Friday, November 13, 2015

Former Obama Sustainability Officer: Climate Change is ‘Mother of All Risks’

Sheer assertion.  Not a shred of evidence offered

Climate change is the “mother” of all national security risks, said former Obama administration sustainability officer Jon Powers, warning that “without a global agreement in Paris, the world—including the U.S.—is headed toward potentially catastrophic climate impacts.”

Leaders of over 190 countries are scheduled to meet in Paris from November 30 to December 11 to craft a legally binding global agreement on climate change.

“In the security world, decisions are made by a careful evaluation of risk. And climate change is the mother of all risks,” Powers, the former chief sustainability officer and special advisor on energy to the U.S. Army, wrote in a Time Magazine op-ed on Friday.

Powers claimed that climate change worsens security threats in unstable regions, suggesting that the U.S. should act on climate change with the same urgency it acts on intelligence affecting national security.

“To the military, climate change acts as a threat multiplier, exacerbating threats in already unstable regions of the world,” Powers asserted. “Just as we act aggressively on information from the national security intelligence community, we must also act on the scientific evidence from our nation’s best climate scientists.”

“It’s clear that no country can avoid the impacts of climate change, and no country can meet this challenge alone,” he warned.

“The U.S. must replicate this leadership and seize the opportunity when countries meet this December in Paris to finalize a global deal on climate change.

"A strong global climate agreement in Paris would usher in a clean energy economy while building a safer, stronger America," Powers stated.


Obama Pushing for a farcical New UN Climate Agreement

The United Nations has scheduled a meeting in Paris to discuss climate change, with a new international global warming agreement involving more than 190 countries as its goal. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, starting Nov. 30 and running to Dec. 11, will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The objective is to create a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, and the Obama administration has submitted a plan for a new deal consisting of national contributions to curb emissions that would alter the 20-year-old Kyoto Protocol distinctions between the obligations of rich and poor nations.

The U.S. plan depends on individual countries enforcing their own emissions reductions, and the countries that agree to the plan would be required to set new targets to lower their carbon emissions after 2020. And rich nations like the U.S. and Japan will be held to the same legal requirements as China, India and other fast-developing nations.

This all sounds wonderful if you believe in manmade global warming/climate change; one-world government; the U.S. making more reductions before China and India — the really big polluters — do; and the Easter Bunny.

Why would China or India voluntarily reduce their emissions when doing so would stop their development or severely hamper it? And, can the world trust both countries to honestly report their emissions? Just recently, we learned that China has already been deceiving the world on its coal burning carbon emissions, even before this new agreement is finalized.

At a meeting in Bonn last month to discuss a draft agreement, a bitter fight developed over the degree to which countries of the world should cut their greenhouse gas emissions, how much time they will have to complete those cuts, and who will pay for the transition.

Some provisions of the draft require the complete de-carbonization of the global economy by 2050, as well as that rich countries like the U.S. get to pay more than $100 billion per year after 2020. The latter provision is intended to compensate poor countries for supposed climate change damages and help them adopt non-carbon producing energy sources.

The basis for this stepped up attack on fossil fuel use is the old story that human activities cause climate change, and global warming is responsible for so much harm. That would be harm like Al Gore’s shrinking Arctic ice cap that was supposed to disappear by 2014 (the Arctic still has a large ice cap and the Antarctic cap has grown), rising global temperatures (that haven’t risen since 1998), too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (which makes plants grow and produce oxygen for us to breathe) and the rest of the more than 700 things attributed to global warming, as compiled by the British-based science watchdog, Number Watch.

California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee and several other Democrats believe that if substantial reductions in CO2 emissions aren’t made soon then droughts and reduced agricultural output may force women to turn to “transactional sex” (once known as “prostitution”) to survive. Seriously.

On the other hand, though, global warming is ruining sex lives.

A consortium of environmental activist organizations released a report titled “Fair Shares,” which concludes with the real climate agenda: “Nothing less than a systemic transformation of our societies and our economies will suffice to solve the climate crisis.”

Since Barack Obama is totally on board with this concept he has already implemented his own “climate action plan.” Thus, the theory goes, the U.S. would not need congressional approval to implement the UN agreement, since it’s already being done through executive orders.

Which, of course, means that Obama intends to ignore the constitutional role of Congress. Again.

