October 31, 2011

Media Lies about BEST Study

Timothy Birdnow

(This is a follow-up to my post here. http://tbirdblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/best-alarmists-can-do.html)

We all know the climate change alarmists are liars, but this really takes the cake. This morning, the AOL welcome page had a Huffing and Puffing Post piece with blaring headlines "Global Warming Skeptic Now Agrees Climate Change is Real!" Surprised at this (as the change is invariably away from alarmism) I opened the article.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/30/richard-muller-global-warming_n_1066029.html?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-nb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%7C108718

Who is being touted but Richard Muller. Muller, the man at the center of what is fast becoming a new Climategate scandal. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html

Muller's own co-author Judith Curry is beside herself at the way Muller and his BEST project have cherry picked data, and the data actually shows a complete standstill in planetary temperatures.

According to the Huffing piece;

"The Associated Press contacted Curry on Sunday afternoon and she said in an email that Muller and colleagues "are not hiding any data or otherwise engaging in any scientifically questionable practice."

But this is a direct quote from Judith Curry;

'As for the graph disseminated to the media, Curry said: 'This is "hide the decline] stuff. Our data show the pause, just as the other sets of data do. Muller is hiding the decline...To say this is the end of scepticism is misleading, as is the statement that warming hasn't paused. It is also misleading to say, as he has, that the issue of heat islands has been settled'

Now, Judith Curry DID walk it back a bit, in that she said Muller didn't purposely obfuscate but that the data shows a clear decline - and that Muller's graph is misleading. She stopped short of calling it purposeful malfeasance. http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/30/mail-on-best/ Yet that is not the impression the Huffpo piece leaves.

In fact, Muller's work buttresses the case against AGW; it clearly shows a temperature standstill.

In a follow up post, Curry has this to say about a meeting she had with Muller:

http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/30/discussion-with-rich-muller/

"First, Muller’s title for the WSJ op-ed was "Cooling the Warming Debate,” he intended it to be a conciliatory article regarding how this data set could be used to settle some of the debates surrounding the land temperature record. The "End of Skepticism” title was provided by the WSJ editors. Muller was not happy about this change of title.

Second, the reason for the publicity blitz seems to be to get the attention of the IPCC. To be considered in the AR5, papers need to be submitted by Nov, which explains the timing. The publicity is so that the IPCC can’t ignore BEST. Muller shares my concerns about the IPCC process, and gatekeeping in the peer review process."

[...]

"Re the recent trend, Muller reiterated that you can’t infer anything about what is going on globally from the land data, but the land data shows a continued increase albeit with an oscillation that makes determining a trend rather ambiguous. He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO. So I am ok with this interpretation.

With regards to the BEST data itself and what it shows. He showed me an interesting graph this is updated from the Rohde article, whereby the BEST data shows good agreement with the GISS data for the recent part of the record. Apparently the original discrepancy was associated with definition of land; this was sorted out and when they compared apples to apples, then the agreement is pretty good. This leaves CRU as an outlier."

[...]

"So all in all, I am ok with what is going on in the BEST project. The PR situation is still a problem, but the media aren’t helping here."

End excerpts.

So Muller has hardly changed his mind, becoming a True Believer. Yet that is precisely how the media is reporting it.

This is a classic leftist trick used by the media; make an outlandish statement, knowing it is untrue (they claim, for instance, that Curry said the data was sound, and that it supports warming) and knowing it will be overturned, but give the casual reader a false impression. They know the truth will not be covered in the media, so when it does come out they can quietly admit error (or not) and nobody will ever hear.

If this doesn't turn the alert observer away from AWG nothing will. Science doesn't have to lie.

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Some ancillary info about that situation last week. .

Dana Mathewson

. . . wherein a holder of a carry permit shot to death a man who had just committed armed robbery and pistol-whipped the middle-aged woman he had robbed. The Twin Cities' wonderful Star Tribune (often called the Red Star Tribune by local people who still possess the ability to think) engaged in its usual politically slanted, incomplete reporting of the incident. Power Line's Scott Johnson provides more information here http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/10/the-gang-that-couldnt-shoot-straight.php

and includes the surprising information that Hennepin County's Liberal Democrat Attorney not only refused to press charges against the "Good Samaritan" but commended him for "helping his fellow citizens in need."

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I love the smell of karma in the morning!

Dana Mathewson

"A group of several dozen "Occupy Las Vegas” protesters camping on Clark County land located under the final approach to Runway 19 at McCarran International Airport today narrowly missed being injured when a 50 lb. slab of "blue ice” reportedly landed within feet of their tents." http://www.punditandpundette.com/2011/10/smelly-brown-residue.html

Now, I think all of you know what "blue ice" is. Anyhow, the article goes on to explain: "Blue ice is the frozen material formed by leaks in commercial aircraft lavatory waste tanks, a mixture of human waste and vivid blue liquid disinfectant that freezes at high altitude."

You can see where this is leading: "Clark County Director of Aviation Randall Walker was immediately notified and dispatched airport personnel to the campsite, but witnesses report that the blue ice had melted by the time officials arrived leaving only a smelly brown residue." (Emphasis mine)

The reports I read of the various "Occupy" groups indicates they were leaving their own smelly brown residue around. I think this Las Vegas bunch merely got what it deserved.

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This explains a lot of what's going on in the economy

Dana Mathewson

David P. Goldman, who writes under the name of "Spengler," has an article quoting another of his articles on PJ Media today, here: http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2011/10/31/the-economics-of-polarization-or-why-the-tea-party-is-magnificently-right/

His first paragraph pretty well lays out the whole theme: "A hard look at the data explains the polarization of American politics: state and local governments are increasing property taxes even while the housing market crashes, and this is killing the middle class. In many parts of the country prospective homebuyers will pay almost as much as property taxes as in mortgage interest! No wonder the residential real estate market can’t come up for air, and why the American middle class feels that it is fighting for its existence. The only solution will be the kind pioneered by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of the real heroes of our time: renegotiate the whole relationship between the government and the government unions. But that would mean the end of the Democratic Party as we know it. That’s why the upcoming presidential election will be the nastiest in living memory." END QUOTE

This has good news for Republicans, if they seize the moment and handle it correctly.

