Saturday, June 20, 2015

Implications of Pope Francis' Environmental Encyclical and Republican Attacks (Videos)

This first video covers a recent Yale summit which explains why the Pope's environmental encyclical matters and how it may transform the global debate. This video also provides context for the Pope's efforts from the perspectives of a multidisciplinary panel of expert. The video which follows reviews some of the conservative push-back including GOP presidential hopefuls and right wing media pundits. 


Both before and after the release of the encyclical conservative media personalities and leading Republicans including GOP presidential candidates attacked Pope Francis for his stance on the environment and climate change. The assault from conservatives is a cynical political move from the party that is synonymous with climate denial. Republicans rightly worry that their base of support will be eroded by the Pope's castigation of climate deniers and call to environmental stewardship.


Related Articles
Pope's Environmental Encyclical Supports the Poor While Demanding Change from the Rich
Leaked Papal Encyclical Lauds the Climate Movement and Derides Deniers
Spoof of Pope Francis' Environmental Encyclical (Video)
The Vatican's Climate Conference Calls for a Moral Awakening that Includes Rejecting Fossil Fuels
Pope Francis the Environmentalist
Why Christianity is Important to Action on Climate Change
How Morality Can Win the War on Climate Change
Female Faith Leaders Say Climate Change is a Priority Issue
Climate Leadership from the Head of the Episcopal Church
Video - How Religion can Energize Ecological Renewal
Video - Using the Bible as Religious Support for Climate Denial
The Religious Psychology of Green

5 comments:

Jim said...

As a Catholic I am entirely bemused by this. We're told that 97 percent of scientists support the consensus on climate change. I'd bet that a very similar percentage think that the Pope is a peddler of unscientific medieval gobbledygook. In other words, they think he's dead wrong about the things he supposedly knows about -- theology, metaphysics, what you will -- and yet his endorsement on something he knows very little about is somehow a game-changer!

Richard Matthews said...

To his credit Pope Francis seeks out scientific perspectives and strives to understands science, that is the mark of a reasonable man. Whether or not people agree with his theological and metaphysical positions is not the issue. While I can see rhetorical logic behind trying to muddy the waters with your point, his encyclical is explicitly intended for everyone.

People of all faiths respect this pope and he will be venerated by future generations. Conversely, the fossil fuel powered self interest that motivates Republicans is increasingly being exposed. Those who oppose science and resist action on climate change have earned our contempt, scorn and derision and they are destined to be viewed with utter contempt by future generations.

Jim said...

I don't disagree with what you say. I believe the Pope has a degree in chemistry so it is no surprise that he "seeks out scientific perspectives". My issue is not with the Pope but with the scientists. Given that most of them think that just about everything he says is hooey, I find it odd that they are lauding him to the skies when he says something they happen to agree with.

Richard Matthews said...

Scientists need not buy into Christian mythology to appreciate the pope's science driven policy position. Scientists are limited to the knowable world, this enables them to make statements approximating fact (or at least statements with a high degree of statistical probability). Whereas religious officials including the pope subscribe to beliefs that are beyond the scrutiny of science. In my view this does undermine the integrity of scientists, nor does it disprove the pope's belief system. While the scientist is confined to addressing that which can be known the pope is not limited to theology and metaphysics. The pope has ever reason and every right to comment on the affairs of this world. Simply put, it is within the realm of reason for the pope to make statements about science, while it contradicts the internal logic of the scientific world view to accept statements about the veracity of God. As Jesus said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God." Should we fault scientists who appreciate getting the Pope's assent? Perhaps we should remember that this Christian - scientific agreement takes place in a historical context. We would do well to remember that men like Galileo were forced to heal by the dogma of the church.

Jim said...

Once again, I agree for the most part with what you say, but I still think you are missing my point a bit! Let me put it a different and slightly provocative way. If scientists think for the most part that the Pope is wrong about most things, but are happy to accept his endorsement when it suits them, then aren't they treating him as what Lenin called a "useful idiot"?

I will understand if you don't approve this comment for posting!