Yes. I have read the latest encyclical
I put on a string of Bach cantatas to keep me in a serene mood while I read a very long document (over 100 pages) and below is what I found in it. Below are selected phrases and sentences as written by Pope Frank himself. You don't need to rely on journalists to interpret the document for you. You can do it yourself from his own politically relevant words that I have picked out. I believe they summarize the whole, as far as secular issues are concerned. I will have something to say about them following them:
"faced as we are with global environmental deterioration...
for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate...
bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development...
the throwaway culture and the proposal of a new lifestyle....
There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general.
We have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them
A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon
scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. Concentrated in the atmosphere, these gases do not allow the warmth of the sun’s rays reflected by the earth to be dispersed in space.
Carbon dioxide pollution increases the acidification of the oceans and compromises the marine food chain. If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us
Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.
There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy
Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations. A true “ecological debt” exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.
The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development.
Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.
It is foreseeable that, once certain resources have been depleted, the scene will be set for new wars
aside from all doomsday predictions, the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view
The principle of the subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods, and thus the right of everyone to their use, is a golden rule of social conduct
It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit.
The specialization which belongs to technology makes it difficult to see the larger picture. The fragmentation of knowledge proves helpful for concrete applications, and yet it often leads to a loss of appreciation for the whole, for the relationships between things, and for the broader horizon
There needs to be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm.
All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution
there is a great variety of small-scale food production systems which feed the greater part of the world’s peoples, using a modest amount of land and producing less waste, be it in small agricultural parcels, in orchards and gardens, hunting and wild harvesting or local fishing. Economies of scale, especially in the agricultural sector, end up forcing smallholders to sell their land or to abandon their traditional crops.
Although no conclusive proof exists that GM cereals may be harmful to human beings, and in some regions their use has brought about economic growth which has helped to resolve problems, there remain a number of significant difficulties which should not be underestimated.
Economic growth, for its part, tends to produce predictable reactions and a certain standardization with the aim of simplifying procedures and reducing costs. This suggests the need for an “economic ecology” capable of appealing to a broader vision of reality.
Many intensive forms of environmental exploitation and degradation not only exhaust the resources which provide local communities with their livelihood, but also undo the social structures which, for a long time, shaped cultural identity and their sense of the meaning of life and community.
Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes
The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro is worth mentioning. It proclaimed that “human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development”.
The principle of the maximization of profits, frequently isolated from other considerations, reflects a misunderstanding of the very concept of the economy
Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper,
Before beginning a discussion of the above, it is obviously of interest to ask whether dangerous global warming now has the imprimatur of Papal infallibility. Is the encyclical an infallible pronouncement on the matter? It is not. The Vatican Council taught that the Bishop of Rome makes an infallible ex cathedra definition when he defines “exercising his function as pastor and teacher of all Christians as pro suprema sua Apostolica auctoritate.” The encyclical must not be considered, then, as a document containing ex cathedra definitions except where the Holy Father speaks and teaches in them using “his supreme apostolic authority.” Simply put, he's got to say, "This teaching is infallible".
Note however that Catholics are bound not only by doctrines defined as infallible but by all the teachings of the church. They are therefore now bound to sincerely accept the reality of dangerous global warming if they are to be true Catholics. See here
So much for the theology. On to a consideratiion of the teachings for those who are not Catholics:
It's clear that Frank hasn't got a blind clue about how the modern world works. I had expected a better brain from a Jesuit. As it is, the above is a pretty good enchiridion of modern Green/Leftism.
Frank hates the world about him as passionately as any Leftist. He sees disasters and wrongs everywhere he looks. He fortunately does not call for any specific political policies other than "discussion" but he has lumbered the church with a belief in the false doctrine of imminent and catastrophic global warming.
With typical Leftist overgeneralization, he treats the world as a whole, with little recognition that different parts of the globe are very different. Any American living in the border states knows that you just have to cross a political border to enter a very different world. And if it is crass to treat the USA and Mexico as just one undifferentiated whole, how much sense does it make to treat (for instance) the Central African Republic as no different from Norway?
Frank just has no time for detail. And yet detail is all-important in the greatly differentiated world we inhabit. It is true, for instance, that Indonesia is cutting down its native forests at an alarming rate but it is also true that the USA has more tree cover today than it did 100 years ago. So when Frank rails against the global loss of forests he is making a generalization that is both wrong and stupid.
And the irony escapes him that it is places like Indonesia where people mostly live the simple village life that he extols. If he really did like trees he would be praising the USA and condemning Indonesia. No hope of that, of course. Frank just hates the modern world so much that he has no inclination to learn of its real diversity and complexity. You will see no recognition in his words that it is in precisely the capitalist world which he condemns where the environment is best cared for. He knows nothing. All he has are prejudices and hatreds -- JR.
A comment received from a reader of the above that I like:
Now we see revealed to the world why the nethermost Americas are so poorly governed when a leading intellectual can reel out the warmist pap as an article of faith.
As you say, we all expect better of a Jesuit. There wasn't the slightest hint of critical thought, or scientific investigation. There was no attempt at balance or dispassionate analysis. The language is the intemperate bile of the zealot. No hint of a document revised time and again by the finest minds in the Vatican to ensure intellectual respectability or philosophical thoroughness. It's a schoolboy's first draft, an outpouring of passionately held, but not critically examined ideas.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).