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More on "Fast and Furious"

more...

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Cain to debate Newt one-on-one

Dana Mathewson

Bad move. Very bad move. I don't think there's another politician in the country who could take on Newt Gingrich in a debate and expect to win. http://pjmedia.com/blog/cain-to-debate-newt-what-is-herman-thinking/

I'm not denigrating Herman Cain in the least when I say this, either. I admire the man, and as I've stated before, he's my candidate. But it's one thing to be confident, another thing to be foolhardy. Gingrich's brilliance is well known. I greatly fear Herman will come off second-best.

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October 30, 2011

Congratulations to Alan Caruba

Timothy Birdnow
Contributor Alan Caruba has a new arrival; Zachary Caruba just arrived into this world. Let's all wish the newest Caruba a hearty welcome, and congratulate the proud uncle! Read about it here. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/submissions

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Immanent World War?

Timothy Birdnow

Adam Yoshida lays out a compelling case for a coming Third World War in a piece at American Thinker.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/could_we_see_world_war_three_in_our_lifetimes.html

He's right; too many balls are in the air, and there is no one capable of juggling. Sooner or later this whole situation will explode. The World looks like Europe in 1913.

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Killing Energy, Killing Jobs, Killing America

By Alan Caruba

America has been under attack since Barack Obama took the oath of office on January 20, 2009. The primary target has been the nation’s ability to generate energy for electricity and transportation, without which this nation will slide into Third World status and economic decline.

This appears to be the goal of this administration from the President to his Secretaries of Energy and Interior, to his Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. There is no other rational explanation for what they are doing.

We are days away from the latest Environmental Protection Agency assault in the form of the "MACT” rule allegedly to reduce mercury and other emissions that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says will reduce electricity generation in America by about 81 gigawatts in the years ahead. A recent Wall Street Journal editorial http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203633104576625091826666516.html?KEYWORDS=Government+vs+EPA said "this could compromise the reliability of the electric system if as much as 8% of generating capacity is subtracted from the grid.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that eleven Governors have written the EPA to ask that it delay the final rule in November. Twenty-five state Attorneys Generals have filed suit "to lift a legal document known as a consent decree that the EPA is using as a fig leaf for its political goals.”

As but one example, in Illinois, Ameron announced the planned shutdown of its Meredosia and Hutsonville energy centers, The Meredosia center generates 369 megawatts. The Hutsonville center has a generating capacity of 151 megawatts.

The EPA, even before the Obama administration, has been using the 1970 Clean Air Act to bludgeon the nation’s ability to access the energy resources required to generate electricity, primarily coal that provides 50% of such generation, and oil that fuels our transportation capability.

In late October, James J. Mulva http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204346104576637282988036502.html?KEYWORDS=Natural+Gas+Can+Put+Americans+Back+to+Work, the CEO of Conoco-Phillips, addressed the subject of the growing discoveries of natural gas being found throughout the nation. "More than 600,000 Americans already explore, produce, store and produce natural gas, according to consultancy IHS Global Insight.”

At least 15 states now produce shale gas and others may join them,” noting that the largest shale area, the Marcellus which covers much of the Northeast” "already supports 140,000 jobs in Pennsylvania alone.”

The Obama administration, beginning with the president’s admitted goal of shutting down as much of the coal industry as possible, has demonstrated his intention of deterring the provision of energy. When the BP Oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, the administration imposed a moratorium on all drilling. The decreased production cost 360,000 barrels a day in addition to lost jobs related to oil drilling in the Gulf. Rigs that are needed to drill have since been moved to other sites around the world.

The U.S. is home to more than 150 billion barrels of conventional oil that has the capability of generating thousands of new jobs if access to it was permitted. The most immediate result has been the rise in the cost of gasoline at the pump. Two courts ordered that the moratorium be lifted.

Oil companies currently pay more than $30 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. Meanwhile the Obama administration has been wasting billions in loan guarantees to essentially useless solar and wind power companies, the latest of which, Solyandra, will cost taxpayers millions when the solar panel producer went belly-up. Others will follow.

Meanwhile, the President crisscrosses the nations demanding higher taxes on companies engaged in coal, oil and natural gas. When Jimmy Carter imposed a windfall tax on oil companies many ceased to explore for new sources here, moving their efforts to other nations. Today, by withholding the necessary permits to produce energy in Alaska, the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is operating at one third of its capacity.

A proposed pipeline from Canada still awaits approval and, on November 6th, led by the Sierra Club, the largest protest against its tar sands is expected to draw thousands to Washington, D.C. to join hands and circle the White House to ensure the Keystone XL pipeline is kept from providing the U.S. with the oil extracted. The proposed pipeline would reduce the U.S. dependence on Middle East oil. The U.S. already has more than 50,000 safely operating oil pipelines to support our transportation and other needs.

In January 2010, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, warned that the Obama administration "continues to embrace Washington-dominated, command-and-control energy policies focused on mandates, subsidies, and political favors—not market forces.” He criticized "subsidizing one form of energy,” wind and solar, "while restricting the exploration of another,” warning that it "will lead to several measurable outcomes, increasing energy prices across the board, fewer jobs, and a weaker footing in the global economy..”

Nearly two years later, that warning has come true with a vengeance.

Oil, coal, or natural gas, it doesn’t matter to an administration and a president determined to restrict the amount of energy Americans need for their present and future needs. The result, in part, has been a stalled energy sector and a contributing factor in an economy with an estimated 20 million unemployed or under-employed.

