October 6th, 2023
Guest Perspective by William Briggs
The Vatican’s New Exhortation On “Climate Change” Has Many Errors Click To Tweet
The Vatican issued a new Apostolic Exhortation, given in the name of Pope Francis, entitled Laudate Deum.
The document is addressed “To all people of good will on the climate crisis.”
There is no “climate crisis.” It does not exist. It is not so. I (and many others) have spent years and years documenting an enormous number of arguments showing there is no “climate crisis” (a small handful here). Whoever wrote this exhortation has based it on a false premise. And, as Aristotle taught us, from a false premise come the greatest errors.
Like this error: “the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.” Passing by the needlessly frightening “breaking point”, we note that this sentence is not so. The world is not collapsing, not due to “climate change” anyway. The West is collapsing, it is true, but in part because of unnecessary hersteria (effeminate hysteria) over “climate change”.
Overreaction like this: “We will feel [climate change’s] effects in the areas of healthcare, sources of employment, access to resources, housing, forced migrations, etc.”
Whoever wrote suffers from a now common inability to imagine changes in the environment that are not bad. Because it is not physically possible that all changes in climate are bad, because some changes are good (like increased plant and crop growth and warmer weather), sentences like this reveal more about the author’s mind than it does about the world.
Now for a theological curiosity: “African bishops stated that climate change makes manifest ‘a tragic and striking example of structural sin’.”
This is false. Every plant, animal, and even every inanimate object affects the atmosphere, and hence the climate. Is impossible—not unlikely: impossible—that whatever is on earth not to affect the climate. The climate on earth has never been static, and never will be static. It cannot be static. It is impossible to stop climate change. A changing climate is not a sin.
Rise up, Peter, kill and eat. Man, like all other animals, must affect his environment to live—and even to die. Certainly there will be, at times, excess; for instance in the over-vigorous production of the tracking devices we insist on carrying with us everywhere. All excess should and must be condemned. Gluttony and greed are not new sins. They are sins. “Climate change” is not a sin.
There are many factual errors in the document, which were easy to check, but were not. For instance, “the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident”. The climate is always changing, so that is true, but the one must understand that when the phrase “climate change” is used by the untutored they mean the theory of “climate crisis”; they take this theory as proven.
It continues: “it is verifiable that specific climate changes provoked by humanity are notably heightening the probability of extreme phenomena that are increasingly frequent and intense.” This is false, and easily seen to be false. All these attribution studies are fundamentally flawed. They are all premised on perfect model predictions, a false premise. Details are at the link.
Another: “we are presently experiencing is an unusual acceleration of warming” (and more similar rate-of-change claims later in the document). Not so. Historical data come from models of temperature by proxy, which necessarily smooths values; whereas current values are much more variable because of the increased frequency of measurement. This gives an entirely false picture of rate-of-change if one is not careful. The amount of uncertainty in actual changes is too large to make the claim.
Another: “melting of glaciers can be easily perceived by an individual in his or her lifetime”. It has grown warmer (thank God) in some years. What happens to ice when it is hot? It melts. That melting is taken as (separate) proof that the theory for the warmth is therefore true. But there are alternate theories, which make the same, and better predictions. Other, better, rival theories besides “global boiling” or “climate crisis” exist. These are supported by the same evidence of melting glaciers.
Another: “Droughts and floods, the dried-up lakes, communities swept away by seaquakes and flooding ultimately have the same origin.” This is false. Droughts and floods are down, not up, and their harms are down, not up. And seaquakes caused by “climate change”? No.
These are followed by a surreal claim that some blame “climate change” on the poor, and women. I have studied this subject for decades and have never heard this, from any source, even once. Yet if somebody has made this preposterous claim, they are wrong. Or perhaps this is a mere appeal to pity.
Another: “Events of natural origin that usually cause warming, such as volcanic eruptions and others, are insufficient to explain the proportion and speed of the changes of recent decades.” This is not so, as we show (among other places) in this paper: Warming in Terms of Human and Natural Factors.
Some fear “efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels and developing cleaner energy sources will lead to a reduction in the number of jobs.” This indeed has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen, all to no measurable effect on the climate. Only elites will make money on this.
There is much more of this sort of thing, but unless we want a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis, which would take a few thousand words, we’ll settle for this brief, and representative, sample. (I welcome all questions on specifics.)
The document states: “It is no longer possible to doubt the human – ‘anthropic’ – origin of climate change.” It is possible, even mandatory, to doubt. Man, we know with certainty, affects the climate. But doubt is the best, and most rational, approach when hearing any claim about “climate change”. For instance, it is claimed everywhere on earth is warming faster than everywhere else on earth, which is preposterous. The subject has become so ridiculous that scientists claim everything—there is no exaggeration here—everything bad will be made worse because of “climate change”. They even claim there will be fewer cannoli because of “climate change”! You are welcome to try this experiment (at this link) to prove my claim that skepticism is not only rational, it is necessary.
The document laments that skeptical attitudes are found “even within the Catholic Church.” I am, of course, in the Church, and I respectfully dissent on the belief that skepticism is unwarranted, and perhaps even sinful. Skepticism is rational here, as I said, and one should even dismiss grandiose apocalyptic claims, which even the document admits “may well appear scarcely reasonable or insufficiently grounded.” Yet they would have us embrace these unreasonable claims anyway because, the document says, “it is always too late, since no intervention will be able to halt a process once begun.”
This just is not so. If it were so, then there would be no need to act. It would be too late.
This is followed by a discussion of some kind of one-world government (“a new procedure for decision-making and legitimizing those decisions”), which “we need not necessarily think of a personal authority”. Well, it has to be some kind of authority, one run by persons. Who “must be endowed with real authority, in such a way as to ‘provide for’ the attainment of certain essential goals.”
Don’t think of it of losing your own government: “It is not a matter of replacing politics, but of recognizing that the emerging forces are becoming increasingly relevant and are in fact capable of obtaining important results in the resolution of concrete problems, as some of them demonstrated during the pandemic.”
They did. Worldwide idiotic panic for nearly three years, with a plague created by globalist Experts, and mandated deadly “solutions” advocated by globalist Experts. Which we should repeat for “climate change”?
The document insists that the final solution, whatever it will be (details are vague), be welcomed in COP28. This means the 28th UN climate conference. Twenty eight years of destruction foretold, twenty eight years of The End being pushed ahead a few more years, twenty eight years where tomorrow is the Point Of No Return. Twenty eight years is a very long time, my friends. And indeed is has been more than fifty years of claims like this.
How many more are necessary before it is accepted “mistakes were made”?
William Briggs has a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics and an MS in Atmospheric Physics. Briggs describes himself as a “Data Philosopher, Epistemologist, Probability Puzzler, Unmasker of Over-Certainty”, and statistician to the stars. As you will see, Briggs has a healthy skepticism of the supposedly ironclad findings that modern science purports to find seemingly every week.
If you would like to support the work of Mr. Briggs, please visit wmbriggs.com.