From the Pastor: Climate Change Document
While I was at the Convocation last week a new document on “climate change” came out of Rome. I don’t know if any of you follow the writings of William Briggs, a Catholic statistician who writes with clarity about such things. Below is a small smattering of his take on this, which I changed by what he calls “paragraphication.” I pass this on to you mostly because I didn’t write anything while on Convocation and need to fill this spot! But secondarily, I wanted to introduce you to this author, for his ability to use logic and actual science instead of emotion and “models” is quite refreshing. His latest book, “Everything You Believe Is Wrong” is, for instance, truly a good read as he points out the flawed arguments made every day by so-called “experts.” You can find him at https://www.wmbriggs.com/
The Vatican’s New Exhortation On “Climate Change” Has Many Errors
BY BRIGGS ON OCTOBER 5, 2023
The Vatican issued a new Apostolic Exhortation, given in the name of Pope Francis, entitled Laudate Deum. The document is addressed “To all people of good will on the climate crisis.” There is no “climate crisis.” It does not exist. It is not so. I (and many others) have spent years and years documenting an enormous number of arguments showing there is no “climate crisis” (a small handful here). Whoever wrote this exhortation has based it on a false premise. And, as Aristotle taught us, from a false premise come the greatest errors. Like this error: “the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.” Passing by the needlessly frightening “breaking point”, we note that this sentence is not so. The world is not collapsing, not due to “climate change” anyway. The West is collapsing, it is true, but in part because of unnecessary hersteria (effeminate hysteria) over “climate change”.
Overreaction like this: “We will feel [climate change’s] effects in the areas of healthcare, sources of employment, access to resources, housing, forced migrations, etc.” Whoever wrote suffers from a now common inability to imagine changes in the environment that are not bad. Because it is not physically possible that all changes in climate are bad, because some changes are good (like increased plant and crop growth and warmer weather), sentences like this reveal more about the author’s mind than it does about the world.
Now for a theological curiosity: “African bishops stated that climate change makes manifest ‘a tragic and striking example of structural sin’.” This is false. Every plant, animal, and even every inanimate object affects the atmosphere, and hence the climate. Is impossible—not unlikely: impossible—that whatever is on earth not to affect the climate. The climate on earth has never been static, and never will be static. It cannot be static. It is impossible to stop climate change. A changing climate is not a sin. Rise up, Peter, kill and eat. Man, like all other animals, must affect his environment to live—and even to die. Certainly there will be, at times, excess; for instance in the over-vigorous production of the tracking devices we insist on carrying with us everywhere. All excess should and must be condemned. Gluttony and greed are not new sins. They are sins. “Climate change” is not a sin.
There are many factual errors in the document, which were easy to check, but were not. For instance, “the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident”. The climate is always changing, so that is true, but the one must understand that when the phrase “climate change” is used by the untutored they mean the theory of “climate crisis”; they take this theory as proven. Yet this is not so. It continues: “it is verifiable that specific climate changes provoked by humanity are notably heightening the probability of extreme phenomena that are increasingly frequent and intense.” This is false, and easily seen to be false. All these attribution studies are fundamentally flawed. They are all premised on perfect model predictions, a false premise. Details are at the link. Another: “we are presently experiencing is an unusual acceleration of warming” (and more similar rate-of-change claims later in the document). Not so. Historical data come from models of temperature by proxy, which necessarily smooths values; whereas current values are much more variable because of the increased frequency of measurement. This gives an entirely false picture of rate-of-change if one is not careful. The amount of uncertainty in actual changes is too large to make the claim. Another: “melting of glaciers can be easily perceived by an individual in his or her lifetime”. It has grown warmer (thank God) in some years. What happens to ice when it is hot? It melts. That melting is taken as (separate) proof that the theory for the warmth is therefore true. But there are alternate theories, which make the same, and better predictions. Other, better, rival theories besides “global boiling” or “climate crisis” exist. These are supported by the same evidence of melting glaciers. Another: “Droughts and floods, the dried-up lakes, communities swept away by seaquakes and flooding ultimately have the same origin.” This is false. Droughts and floods are down, not up, and their harms are down, not up. And seaquakes caused by “climate change”? No.
These are followed by a surreal claim that some blame “climate change” on the poor, and women. I have studied this subject for decades and have never heard this, from any source, even once. Yet if somebody has made this preposterous claim, they are wrong. Or perhaps this is a mere appeal to pity.
Anyway, read the rest of his article at the website listed above. He actually has the credentials needed to make such critiques, in case you were wondering, and is not just some Catholic knucklehead with a keyboard and a grudge against the Church or Her leaders.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka