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So I asked the Vatican about global warming... Special Report Comments

Recently, I wrote an article for Catholic Online about global warming. The comments from so many readers, obviously intelligent, gave me pause and I took it upon myself to conduct further research, specifically into the Church's teachings on the subject. I pledged in advance to accept what I would discover, no matter what my personal opinions were, after all, I am Catholic and I have faith in my Church. Surprisingly, I soon found the Church has ... Continue Reading

21 - 30 of 35 Comments

  1. Chris
    2 years ago

    Don't forget what pope John Paul II said in his world day of peace message in 1990 concerning climate change. He spoke of stewardship of our environment as a world peace issue way back then.

  2. JD
    2 years ago

    "that between 2002 and 2010, conservative billionaires donated almost $120 million to more than 100 anti-climate change groups". Why don't you look into how much money was given to the climate-change/global warming crowd. My hunch is that $120 million is mere pocket change compared to them.
    i admit that i somewhat bought into the global warming issue originally, but when they said the science was settled and the debate was over, i became very skeptical at that point. when does anyone in science, researching a topic that is supposedly as important as this, just close up the doors and say "we're done. nothing more to look into here."? and so many of the claims that were presented to scare us into believing it have since been proven false. so much so, they had to really come up with a new name for it - they went from calling it global warming to climate change, because the earth has really stopped warming, or at least levelled off, despite their claims of rapidly continuous trend of rising temps. so maybe now you will understand why there are so many that are skeptical of this so called 'science'. and remember, this is not church doctrine, so we aren't required as Catholics to believe this

  3. Jay Alt
    2 years ago

    Those pointing out the Church isn't an arbiter of science or the Bible doesn't mention modern problems are missing the mark. They should study the statement of the US Conference of Bishops, 2001. It is relevant today. Prayerful reflection on it can lead to a faithful Christian response to these problems.

    Global Climate Change A Plea For Dialogue Prudence And The Common Good

    In the meantime the scientific certainty has grown greatly. Today the conclusion of the IPCC that most of the warming of the 20th Century is human related is considered unequivocal in scientific circles. Sadly, the same type of industry-led campaign that delayed US response to the cancer / smoking link has done the same to global warming. Same media techniques. Some of the same people are spreading misinformation, For example- Fox News 'science' correspondent Steve Milloy was formerly employed by the Tobacco Institute.

  4. David H Delaney, PhD
    2 years ago

    Marshall you must be careful to distinguish the Church's teaching authority from its sponsored contributions to the empirical knowledge base of humanity. Her teaching competence is limited to faith and morals. She will never and can never authoritatively proclaim anything what remains in the competence of the empirical sciences, except however, when they make faulty conclusions based upon or implying philosophical or theological errors. The scientists the Church sponsors are not theologian or philosophers generally speaking, nor many times are they even Catholic. They are just as likely to be swayed by the group think of the most vocal as anyone else. If you want to invoke Church authority, what you can write about is what the Church teaches about our stewardship over creation and our mutual responsibility for one another.

    The truth of the matter is that there is a vocal majority who have leaped to a conclusion and they are abetted by the mainstream media. There is sufficient uncertainty based upon the precision of historical temperature data, the limitations of atmospheric modeling, and insufficiently precise knowledge about the long term effects of various contributors to climate change.

  5. Jerry N
    2 years ago

    J Bob: "Yes, earth temperature & CO2 do track one another"

    Never been proven, and likely never will, because neither historical temperature data, nor historical CO2 level data used to support this conclusion, is anywhere near accurate enough to draw such a conclusion. Uncalibrated data, as are all measurements of things that happened long before calibration standards were invented, are inherently unreliable and almost certainly inaccurate. They can be used for informed speculation about historical cause and effect, but not for much else.

    Also, the CO2 concentration of earth's atmosphere is approximately 370ppm and has increased from 310 or 320 ppm over the past 75 years or so. No one seriously disputes that there has been an increase in CO2 levels over the past century. However, the AGW zealots always state this change as: "OMG, CO2 has increased 20%!". They never point out that what has increased by 20% is something that constitutes less than 0.04% of the atmosphere in the first place. This is like worrying about whether a new car payment will be $250.00 or $250.10. Will you not buy the car of your dreams if the payment is $0.10 more?

    It cracks me up when AGW zealots use Venus as the example to make us all tremble in fear over whether the oceans are about to rise 3 ft or more next year. Venus' atmosphere has a CO2 concentration of about 96.5% vs 0.04% on planet earth. To continue my car payment analogy, the AGW zealots are asking us to quake in fear, and change our laws, our energy production mechanisms and our basic lifestyles because we are now paying 10 cents more per month for our car, by pointing us to the situation of a man driving a car with a payment of $603,125.00 per month. I'm fairly sure that no one on planet Earth is paying anywhere near $600,000 per month for a car, and I am equally as sure that the multi-billion year old Earth should be able to handle a 0.006% change in one of its atmospheric gases without difficulty.

