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November 08th 2015 print

Andrew McIntyre

Perilous Pontifications

While St Peter's heir no doubt means well, his encyclical is a master class in the treachery of good intentions. As Ian Plimer writes in 'Heaven and Hell', the green crackpottery Pope Francis embraces and endorses can only hobble the creation of wealth and mire the Third World in perpetual poverty

HEAVEN AND HELL: The Pope condemns the poor to eternal poverty
Professor Ian Plimer
Connor Court, 2015,  348pages,   $29.95
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pope green trimmedOne hopes this new book by Professor Ian Plimer will shake the media from its gullible complacency and set it to confronting the gigantic fraud that the IPCC and hack scientists, avaricious governments, corrupted universities, and all the other self-interested parties riding the climate-change gravy train persist in preaching and promoting. While Plimer’s international best-seller, Heaven and Earth, did much to encourage scepticism and independent thought, the treatment it was meted by the liberal media, most notably at the shamelessly partisan ABC, won’t see me holding my breath.

Launched this month, Heaven and Hell is a frontal attack on the absurd, science-free claims peddled by, of all people, Pope Francis in his recent encyclical, Laudate ‘Si. As Plimer puts it, the documemnt is “science-free, an anti-development, anti-market enthusiastic embrace of global green left environmental ideology.”

Plimer goes straight for the jugular in demolishing the misrepresentations, false claims, erroneous predictions, fraudulent science and falsification of raw data –“a cardinal sin” — that represent the dubious basis for the papal pronouncement. The complete lack of any verified theory to explain, adequately and demonstrably, why and how carbon dioxide is heating the world is, of course, key to his critique.

What becomes quickly clear is that the encyclical is no better than a naïve reiteration of all the falsities beloved of what passes itself off as “environmental science”. One expects Tim Flannery and his like to prattle earnest nonsense, as they are heavily invested in warmism’s success, but this time it comes with the Vatican’s crossed-keys stamp of approval. The most unsettling revelation to be drawn from the encyclical is that Pope Francis knows little of economics and understands less. Wealth creation, trade and markets are beyond his ken. These are the engines that have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and you might imagine a Pope who otherwise advocates for the Third World’s poor would recognise them as forces for good. As Plimer correctly points out, the encyclical condemns the wretched of the earth to remain in that condition — consigned “to eternal poverty”, as Plimer puts it.

Plimer observes that the encyclical was published to coincide with the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Paris and that it adds the weight of papal endorsement to the catastrophist prophecies now flooding the media. The Pope asserts “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or replace politics”. This is manifestly untrue, as Plimer notes: “Of course he does. The encyclical is a document of public policy.”

The considerable resources the Vatican might have directed at a fair, impartial appraisal of climate science were instead narrowed to a selected panel of five ardent, deep-green “environmentalists”. One of their number was Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change, who has boasted of “a master plan for the transformation of society”. This is to be achieved by “reducing CO2 emissions of fossil fuels to zero by 2070”. That’s fine and dandy, Herr Professor, but what about the world the rest of us inhabit?

To be reminded of the real world and real flesh-and-blood humanity, let’s look at what the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitters are planning to bring to Paris: China is to double its emissions by 2030, by which time India expects to have tripled its own output. Russia is going for a 38% increase. Even in the EU, Germany and Poland are refusing to sign up. After Dohaha, Durbinned, Cancan’t and Copenflopen, expect the City of Light to be known when the latest gabfest ends as Parisisn’t.

Heaven and Hell goes through every aspect of the present state of climate science, the corruption, the falsification of raw data (aka fraud), and the complete failure of those much-vaunted climate models on which every other prediction is based, from which every other piece of research derives its rationale, and through which every scare-mongering scenario is trumpeted as indisputable fact via a tame media eager to be gulled. A central concern for Plimer is the doctrinal insistence that CO2 causes warming. Pointedly, he says:

The entire trillion dollar climate change industry rests on a single hypothetical assumption. The assumption is that emissions  of CO2 by humans drive global warming. To this day there is no scientific evidence to support this assumption.

plimer coverWhilst some sceptics concede a small influence of man-made CO2, all agree that the impact is negligible. How else does one explain the complete failure of the IPCC projections? The problem, as the IPCC itself admits, is that their models are just plain wrong, bearing no relationship to actual (non-”homogenised”) temperatures recorded by remote-sensing satellites, the most accurate means. Most in the science community now accept the temperature pause of the last nineteen years. This means that no first-year university student — not one teenager anywhere on Earth, for that matter — has ever experienced global warming in his or her  entire lifetime.

Plimer also discusses energy, coal, natural gas and oil, and details the appalling policy decisions by Western governments, their litany of unintended consequences, the extravagant waste of resources and hobbling of economies. This writer can only wonder at the reaction when books like Heaven and Hell are re-read — at the end of this century, say. At such a distance from today’s hysteria, people will surely smile as we now do at the Ancient Greeks’ faith in the improbable Ptolemaic epicycles that supposedly accounted for the movement of the planets.