“So this is just the latest example of President Obama’s contempt for obeying the Constitution and our laws,” says Myron Ebell, director of the Center of Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). “In the past,” he noted, “rulers who act as if the law does not apply to them were called tyrants.”

The U.S. Constitution says that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate” to make treaties with other countries. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol had to be ratified by Congress, but it never was, even though the Clinton administration signed onto it. This agreement, too, should be considered a treaty requiring Senate approval.

“CEI has warned for several years that the Obama Administration would follow advice from environmental pressure groups and try to sign a new UN agreement that ignores the Senate’s constitutional role,” Ebell said.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee called the plan ambitious and cynical because it “is an attempt to enshrine in an international agreement President Obama’s unilateral environmental regulatory regime, which remains deeply unpopular among the American people.”

Opponents also point out that this agreement will not take effect until after Obama leaves office, so he won’t have to deal with the damage it causes. However, if it does not receive ratification by the Senate, it is only an agreement, and therefore can easily be cancelled by the next president.


Paris pledges ‘wishful thinking, not optimism’: Bjorn Lomborg

The effects of pre-Paris climate commitments

Full implementation of all carbon-dioxide savings pledges made at the Paris climate change conference would reduce global temperature increases less than 0.05C by 2030, analysis by policy researcher Bjorn Lomborg has found. Even if the promised actions were continued for the following 70 years and there was no “CO2 leakage” to noncommitted nations, the reduction in temperature increases since before the industrial age would be just 0.17C by 2100, the peer-reviewed paper says.

Dr Lomborg’s findings are at odds with official statements and comments by UN climate chief Christiana Figueres that a Paris agreement could lead to a 2.7C rise instead of a 4C or 5C increase by 2100.

Dr Lomborg said Ms Figueres had “entirely misrepresented the world’s options”.

He said adopting pledges made before this month’s Paris conference by countries representing the vast majority of global greenhouse gas emissions would do little to stabilise the climate and any benefits would be undetectable for many decades.

Using accepted modelling and methodology, the Lomborg paper, to be published today, rates individual pledges made by major emissions nations China, the US and EU and the world combined.

Published in the journal Global Policy, the Lomborg paper said the best-case scenario for President Barack Obama’s pledges for the US, if continued for a century, was a reduction in temperature increases of 0.031C.

For China, it was 0.048C and for the EU it was 0.053C.

Australia is included in the “rest of the world” where combined policies had a maximum potential of reducing global ­temperature increases 0.036C by 2100.

The paper concluded: “If we want to reduce climate impacts significantly we will have to find better ways than the ones currently proposed.”

Dr Lomborg has been a controversial figure in the climate change debate despite accepting that rising levels of CO2 from human sources will have an ­impact on global temperatures.

Academic protests have blocked attempts to open a res­earch centre in Australia, either in Perth or Adelaide, with backing from the federal government.

Rather than rejecting climate science, Dr Lomborg’s core position has been that greater attention needs to be paid to the economics of combating climate change.

Releasing his new paper, he said negotiators in Paris were trying to tackle global warming in the same way that had failed for 30 years.

He said this included making prom­ises that were individually expensive, that would have little impact even in 100 years and that many governments would try to avoid.

“This didn’t work in Kyoto, it didn’t work in Copenhagen, it hasn’t worked in the 18 other ­climate conferences or countless more international gatherings,” Dr Lomborg said.

“The suggestion that it will make a large difference in Paris is wishful thinking.”

He said a Copenhagen Consensus on Climate project involving 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel Laureates found the best strategy would be to invest in green research and development.

“Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them, which will never work, we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it,” Dr Lomborg said.

Climate change negotiators have said the Paris pledges are a starting point.

The conference will convene on November 30.

In a statement, COP21 president Laurent Fabius, France’s Foreign Minister, said national contributions could make a difference and help avoid the worst-case scenario of global warming of 4C-5C or more.

“It confirms that it is possible to achieve a trajectory where warming is kept below 1.5C-2C by the end of the century, but this will ­require additional efforts over time,” Mr Fabius said.

“Some estimates put us on a trajectory of a 2.7C-3C increase by the end of the century.

“This confirms the importance of reaching an agreement at COP21 in Paris that will lay down the rules for periodically ­revising the national contributions upwards.”

Ms Figueres, the executive ­secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said a Paris agreement could lead to a 2.7C rise instead of 4C or 5C increase.

Dr Lomborg said Ms Figueres had “entirely misrepresented the world’s options”.

“The 2.7C comes from the International Energy Agency and essentially assumes that if governments do little in Paris and then right after 2030 embark on incredibly ambitious climate reductions, we could get to 2.7C,” Dr Lomborg said.

“Figueres’s own organisation estimates the Paris promises will reduce emissions by 33Gt CO2 in total. To limit rises to 2.7C, about 3000Gt CO2 would need to be ­reduced — or about 100 times more than the Paris commitments. That is not optimism, it is wishful thinking.”

The latest Lomborg paper uses the MAGICC climate model, which has been used across all five IPCC reports and was co-funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr Lomborg said it had been run with standard parameters, and sensitivity analysis had shown that different assumptions of climate sensitivity, carbon cycle model or scenario did not substantially change the outcome.

Dr Lomborg said the paper had used the same basic methodology of climate scientist, Tom Wigley, who analysed the Kyoto Protocol in a much-cited paper in 1998.


John Kerry admits Paris Climate Deal Will Not Be Legally Binding

John Kerry, US secretary of state, has warned that December’s Paris climate change talks will not deliver a “treaty” that legally requires countries to cut their carbon emissions, exposing international divisions over how to enforce a deal.

The EU and other countries have long argued that the accord due to be reached next month should be an “international treaty” with legally binding measures to cut emissions. But in an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Kerry insisted the agreement was “definitively not going to be a treaty”.

He said it would contain measures that would drive a “significant amount of investment” towards a low-carbon global economy. But he stressed there were “not going to be legally binding reduction targets like Kyoto”, a reference to the 1997 Kyoto protocol, a UN climate treaty that had targets for cutting emissions that countries ratifying it were legally obliged to meet.

Delegates from 195 countries are due to finalise a new global climate accord in Paris that will replace the Kyoto treaty, which failed to stop emissions rising. The US signed but failed to ratify that treaty, largely because it did not cover China, now the world’s largest carbon polluter.

The Paris deal is supposed to cover all countries, but Mr Kerry’s comments underline the differences between the US and other nations over how to ensure it is robust enough to shift billions of dollars of investment away from fossil fuels and towards greener energy sources.

A European Commission spokeswoman on Wednesday said the commission and many nations “would like the Paris agreement to be in the form of a protocol or a treaty” which would represent “the strongest expression of political will and also for the future it provides predictability and durability”.


Cancer Scare and Global Warming

Researchers recently concluded that bacon and other meats increase your chances of getting cancer. But what if it’s just more junk science conveniently timed to support the climate alarmist narrative? Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Julie Kelly and Jeff Stier make a compelling argument:

    "With United Nations climate talks beginning in a few weeks in Paris, the cancer warning seems particularly well timed. Environmental activists have long sought to tie food to the fight against global warming. Now the doomsayers who want to take on modern agriculture, a considerable source of greenhouse-gas emissions, can employ an additional scare tactic: Meat production sickens the planet; meat consumption sickens people."

Late last month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — part of the World Health Organization, an arm of the U.N. — concluded that red meat, like beef and pork, is “probably carcinogenic” to humans, and that processed meat is an even greater cancer threat. …

Despite the researchers' insufficient evidence, the claim is now considered by many settled science — just like man-made global warming.

    "Now we get to the connection between climate alarmism and the meat-is-bad movement. In advance of the Paris climate talks, the World Health Organization released a lengthy report about climate pollutants and global health risks. The section on agriculture discusses the need to direct consumers away from foods whose production emits high levels of greenhouse gases: “A key action with large potential climate and health benefits is to facilitate a shift away from high-GHG foods—many of which are of animal origin — and towards healthy, low-GHG (often plant-based) alternatives.”

Something tells us this is more than just a coincidence. No wonder Bill Nye wants “toxic” skeptics “out of our discourse.”


The WHO research is rubbish anyway.  See my previous comments on it here -- JR


Three current articles below

Australia urged to choke off financing for new coal mines

Pressure is mounting on the Australian government to toe the line on fossil fuel subsidy reform, as reports emerge that support is mounting for a robust deal to phase out incentives for new coal plant development.

