Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Written by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

SUBJECT: Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si, On care for our common home

Respected Academician,

There is a widespread view that the Academicians of The Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) will have had substantial input to the scientific aspects expressed in Papal Encyclical Letters like the ENC and that such encyclicals do reflect the deliberations, views and opinions expressed by the PAS as a whole and by the majority of its individual members. papal academiaHowever, this common assumption may be incorrect and, therefore, I have some questions to you which I hope that each of you is willing and able to provide a simple YES or NO answer to.

No doubt you are aware of the significance of the ENC for the future, especially its influence on the development of poorer nations and their people.

My questions are not just out of my personal curiosity but to help the world at large to better understand the ENC and what it means for the people who are presently deprived of many of the energy-driven amenities of the developed countries.

My questions to you:

1. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that the trace gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is the basis for all life on earth. Without CO2 in the atmosphere, neither plants or animals, nor human life would exist on earth. DO YOU AGREE?

2. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that for most of its 4.5 billion year history, the earth’s atmosphere contained much higher levels of CO2 than today. DO YOU AGREE?

3. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that the process of photosynthesis transformed the then-abundant atmospheric CO2 to “organic matter” with commensurate reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.DO YOU AGREE?

4. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that the entire oxygen (O2) in the earth’s atmosphere has been produced from CO2 by the natural photosynthesis process. DO YOU AGREE?

5. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that the oceans and most fresh water are alkaline, the opposite of acidic. The same photosynthetic process that converts the CO2 to organic matter also increases the alkaline property of neutral or acidic water. DO YOU AGREE?

6. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that some 20,000 years ago, the northern parts of the North American and Eurasian continents were covered with large ice shields, up to several km thick. These ice shields had melted completely by approx. 5,000 years ago, entirely without human influence. DO YOU AGREE?

7. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that the atmospheric CO2 levels barely changed during the 15,000-year period when the ice shields melted; it stayed around 250 parts per million for most of that time. DO YOU AGREE?

8. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that the earth’s plants and ocean algae consume any CO2 stemming from fossil resource use with the same vigor as that emitted from volcanoes and fumaroles. Therefore, is it then not incorrect to consider the life sustaining CO2 as “pollution?” DO YOU AGREE?

9. To my knowledge, it is widely considered to be a scientific fact that coal, undoubtedly a major source of anthropogenic CO2, provides a large percentage of the world’s electricity needs. Together, the countries of India and China consume more than one half of the world’s coal production and have already stated that they will not curtail their expansion of coal-sourced electricity generation. That includes the construction of about one new coal-fired power plant each week. Many countries in Africa and elsewhere will (and should) follow their lead and expand the use of fossil energy resources.DO YOU AGREE?

10. Even an overwhelming majority of identical views does not establish a scientific fact. How wrong the learned majority can be has been shown repeatedly in history, even by the Catholic Church. For example, the Italian astronomer Galileo was recently exonerated by the Vatican, about 400 years after having been found a heretic, solely for his scientific view of a heliocentric system. Similarly, when facing an onslaught of contrary views, the famous mathematician-physicist Einstein remarked “One [scientific fact] would have been enough” to disprove his then-novel theory. It is clear then that the term “consensus” has no meaning in the world of science. DO YOU AGREE?

Respected Academician,

11. If your answers to my questions above are in the affirmative, then one has to wonder whether these known scientific facts can be reconciled with statements to the contrary as found in the ENC. For example, the ENC calls CO2 “carbon dioxide pollution.” In fact, CO2 is not a “pollutant” but a vital trace gas in the atmosphere. Therefore, the atmosphere is not being “polluted” by the use (oxidation) of fossil fuels.

The ENC also asserts that “the use of … fossil fuels needs to be progressively replaced without delay.” Some people even claim that 80% of the currently known fossil fuel reserves in the world need to stay undeveloped and that within a few decades the world could generate its entire energy needs from renewable primarily wind and solar energy sources. This is to avoid a claimed runaway global warming trend, even though the more than 100 climate models have all miserably failed in the past. The models’ predictions of a catastrophic warming trend, based on higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere, have not materialized for close to 20 years and the polar ice masses have been growing rather than shrinking. This is no surprise as the atmospheric CO2 levels follow – not lead – any temperature increases with a considerable time lag.

Such contradictions also raise the question if the deliberations and opinions of the PAS and its members have indeed been heard and whether the ENC reflects them accurately. DO YOU AGREE?

12. Your nomination as Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences recognizes you as a scientist of acknowledged moral personality and international renown.

In my humble opinion, your nomination to the PAS also implies a duty to your faith, The Holy See, the Academy, the world at large and, last not least, to your conscience as an independent researcher in your professional field. DO YOU AGREE?

In closing, I urge you to publicly and clearly state your opinion as to whether or not you are in full agreement with the scientific views on CO2 expressed in the ENC. However, if you do not agree with the ENC, please say so too; in fact, any dissenting voice should be heard even louder. Either way, please state your views out loud and clearly. The world’s hungry and energy-poor people depend on your wisdom!



Pope Chooses Penury over Plenty for the Poor

Judging by the company he has been keeping, it seems the Pope either dislikes capitalism more than he loves the poor, or he simply doesn’t understand all the good that has flowed from capitalism and the horrors that have resulted throughout history under every other economic system.

Two months ago, Pope Francis was getting advice and guidance from Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a German scientist who believes the world’s carrying capacity is 1 billion people give or take a few million – a man wedded to extreme “population control” measures to get the earth back in balance. So much for being fruitful and multiplying.

Now, Pope Francis has invited anti-capitalist useful idiot Naomi Klein for a chat. What could they have in common other than hatred for the market? She’s known for little else, and based on her own comments I’m sure she and the Pope have little else to tie them together. I doubt they shared a laugh over Pope Francis’  social teachings. Nor, I’m sure, did Klein go to the Vatican because she suddenly found herself in agreement the Catholic Church’s views on birth control, marriage and women in the priesthood.

I’ve speculated liberation theology, developed in South America during the formative years of Pope Francis’ development as a priest, tainted his understanding of economics. His recent remarks and the company he has kept, have only served to confirm my suspicions. The Catholic Church long fought to keep the liberation theology wolf at bay, punishing and chastening its most vocal proponents, only now, with Francis, to invite the socialist wolf within the walls of the Vatican.

For all the pope’s expressed concern about the perils climate change poses to the poorest amongst us, it seems he’s really less concerned about the climate and the plight of the poor, than remaking the world’s economy to his liking, even if everyone has to live with less. In this, he is once again following the lead of climate advisors at the U.N. who in a rare moment of candor earlier this year divulged that remaking the economy was what the treaty’s being formulated to fight climate change were really about.

President Obama falsely offered us hope with the change he promised. Now Pope Francis offers change in the form of death through disease and starvation – which is all that would come if capitalism were truly overthrown. He skips the hope, except, perhaps, in the afterlife.

Feudalism and various petty types of tyranny kept the world in a, well, feudal state, for most of human history. People were enslaved to tyrants who wanted to expand their empires on the backs of both those they conquered and their slave class back home. Or, they sacrificed thousands to slake the blood lust of their gods (and in the case of the Aztec’s to provide a steady diet of protein), for the sun to continue shining, the rains to come, the witchcraft to stop, plagues to end … etc.

It was only with the advent of modern, widespread property rights, and the right to exchange one’s labor for capital and, yes, the right to gain one’s own piece of the pie that the vast majority of the people on earth were raised out of the extreme penury the humanity had lived in for the vast majority of human history.

Utopian idealists may believe mankind yearns to be free of wage labor and wishes for the life of idyll back on some commune, but most people never choose such a lifestyle, and those that do, rarely make a go of it for long and rejoin the market economy in fairly short order. Its true many native peoples were never given the opportunity to consciously, as societies, choose to join the modern age, but when modern tools seeped into their communities, they adopted them as soon as possible and asked for more. I know of no native culture, offered modern amenities that have refused them and consciously gone back to their hunter-gatherer existence.

Ron Bailey has a great discussion of the Pope’s failure to grasp the virtues of capitalism, and I encourage him to ponder it.

Even Karl Marx, father of Communism, recognized the virtues of capitalism. Marx thought it both a necessary and desirable state of development – after all, how are you going to dole out all those necessities to those in need, taken from those who produce, unless the latter had property, capitalism and industrialization to produce the plenty.

Marx badly misunderstood human nature, human motivations and the fact that capitalism could bring wealth or at least great comfort to the many, not just the few, but he did understand that capitalism was critical to producing plentiful goods and services out of uncaring nature. Marx was no environmentalist. There were two things in the world for Marx, people and resources and resources were meant for human use and our highest development. One can disagree with Marx’s view of what either any individual’s or societies highest development would or should look like without rejecting his dichotomy between man and the rest of nature.

