Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cardinal Pell backs Plimer against the Pope and the Catholic Church

As discussed in the Sydney Morning Herald and numerous other places, Cardinal George Pell has made a bit of a fool of himself on the record in the Australian Parliament's primary record, Hansard. In line with his numerous pronouncements that global warming is not a threat (such as here), Pell wrote to the Senate to immortalise his lack of understanding of climate science and his faith in a book of 'science fiction' that was penned by a chap called Ian Plimer.

Tim Lambert has published Pell's letter and the response from Dr Greg Ayers of the Bureau of Meteorology. Dr Ayers explains to the Senate Committee, why Ian Plimer's book is not credible.

Pell is in conflict with the Pope on the matter of global warming and has probably been in conflict with the Vatican for twenty years or more, on human welfare and environmental matters generally. Here is an excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI World Peace Day address last year (which refers also to concerns in 1990 expressed by Pope John Paul II):
4. Without entering into the merit of specific technical solutions, the Church is nonetheless concerned, as an “expert in humanity”, to call attention to the relationship between the Creator, human beings and the created order. In 1990 John Paul II had spoken of an “ecological crisis” and, in highlighting its primarily ethical character, pointed to the “urgent moral need for a new solidarity”.[7] His appeal is all the more pressing today, in the face of signs of a growing crisis which it would be irresponsible not to take seriously. Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of “environmental refugees”, people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it – and often their possessions as well – in order to face the dangers and uncertainties of forced displacement? Can we remain impassive in the face of actual and potential conflicts involving access to natural resources? All these are issues with a profound impact on the exercise of human rights, such as the right to life, food, health and development.
Click for the Pope's World Day of Peace message - 1 January 2010

And the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is as strong or stronger on the issue than the Pope and the Vatican, and writes:
The U.S. Catholic bishops have declared, "At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God's creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both 'the human environment' and the natural environment." (Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2001, p.1).
In parishes, dioceses and other Catholic organizations, we encourage efforts to bring about a discussion on climate change that is civil and constructive, that invokes the virtue of prudence in seeking solutions, and that is more responsive to the needs of the poor, both here in the United States and abroad. As Catholics, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to make a difference in addressing the potential impacts of global climate change, particularly on those least able to bear its burdens.
The USCCB urges specific action at the personal, state, national and global level; including at the national level:
The U.S. Catholic bishops are urging that any legislative action on climate change include provisions that: (1) ease the burden on poor people; (2) offer some relief for workers who may be displaced because of climate change policies; and (3) promote the development and use of alternate renewable and clean-energy resources, including the transfer of such technologies and technical assistance that may be appropriate and helpful to developing countries in meeting the challenges of global climate change.
Write to your Senators and Representatives in Congress and let them know that you care about climate change and support action on a national level that includes the three key priorities above. For background information on the issue, go to
Keep up to date on new science and technology relating to climate change by checking the websites of the National Academies of Sciences ( and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (

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