This video clip of Ted Cruz disemboweling Aaron Mair, the head of the Sierra Club, is making the rounds. It shows Cruz at his very best, cross-examining a witness to a pulp. The most striking thing, however, is how unbelievably hackish and ill-prepared Mair is. Here’s the video:
Goldberg writes further:
Over and over again, Mair simply says that he’s going to rely on the 97 percent of scientists who say that global warming is happening, it’s caused by man and it’s a huge problem. People of good faith can take Mair’s position on one or all of those particulars. But the 97 percent stat is pure public relations b.s.
Here’s a good explainer by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer on where that number — which Barack Obama, John Kerry and countless other politicians and journalists retail uncritically: [more. . .]
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.
A quasi-religious movement now has a genuinely religious leader.
The pope’s encyclical on the environment is being hailed for its embrace of science, although it is about as scientific as the Catholic hymnal.
Pope Francis writes that Sister Earth “now cries out because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.” Really? Is that what the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says?
I’m not Catholic, but I respect the pope’s humility and am moved by his love for the handicapped and his concern for the vulnerable. The Catholic Church is one of the pillars of Western civilization, and it has brought comfort and meaning to the lives of countless millions of people down through the millennia.
That doesn’t mean that climate science, economic policy, cost-benefit analysis are its core competencies. No one has ever said: Yes, but what did Gregory VII do to fight the onset of the Medieval Warm Period?
The pope’s at times lyrical encyclical draws on a beautiful tradition of respect for nature and its creatures represented by the pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, and is suffused with an intense regard for the poor. But anyone who takes the encyclical as a serious guide to public policy deserves a stern talking to from the nearest tough-minded, ruler-wielding nun.