One of the reactions of PopeWatch to the Green Encyclical is bloat. The whole thing could have weighed in at 50 pages without any loss of content. The committee who put this together needed a good editor. As a public service, PopeWatch will now provide a slimmed down version of the Encyclical.
1.Saint Francis liked the environment and so should we.
2.The world is in a sad shape from pollution and it is our fault.
3.This encyclical is as important as Pacem in Terris that was released in 1963.
4.The Pope cites Pope Paul VI on the environment so that you won’t think he is a hippie Pope off on his own hook.
5.Ditto as to Pope John Paul II.
5.Ditto as to Pope Benedict.
6.The Pope cites Patriarch Bartholomew because he is an environmental alarmist like the Pope and because modern pontiffs never miss an opportunity to suck up to the Orthodox, even though they all tell us to take a hike eventually when it comes to reunification.
9.Let’s drag Saint Francis back in and ahistorically paint him as an enviro-nut.
10.More Saint Francis.
11.More Saint Francis.
12.More Saint Francis.
13.Man made harm to environment is a big problem and we all need to work together to solve it.
14.If you think this whole environmental doom and gloom is idiocy you are in denial and part of the problem.
15.Yeah, the Pope is making this eco alarmist manifesto part of the Social Teaching of the Church. In the rest of the encyclical the Pope will first scare you with enviro gloom and doom picked from scientific sources that agree with him. He will then graft principles drawn from Judeo-Christian sources to develop a plan of action. Then he will tell you what he wants you to do about the environmental mess. He will support all of this with cherry picked examples from Christian history.
16.Organization of this Encyclical is sort of sloppy and the Pope will be zigzagging around.
17.Here begins the part where the Pope will scare you.
18.The world is going through a period of rapid change.
19.Humanity used to be confident, but now Humanity, at least the chattering classes, is pessimistic and concerned with the environment and that is a good thing.
20.Pollution is all around us.
21.The Earth is being turned into a vast rubbish dump. (Scared yet?)
22.Humans produce a throwaway culture and we should emulate the plants and their sustainable mode of producing energy and growth.
23.Climate is a common good and it has been getting warmer largely because of what humans do.
24.Cue the parade of factually dubious examples of harm caused by global warming.
25.Climate change is bad. Poor and developing nations hardest hit.
26.The Pope is in favor of the renewable energy boondoggles to get away from nasty fossil fuels.
27.Natural resources are being depleted and there are still poor people.
28.We are running out of water! (Panic!)
29.Poor people have bad water.
30.We have a duty to provide water gratis to the poor, because it is a basic human right for them to have other people pay for their water. Do not think of privatizing water! Caesar must control it.
31.Lack of water will lead to increased cost of food. Evil multinational corporations controlling water may lead to conflicts.
32.Earth’s resources are being plundered for evil free enterprise.
33.Species have rights! Stop causing them to go extinct!
34.More extinction gloom and doom.
35.The Pope will simultaneously rail about the conditions of the poor while being against economic development because it harms the environment.
36.The search for profits leads to damage to the environment.
37.Environmental sanctuaries are good.
38.You knew the Pope was going to sing the praises of rainforests, didn’t you?
39.Hands off wetlands and rain forests!
40.Hands off the oceans too!
41.The coral reefs, think of the coral reefs!
42.Greater study of ecosystems is needed so that Man, contra Nature, can guard all species against extinction.
43.Humans are harmed by environmental deterioration.
44.Cities are bad.
45.Don’t even think about establishing environmentally pleasant private areas.
46.The world’s going to Hell in a handbasket. (In spite of his smiles, this encyclical does indicate that the Pope is at bottom a deeply pessimistic man.)
47.The Pope doesn’t think much of you internet couch potatoes.
48.Poor hardest hit by environmental problems.
49.Must hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.
50.Pope is against those who wish to reduce third world populations, but he does want attention paid to imbalances in population densities.
Continued on Monday.