Bishops Demand World-Wide Decarbonization. Seriously?

The bishops who call for the 'end of the fossil fuel era' and world-wide decarbonization do not have enough scientific knowledge to know that this could be deadly.

By William M Briggs Published on October 29, 2015

Generally, the less physics a man knows the more he cares about global-warming-of-doom. The reason is simple. In-depth knowledge of the sun-earth energy budget, of radiative transfer, of fluid flow on a rotating sphere, and of the complexities of discretizing and integrating forward the equations of motion fed by sporadic, incomplete measurements bashes fantasies of doom on the head, leaving them quite dead.

On the other hand, ignorance of these matters leaves folks defenseless against hucksters selling sure-fire cures of environmental catastrophe. “Take this small carbon tax, friend, printed on organic recycled paper, and you’ll save the earth!”

Of course mastery doesn’t always dampen ardor. Knowledgeable scientists have been known to fret, too. Yet the scientists who believe in doom do so because they have fallen in love with their models. These scientists are like the sculptor Pygmalion, lovingly chipping away at their Theories, wistfully wishing they were Real. Only they aren’t. Global-warming-of-doom Theory and Reality are not friends; they’re not even on speaking terms.

And you have to suspect the politicians who preach the earthly salvation by stopping “climate change,” men and women who are surely ignorant of physics but who don’t care whether the scientists who tout theories of doom are right or wrong. That doom is threatened is enough, because who wants to let a good crisis go to waste?

Which brings us to a cadre of “Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops from across the globe representing the continental groupings of national episcopal conferences” led by Oswald Cardinal Gracias of India. According to the New York Times, these men “appealed to climate-change negotiators to approve a ‘fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement’ when they meet at a widely anticipated United Nations conference in Paris next month.”

They mean COP 21, the UN’s Sustainable Innovation Forum on “climate action.” This is where representatives from many nations will gather and try to create a legally binding treaty, or some other legal instrument, which will allow the UN to regulate “carbon” emissions, which in practice means regulating economies.

Yet “carbon” isn’t a problem, since it is the very backbone of all life of this planet. The gas carbon dioxide is theorized to cause significant warming, but again, we know this speculative theory doesn’t match reality.

The prelates don’t appear to recognize these non-subtleties as they cheerfully call for “an end to the fossil fuel era.” They also demand a “complete decarbonisation [of the world] by mid-century,” according to the Vatican press office.

Now this kind of talk is foolish and has the same level of scientific sophistication as the speech by that guy down at the pub who tells all listeners that oil companies are holding back the secret to running cars on water so that they can stay rich.

What did they say? A complete decarbonization by mid-century? I searched for an apt comparison of the monumental foolishness of this statement, but I admit my powers of invective fell short. It doesn’t even fall into the not-even-wrong category.

Oversee a complete decarbonization and also “address inequality and bring people out of poverty”? The mind boggles. Such a lack of awareness of physics, chemistry, biology, economics, politics, and, yes, even theology can scarcely be imagined. Yet there it is.

Life requires carbon, plants eat carbon dioxide, and we and many other animals eat them (and each other). Almost the whole of the world’s economy runs on fossil fuels. Forbid them and what happens? Massive starvation, youth unemployment on a global scale (recall Pope Francis said this was one of the key problems facing humanity), and deaths by the truckload from disease and exposure. This is not theory; this is reality.

What’s that you say? All we have to do is legislate alternative sources of energy be used? Yes, that’s what I thought I heard. This kind of nonsense can only be the product of a civilization which believes government defines truth. There are good physical reasons why fossil fuels are so useful, and for why there is no hope, short of Divine miracle, these will be replaced “mid-century.” Problem is, none of these prelates displays any awareness of these physical reasons, or of knowledge of any science.

I presume that they care about their fellow humans and don’t actually want to urge action that, if followed, would kill millions of people. But care without knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. In this case, it’s deadly.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Wolsten

    Briggs is correct, there really is no way to properly describe just how incredibly misguided and dangerous these ideas are. Even true believers in imminent climate doom can surely see that the medicine proposed is obviously worse than the problem being “solved”?

  • MikeW

    The bishops should decarbonize the Vatican first. Of course, this would include banning any imports from carbon-based economies. The obvious results of this idiotic policy would serve as an example to others.

  • simplynotred

    Isn’t the human body Carbon Based. Requiring Carbohydrates, Proteins, Oxygen, Hydrogen the Product of Carbon based eatable.plants. Did these bishops ever take a Chemistry class, specifically Organic Chemistry which acknowledges how the world of LIVING things are MUCH dependent. Don’t these so-called holy men know that God created the Ocean, which harbors and produces 70-85 percent of the worlds carbon products. What we are suppose to turn the oceans into a huge Grand Canyon to get rid of this production. Man kinds production of Carbon does little, however, Carbon increases have been responsible for the feeding of more and more people and wild life world wide. It would be a mistake to remove and reduce Carbon in the world’s atmosphere. So without carbon thousands of people will starve to death and these bishops will be responsible for a mass genocide. Who are these highly intellectualized men of God, who know nothing about science and everything about a One World Organization called the UN.

  • Stinky Lebinowitz

    Divorced and remarried receiving the sacraments, gay people with their whatever and now global warming. I’m thinking they are going to drive more from the church, then bring in with their new ideas.

    • JTLiuzza

      These boobs aren’t even Catholic. The Church is infested with modernism, all the way to the top. The Arian heresy in the fourth century had a grip on almost the entire Church, save a handful of faithful prelates. Modernism, the ‘synthesis of all heresies’ as Pope St. Pius X put it, is worse.

      It too will be defeated though. At a great price. Part of the price is the very subject of this article. The world sits back and laughs as bishops and cardinals make fools of themselves, squandering the Church’s authority by spouting off on worldly issues that are none of their concern and not even close to their expertise. Idiots.

      Meanwhile, what they’re actually supposed to be focused on is ignored.

  • Wayne Cook

    What stupidity. CO2 is necessay for plant growth.

  • ddh

    Ninety-seven percent of Catholic bishops support decarbonization. You don’t want to be anti-Catholic, do you? (Not that I would take religious instruction from Dirty Harry, but wisdom begins with “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”)

  • William Okc

    Closer to their core mission, only about a third of Catholics even bother to go to Mass. Do they have a plan for addressing this?

History is His Story
Dwight Longenecker
More from The Stream
Connect with Us