    And, by the way, that $0.10 extra we are paying for our car is getting donated to a worthy cause by the bank holding our car loan. Green plants everywhere are now sending us thank you notes for putting a little extra boost to their air supply, which is making them thrive all over the world.

  6. J. Bob
    2 years ago

    Here is a link to get a interesting take on the falicy of this 98% consensus we hear about, Seems there was some real cherry picking on the response to the questionnaire sent out.

    As far as corporate giving to the skeptics, you might spend you time investigating how many tax $'s are spent on climate change funding vs skeptic corporate funding.. .

  7. Rob Sisson
    2 years ago

    Very good article. Your comparison to the tobacco industry's misinformation campaign is correct. Several of the major 'deniers' spent years arguing that tobacco was not harmful to human health.

    By the end of this century, long after everyone involved in the 'debate' today are gone, citizens will ask why willingly misleading the public on the threat of climate change was not considered treason. Already the Pentagon (and most recently, this week, one of our top Navy admirals) have stated the climate change is one of the top national security threats to the U.S.

    So, what is a conservative to do? If 98 out of 100 doctors told you were going to get very sick if you didn't change your lifestyle, wouldn't you do that? In this case, 98% of climate scientists (not fake British lords) agree that man is causing the climate to overheat and it will cause severe issues for people worldwide. Wouldn't you take action to try to curb it.

    At a Catholic, it would be unspeakable hubris to not, at a minimum, ask "what if it is true?"

  8. Hops
    2 years ago

    Corporate money isn't just buying propaganda and blog postings; it's buying votes through campaign contributions. We all need to write our representatives in Congress and tell them we care about this issue and that we will vote on based on their position on the issue. Every member of Congress has a web site, and it is easy to submit a message, which their staff will read.


  9. J Bob
    2 years ago

    You might say there was a little "cherry picking", in your referenced paper "Geosphere-Biosphere Interactions. P. 85 states, "It shows that since the industrial revolution carbon dioxide has increased beyond any levels experienced in the past 150,000 years (at least) by nearly 30% & methane by 150% - two figures that virtually no knowledgeable scientist disputes".

    From Vostok ice core data,

    it shows there have been many swings in CO2 & temperature, even greater then we have now. It also shows that the 150,000 year point, was a CO2 low point. These swings show up on a secular (almost periodic) basis. Yes, earth temperature & CO2 do track one another, but the current levels, have been reached before without human influence.

    You would do well to find a better source of information.

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment (or observations), it’s wrong.” Richard Feynman

  10. Jerry N
    2 years ago

    Hmmm, Marshall is at least now writing in a humbler tone, and admitting the potential for being in error instead of claiming to have all the "facts" that he apparently, prior to recent criticisms, thought we anti-AGW trilobites were unable to comprehend.

    But appealing to the Vatican as the arbiter of global warming? Give me a break. I will accept the Vatican as arbiter of controversies regarding God, faith and theology. But neither the Vatican, the Pope nor any religion has a very strong claim to be the deciding authority on the interpretation of conflicting scientific information.

    Marshall, as soon as you, the Vatican, or anyone else can clearly explain to me why I should believe it is possible to measure the average temperature of the entire earth to an accuracy of better than 0.5 C, over a period of more than 100 years, with no calibration standards for temperature measurement having been in existence for much of that time, then I might be willing to accept AGW as something more than psuedo-science and propaganda. I have read no writings that have ever explained how this is remotely possible. The temperature of the earth can vary in different locations and times by more than 100 C on a daily basis, and it has been recorded to have a high-to-low surface temperature range of more than 140 C (252 F). The standard deviation of outside mean air temperatures in moderate climate zones is approximately 8.5 C, depending on location, and the standard deviation of daily temperature measurement ERROR, as reported by the airport meteorologists in most major US cities is approximately 0.7 C.

    To boil all the statistics down into English language, the range of global temperature increase over the last 100 years claimed by the global warming zealots is less than the daily errors reported in the carefully calculated temperature measurements made by most modern airports. When a change in the measured value of anything is much less than the standard deviation of the measurement, then that change is called "insignificant" by statisticians and people with a lick of common sense. The reported changes in global mean temperatures are "insignificant" in the extreme by all rationally accepted methods of data measurement and analysis.

    Twice now Marshall's articles are accompanied by photos of a poor, abandoned, helpless, isolated, scared and hungry polar bear who is obviously on the brink of starvation and in danger of extinction (if it don't catch that seal it has its eye on, that is). I feel so sorry for these poor, defenseless creatures whose populations have only increased by a factor of 5 during to this terrible period of global warming caused by the evil SUV menace, spewing a noxious gas that only green plants find fit to breath.

    Marshall and I agree on one thing, however, and that's this issue should be of concern to Catholics and anyone else interested in both science, and deliberate distortions thereof, made for the purpose of political or monetary gain.

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