There is a fascinating section in the book on the theory of acidification. Plimer demonstrates that it has extraordinarily long term stability due to a subtle balance of the system through  interaction with natural buffers of volcanic basalt rock and salinity. Plimer, a geologist,  knows rocks and he knows chemistry:

To use the word “acid” with reference to the oceans is fraudulent. The oceans have been alkaline for thousands of millions of years at times when there was far more CO2 in the atmosphere than at present. There is no reason  CO2 solubility in seawater would suddenly disobey all the rules of chemistry because we are emitting traces of a trace gas into the atmosphere.

Throughout the book the author lists many of the infamously false predictions and bogus items of “evidence” so familiar to Quadrant readers. This litany provokes incredulity and quiet rage as the reader is confronted time and again by the gullibility of journalists, whose professional responsibility it is to be better informed. That the global warming scam and scandal has flourished for as long as it has testifies to the scientific illiteracy and political leanings endemic in modern newsrooms. Lazy, incompetent and incurious, journalists’ support for warmism demonstrates just what a dim lot so many are: apart from the odd junket, they have not shared in the spoils and riches going to the warmists they have promoted at the expense of their own credibility and reputations.

Obligingly, the ABC has just this week presented us with another example of getting-the-story-totally-wrong. Reporting on a five-year CSIRO survey, the national broadcaster misrepresented the findings and insisted: “Three quarters of Australians believe climate change is real”. Well, not really. The CSIRO’s own data actually shows that a comfortable majority of the more than 5,000 respondents believe that anthropogenic warming is a complete crock. Moreover, the numbers of so-called sceptics have increased. All these numbers are there, clear as day, yet the ABC persisted in presenting them as if the wider public was an inner-city dinner party craving reassurance rather than hard fact.

In his final chapter, Plimer develops a moral case for social and economic development based on the use of cheap and abundant coal. This is what will raise standards of living in the poor world, he writes, presenting detailed statistics on how energy is used and why “sustainable” substitutes will never work. Basically, Plimer has penned a primer on the Industrial Revolution, technology and wealth creation. But more than that, he has nailed the fraudsters and green activists who torment truth and science to pervert policy decisions and promote their various agendas. Sadly, the latest  coup is to have enlisted the papacy in their bent cause. Plimer puts it bluntly:

The only moral position the Pope can take is to argue that poor countries should generate coal-fired electricity.

That Francis has not done so — indeed, that he rejects such an option out of hand — perhaps helps to explain why several US polls have recorded a steep drop in his popularity. Sometimes, or so it seems, the sheep are smarter than their shepherd.

Comments [17]

  1. Jack Richards says:

    Who cares what a 65 year-old virgin who wears a dress and the world’s silliest hat has to say? Here’s a bloke who believes in fairies and giant “mighty men”, bushes that can speak, human levitation, and that insanity can be cured by casting imaginary demons into a herd of pigs. As The Gospel of Matthew says, “Lord have mercy on my son for he is a lunatic and sore vexed…”

    • Patrick James says:

      Jack Richards, as a practising Catholic I find your remarks highly amusing.

    • Bernard Tola says:

      A well-researched and carefully thought out opinion, worthy of the Fairfax Press.

    • MickL says:

      Why doesn’t Pope Tiny Francer just pray for God to stop global warming and fix poverty? If God is real, and omnipotent, and answers prayers so why doesn’t he (or she) just fix it?

      Gods failure to stop global warming must point to his (or her) indifference, incompetence or caprice. Or global warming is part of His plan and meant to happen, if so then God won’t stop it even if it’s bad for us and no matter what we try.

  2. Jody says:

    Say what? The Pope is anti same sex marriage so we SHOULDN’T listen to him, but now he’s a climate change activist and now we SHOULD? You cannot cherry pick your Papal pronouncements; either you believe in Papal ‘truths’ or you don’t. The rest is rank hypocrisy.

  3. Bill Martin says:

    While awaiting delivery of my copy of Ian Plimer’s Heaven and Hell, I am considerably less hopeful than Andrew McIntyre that the book will have a significant effect on the controversy in favour of the sceptic camp. There were other excellent books in the same vein without achieving the intended impact. Let’s hope that McIntyre will be proven right.

    Regarding Pope Francis, most commentators tend to excuse him as being simply innocently naive. That stance seems far kinder then the Pope deserves. Jesuits are reputedly highly educated, which implies being well acquainted with various branches of science, without necessarily being experts in any one in particular. Francis is a Jesuit. Is he a glaring exception in this regard? Is he really that ignorant? Not very likely. No, he is not an innocent dupe, but a Marxist activist. Surely, he had a say in the choice of advisors, so why did he choose only communists and green crackpots. Did he not know that there were many prominent, well respected people with contrary views? Of course he did. This Pope is very likely to lead the Chatolic Church to its destruction, which would be enthusiastically welcomed by the loony left. Despite the flippant remarks above by Jack Richards, millions of people do consider papal announcements important, so Francis’ encyclical is extremely damaging to the church. Is Pope Francis the Antichrist?

  4. Mr Johnson says:

    This is what happens when the vanity of wanting to be loved by everyone, overrides common sense. Or at least the sense of looking after those you are supposed to – ie, your flock (hello Malcolm). For the Pope to turn all Green Catastrophist, is for him to reach out to the children of Gaia, the rent seekers, and the atheists who would rather crap on his cross than ever follow, believe in, or support his religion. Like Obama wilfully does to the US, so Pope Francis now unwittingly(?) does to the Church – *sigh*

  5. Stuart says:

    It would appear that the Pope has made a deal with the devil, or the left ( whichever you deem the most evil).

  6. Kadon says:

    There is nothing unwittingly done by this Pope. Everything is timed to perfection. He is a Jesuit, yes, but that religious order has been systematically corrupted as has all the other religious orders since the new catechism was introduced.
    He is intent on destroying the long-held faith/belief of the Catholic Church. Traditional Catholics call it rightly ‘the counterfeit church’. A new church was founded with the implementation of the Council of Vatican II’s new Catechism and new code of canon law. His up and coming year of mercy is no exception to his perfect timing to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the notorious council of Vat.II. It violates the sacraments, the priests, and the people who trustingly receive them. Ian Pilmer is to be congratulated for calling Pope Francis out. Catholics have no obligation to obey any encyclical that is contrary to the perennial teachings of the Catholic Faith. This encyclical has nothing to do with the Catholic Faith. The Pope is only to be obeyed when he speaks truly on faith and morals.

  7. Jody says:

    Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that we’ve seen a ‘renegade’ Pope. At least he’s not on his horse leading a crusade to wipe out ‘heretics’!!

  8. Bran Dee says:

    Jody, the crusades have had some bad press in recent times since the press went over to the dark side. However I have respect for the effort of Richard the Lion Heart who in 1191 and 1192 tried to push Saladin back out of Jerusalem. It was happening at the same time the Mohammedan iconoclasts had invaded India and were about to build the Qutub Minar out of the pillaged temples of India in the region of Delhi.

    • gardner.peter.d says:

      Brian Dee, Richard the Lion Heart’s efforts were in vain as were those of the defenders of Vienna and Malta in the 16th century. The lunatics governing the EU are now welcoming Muslims into Europe to loot and rape, run protection and prostitution rackets, displace the citizenry from their homes, bring their ethnic and religious violence with them, lying about their age in order to be classed as children, lying about their ethnicity so as to be taken as Syrian, regardless of the fact that the vast majority of the migrants are travelling there from perfectly safe places, losing their passports but not their iPhones, and will not ever integrate into European life because they are wholly unsuited to it and seek only to continue their own ways of life but in a different place.

    • gardner.peter.d says:

      Brian Dee, Richard the Lion Heart’s efforts were in vain as were those of the defenders of Vienna and Malta in the 16th century. The lunatics governing the EU are now welcoming Muslims into Europe to loot and rape, run protection and prostitution rackets, displace the citizenry from their homes, bring their ethnic and religious violence with them, lying about their age in order to be classed as children, lying about their ethnicity so as to be taken as Syrian, regardless of the fact that the vast majority of the migrants are travelling there from perfectly safe places, losing their passports but not their iPhones, and will not ever integrate into European life because they are wholly unsuited to it and seek only to continue their own ways of life but in a different place, having ruined their old home, not so much migrants but itinerants.

  9. Jody says:

    Yes, all well and good – but was being a warrior the intended role of the Pope? And I was thinking principally of the Albigensian crusade.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade

  10. Rob Brighton says:

    Its no more nutty than any other of his pronouncements, wearing his Marxist garments whilst deploring same sex marriage and suggesting the use of condoms in Africa is not an answer to aids consigning millions to a horrible death.

    They make me bilious to even contemplate the claim of moral leadership whilst they deplore such things as gay marriage whilst eating prawns and wearing cotton undies with nylon elastics.

    This is from a bloke who claims to know the unknowable. He is a charlatan at best, to see him side with those other fellow travelers surprises me not a single jot, like any good carnival operator he knows how to fleece the punters.

  11. Richard H says:

    The image of His Holiness the Pope used at the top of this article makes him look rather like a Martian from a subpar SF show from years gone by.

    I don’t want to trample on anyone’s freedom of expression, nor do I want to appear PC in anyway – but doesn’t Quadrant owe an apology over the image? (Not to the oxygen-thief who is the current successor to St Peter the Apostle, but to the Martians. Even if they are just primitive microbes, they don’t deserve this sort of defamation-by-association.)

  12. Simon says:

    First these people tell us there is an all powerful superman up there, that sees everything we do and rewards us for being ‘good’, or punishes us if we’re bad. We can even talk ‘him’ on occasion, but ‘he’ can never be arsed to reply.

    Now these same people tell us there is an invisible gas that is destroying the planet.

    Hmm. :-) )