The losses in income taxes and the taxes paid by this industry sector, in addition to the hideous borrowing and spending by the Obama administration is doing enormous harm to America and yet Barack Obama wants a second term in office.

Little wonder that Americans fear for the future of the nation.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/10/killing-energy-killing-jobs-killing.html

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The BEST the Alarmists Can Do

This courtesy of CCNET:

Scientist Who Said Climate Sceptics Had Been Proved Wrong Accused Of Hiding Truth By Colleague

Mail on Sunday, 30 October 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html

David Rose

It was hailed as the scientific study that ended the global warming debate once and for all – the research that, in the words of its director, ‘proved you should not be a sceptic, at least not any longer’. But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped.

Professor Richard Muller, of Berkeley University in California, and his colleagues from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures project team (BEST) claimed to have shown that the planet has warmed by almost a degree centigrade since 1950 and is warming continually.

Published last week ahead of a major United Nations climate summit in Durban, South Africa, next month, their work was cited around the world as irrefutable evidence that only the most stringent measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can save civilisation as we know it.

It was cited uncritically by, among others, reporters and commentators from the BBC, The Independent, The Guardian, The Economist and numerous media outlets in America.

The Washington Post said the BEST study had ‘settled the climate change debate’ and showed that anyone who remained a sceptic was committing a ‘cynical fraud’.

But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped.

Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake’, with no scientific basis.

Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST project’s four research papers.

Her comments, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, seem certain to ignite a furious academic row. She said this affair had to be compared to the notorious ‘Climategate’ scandal two years ago.

Like the scientists exposed then by leaked emails from East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit, her colleagues from the BEST project seem to be trying to ‘hide the decline’ in rates of global warming.

In fact, Prof Curry said, the project’s research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties – a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained.

‘There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’

However, Prof Muller denied warming was at a standstill.

‘We see no evidence of it [global warming] having slowed down,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. There was, he added, ‘no levelling off’.

A graph issued by the BEST project also suggests a continuing steep increase.




But a report http://thegwpf.org/the-observatory/4230-best-confirms-global-temperature-standstill.html to be published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation includes a graph of world average temperatures over the past ten years, drawn from the BEST project’s data and revealed on its website.



This graph shows that the trend of the last decade is absolutely flat, with no increase at all – though the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have carried on rising relentlessly.

‘This is nowhere near what the climate models were predicting,’ Prof Curry said. ‘Whatever it is that’s going on here, it doesn’t look like it’s being dominated by CO2.’

Prof Muller also wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal. It was here, under the headline ‘The case against global warming scepticism’, that he proclaimed ‘there were good reasons for doubt until now’.

Media storm: Prof Muller's claims received uncritical coverage in the media this week

This, too, went around the world, with The Economist, among many others, stating there was now ‘little room for doubt’.

Such claims left Prof Curry horrified.

‘Of course this isn’t the end of scepticism,’ she said. ‘To say that is the biggest mistake he [Prof Muller] has made. When I saw he was saying that I just thought, "Oh my God”.’

In fact, she added, in the wake of the unexpected global warming standstill, many climate scientists who had previously rejected sceptics’ arguments were now taking them much more seriously.

They were finally addressing questions such as the influence of clouds, natural temperature cycles and solar radiation – as they should have done, she said, a long time ago.

Yesterday Prof Muller insisted that neither his claims that there has not been a standstill, nor the graph, were misleading because the project had made its raw data available on its website, enabling others to draw their own graphs.

However, he admitted it was true that the BEST data suggested that world temperatures have not risen for about 13 years. But in his view, this might not be ‘statistically significant’, although, he added, it was equally possible that it was – a statement which left other scientists mystified.

‘I am baffled as to what he’s trying to do,’ Prof Curry said.

Prof Ross McKitrick, a climate statistics expert from Guelph University in Ontario, added: ‘You don’t look for statistically significant evidence of a standstill.

‘You look for statistically significant evidence of change.’

The BEST project, which has been lavishly funded, brings together experts from different fields from top American universities.

It was set up 18 months ago in an effort to devise a new and more accurate way of computing changes in world temperatures by using readings from some 39,000 weather stations on land, instead of adding sea temperatures as well.

Some scientists, Prof Muller included, believe that this should provide a more accurate indication of how the world is responding to carbon dioxide.

The oceans, they argue, warm more slowly and this is why earlier global measurements which also cover the sea – such as those from the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University – have found no evidence of warming since the Nineties.

The usual way a high-profile project such as BEST would publish its results would be in a scientific journal, following a rigorous ‘peer review’ by other experts in the field.

The more eminent journals that publish climate research, such as Nature And Science, insist there must be no leaks to the media until this review is complete and if such leaks occur, they will automatically reject the research.

Earlier this year, the project completed four research papers.

As well as trends in world temperatures, they looked at the extent to which temperature readings can be distorted by urban ‘heat islands’ and the influence of long-term temperature cycles in the oceans. The papers were submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research.

But although Prof Curry is the second named author of all four papers, Prof Muller failed to consult her before deciding to put them on the internet earlier this month, when the peer review process had barely started, and to issue a detailed press release at the same time.

He also briefed selected journalists individually. ‘It is not how I would have played it,’ Prof Curry said. ‘I was informed only when I got a group email. I think they have made errors and I distance myself from what they did.

‘It would have been smart to consult me.’ She said it was unfortunate that although the Journal of Geophysical Research had allowed Prof Muller to issue the papers, the reviewers were, under the journal’s policy, forbidden from public comment.

Prof McKitrick added: ‘The fact is that many of the people who are in a position to provide informed criticism of this work are currently bound by confidentiality agreements.

‘For the Berkeley team to have chosen this particular moment to launch a major international publicity blitz is a highly unethical sabotage of the peer review process.’

In Prof Curry’s view, two of the papers were not ready to be published, in part because they did not properly address the arguments of climate sceptics.

