Any perception that it would prefer to thunder forth in condemnation of any opposition, rather than encouraging a genuine environmental debate, is not a good look for the Catholic Church. It brings back uncomfortable memories of days we expect long past. So when the Pope, widely respected as a good man, deeply concerned for the poor and needy worldwide, is perceived to be bypassing what many regard as his prime concern – in the shoes of St Peter – there is a degree of eyebrow raising, even consternation.
In the draft of his recent encyclical, the Pope states that there may be some natural reasons for global warming, but strongly chastises climate sceptics, “Their attitudes hindering the paths toward a solution, even amongst the believers, go from negating the problem to indifference, to an easy resignation, or to a blind faith in technical solutions,” he wrote.
However, as Peter Westmore, National President of the Australian Civic Council, points out in the intellectually-respected Australian New Weekly , “when Pope Francis expresses concerns about global warming, saying that ‘a solid scientific consensus’ indicates we are witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system, accompanied by rising sea levels and more extreme climate events such as cyclones and hurricanes’ , he’s actually quite wrong.”
Mr Westmore reminds us that this “consensus” is promoted by bodies like the IPCC (the majority of whose members are not scientists, but belong to organisations with links to NGOs, government and media organisations). Many well-qualified scientists in fact strongly dispute its highly politicised findings. As a consequence, they are constantly on the receiving end not of what we would accept as vigorous debate, but of aggressive and unpleasant name-calling. It by no means fails to originate from some who stand to profit by the promotion of this more then flawed hypothesis.
Numerous UN IPCC personnel have ties to environmental groups and departments within universities, many of which raise funding by hyping up the alleged dangers of climate change. The public is then presented with a flood of material fed through compliant media. However, apparently the public now believes these alarmist scenarios less and less – In a Daily Telegraph poll, by far the majority of the public agreed that the global warming scare has been greatly exaggerated…hence the ramping up of the propaganda in the lead-up to the conference at Paris later in the year.
As New Weekly points out, this “consensus” which the well-meaning Pope invokes, “ does not accord with actual measurements of global temperatures since the 1990s, and there is little evidence of any significant rising sea levels, or melting ice caps, or more frequent extreme climate events after two centuries of industrialisation”. Australian scientists have long disputed the claims, constantly touted in our media, that sea levels are rising, saying there is simply no evidence that this is the case.
In fact, highly qualified scientists have long claimed that the previous and welcome warming which came to a halt in about 1987 was the result of increased solar activity which is now dying away, and that there is good evidence we are entering into a mini ice age. In this July alone in New Zealand, we have had the coldest temperatures in our recorded history. In the US and Europe, cold winter temperatures have also broken all previous records.
What is the public to believe? The contortions in reasoning claiming that new records of extreme winter cold world-wide are still due to global warming is now regarded with increasing derision. Antarctic sea ice is reaching record levels. The Arctic, which unlike the Antarctic, is surrounded by (and to some extent warmed by) contingent land masses underwent slight Arctic melting, apparently due to temporarily warm ocean currents.
How that slight melting has now been reversed, and the Arctic ice cap been restored to 1979 levels, is covered in an excellent article in the American Spectator. As it points out, “The science does not support…