In addition to Rich Lowry's negative commentary on Pope Francis' encyclical posted previously, I now offer Maureen Malarkey's which is even more strident, but very much worth reading. She titles her contribution (published June 24, 2015), "Where Did Pope Francis's Extravagant Rant Come From?" Mularkey writes: [my bolding]
Subversion of Christianity by the spirit of the age has been a hazard down the centuries. The significance of “Laudato Si” lies beyond its stated concern for the climate. Discount obfuscating religious language. The encyclical lays ground to legitimize global government and makes the church an instrument of propaganda—a herald for the upcoming United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Accommodation by church hierarchy to green dogma has been metastasizing since the UN proclaimed Earth Day in 1970. Two decades later, Kevin Costner went dancing with wolves while the Fraser Institute prefaced “Religion, Wealth, and Poverty” (1990) by Jesuit scholar James V. Schall with this:
. . . the relatively sudden appearance of religion not primarily as worship or doctrine, but as social activism, has been not a little perplexing. Numerous sympathetic critics, many of the faithful, and interested observers sense that something is occurring with vast and unsettling implications for the well-being of the public order and for religion itself. They are not at all sure, however, that what is happening is itself in the best interests of religion or of the poor and outcast for whom it is said to be occurring.
Propelled by the cult of feeling and Golden Age nostalgia—enshrined in the myth of indigenous peoples as peaceable ecologists—that elusive something picked up a tincture of Teilhardian gnosticism as it grew. It bursts on us now as “Laudato Si,” a malignant jumble of dubious science, policy prescriptions, doomsday rhetoric, and what students of Wordsworthian poetics call, in Keats’ derisive phrase, “the egotistical sublime.”
Eco-Activists Thrive on Distortions
The document’s catalogue of distortions and factual errors are those of the climate-change establishment swallowed whole. There is no scientific consensus on man-made global warming, no consensus on the role of human activity in any of the environmental phenomena cited.
Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore abandoned the organization in 1986, highlighting its abandonment of scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas:
By around the mid-1980s, when I left Greenpeace, the public had accepted most of the reasonable things we had been fighting for: stop the bomb, save the whales, stop toxic waste dumping into the earth, water, and air. Some, like myself, realized the job of creating mass awareness of the importance of the environment had been accomplished and it was time to move on from confrontation to sustainable development, seeking solutions. But others seemed bent on lifelong confrontation, ‘up against the man’ ‘smash capitalism’. . . .
In order to remain confrontational as society adopted all the reasonable demands, it was necessary for these anti-establishment lifers to adopt ever more extreme positions, eventually abandoning science and logic altogether in zero-tolerance policies.
That was 30 years ago. Since then, “the ‘green’ movement has not only become more hard line, they have also become irrational and fanatical.”
Climate has fluctuated since the planet formed. Sea levels have been rising for thousands of years with no current increase in the rate. Catastrophic extinctions occurred millions of years before industrialization. Not so long ago in geological time, Arctic islands were covered in sub-tropical forests and no ice covered either pole. Climate temperature has been flat for nearly two decades despite rise in CO2. On it goes.
Enter Jorge Bergolio. Informed objection to the pope’s roster of pending disasters is widely available—but also, at this point, moot. Reducing greenhouse gases has just been deemed a religious obligation. What should concern us now is the ecclesial climate that yielded this extravagant rant.
A Short List of What’s Wrong with ‘Laudato Si’
There is nothing to admire in its assault on market economies, technological progress, and—worse—on rationality itself. Bergolio, whom we know now as Pope Francis, is a limited man. His grasp of economics is straitjacketed by the Peronist culture in which he was raised. “Laudato Si” descends to garish, left-wing boilerplate. The pope is neither a public intellectual, theologian, nor a man of science. Yet he impersonates all three.