As for the graph disseminated to the media, she said: ‘This is "hide the decline” stuff. Our data show the pause, just as the other sets of data do. Muller is hiding the decline.

‘To say this is the end of scepticism is misleading, as is the statement that warming hasn’t paused. It is also misleading to say, as he has, that the issue of heat islands has been settled.’

Prof Muller said she was ‘out of the loop’. He added: ‘I wasn’t even sent the press release before it was issued.’

Prof Muller defended his behaviour yesterday, saying that all he was doing was ‘returning to traditional peer review’, issuing draft papers to give the whole ‘climate community’ a chance to comment.

As for the press release, he claimed he was ‘not seeking publicity’, adding: ‘This is simply a way of getting the media to report this more accurately.’

He said his decision to publish was completely unrelated to the forthcoming United Nations climate conference.

This, he said, was ‘irrelevant’, insisting that nothing could have been further from his mind than trying to influence it.

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October 29, 2011

Globalization, Benedict XVI, and the False Prophet

Timothy Birdnow

Rev 13:11 - And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Revelation 13:12-14 — 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Pope Benedict XVI has called for a global economic governing system.

According to this article in USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-07-07-pope-encyclical_N.htm

"Pope Benedict XVI today called for reforming the United Nations and establishing a "true world political

authority" with "real teeth" to manage the global economy with God-centered ethics.
In his third encyclical, a major teaching, released as the G-8 summit begins in Italy, the pope says such

an authority is urgently needed to end the current worldwide financial crisis. It should "revive" damaged

economies, reach toward "disarmament, food security and peace," protect the environment and "regulate

migration."

Benedict writes, "The market is not, and must not become, the place where the strong subdue the weak."

The encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) is a theologically dense explication of Catholic

social teaching that draws heavily from earlier popes, particularly PaulVI's critique of capitalism 42

years ago. And echoing his predecessor John Paul II, Benedict says, "every economic decision has a moral

consequence."'

End excerpt.

IF this is an accurate portrayal of the Pope's comments it is cause for great concern, nay, fear and

trembling from the Faithful, because it suggests a terrible possibility.

Is Benedict the False Prophet?

Such an economic order is precisely what the Anti-Christ would institute according to Scripture. The Book

of Revelation makes it plain that a cashless economy will replace the current order, with those who refuse

the Mark of the Beast to be unable to buy or sell. And Revelation makes it plain that the Anti-Christ

would derive his power from a false spiritual system headed by a globalist type leader, the False Prophet,

third person of the Satanic trinity. Catholic theologians have traditionally believed the False Prophet

would be an apostate Pontiff.

And the radical Left is euphoric. Consider this from Think Progress:

http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/10/24/351277/the-vatican-calls-for-economic-equality-reform-of-

world-financial-system/

"The call for greater control and equality in financial markets comes at a time when Republican

presidential candidates — many of whom tout their religious credentials on the campaign trail — have

called for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law aimed at preventing a crisis similar to that

of 2008, and as Republicans in both Congress and on the campaign trail continue to back budget cuts that

would eviscerate programs that help the poor. At the same time, protesters spurred by the original Occupy

Wall Street demonstrations have brought increasing attention rising income inequality, corporate greed,

and tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

The Vatican release is a clear sign that it supports the message of the Occupy Wall Street protests,

Vincent J. Miller, the Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture at the University of Dayton, said in

a press release:

"While conservative leaders and several presidential candidates want to eviscerate financial reform, the

Vatican has sent a powerful message that prudent regulation of our financial system is a moral priority. I

expect Catholic neo-cons who usually present themselves as the defenders of orthodoxy will ignore or

scramble to defuse this timely teaching. It’s clear the Vatican stands with the Occupy Wall Street

protesters and others struggling to return ethics and good governance to a financial sector grown out of

control after 30 years of deregulation.”

This isn’t the first time faith leaders have spoken out against so-called religious conservatives who have

prioritized tax cuts for the wealthy and repealing financial regulations over helping low-income

Americans. A group of Catholic bishops signed a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Budget

Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) — both practicing Catholics — during the debt limit fight, denouncing

budget cuts that disproportionately hurt the poor. Other religious leaders made similar calls, with Rev.

Jim Wallis telling Republicans, "We did not get into fiscal trouble because of poor people. … The poor

didn’t cause this. Let’s not make them pay for it.”'

End excerpt.

Of course, this flies in the face of several Encyclicals condemning socialism, for example Pius IX Nostis

et Nobiscum or Benedict XV Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum or, well, see here.

http://www.americaneedsfatima.org/Articles/what-the-popes-say-about-socialism.html

Any global economic system will wind up expanding and cementing socialism into place. That is the nature

of the beast, if you pardon an infernal pun. Especially this beast that sits astride the Atlantic Ocean,

with it's heads in New York, Brussels, etc. Global regulation of the economy will give us global

government, and of the worst sort. Surely the current occupant of the Chair of St. Peter knows this - and

understands the theological implications.

But is this what the Holy Father is really arguing?

Here are some of the pertinent passages:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-

veritate_en.html

41. ...

Political authority also involves a wide range of values, which must not be overlooked in the process of constructing a new order of economic productivity, socially responsible and human in scale. As well as cultivating differentiated forms of business activity on the global plane, we must also promote a dispersed political authority, effective on different levels. The integrated economy of the present day does not make the role of States redundant, but rather it commits governments to greater collaboration with one another. Both wisdom and prudence suggest not being too precipitous in declaring the demise of the State. In terms of the resolution of the current crisis, the State's role seems destined to grow, as it regains many of its competences. In some nations, moreover, the construction or reconstruction of the State remains a key factor in their development. The focus of international aid, within a solidarity-based plan to resolve today's economic problems, should rather be on consolidating constitutional, juridical and administrative systems in countries that do not yet fully enjoy these goods. Alongside economic aid, there needs to be aid directed towards reinforcing the guarantees proper to the State of law: a system of public order and effective imprisonment that respects human rights, truly democratic institutions. The State does not need to have identical characteristics everywhere: the support aimed at strengthening weak constitutional systems can easily be accompanied by the development of other political players, of a cultural, social, territorial or religious nature, alongside the State. The articulation of political authority at the local, national and international levels is one of the best ways of giving direction to the process of economic globalization. It is also the way to ensure that it does not actually undermine the foundations of democracy.