Nature is indispensible to human well-being, and I wouldn’t want to live in a world absent wildlife and wild places (I spend as much time communing with and in nature as I can) but I believe those things are possible even as we bring the remaining billion or so people still living without access to regular electricity, safe readily accessible drinking water and other modern marvels out of the conditions our ancestors fought so long and hard to bring us out of. But only through capitalism! Every other economic system is just a fantasy, or tyranny cloaked as a fantasy, with the only result being a backward slide into poverty and persistent want.

Next time I’ll tell you how I really feel!


The Tide Is Turning, Time For Global Cooling

Climate scientists have constructed models to predict what Earth's climate will look like decades, even hundreds of years in the future. Unfortunately, many major components of Earth's climate system have not been accurately monitored for very long. This makes such predictions suspect if not laughable. A case in point are variations in ocean circulation and temperature. In the Atlantic there is a cycle for sea surface temperatures variation called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMO is linked with decadal scale climate fluctuations like European summer precipitation, rainfall in Europe and India, Atlantic hurricanes and variations in global temperatures. A new study in the journal Nature reports that the AMO is again transitioning to a negative phase, meaning the vaunted “pause” in global warming may be with us for decades. In fact, scientists at the University of Southampton predict that cooling in the Atlantic Ocean could cool global temperatures a half a degree Celsius.

Climate scientists and oceanographers have studied ocean circulation patterns for years and—given the ocean's massive capacity for absorbing, storing, and releasing heat energy—they have long suspected linkage between sea surface temperatures (SST) and climate variation. Now that linkage is the subject of a new study titled “Ocean impact on decadal Atlantic climate variability revealed by sea-level observations.” In it, researchers from University of Southampton, led by Gerard D. McCarthy, have tried a new approach using sea level along the east coast of the US to estimate ocean circulation on decadal timescales. Here is the overview from the article's abstract:

Decadal variability is a notable feature of the Atlantic Ocean and the climate of the regions it influences. Prominently, this is manifested in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) in sea surface temperatures. Positive (negative) phases of the AMO coincide with warmer (colder) North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. The AMO is linked with decadal climate fluctuations, such as Indian and Sahel rainfall, European summer precipitation, Atlantic hurricanes and variations in global temperatures. It is widely believed that ocean circulation drives the phase changes of the AMO by controlling ocean heat content. However, there are no direct observations of ocean circulation of sufficient length to support this, leading to questions about whether the AMO is controlled from another source. Here we provide observational evidence of the widely hypothesized link between ocean circulation and the AMO. We take a new approach, using sea level along the east coast of the United States to estimate ocean circulation on decadal timescales. We show that ocean circulation responds to the first mode of Atlantic atmospheric forcing, the North Atlantic Oscillation, through circulation changes between the subtropical and subpolar gyres—the intergyre region. These circulation changes affect the decadal evolution of North Atlantic heat content and, consequently, the phases of the AMO.

There are a number of cycles in Earth's short term, decadal scale, climate variability—the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and so forth. When it comes to the AMO the authors claim that circulation records do not go back far enough to get a really good handle on its behavior. This is despite the fact that NOAA publishes time series data going back to 1856. The researchers state their case this way.

The difficulty in linking ocean circulation changes to decadal climate variations lies in the fact that long observational records of ocean transports are rare. Measurements such as those of the Florida Current since 1982 and the Greenland–Scotland ridge transports since the mid-1990s are some of the longest continuous ocean transport records available. Continuous, full-depth, basin-wide measurements of the Atlantic overturning circulation only began in 2004 with the RAPID monitoring project at 26° N (ref. 13). None of these records are long enough to directly link ocean circulation with decadal climate variations such as the AMO.

The authors' claim that sea-level measurements from tide gauges provide an integrated measure of water column properties, offering time series of sufficient duration to study decadal ocean circulation variation. While using tide gauges to investigate ocean circulation is not new—an attempt to estimate Gulf Stream flow using tide gauges was made by R. B. Montgomery in 1938—this is the first time the technique has been applied to the AMO.

“The principle is based on geostrophic dynamics: on timescales longer than a few days, ocean circulation is in geostrophic balance so, looking downstream, the sea level is seen to increase from left to right in the Northern Hemisphere,” the paper explains. Historical data regarding sea-level change were gathered from Florida to Boston, as depicted in the figure below.

