Catholic Church Fooled by UN on Climate Change

The fight to stop climate change is about to become official doctrine of the Catholic Church. By taking this action, the Church turns its back on many of the world’s poorest people, those most vulnerable to the impacts of the United Nations’ dangerously misguided climate and energy policies.

To provide support for the first ever encyclical letter from a pope devoted entirely to the environment, expected to be released in June, the Vatican and the UN chaired a one-day conference on Tuesday titled "The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development."

The final declaration of the conference left little doubt as to what the focus of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter will be. Issued by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the “Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners” asserted:

Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity.

After erroneously citing an “increased frequency of droughts, extreme storms, [and] heat waves,” the declaration irrationally reassured the public that “[t]he world has within its technological grasp, financial means, and know‐how the means to mitigate climate change.”

All we need do, according to the declaration -- a document University of Western Ontario climate model expert Professor Chris Essex has labeled “gibberish” -- is to make “a rapid world transformation to a world powered by renewable and other low-carbon [sic] energy.”

The Catholic Church is being grossly misled by the UN on these issues. The statement made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to delegates on Tuesday, “that the science of climate change is deep, sound and not in doubt,” is utter nonsense. Leading climate experts have repeatedly told Mr. Ban this. For example, widely publicized open letters explaining where the UN is going wrong on the science were delivered directly to his office:

  • Click here to see the 2012 letter sent to the secretary-general to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.

  • Click here to see the 2009 letter sent to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

  • Click here to see the 2007 letter sent to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia.

The secretary-general did not even acknowledge receipt of the open letters, let alone address any of the scientists’ concerns.

Trying to unravel the causes and consequences of climate change is one of the most complex scientific endeavors ever tackled. Essex and Professor Ross McKitrick (University of Guelph) write in their book Taken by Storm:

Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science. Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved.

Reports such as those of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change illustrate that there is no known consensus among scientists regarding the causes of the past century’s modest warming, or even on whether warming or cooling lies ahead. And we have no more chance of mitigating (stopping) climate change than we do of stopping gravity, sunrise, or supernovas in distant galaxies. Carleton University Earth Sciences Professor Tim Patterson explains:

It's obvious that climate is and always has been variable. In fact, the only constant about climate is change; it changes continually.

Now, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences declaration ignores the tragic consequences of the UN’s overconfidence.

Across the world people suffer due to natural climate change. Yet aid agencies are unable to secure adequate funds to help them, because of the $1 billion spent globally every day on climate finance, only 6% of it is goes to helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change today. In developing countries, an abysmal 5% goes to adaptation.

Because the UN has convinced governments that we are the masters of our planet’s climate, the remaining 94% is wasted on mitigation -- trying to stop phenomena that might, but more likely might not, someday happen. Based on an improbable theory about climate, we are letting people die today so as to possibly help those in the distant future.