Pope Francis’ Climate Policies Would Hurt the Poor

By Vijay Jayaraj Published on December 6, 2017

Pope Francis has repeatedly stressed the need for climate action. He wants countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Last month, he said those who disagree have a “perverse attitude.”

But his stance on climate change will harm the poor.

Is the Global Average Temperature Rising?


For centuries, the Church has been a champion of human rights and social justice. Countless charitable initiatives — schools, hospitals, community organizations, etc. — have helped the helpless. Francis seems to think fighting climate change will do likewise. But it won’t.

He has been misled on the science of climate change. Like some scientists, he believes CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel energy will dangerously raise the global average temperature (GAT).

But hundreds of scientific papers published this year alone have proved that conclusion wrong. The climate models that yield it have, since their inception, always predicted far more warming than actually occurred.

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A recent paper in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences revealed that for the past 38 years (1979 — 2017) observed GAT showed a meager increase of 0.096˚C per decade. That’s just half what the models predicted.

Even alarmist scientists acknowledge that the models failed to capture the temperature trend in the past 18 years, when GAT showed no significant increase.

Policies That Actually Hurt the Poor

Still, Pope Francis calls for replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar. Unfortunately, this would impede human flourishing.

How? It would stall economic progress in developing nations. Their industrial sectors depend on their energy sectors. Trying to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar would have a monumental and adverse impact on the global energy sector. Forcing nations to abandon fossil-fuel energy in favor of renewables would leave millions, if not billions, in darkness and poverty. Although wind and solar receive over $100 billion in annual subsidies, they contribute less than 0.7 percent of the world’s energy.

The alarmist agenda and its restrictive energy policies are wrong. The pope should begin to make his voice heard for the poor.

Many scientists and religious leaders have reached out to the Pope about climate change, so far to no avail.

The alarmist agenda and its restrictive energy policies are wrong. The pope should begin to make his voice heard for the poor. He should heed the scientific evidence.

But with Francis aligning more closely with alarmist elites every day, that’s unlikely.


Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in New Delhi, India.

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