The study’s authors based their results on ocean sensor arrays and 100 years of sea-level data. After much crunching of numbers they decided that the picture is clear: in recent years, the sea-level index indicates that the AMO is shifting to a negative phase, consistent with observations of reduced overturning circulation.

“The observations of [AMO] from [sensor arrays], over the past ten years, show that it is declining,” Dr. David Smeed, a co-author, said in a statement. “As a result, we expect the AMO is moving to a negative phase, which will result in cooler surface waters. This is consistent with observations of temperature in the North Atlantic.” The relationship of the Sea-level circulation index, the NAO and the AMO are shown in the graph below.

The figure, taken from the paper, shows the accumulated sea-level index (blue), which is representative of subpolar heat content evolution, the accumulated NAO (red, dashed) and the AMO (black). The heat content proxy and the accumulated NAO have been normalized. All time series have been 7-year low-pass filtered. The accumulated sea-level index and accumulated NAO have been detrended.

The bottom line? The AMO is heading down and this means a cooling phase lies ahead. Such a cooling phase in the Atlantic will influence “temperature, rainfall, drought and even the frequency of hurricanes in many regions of the world,” says Dr. Gerard McCarthy. This could mean global cooling ahead, much to the consternation of climate alarmists everywhere. After all, it's hard to sell global warming when things are getting colder.

Indeed, this result is consistent with data from other areas, leading some scientists to argue that the world is headed for a cooling phase. Scientists from around the world have concluded that weakening solar activity could bring about another “Little Ice Age.” This is not a new idea but it has been drowned out by the clamor of the “CO2 is the climate control knob” crowd. As B. van Geel et al. wrote in Quaternary Science Reviews in 1999:

Evidence for millennial-scale climate changes during the last 60,000 years has been found in Greenland ice cores and North Atlantic ocean cores. Until now, the cause of these climate changes remained a matter of debate. We argue that variations in solar activity may have played a significant role in forcing these climate changes. We review the coincidence of variations in cosmogenic isotopes (14C and 10Be) with climate changes during the Holocene and the upper part of the last Glacial, and present two possible mechanisms (involving the role of solar UV variations and solar wind/cosmic rays) that may explain how small variations in solar activity are amplified to cause significant climate changes. Accepting the idea of solar forcing of Holocene and Glacial climatic shifts has major implications for our view of present and future climate. It implies that the climate system is far more sensitive to small variations in solar activity than generally believed.

The old climate change dogma was that solar irradiance only varied by a miniscule amount, roughly 0.1% as measured over the normal 11 year solar cycle. This has caused many scientists to dismiss changes in the Sun's output as unimportant to climate change here on Earth. But new research is proving this assumption to be shaky at best. In a long online post by NASA in 2013, a good overview of current research into the solar-climate link is presented.

As the online report states: “Of particular importance is the sun's extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation, which peaks during the years around solar maximum.  Within the relatively narrow band of EUV wavelengths, the sun’s output varies not by a minuscule 0.1%, but by whopping factors of 10 or more.  This can strongly affect the chemistry and thermal structure of the upper atmosphere.”

The full report, “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” is available from the National Academies Press. This research and more are causing the tide to turn with regard to climate change and the importance of our local star.

“The stagnation of temperature since 1998 was caused by decreasing solar activity since 1998,” said Jürgen Lange Heine, a physicist with the German-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE). “From 1900 to 1998, solar radiation increased by 1.3 W/m2, but since 1998 it has diminished, and could reach values similar to those of the early 20th century. A drop in global temperature over the next few years is predicted.”

It is amazing that climate scientists seem to have forgotten where the energy that drives Earth's climate comes from in the first place. The fact that McCarthy et al. have detected a trend in the AMO that indicates a future cooling trend only reinforces what solar scientists have been saying for several years. This is because the shift in the AMO is a result of the climate system changing, not a fundamental cause of climate change. It is a cyclic oscillation in a complex system driven by solar energy.

Of course, if the climate does start cooling, old guard global warming fanatics will be at pains to explain what is happening. The last thing they want is to change the focus of the climate change scare from human generated CO2. Science is self correcting when done correctly, but scientists are only human. They really hate to change their minds once they've settled on an explanation for something, even when that explanation grows less believable every day. As always, time will tell, because nature pays no attention to nattering hoards of foolish human scientists. I hope everyone is ready for a little global cooling.

