A “Catholic” environmentalism…


Caring for and ruling the environment are biblical imperatives going back to the Book of Genesis. It’s a no-brainer: There is what might be termed a “Catholic environmentalism.”

This sound, theological proposition is not the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and propounded by their stormy petrels and a compliant mainstream media. It is not rooted in contrived “facts” supported by spurious research that, in the end, is dubious research, at best. It also is not “sexy” in the sense that Catholic environmentalism will win the Church a Nobel Prize or that Pope Francis will jet across the imperiled globe in a private jet, increasing his carbon footprint while, at the same time, preaching against everyone else who does so.

No, Catholic environmentalism is constructed upon a profound sense of responsibility for the gift of nature, entrusted to humanity by its Creator. Love of God and of neighbor are the twin pillars upon which Catholic environmentalism is constructed. Catholic environmentalism is, as Pope Francis has said of marriage and fidelity to spouse and family, “a beautiful thing.”

That said, it appears some very high Vatican operatives have become smitten with the secular version of environmentalism, relying upon its dubious “scientific” reserach to assert that it’s a “moral imperative” to act with regard to “climate change.” Consider what the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said to the 2014 United Nations’ Climate Change Summit:

The scientific consensus is rather consistent and it is that, since the second half of the last century, warming of the climate system is unequivocal. It is a very serious problem which, as I said, has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations.

Numerous scientific studies, moreover, have emphasized that human inaction in the face of such a problem carries great risks and socioeconomic costs. This is due to the fact that its principal cause seems to be the increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activity. Faced with these risks and costs, prudence must prevail, which requires thoughtful deliberations based on an accurate analysis of the impact our actions will have on the future.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin Vatican Secretary of State

The problem with Cardinal Parolin’s assessment is that no “scientific consensus” exists concerning global warming. What exists are manipulated data—which many have called “fraudulent”—that conform to the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and whose political goal is to impose a novus ordo saeculum—a new one-world order—across the globe.

Considering the content of the Cardinal’s speech, it might just as well have been written by those who worship at the altar of environmentalism. Yes, it might not promote the gospel of global warming, but it’s there. Yes, it may not be hysterical in tone, but it’s there. What’s next, a papal encyclical concerning the Earth’s melting icecaps which are raising the ocean’s levels and threatenting to imperil cities, when, in fact those icecaps are expanding? Another papal encyclical calling upon the people of the earth to protect the endangered polar bears whose numbers are actually expanding?

The Vatican oftentimes is criticized for immersing itself in matters that are “beyond the Church’s competence.” That’s certainly apropos in this regard. There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation’s health and well-being. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.”

But, to provide propaganda for those who worship at the altar of environmentalism that will be propagated by their stormy petrels as well as a compliant mainstream media isn’t good diplomacy. Especially when those statements are rooted in falsehood.




To read Cardinal Parolin’s address, click on the following link:


To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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  1. “There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation’s health and well-being. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.” ”
    It goes without saying that the “next generation” includes our constitutional posterity. To paraphrase: “There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.” God gave Adam the power to name people and things. “And he called the woman Eve, because she is the mother of all mankind.” Eve did not abort her children to protect the environment. Catholic environmentalism would exclude abortion.

  2. Caring for creation is a Catholic imperative, as you say, Motley. I also totally agree that there is a secular neo-pagan environmentalism, another ideology that has taken over the media and various institutions. However, I am not at all sure that the Cardinal Secretary of State belongs to or is overly influenced by this ideology. Also keep in mind that the present Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, considers environmental issues one of the major issues facing today’s Church-and I certainly don’t see him worshiping Gaia, et. al.

    Until recently, I held a pretty firm position that the climate was indeed changing but that it was a natural occurrence. I was recently stunned however to find that they have studied ice cores dating back 800,000 years. These ice cores capture bubbles of air, and thus the atmosphere of that given era. They are able to distinguish carbon dioxide and other gases which come from volcanoes (how I am not sure, it is beyond my pay scale 🙂 ). What stunned me was that over 800,000 years the ‘air’ has not substantially changed, except within the last 100 years, when a marked increase of carbon dioxide has been monitored.

    Now this does not automaticaly mean it is directly man-made [for example emissions from coal, gasoline etc]. It could well be that the delicate eco-system of trees, ocean and atmosphere has been disturbed-but that would primarily still be done by us. I have always made fun of ‘tree-huggers’ and get enraged when people care more about turtle eggs than human beings in the womb. The environmentalism of the liberals in America is just plain stupid IMHO. However, besides the “gospel call” to care for creation, I just can’t avoid these findings or explain them away.

  3. Will this Cardinal thus support nuclear energy, the only way to obviate green house gas emissions on an industrial scale while providing electricity 24 / 7.
    It irritates me to no end to see these clerics pontificate on subjects over which they have neither authority nor expertise and ignore the Gospel of holiness and righteousness.

  4. Paul Primavera

    A serious (and not sarcastic etc) question. Is not caring for the environment a part of the “Gospel of holiness and righteousness”?

  5. So many unbelievable things have come to pass in the last century that maybe we are all just to darned credulous.
    “That said, it appears some very high Vatican operatives have become smitten with the secular version of environmentalism – ” ( Mötley Monk)

  6. Botolph,
    We are in violent agreement. Outward environmental stewardship is a natural result of an interior life of righteousness and holiness. Pollution of the soul must be eradicated before pollution of the environment can be eradicated. Greed for money and lust for power keep the nation addicted to polluting fossil fuels and prevent transition to safe, clean nuclear energy.
    For example, did you know that Shirley Ann Jackson, former NRC Chairwoman under President Clinton, is on the Board of Directors for Marathon Oil? Why is it ok for a nuclear regulator to have conflicting monetary interests in competing dirty fossil fuels?
    And I wonder what fossil fuel investments are had by current anti-nuclear NRC Chairwoman Macfarlane and her husband, Hugh Gusterson, an anthropologist at George Washington University who studies anti-nuclear activism. Yeah, right!
    Under Barack HUSSEIN Obama, San Onofre Units 2 and 3, Keewanee, Crystal Rover and Vermont Yankee are ALL being shutdown. What will replace them? This?
    Environmental stewardship can ONLY be addressed by going to safe, clean nuclear, but greed for fossil fuel profit and addiction to fossil fuel availability prevents that. If fossil fuel had to abide by the same regulations that nuclear has to abide by – no emissions release – not a single fossil fuel power plant would be running, and solar and wind would collapse because of their abysmally low < 30% capacity factors.

  7. Peace and Justice!!!

    Their so-called solutions to climate change result in, at best, higher energy prices and slower economic development and growth. They will condemn billions of poor (mainly black and brown) people to misery and poverty. At worst, there will be national bankruptcies.

  8. “There’s a sucker born every minute (I say, ‘every second’).”

    This “climate change”, “global warming” scam, is the biggest scam ever foisted upon the people of this earth…aside from the scam of the devil, getting people to believe that he does not exist.

  9. the Old Adam: ““There’s a sucker born every minute (I say, ‘every second’).”
    This “climate change”, “global warming” scam, is the biggest scam ever foisted upon the people of this earth…aside from the scam of the devil, getting people to believe that he does not exist.”
    Well said. It is mind control and manipulation through fear, not to mention the levying of taxes, or as the White House said: “It is a penalty”.

