Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Catholic bishops in the US jumping on the climate change bandwagon

The Catholic Church in the US is jumping on the climate change bandwagon
The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change “and our partners,” which include the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, and Catholic Charities USA, are inviting Catholic parishes, colleges, and schools to show Sun Come Up on or before October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
The Oscar-nominated documentary, according to its web site, “shows the human face of climate change. The film follows the relocation of the Carteret Islanders, a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean, and now, some of the world’s first environmental refugees.”
The "documentary", which the Catholic bishops and other organizations "invite" parishes, colleges and schools to show is of course nothing but environmental spin. The Carteret Islands, as well as other Pacific low-laying atolls, are not sinking because of climate change
Fortunately there are cooler heads among US Catholics, like Dr. Jeff Mirus, who has written a very sensible article on climate change:
It seems likely, after all, that what we are witnessing in the furor over climate change is a rerun of the wildly off-base population explosion announced in the 1960s, or the brief romance with a threatened ice age in the next decade, or the treatment of pregnancy as a disease, or the pressing need for safe sex, or the horrors of growing up in a world in which not everyone respects and affirms our every choice. These have all been made the moral basis for social, political and economic action, yet most people in our culture understand these issues either badly or wrongly. Worse still, the actions taken at best waste time, energy and resources and at worst either make the problem worse or create new problems in their wake.
Think how much more good could be done if those who are rushing to join the climate change crusade, especially as it relates to yet another set of coercive government policies, were to put even half of their fervor into living chastely, protecting the lives of the unborn, discouraging divorce, nurturing families, participating actively in local churches and community organizations, supporting neighborhood health clinics, promoting charitable work, or actually lending a hand to those in concrete, discernible and remediable need. Instead of trying to be seen on the “moral high ground” of the latest fashionable cause (be it whales, diversity, gender-neutral speech, or climate change), we could all actually begin to construct a better world one person at a time.
After observing the secular social order for some fifty years, I am absolutely convinced that both the human person and society as a whole have a deep need for a moral orientation, and when a society either rejects or ignores the natural law and Divine Revelation because these conflict with inordinate desires, then people are strongly drawn to ersatz causes in order to achieve moral satisfaction while distracting themselves from deeper issues. The effort to get climate change documentaries into parishes and Catholic schools is, I believe, a signal example of this common failing, arising as it does from an almost willful refusal on the part of the proponents to open their eyes to the for more pressing moral infections which have already metastasized in our culture like a deadly cancer.
A study of climate science in educational institutions is certainly both appropriate and important. As with knowledge of almost anything else, but especially of those things which may affect our lives, we should want to study climate and learn what we can about it. But we also need to recall that there have been significant climate changes before, even during the past few thousand years of recorded human history, complete with widespread shifts in what crops could be grown in different places and where people preferred to live. One thinks, for example, of the Medieval Warm Period which affected Europe and other regions between about 950 and 1250, which was followed by the so-called Little Ice Age. We probably do not even have a long enough window of serious climate study to know what we ought to consider the outer limits of “normal”.
In any case, it will take far more study, with far more accurate and universally respected results, over a much longer period of time before our limited human comprehension can form a true picture of what is happening, why it is happening, whether it is a source of long-term concern, and whether there is anything particular to be done about it. Under these circumstances, making climate change into a moral priority—that is, a guilt trip—is extraordinarily imprudent. It will serve as more than a distraction. Like many a cause célèbre before it, climate change will become an excuse to ignore the damage done through human relationships that are sadly based on a rejection of God and the natural law.

Read the entire article here

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