42. Sometimes globalization is viewed in fatalistic terms, as if the dynamics involved were the product of anonymous impersonal forces or structures independent of the human will[102]. In this regard it is useful to remember that while globalization should certainly be understood as a socio-economic process, this is not its only dimension. Underneath the more visible process, humanity itself is becoming increasingly interconnected; it is made up of individuals and peoples to whom this process should offer benefits and development[103], as they assume their respective responsibilities, singly and collectively. The breaking-down of borders is not simply a material fact: it is also a cultural event both in its causes and its effects. If globalization is viewed from a deterministic standpoint, the criteria with which to evaluate and direct it are lost. As a human reality, it is the product of diverse cultural tendencies, which need to be subjected to a process of discernment. The truth of globalization as a process and its fundamental ethical criterion are given by the unity of the human family and its development towards what is good. Hence a sustained commitment is needed so as to promote a person-based and community-oriented cultural process of world-wide integration that is open to transcendence.

Despite some of its structural elements, which should neither be denied nor exaggerated, "globalization, a priori, is neither good nor bad. It will be what people make of it”[104]. We should not be its victims, but rather its protagonists, acting in the light of reason, guided by charity and truth. Blind opposition would be a mistaken and prejudiced attitude, incapable of recognizing the positive aspects of the process, with the consequent risk of missing the chance to take advantage of its many opportunities for development. The processes of globalization, suitably understood and directed, open up the unprecedented possibility of large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale; if badly directed, however, they can lead to an increase in poverty and inequality, and could even trigger a global crisis. It is necessary to correct the malfunctions, some of them serious, that cause new divisions between peoples and within peoples, and also to ensure that the redistribution of wealth does not come about through the redistribution or increase of poverty: a real danger if the present situation were to be badly managed. For a long time it was thought that poor peoples should remain at a fixed stage of development, and should be content to receive assistance from the philanthropy of developed peoples. Paul VI strongly opposed this mentality in Populorum Progressio. Today the material resources available for rescuing these peoples from poverty are potentially greater than before, but they have ended up largely in the hands of people from developed countries, who have benefited more from the liberalization that has occurred in the mobility of capital and labour. The world-wide diffusion of forms of prosperity should not therefore be held up by projects that are self-centred, protectionist or at the service of private interests. Indeed the involvement of emerging or developing countries allows us to manage the crisis better today. The transition inherent in the process of globalization presents great difficulties and dangers that can only be overcome if we are able to appropriate the underlying anthropological and ethical spirit that drives globalization towards the humanizing goal of solidarity. Unfortunately this spirit is often overwhelmed or suppressed by ethical and cultural considerations of an individualistic and utilitarian nature. Globalization is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon which must be grasped in the diversity and unity of all its different dimensions, including the theological dimension. In this way it will be possible to experience and to steer the globalization of humanity in relational terms, in terms of communion and the sharing of goods.



"57. ... A particular manifestation of charity and a guiding criterion for

fraternal cooperation between believers and non-believers is undoubtedly the principle of subsidiarity

[137], an expression of inalienable human freedom. Subsidiarity is first and foremost a form of assistance

to the human person via the autonomy of intermediate bodies. Such assistance is offered when individuals

or groups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always designed to achieve their

emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation through assumption of responsibility.

Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognizing in the person a subject who is always capable of

giving something to others. By considering reciprocity as the heart of what it is to be a human being,

subsidiarity is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state. It is able

to take account both of the manifold articulation of plans — and therefore of the plurality of subjects —

as well as the coordination of those plans. Hence the principle of subsidiarity is particularly well-

suited to managing globalization and directing it towards authentic human development. In order not to

produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked

by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together.

Globalization certainly requires authority, insofar as it poses the problem of a global common good that

needs to be pursued. This authority, however, must be organized in a subsidiary and stratified way[138],

if it is not to infringe upon freedom and if it is to yield effective results in practice."

End excerpts.

Yes, the Pope is arguing that there is something wrong with the current system of things, and rightly so; nobody would claim we have a perfect system, nor argue that we should not seek to improve things. The point is, the Holy Father is arguing for the political to act merely as a buttress for a more charitable way - which ultimately means a change of heart inside people.

He states quite plainly "The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly" and "Much in fact depends on the underlying system of morality"(45) which ultimately is the core of his thesis. This Pope understands that lack of faith is the root of both the problems of socialism and of exploitative capitalism; the robber-baron capitalist, the crony capitalist, is equally a faithless man, believing in the mechanistic forces as much as the Marxist. This is inarguable. This is NOT an indictment of the capitalist system, but a criticism of certain forces at work in that system. Iniquity is ever present in every human institution.

HOWEVER...

The Pope bemoans "hoarding" of energy by some nations, worries about proper "stewardship" of the environment, and belabores a whole collection of Green talking points that I fear will be used by the Left. That he prefaces it with a warning against turning this to paganism, that preface will be purposely lost by the enemies of the Church. He really should know better.

And here is the offending section:

"67. In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect[146] and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good[147], and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights[148]. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization[149]. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations."

End excerpt.

He goes on to say that without God this is all in vain, yet he has made a terrible mistake here. Throughout Benedict has called for a "subsidiary" society in which Man is autonomous and yet part of the whole, but he should understand that this will lead to the subsuming of that autonomy should the State and particularly the Metastate be empowered.