  10. There is a new nuclear startup company called “NuScale” about which you may learn more here – I encourage browsing and viewing the various videos:
    I am not going to bother describing the passively safe modular reactor design being proposed by this company. Those of you who are serious readers can find out more at the following 31 page document in the public domain at the web site of the US NRC:
    Indeed, my story is not about science and engineering (of which the cleric that is the subject of this blog entry has ZERO knowledge). My story is about people.
    I once upon a time had an opportunity to attend a little speech given by Dr. Jose Reyes, the founder of this company and its chief technology officer (he was within the US NRC in the late 1970s and early 1980s if memory serves me correctly). He said that the job of the employees of that company is to bring light to the world – to provide small modular reactors in darkened areas around the globe where people live in abject poverty and there is no electric grid. Remember folks that your prosperity is directly proportional to access to low cost energy at your finger tips at every second of every day throughout the year rain or shine. Billions still do not have the power you have this evening (or morning if you are reading this in the morning). A simple, small, passively safe, walk-away nuclear reactor that emits no green house gases and which unlike solar or wind, runs 24 / 7 is clearly the solution.
    Now what kind of a company is this whose chief officers espouses such altruism? Is it really altruistic, or is it just so much corporate propaganda? Well, back before 2011 this company was being financed by the Michael Kenwood Group (a fact in the public domain). This group unbeknownst to company executives was playing a Ponzi scheme which of course failed. Federal charges were levied and NuScale lost funding. Many employees were laid off. Some agreed to work for minimum wage and other did work for free rather than see their dream go up in coal dust smoke. They did that from March to July of 2011, until Fluor Corporation miraculously came in as the next major investor.
    Now what did the employees at Solyndra do when that company failed after receiving almost a billion in aid from the Federal Government? They bailed put like rats escaping a sinking ship. It wasn’t about environmental consciousness or a desire to bring light to darkened areas of the globe that motivated Solyndra. It was government money – your tax money and mine.
    Now yes, NuScale has received DOE funding – $214 million over five years I think. It is all in the public domain. But that is a pittance to what Barack Hussein Obama has spent on failed renewable energy schemes that never ever will work. And when those schemes go belly up, everyone deserts the cause, unlike the employees and staff at NuScale.
    Now tell me. Would that worthless cleric which is the subject of this blog entry give up his parish money for the greater good? Would he give up his health insurance? Would he eat peanut butter and jelly to save on food costs while he worked for the greater good? Would he get his hands dirty bringing light to the world Huh? Would he? (Yes, I know and am aware of the double meaning in the phrase “bringing light to the world.” Think about it: no electricity means you will have the life expectancy of people in the 1800s. you take for granted your food, your water, your lights, your refrigerator, your air conditioner, your hot water heater, your toilet, your running water, and all the other conveniences that electricity gives you. Billions do not have what you have. Think about it – bring light to the world.)
    I know a company where employees gave up what that cleric would never give up and they still worked their tails off. Those are the true environmentalists. Those are the ones who care about the poor. They really do want to bring light to the world. And the next time I hear or read some anti-nuclear fruit cake nut-zoid eco-wacko start mouthing off his nonsense, I shall give it to him with both barrels (figuratively speaking).

  11. Oh, and just as a side note, the Catholic Church located in the town where the NuScale headequarters are based has the two best priests ever, both Argentinian and both orthodox and yet very people-oriented. They both preach the best sermons, and their English is better than mine. And there is Perpetual (24 / 7 – like the electricity you always want at your finger tips) Adoration where the Monstrance has engraved the words REX SVM EGO. The cleric up above could do well by learning from these humble priests. Bring light to the world. Double meaning is intended.

  12. Thank you for the link exNOAAman- “climate religion” is another name for it! for people who have a bit more of a scientism bent and don’t want to admit to one of the older names!

  13. In Europe, opposition to environmentalism is common on the Hard Left.

    To take one example, “There is no “environmental catastrophe.” The catastrophe is the environment itself. The environment is what’s left to man after he’s lost everything. Those who live in a neighborhood, a street, a valley, a war zone, a workshop – they don’t have an “environment;” they move through a world peopled by presences, dangers, friends, enemies, moments of life and death, all kinds of beings. Such a world has its own consistency, which varies according to the intensity and quality of the ties attaching us to all of these beings, to all of these places. It’s only us, the children of the final dispossession, exiles of the final hour – the ones who come into the world in concrete cubes, pick our fruits at the supermarket, and watch for an echo of the world on television – only we get to have an environment”

    They are at least shrewd enough to see that “Tracking, transparency, certification, eco-taxes, environmental excellence, and the policing of water, all give us an idea of the coming state of ecological emergency. Everything is permitted to a power structure that bases its authority in Nature, in health and in well-being.”

