politicians do so all the time.

    Last time I looked there was a big overlap between religion & politics…and maybe also just a wee overlap between religion, politics & science (not to mention economics).

    • orchidcup says:

      The Pope can say whatever he wants so long as he supports my world view.

      My world view is superior to all others because it is mine.

  10. SKINET says:

    “Then, suddenly, there were hundreds of people with unimaginable wealth and few restraints. Tales of excess became commonplace, and often they are told with pride. One businessman famously distributed Rolexes to guests as party favors at a wedding. Each member of parliament recently received a new hundred-thousand-dollar Lexus. Isabel dos Santos, the President’s forty-two-year-old daughter, is typically described as the richest woman in Africa; Forbes puts her net worth at more than three billion dollars. She was educated in London, at King’s College, and owns the biggest building, with the most expensive apartments, in Luanda. In 2011, as president of the Red Cross, dos Santos paid Mariah Carey a million dollars to perform for two hours at the organization’s annual gala. The show was sponsored by Unitel, Angola’s principal mobile-phone company, which she also owns.”

    It’s a boomtown, until it turns into another Venezuela and there’s nothing left to deal with the clean up costs and pollution. Japan is still leaking and the ocean is turning more toxic and deadly. We’re going to need to get to Mars on the Tesla space ships to survive.


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