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.

SOURCE   (See the original for links and graphics)

UK: Top Climate Scientist Warns: Global Warming is Relevant Even if it Doesn’t Happen

Monmouthshire MP and climate realist David Davies crashed today’s parliamentary launch of the Committee on Climate Change’s new report and used the opportunity to ask some awkward questions.

Challenging the findings of the bumper three-volume 500-page report, which called for massive new subsidies for ‘green energy’ and low-emission cars, Davies questioned how it could be that short periods of minor global warming could be considered significant, while similar periods of cooling or stagnation could be ignored by the scientific community.

Describing the meeting chaired by green energy tycoon Lord Deben, Davies said:

“…it was a great big love-in, with about 150 Greens. So I got up and asked why it was not one single scientist could explain how much of the small amount of warming that has taken place was natural – especially given now even the MET office even seems to accept there was a little ice age.

“Why is it no one can explain why there was cooling between 1940 and 1970, and why no one can explain the present hiatus in warming. I said this just shows the whole report is a shambles which is going to cost the taxpayer a lot of money”.

IPCC vice-chairman Jim Skea was called upon by the panel chair to address Davies’ questions and made an interesting admission.

Unusually, for a climate scientist, actually going so far as to accept that there is a hiatus in global warming – a fact that many still challenge – but said it was “insignificant”.

Davies related his feelings on the selective vision of climate scientists to Breitbart London, remarking:  “Sixteen years of hiatus, he said, was ‘statistically insignificant’, yet this whole fandango is based around just 27 years of slight warming. Why the hell do you think we’ve got to drive a coach and horses through our economy on the back of it?”

Davies warns those who would seek to waste taxpayers money on dodgy climate science, subsidies for inefficient energy generation, and carbon allowances that he hasn’t finished gate-crashing meetings yet – Westminster beware!


Shelly is getting hysterical again

A RICO investigation could actually be good.  It would show that Warmist conspiracy theories were the only hot air in the story

Writing in the Washington Post, Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic Senator from Rhode Island, offered a curious suggestion for dealing with global warming skeptics:

"In 2006, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided that the tobacco companies’ fraudulent campaign amounted to a racketeering enterprise. According to the court: “Defendants coordinated significant aspects of their public relations, scientific, legal, and marketing activity in furtherance of a shared objective — to . . . maximize industry profits by preserving and expanding the market for cigarettes through a scheme to deceive the public.”

The parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking. ... The coordinated tactics of the climate denial network, Brulle’s report states, “span a wide range of activities, including political lobbying, contributions to political candidates, and a large number of communication and media efforts that aim at undermining climate science.” Compare that again to the findings in the tobacco case.

The tobacco industry was proved to have conducted research that showed the direct opposite of what the industry stated publicly — namely, that tobacco use had serious health effects. Civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line. We do know that it has funded research that — to its benefit — directly contradicts the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science. One scientist who consistently published papers downplaying the role of carbon emissions in climate change, Willie Soon, reportedly received more than half of his funding from oil and electric utility interests: more than $1.2 million.

To be clear: I don’t know whether the fossil fuel industry and its allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco industry. We don’t have enough information to make that conclusion. Perhaps it’s all smoke and no fire. But there’s an awful lot of smoke."

That's right -- a sitting U.S. Senator is suggesting using RICO laws should be applied to global warming skeptics. Courts have been defining RICO down for some time and in ways that aren't particularly helpful. In 1994, the Supreme Court ruled RICO statutes could be applied to pro-life activists on the grounds that interstate commerce can be affected even when the organization being targeted doesn't have economic motives.

Obviously, there's a lot of money hanging in the balance with regard to energy policy. But when does coordinating "a wide range of activities, including political lobbying, contributions to political candidates, and a large number of communication and media efforts" go from basic First Amendment expression to racketeering?

The tobacco analogy is inappropriate in regards to how direct the link between smoking and cancer is. Even among those who do agree that global warming is a problem, there's a tremendously wide variety of opinions about the practical effects. Who gets to decide whether someone is "downplaying the role of carbon emissions in climate change" relative to the consensus? If message coordination and lobbying on controversial scientific and political issues can be declared racketeering because the people funding such efforts have a financial interest in a predetermined outcome, we're just going to have to outlaw everything that goes on in Washington, D.C.