  14. Folks,
    I continue to find good information. Over at Areva’s blog (Areva is a big French nuclear company marking an Evolutionary Power Reactor) there is a great article entitled:
    DOE Energy Calculator: Coal, Dynamite, Burritos, and Nuclear Candy
    The US DOE did a study which determined that “the average American burns up the annual energy equivalent of 15,370 pounds of coal (7.7 tons), 165,033 sticks of dynamite, or 31,226 burritos for residential and transportation activities. Putting aside the dynamite and burrito comparisons for the moment, the data analysis makes the point that your energy use burns up about 41 pounds of coal a day, equaling your body weight every few days.”
    And all that mass of fossil fuel – or burritos – that you consume is equal to one 4 inch stick of uranium pellets each the size of your thumb.
    So ask yourself this: when you consume 15,370 pounds of coal or 31,221burritos every year, exactly where does that waste go if NOT into the environment? In the case of used nuclear fuel, it still has 95% of its energy available that can be recycled and reused in fast neutron burner reactors. And all the used fuel in the US is completely sequester in spent fuel pools or dry storage casks, and would occupy no more than 1 football field to a depth of 7 feet. And if we recycle and reuse the fuel, then that gets reduced to just the 1st yard line. That’s it. Not like the 39 million tons of toxic coal ash that Duke Energy recently dumped in North Carolina’s river system. Do you really think Cardinal Pietro Parolin understands ANY of this? Or how stupid and idiotic his native Italy was for denuking itself after Chernobyl, never mind that NONE of the Italian reactors were of the RBMK design and could never by the laws of physics undergo a Chernobyl event (don’t tempt me to explain those laws – I can, you know, and God made them the way they are no matter how much someone may dislike the strong nuclear force).
    Now for what happens when you shut down a perfectly good nuclear power plant and replace it with fossil fuel (wind and solar don’t work 24 / 7 – capacity factors are < 30% – do the math, folks. You want your electricity 24 / 7). Vermont Yankee, much to the delight of socialist Bernie Sanders and the rest of the dope head hippies in Vermont is being shutdown. Electricity prices in neighboring Massachusetts will rise 37% this winter. Guess what happens if another polar vortex hits? Gas line valves freeze, trains can't run coal to coal plants, oil lines freeze, wind turbines lock up, solar panels get covered with snow, etc. NO electricity. Get the picture? Lights out because of stupid idiotic eco-wacko anti-nuclearism. Last year during the Polar Vortex Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro and Pilgrim in Plymouth, Mass kept churning out the megawatts. Kind of hard to dampen the strong nuclear force with a little wind and snow. Oh, but this year the dope head hippies in Vermont won't suffer in their pocket books because they got a one time kick back from the decommissioning fund. But wait till November of 2015. Then the idiots will get exactly what they deserve as the natural gas suppliers and Hydro Quebec put the screws to them that they so richly deserve. I love it when a godless liberal has got to pay. More here on the debacle that Vermonters have heaped on their own heads:
    I really think that if clerics (or anyone else for that matter) do not understand energy, engineering and science, then they don't get to pontificate about environmentalism, or any related subject because, just as Mr. McClarey has indicated that many are bone ignorant about history, they are also bone ignorant about science. So that begs the question: exactly what is it that these people do know?

  15. “Coal, Dynamite, Burritos, and Nuclear Candy”

    With a title like that, how can one not read it?
    But Paul says:
    ” I love it when a godless liberal has got to pay”
    Sadly, their usual method is to tax the rest of us into paying for their foolishness.

  16. Paul Primavera,

    Why isn’t the disposal of radioactive nuclear waste from reactors a long term danger to humanity and the environment?

    For how long does the waste remain radioactive?

