We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Bishop Lopes: A Pledged Troth. A pastoral letter on Amoris Laetitia.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Secular Apocalypse Now?

Fuelling Good Friday

While your tummy is grumbling because you are keeping the fast this Good Friday, here are a few tidbits excised from the mainstream media to remind you the reader that, if nothing else, perhaps one should fast from the mainstream media and all the secular pundits who offer little more than useless hyperbole on most subjects. After wasting a few minutes on the distraction provided, return to meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a way to prepare for the Good Friday liturgy. Arrive at your parish church early and pray the Stations of the Cross.

Is global warming or climate change the secular apocalypse?

The word apocalypse to the Hal Lindsay crowd and to many if not most people's minds that are not immersed in authentic teaching on the Book of Revelation (The Apocalpyse) means, to some degree, an end to whatever one holds dear: the end of the world; etc. This essay is not the place to expand on the apocalypse theme to the extent it deserves. However, the word, taken in its trendy sense, as in "zombie apocalypse", lends itself well to describe the character of a debate that is often puzzling and frequently lacking any reasoned or balanced reporting. The mere mention of the words 'climate change' and 'global warming' set off alarm bells in many people's minds causing them to mouth slogans or statistics which fuel angry debates and grease the fall of reason into a cesspool of sophistry and tabloid science.

Green Pope?

Back in December of 2014 we learned that Rome seems to have signed on to the climate change band wagon.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/27/pope-francis-edict-climate-change-us-rightwing
We have little idea what the Pope will say in his next letter. Many are already attempting to co-opt the letter by saying what they think should be in the letter, which is to say some want a full endorsement of the climate change doctrine. The pope probably knows better than to enter unprepared into a debate about a subject that is riddled with potholes, not the smallest of which is the climate science is not exactly... exacting. The Church has many scientists at her disposal who can parse the climate studies with trained eyes attached to reasonable minds. Meanwhile, the rest of us can keep recycling our tin cans.

Stewardship vs Climate of Death

Point being: we should be good stewards of God's creation. Being a steward does not mean we attempt to rid the earth of men, women and children who, to some environmentalists' minds, are parasites to be cleansed from the planet in order to return the earth to a pristine (pre-human) condition. Those who propose depopulation as a fix for the earth's problems should be the first to volunteer themselves for removal and let the rest of us live according to God's design.

The Judeo-Christian way is to cultivate a garden, not clearcut a forest which causes silt and debris to clog and destroy salmon streams. Catholics, because we honour God and give thanks for His bountiful creation, should take seriously environmental degradation and seek to avoid causing it or contributing to its unsustainable increase. Man's creativity can be better spent looking for ways to improve mining technologies, for example, that allow him to retrieve useful products while preserving the environment. Unfortunately, greed and the accompanying desire to preserve the profit margin often trump creative (though perhaps more expensive) solutions.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Should we be using fossil fuels to power automobiles? Probably not. There are better ways to transport human beings. Is oil evil? Well, if millions of gallons of crude oil are spilled on to pristine beaches in Alaska or Louisiana, yes. When used to produce computers, Aspirin, anesthetics, safety glasses, heart valves, soft contact lenses, tires and at least 6000 other things people use in constructive ways—then no, oil is not evil.

Hype?

What about the climate change stats that say human activity which contributes to global warming, i.e., the burning of fossil fuels, is very bad?
In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.
Mr. Cook's work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found "only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse" the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils-Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.—Wall Street Journal article.
Are you a climate change skeptic?

Here is some food for thought from Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace and acclaimed environmentalist: Click HERE for the original article: Why I Am A Climate Change Skeptic.
Why I Am A Climate Change Skepticby Patrick Moore

I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”

My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.

In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionized civilization.

The idea it would be catastrophic if carbon dioxide were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.

Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced for the umpteenth time we are doomed unless we reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to zero. Effectively this means either reducing the population to zero, or going back 10,000 years before humans began clearing forests for agriculture. This proposed cure is far worse than adapting to a warmer world, if it actually comes about.

... . Click HERE for the original article: Why I Am A Climate Change Skeptic.

Political Powerhouse

Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren, and we feel guilty for doing it.

Third, there is a powerful convergence of interests among key elites that support the climate “narrative.” Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and stoke a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.

So we are told carbon dioxide is a “toxic” “pollutant” that must be curtailed, when in fact it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, gas and the most important food for life on earth. Without carbon dioxide above 150 parts per million, all plants would die.

Human Emissions Saved Planet

Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.

At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide. The optimum level of carbon dioxide for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1,500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Greenhouse growers inject carbon-dioxide to increase yields. Farms and forests will produce more if carbon-dioxide keeps rising.

We have no proof increased carbon dioxide is responsible for the earth’s slight warming over the past 300 years. There has been no significant warming for 18 years while we have emitted 25 per cent of all the carbon dioxide ever emitted. Carbon dioxide is vital for life on Earth and plants would like more of it. Which should we emphasize to our children?

Celebrate Carbon Dioxide

The IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) followers have given us a vision of a world dying because of carbon-dioxide emissions. I say the Earth would be a lot deader with no carbon dioxide, and more of it will be a very positive factor in feeding the world. Let’s celebrate carbon dioxide.
Patrick Moore (pmoore@allowgoldenricenow.org) was a cofounder and leader of Greenpeace for 15 years. He is now chair and spokesman for Allow Golden Rice.
Editor’s Note: Patrick Moore, Ph.D., has been a leader in international environmentalism for more than 40 years. He cofounded Greenpeace and currently serves as chair of Allow Golden Rice. Moore received the 2014 Speaks Truth to Power Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, July 8, in Las Vegas.
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Sacristan Summary

Yikes! Plants are sucking up carbon dioxide! Those wretched plants. Let's pave the whole planet and teach 'em a lesson! Or, everybody just breathe heavily. Don your jogging outfit and running shoes and do a few laps for the good of the environment, not to mention the waistline.

To reiterate, the purpose of this essay is not about taking sides in a debate that for some is over and for others just beginning. The point herein is that the canon of nature, like the Canon of Scripture, is subject to gross misinterpretation because man's understanding of nature, while constantly improving, is still rather limited. Christ left us the Magisterium of the Church, aided by the Holy Spirit, to authoritatively interpret the Canon of Holy Scripture and lead us in truth. The canon of nature, no less than Holy Scripture, requires an authoritative interpreter. It seems we have a lot of self appointed high priests of climate change telling us the sky is falling one minute and the next that it isn't.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.