Friday, April 10, 2020

Imbecilic Pope Says Virus Is Nature's Response to the Climate Crisis

Pope Francis is certainly not letting a planetary crisis go to waste. He is trying to piggyback the religion of climate change on the back of the coronavirus pandemic.


"We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?" the Pope said.
"I don't know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature's responses," he added.

Huh? What? Have the glaciers all melted? Why didn't you wake me up? That would have been pretty cool to watch.

For the record, you cannot cross the North Pole. Climate scientists are predicting that by 2050, it might be possible to "sail over the North Pole," but not now, or 18 months ago, or 18 months from now.

The Vatican fact-checkers blew that one.

The theory that life systems on the world are all interconnected is a well-established one. But that doesn't mean that a virus, originally found in bats, has anything to do with whatever stress is being placed on life on earth because the climate may be changing.

The coronavirus does not live outside the body. It does not interact with any other life form except the human or animal it's living in. It can survive outside the human body for several days, making it extremely contagious, but it doesn't interact with the air or water in our surroundings. In short, there is no evidence that climate change had anything to do with the creation or transmission of this virus.

I guess the pope thought he'd be laughed off the stage if he said it was "God's response" to climate change, or that God is trying to tell us something about climate. But giving sentience to "nature" is appallingly stupid.

The Hill:

"There is an expression in Spanish: 'God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives,'" the Pope said in an  interview with The Tablet, a Catholic weekly produced in the United Kingdom, that was published on Wednesday.

In addition to climate change, the pope believes we should take the "opportunity" to consume less and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world." Why do liberals always see opportunity in disaster, death, and destruction? Why not just see the tragedy and let "opportunity" take care of itself?


Why Is Gas Suddenly So Cheap?

An oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia began before the viral shutdown.

An emergency meeting among the top global oil producers that was set to take place Monday was pushed back to later in the week as the oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia continues. The two countries have been engaged in this conflict since early March, with neither apparently willing to accept production cuts that each believes will give the other country an unfair price advantage.

President Donald Trump has attempted to mediate the dispute, and his word carries weight as the U.S. position as a top oil producer has risen substantially since he took office. Last week, he recommended cuts to Russian and Saudi production, and his public suggestion that a truce could be worked out was enough to stimulate a record-breaking 25% jump in oil prices. Meanwhile, a meeting the president held with American energy producers on Friday failed to generate any signal that the U.S. is willing to ratchet back domestic oil production. Gains quickly dematerialized and further upset any potential for a deal to be reached.

The China Virus outbreak has driven down global demand significantly since March, with many countries severely limiting transportation and travel. Prices began plummeting, however, when the Saudis and the Russians entered a game of chicken in which both countries raised their oil output. The resulting global glut has had a negative effect on oil producers worldwide.

Russian oil producers have appealed to Vladimir Putin to reach a deal, but don’t count on that happening anytime soon. Putin sees an opportunity to use this crisis to gain leverage over the Saudis and the U.S. at the same time. He’s hoping that if he continues to hold out, the Saudis may be forced to cut production unilaterally, leaving Russia with the opportunity to both take advantage of the resulting higher prices and sell more oil proportionally on the global markets.

Likewise, Putin is hoping that the continued collapse in oil prices will devastate U.S. production of shale oil, which, thanks to fracking, has given the U.S. leverage on the global market. As long as U.S. fracking continues, Russia’s ability to dominate world energy markets will be squelched.

Putin’s gamble is already causing problems with the Russian economy because the country relies heavily on oil for revenue. Since he is essentially president for life, though, Putin is virtually impervious to domestic political blowback.

The American shale-oil market may be stronger than Putin thinks, but it cannot hold out forever. While oil at $20 per barrel is a nice boon for consumers, it’s based on a production schedule that won’t hold when the economy returns to normal, which it will. Trump has suggested placing tariffs on foreign oil to protect U.S. suppliers, though this does have a massive downside: Most of America’s imported oil comes from Canada, not the Middle East, and we could end up harming economic relations with our biggest trading partner with little to show in return. Additionally, U.S. refineries must import heavy crude to mix with domestic shale oil. Tariffs could lead to higher production costs without being balanced out by higher prices for shale oil.

We hope Trump concludes tariffs won’t be necessary. There is still a chance that a deal can be reached, but what shape it will take remains to be seen.


Maybe Nature Shouldn't Be Worshipped After All
A statement widely attributed to the great British thinker G. K. Chesterton describes the modern period as perfectly as any single idea can: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.”

One of these substitute gods has been nature.

Indeed, of all the false gods, nature is probably the most natural for people to worship. Every religion prior to the Bible had nature-gods — the sun, the moon, the sea, gods of fertility, gods of rain and so on.

That is why the farther Western society gets from biblical, i.e., Judeo-Christian, religions, the more nature is worshipped.

Everyone on the left and right cares about the environment. But caring about the environment is not the same as environmentalism. Environmentalism, for most of its adherents, is a secular religion. These people, many of whom refer to, and truly regard, the Earth as a goddess (Gaia, the name of the ancient Greek Earth goddess) worship the environment.

The man who, more than any other, started the modern environmentalist religion was James Lovelock, who developed the “Gaia hypothesis” in the 1970s. Almost 50 years later, in 2014, Lovelock told The Guardian, “Environmentalism has become a religion.”

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat described the 2009 James Cameron blockbuster film, “Avatar,” as “Cameron’s long apologia for pantheism, a faith that equates God with Nature, and calls humanity into religious communion with the natural world.” That equation of God with nature was a major reason for the film’s popularity.