Is Benedict the False Prophet? This document certainly forshadows him.



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Beyond Sushiology: Does Diversity Work?

Jack Kemp

Referenced from Pat Buchanan's latest book, Suicide of a Superpower, in his discussion on the toxic effect of so much diversity in our nation that there isn't an agreed upon national identity as we once had. I suggest reading the whole article. And Buchanan's book (or just the online bookseller review, if you don't have the time).


The following quote is from the article about diversity and is found at: http://www.brookings.edu/articles/2002/winter_affirmativeaction_skerry.aspx
Beyond Sushiology: Does Diversity Work?
Race, Ethnicity, Immigration, Migration
Peter Skerry, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies
The Brookings Institution

QUOTED SECTION:

For a more nuanced view of the profound demographic changes sweeping the United States, talk to a priest in a typical Catholic parish in southern California. The priest might, like the rest of us, wax poetic about his favorite local ethnic restaurants. But he will also note the daunting problems of, say, putting on Sunday mass for parishioners who speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Should there be a separate mass in each language? Or should masses be multilingual, with different parts in various languages? Whichever he chooses, someone will feel neglected. And in any case, he must find priests with the needed language skills.

Language is only the most obvious problem introduced by diversity. In a small town in Iowa large numbers of new Latino immigrants create resentment among long-time Anglo parishioners when they bring little children to church and let them roam about during services. Such resentments are typically attributed to Anglo "insensitivity" or "racism." But as the Wall Street Journal recently reported, intense animosities have flared between newly arrived Mexicans and more established Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in a predominantly Latino parish in the Bronx. No wonder the Hispanic Jesuit Alan Figueroa-Deck, writing in the liberal Catholic magazine America, criticizes the hierarchy's "ideology of multiculturalism" and points to the remarkable success of Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestants in building ethnically homogeneous congregations among Latinos. Clearly, diversity's beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

End

A NOTE FROM DANA MATHEWSON:

I didn't read the entire article, so I don't know if Pat pointed out the fact that "Americans," meaning long-established citizens, have normally been very welcoming of new citizens (obviously I don't include illegal aliens here), as long as those new citizens are in the process of becoming what might be called "true Americans," the way they did back in the early days of the 20th century. Those people came here to embrace the American way of life; while they didn't forget that they brought a great deal of the culture of their former countries with them, they tried to learn English as quickly as they could, and they endeavored to dress like Americans, and they tried to adopt American attitudes. Admittedly some had more success with this than others. What's more, they quickly developed a great love for America, because America offered them advantages their former countries did not. And our schools taught them all this.

Now, schools teach that America is a blot on the world.

But you fellows know all this anyhow

A NOTE FROM TIM:

Yep; Americans welcome those who want to join us, not use us.

One of the reasons Italians suffered discrimination in the early 20th century was because they tried not to assimilate rather than because of racism as is alleged today. The relatively new nation of Italy had a bad unemployment problem and so adopted the solution used by Mexico today, encouraging her poorer citizens to immigrate to the U.S. The Italian government told these people that they could go to America, stay for five years, and come back as millionaires. Of course, once here these people had to go to work in the mines or factories, and it soon became apparent that faith had been broken with them. Still, many Italian immigrants came here believing they would simply earn their fortunes and return home. As a result they weren't very popular, especially among the Irish and other older immigrant poor.

My father's best friend was third generation Italian, and HIS mother, born and raised here, barely spoke English. My dad's friend and his siblings would refuse to answer her when she tried to speak to them in Italian. She never learned English because her family didn't plan on staying here; they wanted to remain Italian. It just didn't work out that way.

Mario Puzo discusses the Mafia in his books, and makes the point that these immigrants simply didn't understand that America was fundamentally different than their old homes. It's interesting to note that the Mafia died out here once the younger native-born generation took over; they were too American to feel a need for a criminal underground to provide them with a counterbalance to corrupt government.

In the end those who adopt America the fastest succeed the quickest. That's why this country has been largely free of ethnic and regional strife. We have always been a melting pot. Liberals are trying to make her into a salad - and we are starting to experience the difficulties that so many European countries have suffered.


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Glenn Beck support "puts curse" on Cardinals, liberals said

Jack Kemp

Here's a story that liberals sports writers wish we all would forget. It seems that back in September, after Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols attended the Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, they claim the Cardinals went into a tailspin and their 2011 season became cursed by the gods for having associated with that conservative Glenn Beck, thus ruining their season.

Great prediction and writing, guys. Linking La Russa and Pujols with Glenn Beck sure proves how much he hurt the Cards in September. Do these lib writers also read chicken entrails?

Wait! The Cards won the World Series? Can that be true, Tim? You're in St. Louis. Was there celebrating there on Friday night? Did people wear red and white garments in the streets and bars? You must have seen something on local tv.

Here's the link and a quote from the article.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201009020017

Beck's Baseball Curse?

September 02, 2010 12:37 pm ET by Joe Strupp

It started as some gossip among baseball fans after St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and All-Star hitter Albert Pujols attended Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' rally last Saturday.

The team started losing. But five games later, with losses to the lowliest of their National League rivals, the gossip is becoming a minor news story.

Some believe there might be a Glenn Beck curse. Among them, Stephen Sterling of Digital Sports Daily:
Call it politics, call it a distraction, call it bad karma, call it the curse of Glenn Beck, call it whatever you want, but the St. Louis Cardinals are falling hard and falling fast. Wednesday afternoon they dropped their fifth straight game losing to the lowly Houston Astros 5-2.

With the loss they are now seven and a half games out of first place behind the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central division.

And the Cardinals haven't won a game since manager Tony La Russa had the bizarre idea to attend an event hosted by TV/Radio Shock-Jock Glenn Beck to garner conservative support for mid-term elections.

La Russa introduced his first baseman Albert Pujols for an award given out by Beck. 

But the criticism for La Russa is this: Beck's viewpoints are notably divisive, and sometimes racist. To support Beck in the middle of the season is playing with fire and asking for controversy.

End

A NOTE FROM TIM:

Curse indeed! As Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof "May God smite me, and may I never recover!" I think St. Louis fans would all agree on that!
 

I live at least seven miles from downtown, and all night you could hear fireworks; people were in the streets all over the city hooting and hollering. It was too bad I have been ill; I would have loved to have gone downtown to join in. It was one wild party.

They say suffering is good for the soul. Glenn's curse appears to lead to it's opposite. The villain! How dare he cheat us out of the potential for soul growth!

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October 28, 2011

Liberalism’s Continuing War With Normalcy

Brian Birdnow takes on the OWS movement in a memorable piece at Townhall. Don't miss it!

http://townhall.com/columnists/brianbirdnow/2011/10/27/occupy_wall_street_liberalism%e2%80%99s_continuing_war_with_normalcy/page/full/

Here is a snippet:

"Some of the occupiers in St. Louis appear to be rented protestors drawn from the local transient population, many of who live in the general area. Larry Rice, a prominent St. Louis social service activist, has proven himself adept at mobilizing the homeless for politically oriented publicity, and this type of situation is tailor made for the good Reverend Rice's organizational talents. In the summer of 2009 Mr. Rice caused a stir when he claimed that St. Louis politicians were trying to drive the homeless out of the city in advance of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He has set many of "his” people up in downtown parks before, and he may be at it again.

In addition to the unemployed ex-students, and the homeless, the protestors seem to include a fair number of upper-middle class, white suburbanites who hang around and empathize with the occupiers, although it is an open question whether they actually camp out overnight. These white liberals perfectly exemplify the "Bourgeois- Bohemian” type, skewered so memorably by David Brooks early in the last decade. There is something patently absurd about wealthy liberals claiming that they are "part of the 99%”, meaning that they are not in the top 1 percent of earners. They may not be in the top 1 percent of earners, but they are much closer to the top 1% than they are to the bottom 10 percent.

So, the occupiers/protestors are undoubtedly a hybrid crop. They are poor, yet they are middle class, and some are very high middle class. Some are illiterate, a number are barely literate college graduates, yet others are highly educated professionals and professors. What is the common denominator that unites this disparate motley crew? The answer is, quite simply, their common antipathy toward the general culture of the United States of America.

The OWS crowd reflects the heterodoxy that exists at the heart of modern liberal thought. Lest we forget, liberals have engaged in this sort of behavior before. The American Left, circa 1925, insisted that the First World War had been a conspiracy masterminded by J.P. Morgan and other Wall Street-City of London types who hoped to make more money off of the fighting. The same conspiracy theorists denounced FDR as a Wall Street puppet in the late ‘30s. Daniel Ellsberg and the New York Times editors lectured the country, in the early 1970s that Viet Nam was a Faustian bargain involving the military-industrial complex, and, more recently we have been told that we are fighting in Afghanistan to steal that region's resources and make more money for the international financial cabal. The fact that Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries on earth, has no resources to steal does not throw liberal protestors off message. They merely move on to the next target, chanting the same refrain.

"

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Take Me out to the Ball Game; the Essence of Americanism at American Thinker

Timothy Birdnow

I have a blogpost at American Thinker this morning, discussing American values and that most American of games, baseball.http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/10/the_essence_of_america_revealed_in_game_6_of_the_world_series.html

What we are witnessing in this World Series is a complete repudiation of the values of Occupy Wall Street and the Obama crowd.

Thanks to our East Coast editor Jack Kemp for inspiring this essay.

 

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Who is Barack Obama?

A good question indeed; one that has so far gone unanswered. This American Thinker article, while not providing any real answers, certainly stokes the fires. http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/who_is_barack_obama.html

He cites as his sources various foreign press organs, since they have made available to us considerably more material than our own woefully-inadequate media.

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Americans Increasingly Pro-Gun, Gallup Poll says

Dana Mathewson

Good news, guys. Apparently the efforts of such groups as the NRA are bearing fruit, as "average Americans" are learning the facts about such things as "semiautomatic weapons." There's still a lot of work to be done, but perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course, with news like this, we know the "Brady Bunch" and Mike Bloomberg will redouble their efforts, not to mention the entire Democratic Party.

http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/guns-poll-gallup/2011/10/27/id/415903

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October 27, 2011

Text of Cardinal Pell's Speech

Timothy Birdnow

Here is the text of Cardinal Pell's speech, courtesy of the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

http://thegwpf.org/uk-news/4212-cardinal-george-pell-one-christian-perspective-on-climate-change.html

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Cardinal Pell calls Carbon Credits comparable to Medieval Indulgences

Timothy Birdnow

The catholic Archbishop of Sydney has come out against Global Warming Alarmism. This from The Australian:

Cardinal Pell Questions The Price Of Climate Action

The Australian, 27 October 2011

Tess Livingstone

CATHOLIC Archbishop of Sydney George Pell has questioned the morality and cost benefits of imposing heavy financial burdens in the cause of curbing climate change. Last night Cardinal Pell presented the annual lecture to London's controversial Global Warming Policy Foundation, chaired by former British chancellor Nigel Lawson.

"Whatever our political masters might decide at this high tide of Western indebtedness," Cardinal Pell said, "they are increasingly unlikely, because of popular pressure, to impose new financial burdens on their populations in the hope of curbing the rise of global temperatures, except perhaps in Australia, which has 2 per cent of the world's industrial capacity and only 1.2 per cent of its CO2 emissions, while continuing to sell coal worth billions of dollars to Asia.

"In 1135, the water flow in the Danube was so low that people could cross it on foot. Somewhat earlier, the Rhine had suffered the same fate. Around the middle of the Little Ice Age, the year 1540 was the warmest and driest for the millennium in central Europe. Once again, the Rhine dried up.

"We can only imagine the excitement such events would provoke today.

"Extreme weather events are to be expected, but are unexpected in every period. No one towards the end of the medieval warming in Europe expected the rapid descent into the cold and wet of the Little Ice Age, for example, or the freezing gales, winds and heavy rains that produced the short summers and the terrible developing famines of 1315 to 1320. Surprises such as these will continue into the future."

This was why he supported the views of geologist Bob Carter and Danish environmental writer Bjorn Lomborg that money should be used to raise living standards and reduce vulnerability to catastrophes and climate change, in whatever form.

"We need to be able to afford to provide the Noahs of the future with the best arks science and technology can provide," Cardinal Pell said.

"In essence, this is the moral dimension to this issue. The cost of attempts to make global warming go away will be very heavy. Efforts to offset the effects on the vulnerable are well intentioned but history tells us they can only ever be partially successful."

End excerpt.

And then there's this from National Review Online:

The Cardinal, The Climate, And The Greens

National Review Online, 26 October 2011

Samuel Gregg

These days, scarcely a month goes by without another prominent scientist quietly abandoning the tottering climate-change bandwagon. Climate activists increasingly lament how opinion seems to be shifting against them. It’s likely, however, that among the last hold-outs will be self-styled "progressive Christians.”

From the moment the climate debate heated up within the halls of faith, Cardinal George Pell — the Catholic archbishop of Sydney and one of the College of Cardinals’ intellectual heavyweights — has been arguing that the scientific consensus on this matter is far from settled. Today in London, Pell delivered a lecture for the Global Warming Policy Foundation in which he presented his most comprehensive case to date for why he thinks the consensus is open to question and the moral and economic reasons to be wary about proposed climate-change solutions.

In the full text, provocatively entitled "Eppur’ si muove” (after the apocryphal saying attributed to Galileo), Pell exhaustively details the scientific evidence that the consensus can’t quite account for and underscores what he calls "the climate movement’s totalitarian approach to opposing views, their demonising of successful opponents, and their opposition to the publication of opposing views, even in scientific journals.” He also notes that the economic costs associated with various climate proposals are likely to weigh heavily on the world’s most vulnerable people. "Are there any long-term benefits from the schemes to combat global warming, apart from extra tax revenues for governments and income for those devising and implementing the schemes?”

Pell draws an interesting analogy between the biblical account of the Tower of Babel and particular policy measures demanded by climate activists. Drawing upon the work of distinguished physician-philosopher Leon Kass, Pell notes that the narrative of humanity’s attempt to build a tower that would reach the heavens may be understood as a metaphor for man’s "presumptuous attempt to control or appropriate the divine” and (citing Kass) "the all-too-human, prideful attempt at self-creation.” On this basis, Pell writes: "We should ask whether our attempts at global climate control are within human capacity [or] likely to be as misdirected and ineffective as the construction of the famous tower in the temple of Marduk, Babylon’s chief god.”

In short, Pell isn’t suggesting there’s nothing to be concerned about — "I am not a ‘denier’ of climate-change” — nor does he claim that his perspective is the only possible Christian position on climate change. His key points are simply that (1) the scientific debate is not over, (2) the climate movement has always seemed more driven by ideology than evidence, and (3) this isn’t a basis for implementing extremely costly policies.

There is a broader context to Pell’s remarks, and that is Catholic hierarchy’s growing concern about some of the climate-change movement’s most aggressive allies: the Greens.

It’s no secret that when it comes to those moral questions that are truly non-negotiable for Catholics (e.g., abortion, euthanasia), Greens invariably take the most permissive positions. Their hostility to robust religious-liberty protections is a matter of record. Moreover, anyone who delves into "deep Green” literature soon discovers frankly humanophobic ideas. Such are the concerns of some Catholic bishops that, before elections were held in the Australian state of New South Wales in March this year, Pell and most of the state’s Catholic bishops issued an unprecedented pre-election statement warning their flocks against the more troubling, less publically mentioned parts of the Greens’ party platform.

But wait — doesn’t all this put Cardinal Pell at odds with Benedict XVI, whom some have dubbed the "Green Pope”?

The short answer is no. First, it’s hardly news that Pell and Benedict have been good friends since then–auxiliary bishop Pell served as a member of then–Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith throughout the 1990s. It’s hard to think of another cardinal who has been more supportive of Benedict’s powerful critiques of the "dictatorship of relativism.”

Second, Benedict himself has wondered on many occasions (including during his recent Bundestag speech) about the disconnect between many peoples’ contemporary angst about the environment and their seeming indifference to what Benedict calls the "human ecology” of the natural law, which provides the only truly rational basis for human freedom, dignity, and civilization.

Leaving aside efforts to establish nonexistent tensions between cardinal and pope, the usual suspects — secular and religious — will surely excoriate Pell for this lecture. But in an age where far too many Christian thinkers are way too submissive to transitory intellectual fashions that make them acceptable at fashionable cocktail parties but also partakers in profound intellectual incoherence, it’s refreshing to know not everyone is so intimidated.

— Samuel Gregg is research director at the Acton Institute. He has authored several books including On Ordered Liberty, his prize-winning The Commercial Society, Wilhelm Röpke’s Political Economy, and his 2012 forthcoming Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and America’s Future.



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October 26, 2011

Five voters who support Herman Cain -- and why

Dana Mathewson

Kyle-Anne Shiver has found five staunch Cain supporters who agreed to state their views for PJ Media (the brand-new name of Pajamas Media). Good stuff indeed, and we all know Kyle-Anne is worth reading any time. http://pjmedia.com/blog/why-herman-cain-electrifies-the-grassroots-five-voters-speak-out/

With this kind of support -- there are many, many more than these five out there -- I certainly expect Cain's numbers to keep growing, despite the pundits who are doing their best to minimize him.

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