  17. Paul can provide a more through response to you, slainte, but I would note that the total amount of spent nuclear fuel that has been produced in America could fill a football field sized container stacked 20 feet high. In other words, we’re not talking about a particularly large amount here, and it can be safely stored in such a way that it a threat to no one. There’s also the possibility of recycling the waste, though I understand that it is technologically difficult.

  18. Thank you, Paul Zummo. I was at the gym when I got the email alerting me to Slainte’s question. Your response is basically correct. Total amount of used fuel generated is relatively small and readily manageable. Current high-level waste volume after 40 years of operations would fill an area about the size of a football field five yards deep. It is about 48,000 metric tons, assuming ½ ton per fuel assembly with 100,000 assemblies. However, waste is a misnomer. Only ~5% is waste. The rest is fuel that can be recycled, as Paul Zummo stated. This is a technical problem that can be overcome by using fast neutron burner reactor such as GE-Hitachi’s PRISM: http://gehitachiprism.com/.
    Now recently the US NRC issued NUREG-2157, Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel. You can read volumes 1 and 2 here: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr2157/. Even anti-nuclear Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane signed off on this. Basically, it says that there is NO long term issue with spent fuel storage in dry casks on the surface of the Earth. Now I know this to be true. Why? Because all of my adult life I have worked around spent fuel in spent fuel pools or in dry cask storage. I still live, breathe and walk. Spent fuel is safer than driving your automobile.
    Now for all those who cite the hazards of spent fuel, did you ever consider that coal fired power plants release more radioactivity to the environment than any nuclear power plant does? Now why is that? Because coal contains radium, uranium and thorium which is willy-nilly dumped into the environment.
    Did you ever consider that fracking for natural gas releases more radioactivity in the form of radon than any nuclear power plant does?
    But let’s take a comparison. Total spent fuel (95% of which can be used in fast neutron burners) is 48 thousand metric tons in the US. Earlier this year ONE Duke Energy coal fired power plant dumped 39 MILLION tons of toxic sludge into the river system down near Wilmington, NC. What is 48,000 total for US nukes compared to 39,000,000 for one coal plant? I shall tell you. One coal plant has 812.5 times the toxic waste – none of which can be recycled and all of which is an environmental hazard that never ever decays away – that all the nukes in the US have. And that coal waste is radioactive.
    I could go on about the refuse gases that natural gas plants give off, or the heavy metal pollution that making solar cells generates, or the explosions that have occurred at solar thermal stations, or the lubricating oil spilled into the environment by wind mills. Every source of energy produces a waste product. Only nuclear sequesters its waste and only in nuclear’s case can the waste be reprocessed and reused.
    We do NOT have a nuclear waste problem. We have a sin waste problem.

  19. Please see the following video by Dr. Eric Lowen of GE-Hitachi. I have worked with him. He is an honest man. He is telling the truth.

  20. For those concerned about nuclear waste, please read chapters 11 and 12 of The Nuclear Energy Option by Dr. Bernard Cohen located here: http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/BOOK.html.
    Please also read Dr. Cohen’s other essays located here: http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/.

    I cannot day which is more important because they are all important. If you do not know anything about nuclear power, then kindly start at page 1 in The Nuclear Energy Option. I cannot distill 38 years of nuclear training and experience into a sound bite. If you want to know the truth and how you have been lied to by politicians and the news media, then read and study. I have been a nuke for almost 4 decades. While it is by God’s grace I am still alive, that God had to send His angels working overtime on my case has NOTHING to do with my professional job and EVERYTHING to do with self-will run riot in my personal life. Nuclear energy is the safest form of energy we have. I consider it a great irony that the largest source of power available to us comes from the smallest particle of an element – the atom. But God is like that: He does the greatest things with the smallest.
    Again: we have no energy crisis, no pollution crisis, no waste crisis, no environmental crisis. Rather, we have a crisis of self-will run riot, a sin crisis, the very crisis for which I need to frequent the Confessional more than I do for the fires of hell will be well beyond radioactive.

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