Douthat, one of the only religious (as in believing in and practicing a religion) columnists at The New York Times, added, “The threat of global warming, meanwhile, has lent the cult of Nature qualities that every successful religion needs: a crusading spirit, a rigorous set of ‘thou shalt nots,’ and a piping-hot apocalypse.”

When you ask atheists, as I have for decades, what they believe in, the most common answer is “science.” There was a young man, an atheist, at the gym where I work out, who responded, “Science!” (in place of “God bless you”) whenever someone sneezed. There is nothing higher than science for an atheist because the natural world is all there is. So, worship of the Earth, the environment or nature is almost inevitable in a secular world.

The Bible takes an entirely different view. As explained at length in my Bible commentary, “The Rational Bible,” the first verse of the Bible — “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” — contains the most radical idea in history. It stated, for the first time in history, that God created nature and is not part of nature. It is one of the reasons I believe the first five books, the Torah, are God-given. No human beings 3,000 years ago in the late Bronze Age would have come up with an idea so opposed to the way the human mind naturally works — to regard gods as part of nature.

From the point of view of the secular, Gaia-worshipping world, Genesis gets even worse when, 27 verses later, God tells human beings to, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

Both instructions infuriate Earth-worshippers. Regarding being fruitful, they oppose people having more than one child, and many advocate having no children so as to have minimal human impact on Mother Earth. But the second part — ruling over nature — is what really angers them.

Maybe the coronavirus will awaken young people, who have been taught by nature-worshipping teachers and raised by nature-worshipping parents, to the idiocy of worshipping nature rather than subduing it. Nature, it turns out, is not our friend, let alone a god. If it were up to nature, we’d all be dead: Animals would eat us; weather would freeze us to death; disease would wipe out the rest of us. If we don’t subdue nature, nature will subdue us. It’s that simple.

Nature is beautiful and awe-inspiring. It’s also brutal and merciless. “Nature, red in tooth and claw,” as Alfred Tennyson aptly describes it. Nature follows no moral rules and shows no compassion. The basic law of all biological life is “survival of the fittest,” while the basic law of Judaism and Christianity is the opposite: the survival of the weakest with the help of the fittest. Nature wants the weakest eaten by the strongest. Hospitals are as anti-natural an entity as exists.

Only human beings make hospitals. We do so not by worshipping nature but by subduing it.

If the COVID-19 virus destroys the foolish veneration of nature and leads more people, especially the young, to a new respect for the Judeo-Christian worldview, it might be the one silver lining in this catastrophe.


Beyond the Blinders: Economic Progress in the Age of Radical Environmentalism

The dominant global narrative is that the world is overpopulated and we are exhausting natural resources.

With the ongoing hysteria surrounding climate change, some even go so far as to suggest that human population growth is the cancer of the earth.

But what if I told you that these fears are baseless? That innovation and invention are making resources less scarce over time, even as population and resource consumption rise? That our ability to adapt improves as the world changes?

Here are some real facts that the mainstream media seldom acknowledge in this scaremongering era.

Despite two world wars and disease outbreaks like the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and now the  COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the world has become a better place to live in.

Forty-two percent of the world’s people lived in severe poverty in the early 1980s, and many more in the preceding centuries. As of 2015, only 10% did.

During the 1950s, almost all of today’s developing countries were under severe stress and food shortage. The agricultural revolution in the 1960s transformed many of these developing countries into agricultural superpowers, meeting their local demands and exporting food to the world.

Today, we live longer and healthier lives. Global average life expectancy rose from a mere 29 in 1777 to 71 in 2014. That’s over a 40-year gain. The number is even higher in Japan and the UK.

Some argue that humans, in order to achieve this socioeconomic progress, are using up natural resources and will soon run out of many. But that is far from the truth.

The Industrial Era Revolutionized Our Use of Natural Resources

Radical environmentalists put resource use in a bad light. They conveniently ignore the fact that the world has become more efficient in extracting, processing, using, and reusing natural resources.

In the past, wood served almost all energy needs. As a result, people rapidly cut down forests. But after the Industrial Revolution, the situation changed. Despite the rapid increase in population since then, Europe’s forests are growing in size.

How is this possible?

The trump card to this turnaround is human ingenuity in harnessing naturally available resources, aided by scientific discoveries.

The ability to harness raw materials is the greatest achievement of the 19th and 20th centuries. Instead of exclusively relying on wood for construction, transportation, industrial, and household needs, we now have an array of long-lasting, affordable, safe, efficient, and convenient alternatives.

Today we manufacture a diverse array of end products from raw materials. The same materials, in earlier centuries, would have served only a single service or even have been considered useless.

Using coal as fuel revolutionized the use of iron ore, enabling us to produce steel for construction. This drastically reduced our reliance on wood.

Coal is one of the key raw materials for all metallurgical processes that involve smelting — the process of extracting metal from ore. The global boom in coal use thus enabled an upgrade of metallurgical processes. Without this extraction, our homes and working places would lack most of the things we use today.

We are more efficient not only with the use of available resources but also with our time and energy.

Similarly, the advancement in agricultural technology — like drone-based precision agriculture and GMOs — has enabled us to produce crops that give a higher yield and to smaller areas of cultivation using less water and pesticides.

We have also revolutionized animal husbandry and now serve quality nutrition to billions across the globe. With improved insights into the microbiological world, we know how to restore the population and habitat of various species of plants and animals.

Illegal hunting, not population growth, is the primary explanation for the downfall of wildlife species across the globe. Through conservation efforts, some species that were pushed to the brink of extinction by over-hunting are making a comeback. The growing numbers of polar bears in the Arctic and the Bengal tigers of India give us a ray of hope.

Fake-news peddlers and fearmongers are losing this argument. The world has become a better place for us to live in, and we are making it better for other life forms as well.



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


No comments: