- - Sunday, December 4, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Reuters reports, “Pope Francis urged national leaders on Monday to implement global environmental agreements without delay, a message that looked to be squarely aimed at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

“Addressing a group of scientists that included theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the pope gave his strongest speech on the environment since the election of Trump, who has threatened to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

‘The ‘distraction’ or delay in implementing global agreements on the environment shows that politics has become submissive to a technology and economy which seek profit above all else,’ Francis said.”

So the pope thinks opposition to the Paris Treaty stems from profit seeking?

How about all the billions in profits sought by renewable energy corporations like wind turbine makers General Electric and Siemens or solar panel makers First Solar and Solar City, whose products can’t compete economically with fossil fuels or nuclear without massive government subsidies and mandates?

How about the billions of taxpayer dollars showered on Solyndra and similar now-bankrupt renewable energy companies?

How about all the billions of taxpayers’ dollars showered on the climate-change research complex to fund its continued modeling that has achieved the magnificent advance in scientific knowledge since 1978 of narrowing the estimate of the warming effect of doubled atmospheric CO2 from 1.5-4.5 C to 1.5-4.5 C? (Yes, you read that right — no narrowing achieved. Scores of billions spent over 38 years and no advance in what we really need to know.)

How about all the profits sought by carbon traders who expect to amass billions trading permits whose economic value rests on nothing but empirically falsified climate models that project 2 to 3 times the warming actually observed?

All this isn’t even to mention the anti-capitalistic mentality apparent in the pope’s implicit condemnation of profit seeking. “But he only condemns seeking profit “above all else,” you say? Sorry, that doesn’t ring true to Francis’ past. Despite the fact capitalism has lifted whole societies out of poverty while socialism has only trapped them in or returned them to poverty, Francis has been committed to Liberation Theology — a Latin American variant of Marxism learned by Latin American priests while studying mostly in Marxist-dominated French seminaries—since early in his priesthood.

One can’t help wondering if his embrace of climate alarmism rests on politics rather than science. That wouldn’t be unique to him, as former U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretary General Christiana Figueres said as much last year.

Certainly the absence of any hard science in the four paragraphs on climate change in Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ suggests science didn’t much factor into his opinion. That’s why hundreds of scientists — including climate scientists — signed the Cornwall Alliance’s Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change, and were joined by economists, theologians and ethicists.

If politics has become submissive to a technology and economy that seeks profit above all else, the technology is that of renewable energy, which is subsidized 60 (wind) to 400 (solar) times as much per megawatt-hour of electricity generated as fossil fuels. How else do you explain governments’ willingness to sign onto a climate treaty implementation of which will cost $70-$140 trillion by century’s end while, on the IPCC’s own assumptions, reducing global average temperature by no more than 0.17 C.

Perhaps Pope Francis, who purports to care so much about the world’s poor, should consider how much more that money could achieve to lift people out of poverty if spent on things like water purification, sewage sanitation, nutrition supplements, infectious disease control, and health care.

Meanwhile, President-elect Trump, at whom the pontiff was preaching, should stick to his guns. He should announce that because President Obama never submitted the Paris treaty to the Senate for ratification, which the Constitution requires for the United States to be bound by any treaty, the U.S. is not a party to the treaty. Then, on the day he’s inaugurated, he should submit the treaty to the Senate, where it will die the ignominious death it deserves.

E. Calvin Beisner is founder and national spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

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