Anglican Bishop Peter Forster and Labour Party Leader Bernard Donoughue team up for a clear, concise, respectful, yet telling critique of Pope Francis’s encyclical LAUDATO SI’, published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. They argue, as has the Cornwall Alliance, that:
1. The policies Pope Francis supports to reduce global warming will harm the world’s poor.
2. Using fossil fuels has been and should continue to be a huge benefit to humanity, lifting billions of out poverty, but also to the environment, minimizing the amount of land conversion needed to provide the energy necessary to overcome poverty, and carbon dioxide, a byproduct of this use, is not a pollutant.
3. The market economy, while flawed like all other human institutions because of human sinfulness, is the best economic order for overcoming poverty, and Pope Francis’s attacks on it are naive.
4. The alleged scientific consensus on dangerous man-made global warming runs contrary to the weight of the evidence, and consequently governments should not be quick to risk trillions of dollars fighting global warming.
5. Adaptation is a more promising response to global warming than attempting to curb it, and economic growth is indispensable to adaptation.
6. Appeal to the “precautionary principle” is little more than a mask for the absence of sound scientific and economic reasons for seeking to reduce global warming.
The document is short–slightly over six pages of text–but it is a good reply to Pope Francis’s 192-page encyclical and well worth reading.
(Note: At least as first released, page 1 cites “Genesis 2:28” but should have cited “Genesis 1:28.”)
Featured image courtesy of Global Warming Policy Foundation.