One of the curious aspects of Pope Francis’ recent visit to the United States is how his views on global warming have made him some good friends on the American secular left. The Huffington Post reported Saturday that Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s Real Time and a militant atheist stated, “I think it’s just awesome that this pope took on this issue.” The Nation noted that Pope Francis has some training in chemistry and is being advised by “top scientists.” However, Politico suggested on Monday that the Pope’s views on climate change are not based on actual science.
Politico dug into Pope Francis’ encyclical entitled Laudato Si and found it to be weird and disturbing.
“There is some stuff about climate, most of it sensible and useful. But there’s much more stuff about techno-economic paradigms and information overload and aesthetic education and misguided anthropocentrism. There are quasi-Marxist passages that sound like Noam Chomsky on acid. There are technophobic passages that sound like they were written by an Amish hippie grad student. There are asides about ‘the feeling of asphyxiation brought on by densely populated residential areas’ and the inability of the individual to ‘prescind from humanity’ that sound like that guy at the microphone at the zoning hearing with two comments and one question.”
The Bernie Sanders left will certainly be overjoyed to note that the Pope links “laissez-faire economics to slavery, pedophilia, organized crime and the abandonment of the elderly.” The left will likely be less thrilled to find out that Pope Francis links environmental degradation to abortion and suggests that sex-change operations harm the environment.
The Pontiff’s hated of air conditioning would seem to be bizarre to say the least, especially to someone living in a part of the world where the summer heat makes it a necessity. Indeed, the Holy Father’s distaste for both capitalism and technology would seem to be counterproductive if he really thinks that human-caused global warming is a problem. Entrepreneurs are developing advanced solar power systems and other products that would decrease carbon emissions.
The bottom line is that the left needs to be careful about embracing any religious leader, just because he lectures Congress, filled with global warming skeptics, about the “reality” of climate change. Such an association tends to undermine their case and make one suspect that it is not about the science, but about the political power grab gussied up as science.