Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Now Catholic Bloggers Join the Anti-Global Warming Brigade

Earlier, I compared the views of the Vatican and Jerry Falwell on global warming. The former was sober, accepting the validity of the scientific consensus, and discussing the moral and ethical implications. The latter was more concerned with the rapture and American capitalism. I also recently discussed a plethora of reasons as to why the American right disdains global warming with so much vehemence. Although the post was decidedly tongue-in-cheek, it did raise some core issues, in that many evangelicals have totally bought into laissez-faire individualism, which--combined with a voluntarist de-emphasizing of the relationship between faith and reason and an overwhelming belief that they are the elect and may even be living in the end times-- leads them to downplay and ridicule the burgeoning scientific consensus that man-made global warming is very real.

And yet, I see an prominent Catholic blog, American Papist, has cast his lot in with the worst of the deniers. And by worst of the deniers, I mean Senator James Inhofe, the man who uses novelist Michael Crichton as his "expert witness" and who calls environmentalists Nazis. He claimed global warming was one of the greatest hoaxes of all time, and that even the weather channel is involved in the conspiracy. Huh? Suffice it to say, most of what Inhofe says about global warming is utter rubbish. To see a thorough refutation of all his phony arguments, see here. And yet American Papist links with seeming approval to this clown's latest release, which claims that more and more scientists are switching from believers to skeptics (actually, it's the opposite, as latest evidence suggests that risk analysis underpinning in the climate models is now skewed sharply upwards, meaning that it may actually be worse than the baseline).

Let me not conclude without raising some other facts about Inhofe. He one of only nine senators to vote against the McCain amendment banning torture. He uses a fundamentalist reading of the Old Testament to justify a hyper-support for Israel. And he thinks the 9/11 attacks were part of divine retribution for not doing enough to help Israel. When you piece it together, his global warming denial fits with his peculiar (and misguided) theology. But why would a serious Catholic blogger want to jump on this bandwagon? Does Neuhaus's alliance with the evangelicals really stretch so far? As Topol said in Fiddler on the Roof: "If I bend that far, I will break".


Mike M. said...

I find it hilarious that right after using the term Deniers you blast Inohoffe for calling you Nazis. You see nothing wrong with equating us with Holocaust deniers? Fortunately the AGW zealots do such a bad job pushing their agenda you have guaranteed a stalemate. You impugn the motives, morality, and intelligence of all those who wish to engage you in debate. Besides your obviously becoming another pagan religion. Plus, if you start perusing the message boards out there you'll see an enormous amount of religious bigotry shown by your fellow travelers towards traditional Christianity. A Christian joining your cause should be like a Jew voting for Hitler back in the 30's.

Anonymous said...

I'm hardly surprised if American Papist has cast its lot with the Flat Earth Society. Most of the so-called 'Catholic' blogs I've seen tilt so far to the right they can only be described as loon magnets. This blog is a breath of fresh air and infinitely more attuned to mainstream Catholics who don't need to bend their faith around the antics of George Bush.

Morning's Minion said...


Please. I nowhere mentioned the Holocaust. To equate my use of the ordinary English word "deniers" with "Holocaust denial" is a product of your overly-active imagination! I'm sure the pope and his representative at the UN will be very surpised to find themselves involved in a pagan religion for simply talking about the importance of protecting the environment and moving away from crass consumerism.

Leeta said...

How is protecting the environment the same as reducing CO2 emissions? You contradict the meaning of the term, 'protecting the environment', i.e. protecting it from something harmful.
CO2 is essential for all life on earth. It makes no sense to suddenly declare war on a harmless and essential gas which is omnipresent in nature and a result of natural processes.
The Vatican is always making general statements about everything, so what?
They certainly aren't infallible.

Antonio Manetti said...

From the Pew Center on Climate Change (

Visible light from the sun passes through the atmosphere and is absorbed by the Earth's surface - some of that energy is then emitted back to the atmosphere as heat. Greenhouse gases trap that heat, which would otherwise be released into space, raising the temperature of the atmosphere and, subsequently, the Earth's surface. Increases in greenhouse gases from human activities increase the amount of heat trapped by the atmposhere causing global warming and climate change.

The larger issue is whether or not humans have
the wisdom to respond to long range problems requiring collective action. In my opinion, such issues are a test of our ability to survive as a species.