The Pope seems to want two contradictory things: an economy that lifts more people out of poverty and ever tightening environmental regulations. Stephen Moore, chief economist of The Heritage Foundation, notes in an op-ed in Times that the environmental policies embraced by the Pope would make the poor poorer:
Pope Francis— and I say this as a Catholic — is a complete disaster when it comes to his policy pronouncements. On the economy, and now on the environment, the pope has allied himself with the far left and has embraced an ideology that would make people poorer and less free.
Pope Francis is reportedly preparing a lengthy encyclical message to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on the need for decisive action on climate change and will speak before the United Nations General Assembly on this subject this year. The pope recently declared: “The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”
This is the language of the radical green movement that is at its core anti-Christian, anti-human being and anti-progress. He has aligned himself with a secular movement that is antithetical to the fundamental theological underpinning of Catholicism — the sanctity of human life and the value of all souls.
The modern pagan green religion in developed nations needs to be denounced by the Vatican. These are the people and organizations that have come to believe that an excessive number of human beings is destroying Mother Earth.
Some of the great atrocities of the past half-century have been borne of this belief that the world is overpopulated. Has the Vatican forgotten the detestable and immoral population-control policies, including, eugenics, tens of millions of forced abortions and forced sterilizations, and one-child policies — all in the name of greens trying to save the planet? It was Pope John Paul II who heroically denounced this theology and reminded Catholics and all other Christians that human beings are resource creators, not resource destroyers.
The Vatican’s warning that we are witnessing “great cataclysms” of weather events is contradicted by scientific evidence. The numbers of hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, typhoons, monsoons, earthquakes, floods, freezes and so on are not on the rise, as even the U.S. government’s own numbers confirm. The pope has been snookered. The best way to counteract death and destruction from severe acts of Mother Nature is through economic development.
Go here to read the rest. Extreme environmentalism turns the Earth into an idol to be worshiped and sacrifices the poor upon the altar of Gaia. It is perhaps the favorite substitute religion of the chattering classes who shape public opinion around the globe. One of the keys to understanding the current pontificate is that Pope Francis will rarely take stances that go against what the chattering classes promote. Most of his pronouncements would be quite at home on the editorial pages of the New York Times, or the faculty lounge of Harvard. Where he must disagree with them, on abortion for example, the correct statements are made, but without any policy follow through. The forthcoming “green” encyclical should make for very interesting reading and may be a wratcheting up in the alliance of the Pope and the champions of the liberal zeitgeist.