Three current articles below

Climate change is causing DRAGONS to change gender: Researchers find Australian reptiles are switching sex

Since there has been no climate change for 18 years, these results CANNOT be due to climate change

The cold-blooded Australian Central Bearded Dragon is widespread on red sandy areas in the semi-arid regions of eastern Australia.

It occupies open woodland and is conspicuous when it perches high to warm in the early morning sunlight.

Now a study of this creature has shown embryos with two Z chromosomes - making them genetically male - can develop as female at warm egg-incubation temperatures.

It means its sex is determined both by its complement of chromosomes and by the temperature at which its eggs are incubated.

In place of X and Y sex chromosomes reptiles have Z and W - with ZZ producing males and ZW females.

Combining field data from 131 adult lizards with controlled breeding experiments chemical analyses showed eleven individuals found towards the warmer end of the species' range had a male set of chromosomes - but were actually female.

It was also found they can facilitate a quick change from a genetically-controlled system to a temperature-controlled one, reports Nature.

When these sex-reversed females were mated with normal males none of the offspring had sex chromosomes and their sex was entirely determined by egg incubation temperature.

The offspring arising from sex-reversed mothers also had a higher propensity to reverse - reinforcing the transition - and sex-reversed mothers laid almost twice as many eggs per year than their normal peers leading to more feminized populations.

The study highlights the potential role of global warming in altering the biology and the genome of climate-sensitive reptiles.

Dr Clare Holleley, of Canberra University, said the finding 'adds to concern about adaptation to rapid global climate change.'

She said: 'Here we make the first report of reptile sex reversal in the wild - in the Australian bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) - and use sex-reversed animals to experimentally induce a rapid transition from genotypic to temperature-dependent sex determination.

'Although sex reversal in reptiles has been demonstrated under laboratory conditions this is the first time sex reversal has been shown to occur naturally in a wild population of reptiles - or indeed any amniote.'

She said sex reversal was widespread with instances distributed over a total area of almost 15,000 square miles in remote semi-arid Australia.

The proportion of sex-reversed females increased each year over the study from 6.7% in 2003 to 13.6% in 2004 to 22.2% in 2011 - suggestive of a trend.

Biologist James Bull, of Texas University at Austin, reviewed the study for the journal and says it will inspire 'parallel work on other species.'

He said: 'Broader geographic and longitudinal comparisons for these lizards will give insight into the ramifications of climate change on this temperature-dependent reproductive mode.'


The church and fossil fuels

Divestment from fossil fuels has become the moral weapon of choice in the armoury of ecclesiastical environmental activists who want to end coal production in Australia.

Pope Francis' recent papal encyclical Laudato Si identified the intensive use of fossil fuels as a major aggravating factor in anthropogenic global warming.

Now Sydney Anglican diocese's investment arm, the $262 million Glebe Administration Board (GAB), wants to divest from fossil fuels altogether or set targets for "carbon reduction" across its entire portfolio.

But this means choosing to ignore coal investment's potential economic benefits - and its benefits to the world's poorer emerging populations.

Christian investment funds should certainly think carefully about where they put their money. There is no godly reason why they should invest in the gambling industry.

But there is no moral equivalence between investing in pokies and investing in coal. Gambling never did anyone any good, but the same can't be said about coal.

Oil giant BP reports that use of coal has grown four times faster than renewables and 2.8 times faster than oil over the past decade. Investment interest in fossil fuels and the supply of cheap energy is booming.

Coal has helped lift the living standards of hundreds of millions of the world's poor by providing a cheap source of energy that has a huge, economy-wide impact.

Coal also happens to be Australia's second most valuable export after iron ore and supplies the fuel for our own electricity networks.

Divesting from fossil fuels may be fashionable but it is also immoral. Quite apart from putting domestic jobs at risk, 'ethical' attacks on the coal industry threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in developing economies.

The Sydney GAB fund managers will be the latest to jump with their misplaced ideals on to the bandwagon of climate correctness when they take their revised policy to the diocese's Standing Committee later in the year for endorsement.

A truly ethical investment policy aims to help the world's poor. Instead, the flawed reasoning of environmental activism threatens only real economic and moral harm.


More From Deniliquin

Steve Goddard on the "fiddled" climate records of Australia's  BOM

Deniliquin has not only cooled since the 19th century, but the frequency of very hot days has also dropped dramatically.

BOM ignores all pre-1910 temperatures, because they don’t fit the global warming narrative.



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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