Some Get That It’s Hotter

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

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Galileo Galilei published Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems in 1632 in order to defend his heliocentric theory of the universe, his theory being based upon his scientific findings. For his exacting efforts he found himself tried and convicted by the Roman Inquisition for being “vehemently suspect of heresy.” He spent the last nine years of his life under house arrest because of his reprehensible notion that the Earth is not the center of the universe.

It took over 400 years – into the 1950s – for the Catholic Church to admit that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution just might be a useful and credible scientific notion. Pope Paul VI rejected all forms of contraception except abstinence (Q: What do you call couples who  use the rhythm method of birth control? A: Parents). Pope Benedict XVI told us in 2009 that condoms would make the HIV/AIDS scourge worse, not better.

The history of the Catholic Church accepting and embracing advances in knowledge is rather spotty.

But now Pope Francis, the new guy, has a very different view of science, even proposing the crazy notion that our planet actually is warming and that we humans are making things worse. Go ahead and read his Encyclical Letter and you just might be amazed that it was written by a pope. Apparently, this pope doesn’t have his head stuck in the understandings of 2,000 years ago and really gets that we’ve learned a few things along the way.

Wouldn’t it be just great if our climate denying legislators had as much sense?

Worse, if they do have as much sense but continue to act as though they don’t, what is motivating that behavior? Another way to ask the question is, “Who benefits from their baseless denials?” As always, follow the money.


Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

ACTION STEP: Please offer your comments below and pass this blog along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

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4 Responses to Some Get That It’s Hotter
  1. Andrew Rowlas Reply

    The Pope not only has argued for responsible stewardship of the planet and the need to stop the tragic consequences of climate change before it is too late but also he has called for social justice in the economic inequality that the world now has developed.

    Unfortunately, this aspect of his encyclical has not received as much attention from the press, just as the secret trade negotiations on the TPP and the TTIP have received little press coverage. I wonder why. Perhaps, as Jack has said, “Follow the money.”

  2. David Houle Reply

    Two things to point out about the Pope’s remarkable document:
    1. He correctly calls our economic consumer way of life a cause. He is right. As someone who is writing a book about this :This Spaceship Earth” it is clear to me that WE ALL WILL HAVE TO ALTER HOW WE LIVE. So the Pope is very right that our consumer society and mindless consumption is part of the cause.
    2. Because he is the pope he did not do the one additional thing that is at cause: overpopulation. In the ultimate analysis, how many of us are on the planet is one of the core numbers. Birth Control is a critical part of whether we commit species suicide or not.
    I know you are politically oriented, but IF one is concerned about our relationship to the earth, then altering our consumer lifestyle and having 2 or few children are essential.

  3. Jim Altschuler Reply

    You’re right, Jack. The world finally has a pope who is not blinded by his religion or by politics (a la the Republican “legislators”). To paraphrase Butch Cassidy, he’s “got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals”. His Encyclical letter makes it very clear that Pope Paul VI saw what was coming but nobody listened to him, just as they are trying not to listen to all those today who are trying to convey the message/warning. Maybe Pope Francis’ letter, coupled with his status and popularity, will be adequate to get people to pay attention and make the necessary changes.

    Sadly, I doubt it.

  4. Joni Lindgren Reply

    When it comes to climate changes, income inequality, denying unions and collective bargaining rights, denying folks the right to vote and denying women free health clinics for cancer screenings…. throw in ALEC. That’s the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing legislative bill mill which also gave us Stand Your Ground and which is backed by the wealthy and corporations who are paying off the politicians to pass these bills. Like Jack has said, “Follow the money” to find who and what is bringing down this country and is telling middle America that they don’t care about the rest of the population.

    AND, all of this flow of money also comes from our tax money going right to the top (CEOs and corporations). Something is drastically wrong with a country and system that allows 1/4 of the biggest corporations to get a free pass on paying any federal and state taxes!! Why?? Some corporations use the old blackmail trick by telling legislators that if they don’t get millions of our tax money, they’ll move out of state or move to another country!

    When it comes to big oil (some of those corporations which pay NO taxes) I find it unconscionable that big oil is making staggering profits while poisoning our land, air and water supplies! Equally appalling is that we taxpayers are giving these corporations $700 billion to make us sick! Herein lies the biggest tax and environmental heist of the half-century!!

    Pope Francis is the best Pope the Catholic Church has ever had! He is a man who lives humbly, cares for the poor, finds it appalling that a few people have more wealth than the rest of people on Earth, and is a crusader for recognizing that this Earth is in great peril and if we don’t do something, we will all be sick by all the chemicals they’re using and our landscape will look ugly! Forget singing “America the Beautiful”!