The deal, brokered between the US and Japan, would rein in export credit agency financing for coal, a leading source of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

The credit agency proposal – which has been years in the making – will be debated at a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in in Paris next week, which represents 34 mainly rich countries, including Australia.

But the OECD will also look at overall fossil fuel subsidies, which amount to more than $70 billion a year in the OECD alone. A new report due tomorrow will put Australia’s share of those subsidies at more than $US5 billion, although the Australian government denies that this exists.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that European Union negotiators at the talks were expected to push hard for the deal which, according to another source, could make the “vast majority” of about 1,000 planned coal plants ineligible for export credit agency backing.

But this may be easier said that done, with Australia named as one of the plan’s key opponents, after it joined forces with South Korea to produce an alternative plan that would not go as far as the US-Japan deal.

The Australia-South Korea effort has been slammed by environment campaigners in Australia and abroad, who say it could scuttle negotiations hosted by the OECD, and cast a shadow over Paris.

“Behind window-dressing rhetoric, they clearly want to sabotage the OECD deal,” said Sebastien Godinot, an economist at WWF.

Jake Schmidt from US green group Natural Resources Defense Council described the Canberra/Seoul proposal as “a terrible sign” from countries that claim they want to deal with climate change.

“They are trying to stop the simplest way to deal with this problem, which is to minimise the public finance going to coal power plants,” he said.

And as Reuters puts it, “the difficulty of agreeing that rich nations should stop allowing governments to fund coal is seen as a foretaste of the challenge of negotiating a new global pact on climate change.”

Locally, the focus is on Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, and whether or not he will pass what many consider to be his first big test on climate.

“This is where the rubber hits the road on (the climate change) debate,” said Julien Vincent, lead campaigner at Market Forces. “We have a modest, proposal that would cut off finance to the dirtiest proposed coal power plants.”

Even the federal opposition has weighed in, taking the opportunity to sink the boot, despite the fact that – as we have reported before – Labor appears to be no more enlightened on the subject of digging up and burning coal than the Coalition.


Who’s Killing Our Climate Scientists?

Tony Thomas

Well nobody, actually, unless you count a smattering of sometimes rude emails as representing credible threats to warmists' lives and safety. As with climate change itself, our purportedly un-settled scientists refuse to share their evidence of bloodthirsty sceptics on the warpath

cyber skullWhy is the Australian Academy of Science going off the deep end claiming “reprehensible vilification” of warmist scientists? It’s now saying they’re being so threatened and harassed that their ability to do science is in jeopardy. Academy President Andrew Holmes, addressing a greenhouse conference in Hobart on October 27, claimed

The costs to individuals can be high. It is therefore critical that as scientists and experts we stand together. The ability of scientists to conduct their work, free of fear or hindrance, is vital to the future wellbeing of our community, and the Academy will continue to advocate for academic freedom…

“As the International Council for Science proclaims, the free and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being.

I thought at first he was chastising the academics at University of Western Australia over their successful witchhunt against non-sceptic Bjorn Lomborg, or that he was chastising academics at University of Melbourne for wanting punitive fines to drive sceptics out of the media. Or maybe rebuking US academic peers who wanted sceptic corporations to be prosecuted under the Racketeering and Corrupting Influences Act (that exercise backfired spectacularly). But I erred, Holmes’ victimology includes only orthodox climate scientists as its purported casualties.

Those climateers make unlikely victims. There were hordes of them at the Hobart greenhouse conference. My estimate: I’d say 95% are on government or academic payrolls, plus expenses. The evening after Holmes spoke, they went tooling across the harbor “by luxury catamaran” for dinner “at the world-renowned Peppermint Bay, where’ll we’ll enjoy a delicious three-course meal set against a backdrop of the lush rolling hills of the Huon region, with commanding views across the d’Entrecasteaux Channel and north to Mt Wellington.” Saving the planet is not work for the faint-hearted, n’est ce pas?

Holmes’ victimology statement comes about a month before the great climate confab in Paris, which warmists hope will raise the price of fossil-fuelled power for the Third World’s billions of abject poor, who are desperate for electricity’s benefits and not-so-worried about CO2 emissions.

The previous victimology  statement by the Academy, on June 10, 2011, coincided with key Parliamentary debates on the Gillard carbon dioxide tax and a 200-strong deputation  of semi-scientists at Parliament House to urge MPs to crush ‘disinformation’ about climate change. The 2011 Academy statement was not just by then-President Sue Cory but by the Academy’s executive committee of council, indicating its seriousness. It reads quite similarly to the current Holmes’ text, with a cry to “defend intellectual freedom”.

Academy President Professor Suzanne Cory said the Academy is deeply concerned about the threats being made to scientists.

“Today the Academy’s Executive Committee of Council issued a public statement defending the right of researchers to do their work free from abuse, acts of intimidation and threats of violence,” Professor Cory said.

“We call on leaders across the community to make the same defence of intellectual freedom.”

The statement endorsed by the Executive Committee reads: "The Australian Academy of Science is firmly of the view that the interests of the community and the advancement of knowledge is best served by an environment where researchers can put forward views and present data for discussion and scrutiny free from threats of personal or professional harm.

The more controversial the area …the more important that any researcher should feel free to argue a case based on evidence without fear of reprisal. We know of examples where prominent researchers have been personally and professionally threatened by individuals and organisations that disagree with their findings and conclusions.

We reiterate our common defence of the principles of academic freedom: any researcher has the right and duty to argue a case based on evidence, because only public discourse and experimental challenge can advance understanding."

So what’s behind this Academy angst? We’ll start with the 2011 Council statement and work up to its 2015 variant.

In May, 2010, John Coochey, a retired public servant, was chatting at a climate seminar dinner in Canberra with the ACT Environment Commissioner Maxine Cooper about the annual ACT kangarroo culls and eating game meat. He remarked that he had his cull permit, which he added are issued only to reliable marksmen, and he assured Cooper that she need have no concerns about cruelty to roos.

Someone excitable overheard some of this chat and relayed a garbled version to the ANU’s climate czar, Will Steffen. Alarmed, Steffen sent an email to his group of ANU correspondents on June 2 saying they were now under serious threat from “a sniper”. About half a year earlier, someone had visited the ANU unit’s premises twice and. according to Steffen, displayed an aggressive demeanour.  This supposedly led to security upgrades, although the only actual step was the introduction of new, broadly issued entry swipe cards.

A year or so later, on June 4, 2011, an enthusiastic environmental reporter on the Canberra Times, Rosslyn Beeby, ran with a story, “Climate of Fear”, about death threats or abuse to ANU and other climate scientists and abusive emails. This story caused an international sensation and the Academy weighed in with its statement barely six days later.

On June 20, a staffer for the science lobby group FASTS (and earlier, for Labor ministers) reported receipt of a death threat email, which turned out to be from a serial pest in Seattle who cut and pasted nasty text into emails to lots of people globally. Blogger Simon Turnill of then FOI’d the ANU for the abusive/threatening emails. The ANU dug in its heels and refused for a year, until forced to come clean by the Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim.

Well, well, well! There proved to be 11 emails to six climate people in the relevant six months of 2011, and the only one claiming a “death threat” was Steffen’s hyper-reaction to the garbled roo-cull conversation. The other 10 ranged from querulous complaints by citizens about waste of tax dollars on climate science (“Please be truthful in future,” one said),  to a few rich in four-letter words and insults.

Now scrabbling for credibility, the climate scientist community beat the bushes nationally for nasty emails — and it emerged that random nutters had indeed sent some sexist, abusive, threatening notes, a deplorable practice. The only actual violence cited involved someone throwing eggs at someone’s house and no-one thought of complaining to police.

To sum up, the Academy went into Full Outrage Mode over ANU claims of death threat-type emails, even though the “death threat” was rolled-gold hokum. The other ANU “abuse” emails work out at an average of two per climate academic during a six month period, of which one email, on average, involved nothing more sinister than members of the public griping about climate alarmism. After the Academy statement, details emerged of 30 or so other nasty, sexist emails nationally.

Keep in mind that un-elected alarmist climate scientists are advocating a total societal transformation to costly renewable energy involving massive government controls and big drops in living standards. Yet these brave climate warriors dissolve into puddles of jelly if a rude email hits their in-box.

I promised to fill you in on the Academy’s “evidence” for its latest victimology by President Holmes last month.  Sadly, the Academy refuses to provide any. Indeed it refuses to respond to Quadrant’s queries at all, on the ground that our article may not be flattering. Quadrant’s invitation to redact all identifying names failed to change the Academy’s stance.

All we can be sure about is that some climate scientists have complained to the Academy about hate mail, harassment and threats,   But whether those were just the 2010-12 complaints or new ones, the Academy declines to say. Other questions getting no answer were:

    To what extent are these accounts from Australian sources, as distinct from overseas sources?

    To your knowledge, did the providers of the accounts seek any police investigation of the  threats?

    What is meant by the term ‘harassment’? Does that refer to allegedly excessive volumes of FOI requests (which have been publicly complained of by people like East Anglia Climatic Research Unit’s Phil Jones)? If not, can you clarify pls.

The Academy’s non-response rather undercuts President Holmes’ nice words at Hobart:

"We can lead through small actions and words, such as…engaging in conversation with someone who lacks a scientific understanding of serious issues, instead of dismissing them."

Taking a tip from someone near the Molonglo, Quadrant decided to google “climate scientist abuse or threat 2015” . The  only thing relevant in the first few pages  was Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, self-proclaimed Nobel Prize Winner, running a “poor victim me!” line. Other stuff just referred back to the ANU 2010-12 farce, although there was also one bad person urging the children of sceptic-minded UK journalist David Rose to kill him.

Inputting “2014” instead of 2015 produced a similar result, but with the interesting addition of climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson[ii], who wrote:

"I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that life has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.

I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years."

The back story there is that Bengtsson, of Sweden, had accepted an invitation to join the academic council of the UK’s non-alarmist Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) two weeks earlier, but pulled out because of the above-described hostility of the warmist climate team.

It’s all very unsatisfactory. Climate alarmists, far from being victims and underdogs, as the Academy would have it, are in fact calling the shots on anti-CO2 investment of well over $US1b per day.  A tiny fraction of that sum could make huge inroads into here-and-now Third World issues, such as infant mortality, malaria, education, clean water and sanitation, and cheap fossil-fueled electricity. For alarmists, the high moral ground can be a bit slippery.


Has-been politician slams a Prince of the Church over global warming

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has unleashed an excoriating attack on George Pell, accusing Australia's most senior Catholic of being a "radical climate sceptic" and saying the cardinal's "inflated rhetoric" can no longer go unchallenged on the role of the Church in the climate change debate.

In a blistering lecture called "Faith, Ethics and Climate Change," Mr Rudd said he might have called a double-dissolution election on an emissions trading scheme had he not been robbed of the Labor leadership in 2010. And he said he stood by his claim that "climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time" and predicted those words would stand the test of time.

The former Labor prime minister said George Pell needed an "ecological conversion" and noted the cardinal's denial of climate change science matched the views of former prime minister Tony Abbott, to whom Cardinal Pell is close.

"Cardinal Pell has in the past accused me of inflated rhetoric," Mr Rudd told the Rowan Williams Lecture at Trinity College in Melbourne.  "Such rhetoric, it seems, is not the exclusive province of prime ministers. Princes of the Church are apparently not entirely immune," Mr Rudd said.

Mr Rudd said the Cardinal's view that the Church should butt out of politics and climate change policy was deeply at odds with the ethical imperative to protect the environment as well contradictory of Pope Francis' views.

"The Pope says the science on climate change is sufficiently clear. Cardinal Pell says it is not and further that the purported science is without foundation," he said.

Cardinal Pell has publicly criticised Pope Francis and told the Financial Times that the Church has "no particular expertise in science" and "no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters".

Mr Rudd said Cardinal Pell's comments were illogical. "To contend that a necessary prerequisite for engagement in these ethical debates in the public square is to be a professionally qualified climate scientist … would render his own contribution to these debates null and void, as Cardinal Pell is qualified in none," he said.

Mr Rudd said Christians should not be prevented from forming ethical views on public policy just because they don't have a science degree.

Cardinal Pell's comments were in response to a Papal encyclical Pope Francis released in June this year in which he called for humanity to save itself from the threat of climate change.

The Pope took aim at "committed and prayerful" Christians who "ridicule expressions of concern for the environment" using "realism and pragmatism" as an excuse. "What they all need is an "ecological conversion," the Pope said.

"Perhaps the Pope had Cardinal Pell in mind when this paragraph was written," Mr Rudd suggested on Tuesday.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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